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Biden, Castro, Sestak, Williamson to speak at LGBTQ presidential forum
2019-08-14

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[Cedar Rapids]— 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 a 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.

One Iowa, a statewide LGBTQ advocacy organization, The Gazette, Eastern Iowa's daily paper and online news source and The Advocate, the world's leading source for LGBTQ news, will host this event in Sinclair Auditorium at Coe College, a small private institution located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This event is free with required pre-registration now available at www.thegazette.com/2019LGBTQforum. Coe College does not endorse or oppose candidates for public office. Political opinions expressed at this event should not be taken to represent the views of Coe College.

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

"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."

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

Candidates and campaign staff interested in participating are encouraged to contact Quinn Pettifer, The Gazette community outreach manager, at quinn.pettifer@thegazette.com 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 .

—From a press release


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