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Bernie Sanders Is Only Major Candidate to Sit Out Both LGBTQ Events

Bernie Sanders

The progressive Vermont senator's campaign has cited "scheduling conflicts" regarding his absence at both The Advocate's LGBTQ Forum in Iowa and a town hall in Los Angeles. 

Progressive presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is the only frontrunner who will miss both events aimed at discussing LGBTQ equality and rights.

The rest of the frontrunners will be on hand Friday for an LGBTQ Presidential Forum, cosponsored by The Advocate in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. And, according to CNN's schedule for the event, all of the heavy-hitters other than Sanders will also attend the Human Rights Campaign/CNN's LGBTQ Town Hall slated for October 10 in Los Angeles. The senator from Vermont's team has cited "scheduling conflicts" for both events.

Among those attending the LGBTQ Forum cosponsored by The Advocate and GLAAD are Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, Amy Klobuchar, Tulsi Gabbard, Joe Sestak, and Marianne Williamson. Pose star Angelica Ross will host the event that features columnist Lyz Lenz of eastern Iowa newspaper The Gazette, One Iowa Policy Director Keenan Crow, and Advocate Editor-in-chief Zach Stafford as moderators.

Earlier this week, Ross pointed out in a tweet that Sanders would not be present at the Iowa forum.

Ross clarified by adding, "Found out Bernie has a prior commitment to visit HBCUs in North Carolina and Prestige Barber College (a black barbershop) and will be touring the civil rights museum."

That was before CNN announced he would also not attend HRC's Town Hall on issues affecting LGBTQ people.

Since taking office, the Trump administration has made over 100 actions to roll back rights and safety for LGBTQ people, including the trans military ban and his administration's support of allowing businesses to discriminate on the basis of sexual and gender identity.

The candidates slated to attend the HRC/CNN Town Hall are Harris, Warren, Biden, Klobuchar, Buttigieg, Booker, Tom Steyer, Beto O'Rourke, and Castro.

There have been three major Democratic debates in the past few months but moderators have not posed a single question regarding LGBTQ equality to the candidates. A recent report highlighted how coverage of LGBTQ issues has "essentially vanished" from mainstream media outlets "after Trump was elected and have remained largely absent from coverage for the past three years."

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Tracy E. Gilchrist