The Agenda

Pete Buttigieg embraces LGBTQ community in his 2020 campaign but it doesn’t define him

Big news: Mayor Pete enjoyed a huge boost in polling over the weekend. He’s also been featured in several large publications, like the USA Today article below. Give it a read!

Best quote:

That kind of openness can help him with voters, even if they’re uncomfortable with his sexuality, said Parker of the LGBTQ Victory Fund.

“There’s a dynamic where a voter will say, internally, ‘You’re honest with me about your sexual orientation, which is something of which I disapprove, (so) you’ll probably be honest with me about everything,’” she said. “What voters are hungry for right now are authentic, honest candidates.”

Maureen Groppe, USA TODAY
Updated 7:00 a.m. ET March 24, 20

WASHINGTON – Luke Robbins couldn’t hold back the tears when he introduced South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg as a featured speaker at the College Democrats of America’s 2018 convention.

Robbins told the gathering that Buttigieg’s 2015 public essay, “Why Coming out Matters,” helped convince him – a gay teen from a conservative Indiana family – to come out. It also showed him that doing so wouldn’t mean giving up his love of politics.

As Buttigieg explores a bid for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president, “it just makes me so happy,” said Robbins, president of College Democrats of Indiana.

But Buttigieg isn’t necessarily Robbins’ top choice for the nomination. “I’m personally very feminist. I would love to see a female candidate,” he said. “I have no clue who I’m going to support.”

And there’s the evolution in American politics. Buttigieg’s trailblazing role as the first presidential contender with a same-sex spouse is a milestone – maybe more so because it has not won him instant backing from the LGBTQ community, an important part of the Democratic base. Just as all women didn’t support Hillary Clinton because she was female, Buttigieg isn’t getting monolithic support from LGBTQ voters.

Pete Buttigieg, Mayor of South Bend, Ind. and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, talks with Daily Iowan reporter Sarah Watson during an event on Monday, March 4, 2019, at The Airliner in downtown Iowa City, Iowa.