….from the NY Times….
The protesters first surfaced when Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., took the stage during the forum, which was sponsored by CNN and the Human Rights Campaign. Protesters greeted him waving large signs as they shouted for greater awareness of violence against transgender women of color.
After they had quieted down, Mr. Buttigieg turned to them, saying, “I do want to acknowledge what these demonstrators were speaking about, which is the epidemic of violence against black trans women in this country right now.” He continued, “And I believe or would like to believe that everybody here is committed to ending that epidemic, and that does include lifting up its visibility and speaking to it.”
Another member of the audience interrupted Senator Kamala Harris of California, and while shouting, asked, “How do we get those men to stop killing trans women of color? We are hunted.”
“I know,” Ms. Harris said, addressing the questioner, “I know.”
Each of the candidates seemed to welcome the protesters, as did the CNN moderators, who praised them. Don Lemon returned a microphone to Ms. Brown saying, “The reason we are here is to validate women like you.”
The forum featured nine Democratic presidential candidates. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont was the only top-tier candidate who missed the event, having declined the invitation after suffering a heart attack last week, though he addressed the group by video before the forum began.
Their attendance was a clear sign of how gay rights have become an essential part of the party’s platform. Several candidates said they would withhold aid from countries that condone discrimination against the L.G.B.T.Q. community and several said they would consider withholding money from nonprofit groups and schools that do not recognize same-sex couples.
The event featured questions from the audience, many of whom were activists and health and social work professionals, on topics such as family leave for gay couples, violence against transgender people and the conflicts between religious freedom and L.G.B.T.Q. rights.
Mr. Buttigieg, the first openly gay presidential candidate, released an 18-page plan hours before the forum, saying he would rescind the policy that blocks military veterans from receiving insurance coverage for gender reassignment surgery, and add non-binary gender options on federal documents, including passports.
Onstage, Mr. Buttigieg spoke in personal terms in several of his answers….
image…CreditCreditKyle Grillot for The New York Times