Colman Domingo
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LGBTQ Issues Largely Erased During Democratic Debate

Debate July 30, 2019

Moderator Jake Tapper mentioned in a question that Pete Buttigieg has a husband. Bernie Sanders in his closing remark called President Trump a "homophobe." But beyond that, the second Democratic presidential debate held no significant discussion — or even mention — of LGBTQ rights or people.

“Omitting any questions about reversing the dangerous attacks President Trump has made against LGBTQ Americans since taking office is a missed opportunity that must be corrected in tomorrow’s debate and all election coverage,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, in a statement released minutes after the debate closed.

The debate, hosted by CNN in Detroit and including 10 Democrats running for president, came despite out CNN anchor Don Lemon serving as one of the debate moderators and an openly gay candidate, Buttigieg, appearing in a nationally televised presidential debate for just the second time ever.

That stood in contrast to the first presidential debate, hosted in Miami by MSNBC, where LGBTQ issues came up both nights. That debate, too, featured an out moderator, Rachel Maddow.

Granted, the crowded presidential field in both presidential debates left candidates clamoring for time to address a wide array of subjects. In both the first and second presidential debates held this year had to be separated into groups of 10 taking the stage on two consecutive nights. The remaining 10 candidates will take the stage in Detroit this evening.

But the lack of LGBTQ issues even being acknowledged still rankled observers.

“At a time when the Trump Administration tries to erase the LGBTQ community at every turn, the media should make LGBTQ-specific issues a priority by asking each presidential candidate how they will fight for and protect LGBTQ people across the nation,” Ellis said. 

Tags: Politics

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