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LGBTIQ+ protesters interrupt Pete Buttigieg campaign event

Protesters interrupted a campaign event being held in San Francisco by Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg, saying the prospective candidate was not doing enough to represent queer people of colour.

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The Mayor of South Bend was speaking on stage and about to answer a question about his husband Chasten, when two protesters interrupted proceedings.

They were shouted down by supporters and escorted from the venue, but it’s another sign that many in the diverse LGBTIQ+ communities across America are voicing their opposition to Buttigieg.

Democrat Buttigieg is the first candidate who to run for the Presidential nomination for a major party, and he recently won one of the first rounds of the party’s decision making process – the Iowa Caucus.

“I respect your activism, but this is a gathering for supporters of our campaign and I just got a question about my husband and I’m really excited to answer it,” Buttigieg said from the stage as the protesters were asked to leave the room.

Outside they told the Guardian that they were disappointed Buttigieg was coming into areas which were largely immigrant and latinx neighbourhood to hold a expensive fundraiser where he spoke to white middle-class voters.

“I’m definitely proud of the fact that a gay candidate has made it thus far, but it’s hard to enjoy or appreciate when his stances are so middle of the road and speak to a predominantly white, upper class audience,” Celi Tamayo-Lee, one of the activists escorted out of the fundraiser said.

Some have criticised Buttigieg for not being open about his sexuality until after he had served in the military and established his political career. While Buttigieg often talks about his marriage, it has been noted that he appears to have been silent on marriage equality when people were fighting for it just a few years ago.

Members of the LGBTIQ community who question whether Buttigieg being president would improve the lives of queer people highlight that he often talks about his Christian faith, but has not taken a strong stance against Christian groups who are highly critical of LGBTI people and families, nor has he shown support for free college, free medicare or many other issues important to disadvantaged Americans.

While Buttigieg did well in the Iowa Caucus, and trailed slightly behind Bernie Sanders in the New Hampshire primary, gaining 24% of the vote to Sanders 26%, analysts are predicting he will struggle in the next stages of the campaign.

Polls show voters in the upcoming states in the race for the Democratic nomination are less sure of Buttigieg’s credentials, and political analysts note his campaign is not as well funded as those of Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders or late entrant Michael Bloomberg.

This week the crowded field of candidates thinned slightly when entrepreneur Andrew Yang announced he was dropping out of the race.

Still in the race is Tulsi Gabbard, Michael Bennett, Amy Klobuchar, Tom Steyer, Deval Patrick, Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Bernie Sanders.

That field might reduce considerably after the upcoming ‘Super Tuesday’ elections on 3rd March, when multiple states will hold their caucus or ballots for deciding their support.  Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia will all make their choices on that day.

OIP Staff


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