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Campaign group Queers Against Pete says ‘being gay is not enough’ for Buttigieg to win their vote

Lily Wakefield February 13, 2020
Democratic presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty)

A campaign group called Queers Against Pete has said that Pete Buttigieg is neglecting “the most vulnerable in our community”, and that “being gay is not enough”.

The group has written an open letter arguing that many of Buttigieg’s policies, like his opposition to Medicare for All and refusing to cancel student debt, will disproportionately affect the most marginalised parts of the LGBT+ community.

Since the start of his campaign, Buttigieg has faced significant criticism from the LGBT+ community for his moderate policies, his track record on race and distancing himself from the community, among other issues.

The open letter by Queers Against Pete, which has currently been signed by more than 3,400 people, reads: “Up and down the ballot, candidate’s stances will impact us, our families and communities.

“If we’ve learned anything from our ancestors and transcestors, it’s that we must speak out…and act up. This primary election is one such example.

“There has been much talk about identity and diversity in the race to win the Democratic party nomination for president.

“Some have touted former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s openly gay identity as proof of progress in our politics. However, being gay is not enough to earn the support of LGBTQIA communities.”

It adds: “While many see different issues in silos, we are clear that LGBTQIA people are directly and disproportionately impacted by police violence, incarceration, unaffordable healthcare, homelessness, deportation, and economic inequality among other things.”

The letter lists policies announced by Buttigieg in relation to these issues, which it says have shown “time and time again that he is out of touch, not fit to be President of the United States, and simply falls short”.

It adds: “During this critical election, it’s important that LGBTQIA people demand more from our leaders and from a candidate claiming to be in community with us.

“Leaders within our communities — especially Black trans women —  have worked tirelessly over the past two decades to push LGBTQIA movements to value and fight for our full identities and experiences.

“We cannot afford to go backwards or accept the status quo.”

Jes Scheinpflug, a signatory of the open letter and community organiser based in Chicago, told Mashable that they want to highlight that the fight for equality in the US did not end with same-sex marriage.

They said: “Marriage equality is not justice or equality for the most marginalised of our community.

“[Buttigieg] talks about marriage equality as if it’s the greatest thing, and it leaves behind so many people.”

Scheinpflug added: “Just because someone’s gay doesn’t mean they’re progressive. And it doesn’t mean they care about everyone in the community.”

More: Buttigieg, open letter, Pete Buttigieg, queers against pete, us presidential election 2020

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