Ten Democratic presidential candidates gathered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to discuss LGBT issues last night in a separate forum organized by LGBT media advocacy group GLAAD, the Advocate, and the Cedar Rapids Gazette.
Hosted by transgender actress Angelica Ross (Pose) were each asked to say what they would do on LGBT issues during their first 100 days as president, and then answer two to three additional questions from a representative of one of the event’s sponsors: Gazette columnist Lyz Lenz, One Iowa policy director Keenan Crow, and The Advocate’s editor-in-chief Zach Stafford who at sometimes struggled reading their own questions and at others lacked the professional presence to keep the dialogue moving smoothly with the candidates.
As expected trans and social justice issues were front and center. Elizabeth Warren ignored the directive to say what she would do in her first 100 days as president. Instead she read the names of 18 transgender women of color who have been victims of hate crimes in 2019.
Interestingly during the 2 hour event only one question was raised about the pending Equality Act and that was to long shot candidate Joe Sestak. The Equality Act would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include LGBT Americans and assure them the same federal civil rights protections as all other Americans.
As of this date no LGBT political questions have been asked at any of the major nationally televised debates. Many blame these separate focused LGBT forums as the reason why.
Senator Bernie Sanders, former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, and businessman Andrew Yang did not attend the event.
*NOTE: Pete Buttigieg’s segment starts at the 1:26:00 mark if you can’t make it through the first hour and a half.