- The Magazine
Chasten Buttigieg, the husband of U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, posted a photo of him and his husband kissing on Twitter, in apparent reaction to news of the death of conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh.
Last year, at the start of the presidential primary season, Limbaugh opined that people in the United States were not ready to see a gay president leading the nation, and said that former President Donald Trump would “have fun” facing off against Buttigieg if he were elected as the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee.
“Okay, how’s this going to look, 37-year-old gay guy kissing his husband on stage next to Mr. Man Donald Trump? What’s going to happen there?” Limbaugh said. “They’ve got to be saying that despite all the great progress and despite all the great wokeness, and despite all the great ground that’s been covered, America’s still not ready to elect a gay guy kissing his husband on the debate stage president.”
At the time, Pete Buttigieg defended himself and his husband, saying: “I love my husband. I’m faithful to my husband. On stage, we usually just go for a hug, but I love him very much. And I’m not going to take lectures on family values from the likes of Rush Limbaugh.”
Limbaugh, who died on Wednesday after a long battle with lung cancer, was married four separate times, with three of his marriages ending in divorce.
Limbaugh’s comments about the Buttigiegs last year sparked denunciations from both Democrats and Republicans, with many politicians distancing themselves from the radio “shock jock.”
Now-President Joe Biden defended Buttigieg, saying he was a man of “honor” and “courage,” and praising his one-time competitor as “smart as hell.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) backed away from the comments, saying he believed Limbaugh’s assessment of the situation was a “miscalculation” of where the Americans stand when it comes to LGBTQ issues.
“I think the country is not going to disqualify somebody because of their sexual orientation,” Graham said.
Even former President Trump — who was loath to criticize his most fervent backers and political allies — said he believed Americans would be ready for a gay couple in the White House.
“I think there would be some that wouldn’t [accept it],” Trump said. “I wouldn’t be among that group, to be honest with you.”
Limbaugh, who rose to prominence in the 1980s as part of a trend of right-wing provocateurs earning talk-show gigs on AM radio, was the predecessor to modern-day right-wing Internet trolls, often making controversial comments for the shock value or to enrage those on the political left whom he saw as his enemies.
Throughout his career, he made several anti-LGBTQ statements, including infamously mocking gay people who had died of AIDS. He frequently derided second-wave feminists, calling them “femi-Nazis,” and was eager to make inflammatory remarks on race, alleging that former President Barack Obama was only elected because he is Black, and saying that watching the NFL “all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons.”
Despite all of these remarks, Limbaugh knew what the AM talk-show audience, which skews politically conservative, was looking for, and gleefully delivered three hours of commentary each day, attracting about 15.5 million listeners and becoming the nation’s most popular radio show.
However, it seems that Chasten Buttigieg has gotten the “final say” in the spat with Limbaugh, posting a tweet without words with just a picture of him and Pete kissing on stage at a Human Rights Campaign dinner.
Chasten Buttigieg’s photo received over 33,000 likes and was retweeted 1,167 times, earning supportive comments from many Twitter users.
“Love you guys so much!” one user wrote.
Love you guys so much!
— Rosie Madrigal (@rosie_madrigal) February 17, 2021
“BOSS MOVES,” wrote another.
“Chasten and Pete are married and Rush Limbaugh is in Hell,” wrote a third.
Chasten and Pete are married and Rush Limbaugh is in Hell. https://t.co/NelrxOjeNm
— lenny the vegan shark stan acc (@thatbaldautist) February 17, 2021
“More Love less hate. Thank you Chasten for being a pioneer for the LGBTQ community,” wrote a fourth. “Love will always win.”
More Love less hate. Thank you Chasten for being a pioneer for the LGBTQ community. Love will always win 💖💙💛💚💜🌈
— 🌈Drew Cash Rizzuti🌈 (@Rizzuti09) February 17, 2021
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