Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 3 / 18 January 2018

Dems pick gay-friendly Denver

Democrats announced Thursday, January 11 that they will hold their 2008 Democratic National Convention in the Mile High City.

Gay Democrats quickly hailed the choice of Denver, which recently began promoting its new Denver Arts Museum complex and downtown area to LGBT travelers. They also pledged to use the selection of the host city to bring national media attention to LGBT issues.

“The Colorado Stonewall Democrats are thrilled to welcome the 2008 Democratic National Convention to Denver,” said Mark Ferrandino, president of the Colorado Stonewall Democrats. “We are especially excited to host thousands of LGBT Democrats from across the country in 2008 as we work with our presidential nominee to strengthen the position of the Democratic Party on issues that impact LGBT families.”

“The city of Denver has long been a welcoming home for LGBT Coloradoans,” said Jo Wyrick, National Stonewall Democrats executive director. “Stonewall will use the attention that Denver will gain from its selection to work with Colorado Democrats to build on their recent electoral gains and to again help them pass non-discrimination legislation at the statehouse.”

At the top of the agenda, said Wyrick in a statement, is passing legislation that would bar employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. In 2005, the Democratically controlled statehouse passed such a measure but Republican Governor Bill Owens vetoed it. With the swearing-in this week of Democrat Bill Ritter as governor, Wyrick said Stonewall will assist Colorado Democrats in passing an inclusive non-discrimination bill that bars employment discrimination not only on the basis of sexual orientation but also gender identity.

Democratic National Convention Chair Howard Dean, who also chairs the party, selected Denver over New York City. Previous cities considered for the 2008 Democratic National Convention included Anaheim, Las Vegas, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New Orleans, and Orlando.

In preparation for the convention next year, Wyrick said her organization will hold three national trainings intended to increase the participation of LGBT Democrats in state parties, key committees, and at the 2008 convention.

The trainings will take place throughout 2007, with the first in Las Vegas in March, the second in Oklahoma City in July, and the third in Manchester, New Hampshire in October.

The field of possible Democratic presidential candidates became a bit more crowded as well on Thursday with the announcement by Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd that he would be entering the race. The other declared candidates are Ohio Congressman and former presidential contender Dennis Kucinich, former vice presidential candidate and North Carolina Senator John Edwards, and former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack.

Both New York Senator and former first lady Hillary Clinton and Illinois Senator Barack Obama are expected to announce within weeks their intentions of running.

— Matthew S. Bajko, January 11, 2007 @ 1:10 pm PST
Filed under: Politics

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