Record-Breaking Number of Gays Expected at Democratic National Convention

More gays are out of the closet and on the campaign trail than ever before. According to the National Stonewall Democrats, a record-breaking 534 LGBT participants will be attending the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina next week.

The number shows a positive difference compared to 2008, when the group identified 350 LGBT participants in Denver.

“We not only set a new record for LGBT participation in a national convention, we have sent the clearest message possible that the Democratic Party is the party of inclusion," said Jerame Davis, executive director of the National Stonewall Democrats, in a statement.

The Democratic LGBT activists credit the increase in gay participants to various programs within the Democratic Party to increase the role of LGBT community members in politics.

"You cannot overstate the critical role presidential campaigns play in working with state parties and Democratic leaders to meet the demographic goals set by state parties," said Rick Boylan, director of Pride in the Party, one of the programs for LGBT inclusion.

"The Obama campaign understands that the LGBT community is a key constituency in the 2012 election. Their support for the community and the issues important to LGBT Americans will help reelect the president and elect Democrats down the ballot in all states."

2012 Democratic National Convention LGBT Participation by the Numbers (according to Stonewall Democrats):

Total LGBT Participants: 534

LGBT Delegates: 486 (116.27% of goal; 8.15% of the 5963 total delegates expected in Charlotte.)

LGBT Alternates: 23

LGBT Committee Members: 20

LGBT Pages: 5

Jurisdictions that met or exceeded goal: 38

Jurisdictions that missed their goal:  15

Jurisdictions that met or exceeded their 2008 LGBT participation: 44

Transgender participants: 11 (7 delegates, 3 committee members, 1 alternate)

Other notable facts

Three states are sending LGBT delegates for the first time: Mississippi, Arkansas, Alaska

- For the first time, all 50 states set numerical goals for LGBT delegates

- For the first time, there will be at least one LGBT delegate from every state

- The largest LGBT delegation is from California with 76 total LGBT participants

- 6 States are sending 1 LGBT delegate (AK, ID, KS, MS, ND, VT)


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