6 times Pete Buttigieg faced disgusting homophobia during his historic run for the presidency
Last night, Pete Buttigieg announced that he was pulling out of the race for the Democratic nomination for the presidency, marking the end of a historic and groundbreaking political campaign.
His speech in South Bend, Indiana marked the end of an almost year-long campaign that saw him top polls and win the Iowa caucus. But that success did not come without a price. Buttigieg faced countless examples of homophobia throughout his campaign from right-wing and religious commentators.
The attacks were wide-ranging and disturbing in tone: one preacher suggested he was “deserving of death” because of his sexuality. Another suggested he would die young from AIDS-related complications because he is gay.
Buttigieg’s campaign for the presidency proved that the world is in flux on gay rights – his surprising success will go down in history as a first for an LGBT+ candidate. But it also proved that homophobia is alive and kicking, and there are a great many people out there who see the possibility of a gay candidate taking the Oval Office as a threat.
Here, we delve into six examples of the homophobia Pete Buttigieg faced throughout his campaign.
1. A Christian preacher suggested Pete Buttigieg was ‘deserving of death’ because of his sexuality.
Christian preacher Bert Farias suggested that Buttigieg is “deserving of death” because he is gay in an article for Charisma News just weeks ago.
In the article, Farias hit out at Christians who claim that views on homosexuality are “evolving”.
“In fact, when those who practice such things that are ‘deserving of death’ also approve of others who practice them (Rom. 1:32), it is one of God’s final signs of His wrath on a society.
“This is a description of gay activism and constantly pushing for its normalcy and marginalising those who disapprove. This is present-day America. How far we’ve fallen.”
In the article, he said gay men kissing is “shameful and abominable behaviour”.
2. A radio host said Pete Buttigieg kissing his husband Chasten in public presented a ‘problem’ for parents.
Shortly after Donald Trump awarded him the Medal of Freedom, anti-LGBT+ radio host Rush Limbaugh unleashed a bizarre tirade about Buttigieg on his show.
“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, according to Media Matters.
He then held up a photo of Buttigieg kissing his husband Chasten, and said: “You think — natural conclusion — so he says Trump causes problems for parents, what about that?”
He then criticised Buttigieg for kissing his husband “frequently”, because obviously gay couples should be held to different standards than straight couples.
Limbaugh subsequently proved that he was a little bit obsessed with Pete and Chasten Buttigieg kissing, and suggested that the sight of same-sex love was emasculating for the gay candidate.
3. Pro-Trump radio host Bryan Fischer said Buttigieg would be a terrible ‘role model’ for children.
Bryan Fischer of American Family Radio was clearly worried after Pete Buttigieg secured a surprise win in the Iowa caucus. Shortly after his victory, Fischer unleashed a homophobic tirade about the gay candidate on his radio show.
In his rant, he said Buttigieg is an “unrepentent, unapologetic homosexual” and said he engages in “crimes against nature”.
“It’s a very simple question,” he said. “Do we, as the American people, want somebody who engages in that kind of sexual conduct to serve as a role model for the rest of the country and to serve as a role model for America’s children? I vote no!”
Fischer has spent a great deal of time thinking about Buttigieg’s sexuality. He previously said that Buttigieg “deviates radically from God’s standard” and is “aberrant” because he is gay.
4. Right-wing activist called Buttigieg ‘Mayor Pete Butt-plug’ in horrific anti-gay rant.
Dave Daubenmire, more commonly known as right-wing internet persona ‘Coach Dave’, referred to Buttigieg as ‘Mayor Pete Butt-plug’ in a deeply offensive rant on his radio show late last year.
“I think he calls himself the wife, and says he has a husband… He doesn’t even take the leadership role in his home, because he has a husband, him being the wife.
“If he is the wife, does that mean that he is the inserter or the insertee? Which role would Mayor Pete play?”
He added: “We live in a society where we are giving serious consideration to a man who performs oral sex on another man. We have to make this stuff unthinkable again.
“What he does in his own home is, in fact, his own business until he wants to be president of the United States.”
5. Conservative evangelical Christian hit out at Buttigieg for ‘trying to tell people that the homosexual lifestyle is OK with God’.
Conservative preacher Franklin Graham hit out at Buttigieg in a Facebook post in September of last year for “trying to tell people that the homosexual lifestyle is OK with God.”
Graham was criticising Buttigieg’s stance on abortion in the post, but also found time to insert a jibe about the candidate’s sexuality.
“Mayor Pete is trying to tell people that the homosexual lifestyle is OK with God and that abortion is OK,” he wrote.
“His brother-in-law is right when he said, ‘This is leading people astray and it’s very, very dangerous.'”
This was not Graham’s first foray into homophobic comments about Buttigieg. He previously criticised him for “flaunting” his sexuality, and said being gay is something to be “repentant” of.
6. Republican said Buttigieg would die young due to his ‘perversion’.
Republican and former member of the Indiana House Don Boys made headlines last year when he said that Buttigieg would die young due to his “perversion”.
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In an article titled “Pete, Since You Brought it Up, How ‘Gay’ Are You?”, Boys wrote in graphic detail about gay sex and asked if Buttigieg engaged in any of the listed sexual practices.
Most shockingly, he suggested that gay men live 20 years less than straight men, and claimed that, if Buttigieg was elected, he might not be able to serve his entire term.
“All homosexuals are aware that their lifespan is about 20 years less than for normal people so voters should know that a homosexual president may not live to finish his term,” he wrote.
He then called on Buttigieg to release his complete medical records so voters could determine whether or not he is HIV positive.