Beto O’Rourke is defending fellow 2020 hopeful Pete Buttigieg from homophobic attacks.
O’Rourke, a former Texas congressman who announced his presidential candidacy in March, took to Twitter on Friday after seeing a video of the openly gay Indiana mayor getting heckled at a Texas speaking event, telling his nearly 1.5 million followers that such bigotry has no place in the Lone Star State.
“Texans don’t stand for this kind of homophobia and hatred,” tweeted O’Rourke. “Mayor Pete, we are grateful you came to Texas and hope to see you and [your husband, Chasten,] back again soon.”
Texans don’t stand for this kind of homophobia and hatred. Mayor Pete, we are grateful you came to Texas and hope to see you and Chasten back again soon. https://t.co/IhRDtIBREb
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) May 4, 2019
O’Rourke, who came to national attention after unsuccessfully attempting to unseat Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in the 2018 midterm elections, was responding to a video recorded at the Dallas County Democratic Party’s Johnson Jordan Dinner, The Hill reports. Protesters disrupted Buttigieg’s speech, yelling things like “Repent!” and “Marriage is between a man and a woman!”
Buttigieg, who formally announced his 2020 presidential campaign in April following a months-long exploratory campaign, has experienced similarly homophobic heckling elsewhere on the campaign trail. Far-right conservative Christian protesters followed the Indiana mayor from Fort Dodge to Marshalltown in Iowa, wearing Jesus and Satan costumes while shouting things like “Remember Sodom and Gomorrah!”, a Biblical reference often interpreted to condemn LGBTQ+ people.
"The good news is the condition of my soul is in the hands of God, but the Iowa caucuses are up to you," said Buttigieg, who would be the first openly gay president in United States history if elected. "Remember the beauty of our democracy. Everyone here gets the exact same voice and vote. Feels like the numbers are on our side.”