Karine Jean-Pierre
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Dem Convention to Feature LGBTQ+ Speakers in Keynote Slots and More

danica roem

This year the Democratic Party not only has its most pro-LGBTQ+ platform ever, it also has the first LGBTQ+ speakers in a keynote slot at its national convention.

In the keynote portion Tuesday, from 9 to 11 p.m. Eastern, speakers will include three gay men — state Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta of Pennsylvania and Sam Park of Georgia, and Mayor Robert Garcia of Long Beach, Calif.

Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., and Democratic presidential aspirant, will address the convention Thursday night, when Joe Biden will accept the presidential nomination. This year Buttigieg became the first out major-party presidential candidate to appear in a national debate and win delegates. He endorsed Biden after dropping out of the race. Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, the first out LGBTQ+ U.S. senator (she’s lesbian), will also speak that night.

Danica Roem, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, will also speak at the convention, making her the first openly transgender elected official to do so. It’s unclear when she will speak.

Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David issued a statement praising the lineup. “From the most pro-equality platform in history to the first LGBTQ people to speak as keynote speakers, the 2020 Democratic National Convention marks a turning point for our community,” he said. “We have fought for a seat at the table for generations, and at this convention more LGBTQ people will serve as delegates than any other party convention in history. It’s clear our voice is not only valued but seen as essential by the Democratic Party.

“Leaders like Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Del. Danica Roem, State Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta and Sam Park, and Mayor Robert Garcia represent not only the diversity of our community but the future of our movement. This convention season, one thing is clear: Democrats are leading with unity, inclusivity and diversity while Republicans are leading with ignorance, divisiveness and bigotry.”

The convention will run from tonight through Thursday, mostly online, although there will be some events in Milwaukee. The convention was scheduled to take place there before the COVID-19 pandemic made such events inadvisable.

It can be livestreamed at the convention website and will be carried by several TV networks.  

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