A record number of GLBT delegates are
expected to arrive at the Democratic National Convention later this
month, says the National Stonewall Democrats – the nation's largest
Democratic organization representing gays and lesbians. The record
numbers are a result of grassroots efforts by the organization which
started in 2007.
Stonewall Democrats' 2007 outreach
program Pride in the Party is being hailed as a success in
bringing additional GLBT voices to the convention.
State parties established voluntary
goals for GLBT participation at the 2008 Democratic Convention, then
Stonewall Democrats connected them with local organizations and
events, such as Black Pride celebrations, community gatherings, and
town hall meetings.
Forty-seven state parties established
such goals. And of those, 83% met or exceeded their 2004 GLBT
participation. Only Alaska, Arkansas and Mississippi did not
Stonewall Democrats expect to see 358
gay & lesbian participants at the Democratic National Convention
in Denver, Colorado when it opens on August 25th. Of
those, 276 will serve as delegates, 42 as alternate delegates, 34 as
standing committee members, and 6 as convention pages.
Overall, thirty-six states and
territories will have increased their gay representation at the
convention when compared to 2004. And five states – Hawaii,
Mississippi, Montana, South Dakota, and Tennessee – will be sending
gay representation for the first time.
The gathering not only promises to be
the gayest ever, it will also include the first-ever transsexual
appointment and a record number of GLBT assignments to DNC standing
Diego Sanchez of AIDS Action will make
history as the first-ever transgender appointment to the convention.