PACE hosts Shreveport mayoral forum focused on LGBTQ+ issues

Noticeably absent from the stage were 2 candidates: Sen. Greg Tarver and Darryl R. Ware II
Published: Aug. 21, 2022 at 5:53 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 21, 2022 at 9:49 PM CDT

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — People Acting for Change and Equality (PACE) held its mayoral forum dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community and their concerns on Sunday, Aug. 21.

PACE hosted the event from 4 to 6 p.m. in LSU Shreveport’s University Center auditorium. The forum also was livestreamed via Facebook.

All of the participating candidates were asked questions by moderators pertaining to their views on LGBTQ+ issues and actions they may take in office that affect the LGBTQ+ community.

MISSED THE FORUM? WATCH IT IN ITS ENTIRETY HERE:

It was the first mayoral forum since Mayor Adrian Perkins, who is seeking a second term, has been reinstated as a candidate in November’s election.

► RELATED: La. Supreme Court says Mayor Perkins can run for re-election

Noticeably absent from the stage were two candidates. Sen. Greg Tarver withdrew as a forum participant after the state Supreme Court ruling Friday. Darryl R. Ware II also was absent from the forum.

PACE has been hosting its mayoral forum in every mayoral election since 2002. Based on attendance at prior forums, organizers expect 200 to 300 LGBTQ+ community members to be present.

Eight of the 10 Shreveport mayoral candidates participated in a forum that People Acting for...
Eight of the 10 Shreveport mayoral candidates participated in a forum that People Acting for Change and Equality (PACE) held Aug. 21, 2022, at LSU Shreveport.(Source: Tayler Davis/KSLA News 12)

After the Q&A portion of Sunday’s event, beverages from Rhino Coffee were served, and the candidates were available for the public to ask questions one-on-one.

“PACE is proud of the history of this event. Every year we have hosted, the atmosphere has been civil, productive and safe,” PACE Vice President Katie Bickham said. “We hope you’ll join us this Sunday to meet the candidates and learn about their positions regarding LGBTQ+ citizens and their future in Shreveport.”

Among the topics raised Sunday were:

HEALTHCARE

“The first question that comes to mind is what are the procedures and what is the cost that comes along with those procedures?” – Tom Arceneaux

“And what I can tell you when it comes to healthcare and personal experiences while we may all have equal rights on paper, we all have a lot of bias that we see every time anyone goes to any single medical clinic. The best way to acknowledge is to know that there is the existence of discrimination.” – LeVette Fuller said.

CREATING A LIAISON WITHIN THE POLICE DEPARTMENT AND OTHER AGENCYS

“We are going to far beyond the laws and get to the culture here and make sure the LGBTQ community does not feel marginalized.” – Mayor Adrian Perkins

and MARRIAGE

“As mayor, I’m going to do everything in my power to protect the rights and protect people’s rights to continue to be married. And I’ll also look at adoptions within the gay community.” – Tracy Mendels

“These judges are not creating the law; they are interpreting the law. That’s why we have nine judges on the Supreme Court. If you want to change the law, follow the procedures of the legislator” – Julius Roma

BUT OVERALL

The biggest question is how did the audience feel about the message they conveyed?

“I think the event was really interesting. As a forum that is intended to kind of educate the candidates about the needs of the LGBTQ community, it was clear that many of the candidates don’t understand it at all,” one person said.

“Some of the questions, to me, was (sic) not really pertinent. Some of the questions had more of a oxymoron scenario to them,” another person said.