Members of the LGBTIQ+ community in the United States will be paying close attention in October, when CNN hosts a Democratic presidential town hall on LGBTIQ+ issues - reportedly the first of its kind to be aired live on a major news network.
According to CNN, the event will be called 'Power of Our Pride' and take place in Los Angeles on October 10, the night before National Coming Out Day, providing candidates an opportunity to highlight their policies for LGBTIQ+ people.
CNN has teamed up with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) for the town hall, which aims to "promote equality and civility."
“This town hall comes at a critical time in our fight to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people in this nation,” HRC President Alphonso David said in a statement.
The statement continued, highlighting the ongoing need for LGBTIQ+ issues to be front and centre during political debate.
“Today, in 30 states, LGBTIQ+ people remain at risk of being fired, evicted or denied services because of who we are. Thirty-five states have yet to ban the dangerous and debunked practice of ’conversion therapy,’ which is harming our young people. Hate crimes are rising, and more than 100 transgender people—most of whom are transgender women of color-have been killed in the United States in the last five years.”
David added: “Although the federal government should be protecting all residents, the Trump-Pence Administration is directly attacking our community by banning transgender troops from serving our country openly, undermining health care services for people living with HIV, and seeking to erase LGBTIQ+ people from protections under law."
So far, six candidates have confirmed their attendance for the event: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Julián Castro, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, and Elizabeth Warren - with Bernie Sanders being one notable absence.
According to HRC, the event will be invite-only, with the audience being made up of community leaders, HRC members, and members of the press.
The event follows on from CNN's climate town hall, which took place earlier this week.