Affirmations Chief: Dems Should Highlight LGBTQ Issues in Debates

Affirmations’ Executive Director Dave Garcia joined Detroit Today to discuss LGBTQ voters ahead of 2020 and the significance of South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Affirmations executive director Dave Garcia

AnnaMarie Sysling/WDET

The second round of Democratic debates kicked off Tuesday night in Detroit, and will continue Wednesday night. Healthcare, urban policy, the environment, and criminal justice issues have all been discussed at length.

But, at this point, issues specific to the LGBTQ community have been largely absent from the debate stage.

“Why is it 2019 and LGBT people can still be fired from their place of work, and we didn’t talk about that last night on that stage?” Asks Dave Garcia, executive director of Affirmations, Michigan’s largest LGBTQ community center.

After five years working as a political director for the Los Angeles LGBT Center, Garcia came to the realization that LA was never really home. Now he is back at Affirmations, which he led previously from 2011-2014.

Garcia joins Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson to talk about his return to Michigan, some of the issues that LGBTQ voters are looking at ahead of 2020, and the significance of South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s campaign as the first openly gay Democratic candidate for president.

LGBTQ “issues are important and it’s important to have someone up there on stage who represents us,” Garcia says of Buttigieg. 

Click on the audio player above to hear Stephen Henderson’s conversation with Affirmations Executive Director Dave Garcia.


  • Detroit Today
    Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.