LOS ANGELES, Calif. (July 11, 2007) — For the first time in U.S. history, presidential candidates will take part in a televised debate based solely on gay issues.Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards are among the confirmed participants in the debate, which will be held on August 9 and broadcast on LOGO, the gay-based cable network in the MTV Networks family.The groundbreaking event will be conducted in front of a live audience in Los Angeles, moderated by openly gay musician Melissa Etheridge and Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese.The debate was coordinated through a partnership with LOGO and HRC.“In the 2008 presidential election, issues of concern to the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender) community have already been at the forefront of the national conversation, Solmonese said in a statement. “From the repeal of ‘Dont ask, Dont 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.”
Brian Graden, who serves as both President of Entertainment for MTV Networks Music Group and President of LOGO, added: “We’re honored to give the presidential candidates an historic opportunity to share their views directly with the LGBT audience. This forum continues MTV Networks tradition of engaging vital niche audiences with voting and the electoral process.”Topics planned for discussion in the debate include relationship recognition, marriage equality, workplace fairness, the military, hate crimes, HIV/AIDS, and other issues that affect the LGBT community — a community that makes up 4% of the voting population, according to exit poll data.In addition to the questions asked by Solmonese and Etheridge, people at home will be able to pose their own questions through LOGOonline.com and HRC.org.The debate will air on LOGO on August 9 at 9:00 PM (EST), and can also be viewed via live streaming video on LOGOonline.com.
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