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Activists shout down Pete Buttigieg for ‘not representing’ LGBT community – while he’s talking about his husband

Nick Duffy February 17, 2020
Democratic presidential candidate former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks during a rally

Democratic presidential candidate former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks during a rally (Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Queers Against Pete activists shouted down Pete Buttigieg at an event at an LGBT+ centre, while he was taking about his husband.

The left-wing activist group launched a protest while the gay Democratic Presidential hopeful was speaking at San Francisco’s National LGBTQ Center for the Arts on Friday.

As they attempted to read out a statement criticising the candidate, the crowd jeered and chanted “Boot Edge Edge”.

Buttigieg, who had been taking questions at the time, responded: “I respect your activism, but this is a gathering for supporters of our campaign and I just got a question about my husband and I’m really excited to answer it.”

Celi Tamayo-Lee, one of the activists who was escorted out of the event, told The Guardian that “it’s hard to enjoy or appreciate” Buttigieg’s status as a gay candidate because he speaks “to a predominantly white, upper class audience”.

Queers Against Pete hit out at candidate for ‘leaning on support’ of LGBT+ community.

In a statement on the Queers Against Pete website, the left-wing group criticises Buttigieg for “claiming to be in community with us” and accuse him of “leaning on the support and actively courting the LGBTQIA community”.

The activists list a string of policy disagreements and grievances with the “out of touch” Buttigieg, including his refusal to boycott the Chick-fil-A fast food chain and his unwillingness to “create an alternative to police”.

The group are not targeting any of the heterosexual candidates in the race who hold those stances, however – instead focusing all of their fire on Buttigieg.

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg
Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg (Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

They wrote: “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.”

Pete Buttigieg has faced attacks from two sides because of his sexuality.

In addition to attacks from queer activists that straight candidates aren’t getting,  Buttigieg has also faced attacks from anti-LGBT+ Republicans.

Right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh, who Trump personally awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom earlier this month, claimed last week that Pete Buttigieg kissing his husband causes “problems” for parents.

“So I saw a political ad, where Mayor Pete, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, going on and on and on and on and on, about how parents in America are struggling to explain president Trump to their children,” Limbaugh said on his radio show.

Holding up a photo of Buttigieg kissing his husband Chasten, Limbaugh continued: “So he says Trump causes problems for parents, what about that?”

He then criticised Buttigieg for “kissing his husband [in public] – which he does frequently”.

Trump ally Franklin Graham has also claimed that Buttigieg will face “eternal damnation”.

The candidate has taken the high road, however – giving a diplomatic response in response to to a viral video of an Iowa voter asking to withdraw her vote for him because he is gay.

More: Chasten Buttigieg, Pete Buttigieg, presidential election 2020, queers against pete, San Francisco

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