Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg has responded to a radio host’s claim that he’s not electable because he kisses his husband in public and is not as ‘manly’ as Trump.
The openly gay Buttigieg is vying to become the party’s chosen candidate to stand against President Donald Trump in the November election.
Last week, influential conservative political commentator and radio host Rush Limbaugh – who was recently awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Trump – addressed the chances of Buttigieg beating the president in the polls.
“They’re saying, OK, how’s this going to look, 37-year-old gay guy kissing his husband on stage next to ‘Mr. Man’ Donald Trump? What’s going to happen there?” said Limbaugh about how he believes the Democratic Party views the mayor of South Bend, Indiana.
“They got to be looking at that, and they’ve got to be saying, that despite all the great progress and despite all the great wokeness, and despite all the great ground that’s been covered, America’s still not ready to elect a gay guy kissing his husband on the debate stage for president,” he added.
On Sunday, Buttigieg was asked about the remarks in an interview on CNN. “Well, I love my husband. I’m faithful to my husband,” Buttigieg said. “On stage we usually just go for a hug. But I love him very much, and I’m not going take lectures on family values from the likes of Rush Limbaugh.”
Buttigieg has been with husband Chasten, a junior high school teacher, since 2015 and married since 2018. Limbaugh is now on his fourth wife and Trump, his candidate of choice, has been married three times and has faced numerous claims of infidelity.
At the same time, Buttigieg was also the target of protests from an unexpected front; members of the LGBTQ+ community.
On Friday, a private fundraising event at the National LGBTQ Center for the Arts in San Francisco was disrupted by protesters from a group called Queers Against Pete.
The group argues that Buttigieg is not representing or concerned with the intersectional plight of queer and trans people of colour.
“We cannot in good conscience allow Mayor Pete to become the nominee without demanding that he address the needs and concerns of the broader Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual (LGBTQIA) communities,” says the group on its website.
“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 protestors were escorted out of the event, with Buttigieg telling them: “I respect your activism, but this is a gathering of supporters of our campaign and I just got a question about my husband and I’m really excited to answer it.”
On Valentine’s day, Buttigieg shared a photo of him and his husband hugging, with the comment: “Happy Valentine’s Day to the one I love.”