- The Magazine
An Iowa woman in last night’s Democratic caucuses has gone viral after asking to retract her vote for Pete Buttigieg.
The (somewhat surprising) reason? She learned Buttigieg is gay, and she’s not okay with it.
In a video being shared on social media, the woman is speaking to Nikki van den Heever, a caucus precinct captain for Buttigieg in Cresco, Iowa.
The woman, who is wearing a button for Sen. Amy Klobuchar and stickers for both Klobuchar and Buttigieg, says, “So are you saying he has a same-sex partner?”
Van den Heever asks if the woman means Buttigieg, and then confirms that he is gay.
“Are you kidding?” the woman responds.
“He’s married to a man,” van den Heever says, referencing Buttigieg’s husband Chasten.
“Well then I don’t want anybody like that in the White House,” the woman says, adding, “So can I have my card back?”
Van den Heever says that she can’t as the woman has signed it, but that they can ask someone if it’s possible. She then politely challenges the woman’s objection to Buttigieg’s sexuality.
“He’s a human being, just like you and me, and should it really matter?” van den Heever says.
The woman retorts that Buttigieg — who has famously made his religious beliefs part of his campaign, and regularly references scripture during debates and campaign stops — had “better read the Bible.”
Van den Heever notes that Buttigieg does, and that God doesn’t take sides in the political process.
She also keeps a straight face when the woman asks why Buttigieg’s sexuality “has never been brought out before?”
“It’s common knowledge,” van den Heever flatly replies.
After again suggesting that they talk to someone about the woman’s vote, van den Heever says, “I guess what I would like you to [do is] just dig deep inside and think, ‘Should it matter if it’s a woman or if it’s a man or if they’re heterosexual or homosexual, if you believe in what they say?'”
“It all just went down the toilet, is where it all just went,” the woman says.
Van den Heever responds: “You have a total right to your opinion, I’m not trying to tell you think otherwise, but…I just ask you to look inside your heart, because you sound like a Christian woman to me. I’m a Christian woman and my God wants me to love everybody.”
The woman says that van den Heever “must not believe” the Bible if she thinks “it’s okay for somebody to marry to a same-sex person.”
“No, I think we’re just interpreting it different and that’s okay. Because everybody gets to have their own beliefs,” van den Heever says. “But what I teach my son is that love is love, and we’re all human beings.”
Watch the full exchange below:
#PeteButtigieg precinct captain in rural Iowa responds to a caucus-goer flipping out upon learning that he has a same-sex partner. It’s a masterclass in patience, persistence, and love. Bravo @nikkiheever #IowaCaucuses #cresco #howardcountyiowa pic.twitter.com/PhX7vRFh8X
— Annabel Park (@annabelpark) February 4, 2020
While the results of the caucus are yet to be released as of press time (the Iowa Democratic Party says they will be available by 5 p.m. ET), Buttigieg did make history last night by being the first openly gay person to run in the Iowa Democratic Caucus.
“As Iowa voters head to their corners and declare their presidential allegiances, it is important to step back and appreciate that this caucus day is a significant moment in American history,” Annise Parker, the former Houston mayor and president and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, said in a statement prior to the caucus.
She continued: “Today, Pete becomes the first openly LGBTQ person to run in the Iowa Democratic caucuses — a historic event that all Americans should take pride in and celebrate regardless of the results tonight.”
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