Pete Buttigieg tells Mike Pence: My marriage has brought me closer to God
Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg has hit out at Vice President Mike Pence’s views on LGBT+ rights, as he spoke about his own struggle to reconcile his sexuality with his faith.
Pete Buttigieg: I’d have taken a pill to cure myself of being gay
In his speech, Buttigieg admitted: “When I was younger, I would have done anything to not be gay.
“When I began to realise what it meant that I felt the way I did, I launched a kind of war [inside me], and if that war had been settled on the terms that I wished for when I was 15 or 20 or 25, I would not be standing here.
“If you had offered me a pill to make me straight, I would have swallowed it before you had time to give me a sip of water. If you showed me exactly what it was inside me that made me gay, I would have cut it out with a knife.”
He continued: “If I had had a chance to do that, I wouldn’t have found my way to [husband] Chasten. The best thing in my life, my marriage, might not have happened at all. How dark the thought that the man I love might not have been part of my life at all.
“Thank God there was no pill, thank God there was no knife.”
Pete Buttigieg: My marriage is a moral issue because it made me a better person
He added: “People talk about marriage equality as a moral issue. And it certainly is a moral issue as far as I’m concerned, because being married to Chasten has made me a better human being.
“[Being married] has made me more compassionate, more understanding, more self-aware and more decent. My marriage to Chasten has made me a better man. And yes, Mr Vice President, it has moved me closer to God.”
He added: “This idea that there’s something wrong with you, puts you at odds not only with yourself but with your maker.
“Speaking only for myself, I can tell you that if me being gay was a choice, it was a choice that was made far, far above my pay grade. And that’s the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand.
“If you’ve got a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.”
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Buttigieg has plenty of personal history with Pence, who was the governor of Indiana during his first term as mayor of South Band, Indiana.
Chasten Buttigieg: I lived out of my car after coming out as gay
The candidate’s husband, Chasten Buttigieg, spoke about his own struggles as a young gay man in a separate speech to Human Rights Campaign on Saturday (April 6).
He recalled: “When I was 18 years old, I worked up the courage to tell my parents that I was gay. While we have a great relationship now, but back then, things weren’t easy.
“Eventually, I thought, ‘I can’t be here anymore,’ and so I moved out without a plan. I was scared, living between my car and friends’ couches.
“I was taking classes at the community college, where I heard about HRC. I signed up, and proudly slapped that HRC sticker on the back bumper of my car.”