HRC Blog

NYT Looks at Convention’s Strong LGBT Presence

Post submitted by Dan Rafter, Former HRC Associate Director of Communications

The New York Times is looking at the historic LGBT presence at this year’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte  - a gathering that has seen not only record-breaking LGBT participation, but also is the first-of-its-kind as conventions go in welcoming and respecting LGBT people.

The article contrasts the Democratic gathering with last week’s Republic convention, and also features HRC President Chad Griffin:

The contrast with the Republican convention last week in Florida was striking. In Tampa, there were no openly gay people speaking from the stage, and minimal discussion of gay issues, though there were small contingents of gay delegates and celebrations in more obscure venues. That said, gay delegates there noted that unlike past conventions, there was no chorus of attacks on gay rights from the stage.

Unlike some other constituencies, gays here could say unabashedly that their issues would be better addressed under an Obama presidency. Even so, Democrats said they were wary that the party not go too far to appear to be celebrating gays — and alienate voters who may be uncomfortable with gays and their issues.

…Chad Griffin, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, who introduced Mrs. Obama at the fund-raising luncheon, said what was striking was how gay issues and figures had been integrated so fully into the convention.

“It’s an incredible, noticeable, historic difference,” he said. “Now equality is integrated in the party. In conversation after conversation people are talking about it.”

Read the full article.

HRC has a strong presence at the convention – earlier this week, we hosted an event at the Google space that featured a number of diverse perspectives on the State of the LGBT Movement. Yesterday, we co-hosted a luncheon with the Victory Fund honoring LGBT elected officials and featuring First Lady Michelle Obama.

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