Logo, a division of Viacom’s MTV Networks, and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation today announced they will co-present a historic televised forum on issues of importance to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community with the leading 2008 Democratic presidential candidates, including, currently confirmed and in alphabetical order, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
The one-hour event will be held on Aug. 9 at 6 p.m. PT / 9 p.m. ET in Los Angeles before a studio audience and broadcast live, without commercial interruption, exclusively on Logo’s 24/7 cable television channel as well as through live streaming video at LOGOonline.com. Logo is the nation’s leading television and broadband channel for the GLBT audience and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of the nation’s largest GLBT civil rights organization.
This event, which marks the first time in history the major presidential candidates will address a live GLBT television audience, is part of MTV Networks’ award-winning pro-social efforts and dedication to engaging its audiences on the issues that are most important and relevant to them.
The event also continues the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s efforts to educate and bring awareness to issues of equality and fairness that continue to affect the lives of GLBT Americans.
Candidates currently agreed to participate in the forum and share their views with the GLBT community are, in alphabetical order, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. The candidates will appear sequentially and engage in conversation with co-panelists Melissa Etheridge, performer and advocate, and Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. The panelists plan to cover a range of issues including relationship recognition, marriage equality, workplace fairness, the military, hate crimes, HIV/AIDS and other important issues.
“In the 2008 presidential election, issues of concern to the GLBT community have already been at the forefront of the national conversation,” said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. “From the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ to the recent signing of a civil unions bill in New Hampshire, there is no doubt that voters will demand answers to important questions affecting our community.”
“We’re honored to give the presidential candidates a historic opportunity to share their views directly with the LGBT audience,” said Brian Graden, president, entertainment, MTV Networks Music Group, and president, Logo. “This forum continues MTV Networks’ tradition of engaging vital niche audiences with voting and the electoral process.”
The forum will include significant online components at LOGOonline.com and HRC.org, including online question submission. The Human Rights Campaign Foundation and Logo invited the leading Democratic and Republican candidates to participate in the forum.
The GLBT vote is considered a decisive electoral force and according to exit poll data makes up approximately 4 percent of the voting population. Los Angeles was chosen as the site for the event because of the state’s early primary election, on Feb. 5, 2008. The event will take place at Studio City, Calif., at HD Vision Studios, and this event represents the first live event airing on Logo.