Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg has already drawn the ire of conservatives for identifying as an openly gay Christian. Last weekend, evangelical Franklin Graham called on Buttigieg to repent for the “sin” of being gay. But Buttigieg’s sexual and religious identity is also causing a more surprising controversy.
On Saturday, Politico reported that Buttigieg is causing a split among some gay Republicans after he attacked Vice President Mike Pence. But that also shows that Buttigieg, whose platform is quite conservative, has the potential to peel away support among gay Republicans.
“Some gay conservatives have spoken positively about Buttigieg — a moderate-sounding Midwesterner who married his husband last year — being a leap forward for gay Americans and politicians,” Politico writes. “The dust-up is riling up parts of the right and serving as a high-profile test of how the broader electorate might handle the nation’s first prominent gay presidential candidate,” Politico continues.
Politico interviewed the founder the Log Cabin Republicans, one of the most prominent organizations of gay Republicans, who pointed out that Buttigieg’s platform is palatable to most gay conservatives.
“What’s intriguing about this particular candidate is that he’s running on really, you could say, the ‘gay conservative platform,’” said Richard Tafel.
“He’s talking about his military service. He’s talking about his faith. And he keeps saying we should make a moral argument. So on those things that also makes him somewhat attractive to gay conservatives.”
But others countered that he shouldn’t have attacked Pence.
“I think he made a crucial mistake when he started attacking Pence,” said Chadwick Moore, a prominent gay Republican. “They had a close working relationship in Indiana. It was somewhat close. Pence has been nothing but respectful and courteous to him and I think when he came after Pence it made him look opportunistic.”