Citizens of Iowa have never had an opportunity to ask presidential candidates about the unresolved problems that affect the LGBTQ community. They will do that for the first time at the LGBTQ Presidential Forum held at Coe College, Cedar Rapids.

Ten out of twenty-four candidates that are still running have decided to take part.

Ten years have passed since the Supreme Court of Iowa decided to allow same-sex marriage. At that time, Iowa was the first state in the country to acknowledge marital equality.

Nonetheless, the LGBTQ community is facing a lack of real equality in their everyday life, especially when it comes to problems such as benefits, military duty, and health care.

Ashley Foster, a transgender woman raised in the rural parts of the state and presently living in Des Moines, said that she welcomes the candidates’ desire to focus on and talk about LGBTQ matters. At the same time, she hopes that the candidates will present new ways of dealing with the polarization between communities.

The same topic is bugging Bryce Smith, who lives in Adel with his husband. He noted that, in order to solve the LGBTQ problems, the presidential candidates need to focus on both the urban and rural parts of the state. He added that it is expected that the people from the province are going to ask the candidates about the issues most relevant to them.

Elizabeth Medina, Johnson, expressed her concerns and reservations about the forthcoming forum. Medina said that she looks forward to seeing how the candidates address the three groups she belongs to, namely lesbian, woman, and Latin American. She furthermore stated that candidates all have pre-election promises. Medina said that all the candidates are judgmental about the present administration, and that she’s got enough of their blaming everything on each other.

Each of ten candidates will have equal opportunity to stay on stage for 10 minutes. The schedule is given in the table below. The candidate’s name is in the first column, while the info about the moderator is presented in the second one.

Presidential Candidate Moderator
Marianne Williamson Zach Stafford – The Advocate
Joseph Sestak Keenan Crow – One Iowa
Joe Biden Lyz Lenz – The Gazette
Cory Booker Zach Stafford
Tulsi Gabbard Keenan Crow
Kamala Harris Lyz Lenz
Pete Buttigieg Zach Stafford
Amy Klobuchar Keenan Crow
Elizabeth Warren Lyz Lenz
Julian Castro Zach Stafford

The LGBTQ Presidential Forum will start at 7:00 p.m.


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