South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg wants to be America's first openly gay president, but does he think America is ready for its first openly gay president? That's what George Stephanopoulos wanted to know during a recent interview with the politician on ABC's This Week.
Buttigieg announced his intention to run in January, saying in a campaign video that "our country needs a fresh start" and that he is part of a generation "that is stepping forward right now." During his segment on This Week, Stephanopoulos was direct with his question: "You are openly gay, married, but you have only been out for the last few years. Any concerns the country is not ready for a gay couple in the White House?"
"I think there's only one way to find out," Buttigieg said, echoing a similar statement he made to on The View last week. "But, you know, when I came out, it was in the middle of a reelection campaign. I just reached that point in my life where I was ready. And we didn't know what would happen. I'm from a socially conservative community. Mike Pence was the governor of Indiana at the time. And I just did it because it was time. That same year, I wound up getting re-elected with the 80 percent of the vote."
The lesson Buttigieg learned "is that people are prepared to get to know you and judge you based on the quality of your ideas and your experience and your work. And I trust that America could do that too. There is only one way to find out for sure."
Buttigieg has a track record of backing LGBTQ+ rights: he was a vocal critic of Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was signed into law by Mike Pence during his time as governor, and supported adding sexual orientation and gender identity to South Bend's civil rights ordinance in 2012.
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