“LGBTQ issues and the LGBTQ community have been largely left out of the 2020 presidential primary conversation so far, and this forum will bring these important topics to a national audience for the first time in this election cycle,” Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, said in a statement.“We look forward to hearing how each 2020 candidate will fight for LGBTQ acceptance during this campaign and beyond and, as president, how each of them would repair the damage done to LGBTQ equality and acceptance by the Trump Administration.”
Each candidate will be on stage at Coe College’s Sinclair Auditorium for a one-on-one question-and-answer session with Gazette columnist Lyz Lenz, One Iowa director of policy and advocacy Keenan Crow and Zach Stafford, editor-in-chief of The Advocate.
The forum starts at 7 p.m., and the participating candidates will be (in order of appearance): Marianne Williamson, Joe Sestak, Joe Biden, Sen. Cory Booker, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Sen. Kamala Harris, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Julián Castro.
The forum is sold out, but there will be a livestream of the event.
Four of the candidates will hold campaign events in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area prior to the forum.
On Thursday, Kamala Harris will have a meet-and-greet at Backpocket Brewing in Coralville, starting at 4:15 p.m. At 6:30 p.m. on Thursday evening, the California senator will hold a town hall at Michael J. Gould Recreation Center on the main campus of Kirkwood College in Cedar Rapids.
Elizabeth Warren will hold a town hall in the Iowa Memorial Union’s River Amphitheater at 6:45 p.m. On Thursday. The following day, the Massachusetts senator will take part in a walking tour of the Golfview Mobile Home Park in North Liberty.
The mobile home park was in the news earlier this year, when the Utah-based investment company that owns it announced it was raising rents by 58 percent. Warren has mentioned the proposed rent hike during campaign speeches. After pushback from political leaders like Warren and residents of Golfview, the company agreed to decrease the size of the scheduled rent hike.
Warren’s tour of Golfview (258 Illini Court, North Liberty) starts at 2:15 p.m.
On Friday, Joe Biden will join State Sen. Rob Hogg for a town hall at Indian Creek Nature Center in Cedar Rapids. The event starts at 12:30 p.m.
Julián Castro will also have a town hall on Friday. The former secretary of Housing and Urban Development will discuss climate issues with Linn-Mar students in Linn-Mar High School’s Lecture Hall. The event starts at 4 p.m.
On Saturday, all the candidates will head to Des Moines for the Polk County Democrats Steak Fry.