Harris to join Cedar Rapids presidential LGBTQ forum, forum to be livestreamed

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Skyline of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Photo by Paul Sableman/Flickr)

Kamala Harris (Photo from Facebook)

CEDAR RAPIDS — U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has become the latest Democratic presidential candidate to join an LGBTQ presidential forum in Iowa.

Candidates U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg announced earlier this week they would also be at the forum.

Out broke the news of Harris joining the forum on Tuesday. The publications said that other candidates to commit to the forum are Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Julián Castro, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, Joe Sestak, and Marianne Williamson.

Bill de Blasio, John Delaney, Steve Bullock, Beto O’Rourke, Tim Ryan, Bernie Sanders, and Andrew Yang have not yet committed to the forum as of Wednesday afternoon, Out reported.

The forum is being hosted by One Iowa, the state LGBTQ rights group; The Gazette of Cedar Rapids; GLAAD, and the Advocate. It is open to all declared Democratic presidential candidates.

The forum will be at the Sinclair Auditorium at Coe College. Each candidate will have individual stage time to address the audience, followed by a one-on-one moderated Q&A session.

The moderators are:

  • James Q.Lynch, The Gazette political reporter
  • Zach Stafford, Advocate editor-in-chief
  • Keenan Crow, One Iowa director of policy and advocacy

Free tickets for the forum are completely gone. However, One Iowa announced on Wednesday that they are organizing viewing parties of the forum throughout the state.

“This is the first ever presidential forum focused specifically on LGBTQ issues in the heartland, and the largest number of presidential candidates to ever gather and speak directly to LGBTQ people,” One Iowa Executive Director Dan Royer said. “Every member of our community should be able to experience this historic moment, and we’re excited to work with local organizers around our state and across the country to make that a reality.” 

A map and list of all confirmed watch parties can be found on One Iowa’s website here: https://oneiowa.org/lgbtq-forum-watch-parties/. The list is not final, and watch party locations will be continually added until September 20. Watch parties listed on the site are open to the public and members of the press.

Individuals interested in hosting a public watch party in their area should contact One Iowa Communications and Grants Coordinator Erica Barz at erica@oneiowa.org.

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