Pete Buttigieg: The first gay US president?
Pete Buttigieg is the first out presidential candidate in the history of the Democratic Party. Is there a chance that he’ll be the first gay US president?
Obviously, he’s won over a lot of support from the LGBTQ political establishment with his upper-tier candidacy and top-tier fundraising numbers– but is it enough?
Pete Buttigieg and his LGBTQ platform
While the Democratic Party has already made LGBTQ political priorities a part of their platform, Buttigieg has come up with his own comprehensive set of proposals that outlines his LGBTQ agenda.
Buttigieg released an 18-page white paper entitled “Becoming Whole: A New Era for LGBTQ+ Americans,” which detailed long-term goals like passing anti-employment discrimination legislation.
He also cited other LGBTQ issues not addressed by other candidates, like banning unnecessary surgery on intersex children, adding non-binary gender options to US passports, and restoring veteran benefits to LGBTQ people discharged from the military due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
In a statement, he said, “When I’m president, we will implement solutions bold enough to meet the challenges the LGBTQ+ community faces while bringing the American people together to understand that our freedoms are bound up in each other.”
The proposals put forth by the Buttigieg are the most in-depth LGBTQ policy outline ever released by any presidential candidate.
Pete Buttigieg’s move towards the spotlight
Buttlieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, had officially launched his presidential campaign last April and made it his mission to go up against Trump in 2020.
In his announcement, Buttigieg said: “I recognize the audacity of doing this as a Midwestern millennial mayor. More than a little bold– at age 37– to seek the highest office in the land.”
“But we live in a moment that compels us each to act,” he added. Four hours following his announcement, supporters contributed more than US$1 million to his campaign.
Prior to his announcement, Buttigieg had sought support across the country to bolster his well-reviewed CNN town hall appearance last March.
Buttigieg used his push as mayor to revitalize his hometown as highlight his campaign: “Life here is far from perfect. But we’ve changed our trajectory and shown a path forward for communities like ours. And that’s why I’m here today. To tell a different story than ‘Make America Great Again’.”
Criticism leveled against Pete Buttigieg
Majority of the attacks against Buttigieg have come from President Donald Trump’s allies, with some LGBTQ Republicans slamming his “opportunism.”
Former Log Cabin Republicans president Gregory Angelo told The Daily Beast: “When it benefited his political career, Pete Buttigieg remained in the closet. When it benefited his political career, Pete Buttigieg came out as gay.”
“When it benefited his political career, Buttigieg was more than happy to stand shoulder to shoulder with Mike Pence as allies, and when it benefited his political career, Pete Buttigieg was more than happy to throw his longtime friendship with Mike Pence under the bus and criticize him,” Angelo added.
Buttigieg had also declared previously that he doesn’t want to be constrained by the label of the “Gay Candidate.”
However, he hasn’t relented in making constant attacks against Trump and his anti-LGBTQ policies: “The horror show in Washington is mesmerizing, all-consuming.”