As his momentum continues to build in Iowa, South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg has addressed an elephant on the political stage: How will homophobic world leaders react to having a gay President in the USA?
Buttigieg’s response: “They’re going to have to get used to it.”
Buttigieg, battling Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Vice President Joe Biden, ahead of the Iowa Caucas told a town hall group of voters that he isn’t worried about homophobia on the world stage.
“One great thing about America is that when we’re at our best, we have challenged places around the world to acknowledge freedom, and include more people in more ways,” Buttigieg said. “Whether it is by policy or just by example, America is at her best when we have done that.”
Buttigieg then pivoted to what he saw as the bigger issue: treatment of queer people in homophobic nations. “The problem, of course, is how people are being treated in those countries,” he explained. “And while we can’t intervene in every country and make them be good to their people, I do believe that one big step forward would be for a country like the United States to be led by somebody that people in those other countries can look to and know that they’re not alone.”
The crowd apparently approoved Buttigieg’s response, as his words triggered thunderous applause that lasted a full 27 seconds.
Buttigieg continues to trail Biden, Warren and Sanders in national polls, generally running about fourth place. In 2012, Fred Karger sought the Republican nomination but failed to qualify for all the primaries. He later ran as a third-party candidate.
And here's the video…
Q: How do you intend to deal with countries like Saudi Arabia and Russia where it's illegal to be gay?@PeteButtigieg: "So they're gonna have to get used to it."
*Crowd applauds for 27 seconds. pic.twitter.com/7Vjer01ni0
— Justin Gomez (@JustinGomezABC) November 3, 2019
Clarification: An earlier version of this story failed to mention that openly gay Fred Karger sought the GOP presidential nomination. Buttigieg is the first credible openly gay presidential candidate but not the first.