Democratic candidates running for governor will have a chance to speak directly to voters during a forum on LGBT and women’s rights on July 24 in Lansing. They’ll take questions from over 15 statewide organizations and nonprofits co-sponsoring the event. The forum will be a one-of-a-kind opportunity for voters to get the candidates’ take on LGBT and women’s issues, and will be moderated by Between The Lines.
LGBT advocacy group Stonewall for Revolution kickstarted the event. “One of the reasons we created Stonewall was to help identify the candidates who support our issues,” said Robert Van Kirk, the founder of Stonewall for Revolution.”We have to hold candidates accountable early on. No candidate for governor should take the women and LGBT vote for granted and Stonewall is providing an opportunity for the candidates to show they care about these issues again.”
The forum will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Lansing, 510 W. Ottawa Street, near the Capitol Building. Abdul El-Sayed, Bill Cobbs and Shri Thanedar have confirmed their attendance at the forum. Gretchen Whitmer received an invitation but has yet to confirm.
Co-sponsors of the forum include Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, Progress Michigan, Young Democrats of Michigan, Michigan Federation of College Democrats, Justice Caucus of the Michigan Democratic Party, Michigan for Revolution, Women’s March MI, the Progressive Caucus of the MDP, West Michigan United Progressives, the Black Caucus of the MDP, the LGBT&A Caucus of the MDP, Grand Rapids United Progressives, the Democratic Disability Caucus, and the Women’s Caucus of the MDP.
“This forum won’t just be about abortion rights and gay couples being denied wedding cake. Candidates might have to answer questions on the epidemic level of violence against Native women, or difficulties in healthcare for trans women,” said Megan Collier, a regional organizer for Women’s March MI. “Their answers to those questions will be really telling for how seriously they take other LGBT and women’s issues. This forum will be a fantastic opportunity for voters to hear how they’ll be treated after the election.”