LGBTQ Presidential Forum

Friday, September 20, 2019 from 7:00PM - 8:30PM


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Event Details

Former Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, former Pennsylvania representative Joe Sestak and author Marianne Williamson will speak at this September 20 forum on the lives of LGBTQ people and other civil rights issues impacting them in the heartland and rural America. All Democratic presidential candidates have been invited to participate.


The event will be held at Sinclair Auditorium on the Coe College campus. Registration is free, but highly recommended. Doors will open at 6:15 p.m., and the program will run from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Each candidate will have individual stage time to address the audience, followed by a one-on-one moderated Q&A session. Moderators are:


·        James Q. Lynch, The Gazette political reporter

·        Zach Stafford, The Advocate editor-in-chief

·        Keenan Crow, One Iowa director of policy and advocacy


“This event will focus on LGBTQ  people living in the heartland and their needs,” One Iowa Interim Executive Director Courtney Reyes said. “The overarching narrative that LGBTQ people in the U.S live in urban coastal areas ignores the millions of LGBTQ individuals living and working in the middle of the country. We look forward to hearing what the presidential candidates have to say to this often overlooked, but politically powerful community.”

“At The Advocate, we are committed to serving LGBTQ populations living in big cities and small towns with vital news and information to educate, inform and inspire,” stated Zach Stafford, The Advocate editor-in-chief. “Creating a forum where our issues are front and center will allow the LGBTQ community to make clear and informed decisions about the candidates seeking our valuable votes.”

Several leading elected officials from Eastern Iowa are serving as honorary co-chairs for the LGBTQ Presidential Forum:


·        Congressman Dave Loebsack

·        Iowa Senator Zach Wahls

·        Iowa Senator Rob Hogg

·        Iowa Representative Liz Bennett

·        Linn County Democratic Party Chair Bret Niles

·        Hiawatha City Councilwoman Aime Wichtendahl

Candidates and campaign staff interested in participating are encouraged to contact Quinn Pettifer, The Gazette community outreach manager, at [email protected] or 319-981-0307.


One Iowa advances, empowers, and improves the lives of LGBTQ Iowans statewide. Find out more at www.oneiowa.org.


 The Gazette is Eastern Iowa’s independent, employee-owned daily newspaper and media company. Founded in 1883, the company continues to be innovative in program, product and service while maintaining its commitment to provide the latest in local, state and national news. Find out more at www.thegazette.com.


The Advocate continues to be the world’s leading source of LGBTQ+ news, culture and entertainment, since it was first published over half a century ago in 1967. Through its award-winning journalism, compelling photography, and impactful video, The Advocate continues to capture the most important political and culturally relevant news and conversations taking place today, that affect the LGBTQ+ community and beyond. Find out more at www.advocate.com.

Venue Information

1220 1st Avenue Northeast
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
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Organizer Information

The Gazette

500 3rd Avenue Southeast
Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
(319) 398-8333

More Events

Quinn Pettifer
+31 9-3 98- 8240
[email protected]
Elizabeth Kimmel
+31 9-3 98- 8345
[email protected]

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