- The Magazine
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and husband Chasten announced last week that they had become parents, and conservative Christians responded with stereotypical anger and homophobia.
The couple revealed twins Penelope Rose and Joseph August in a Twitter post on Saturday, showing both dads and their new babies in a hospital bed.
“Chasten and I are beyond thankful for all the kind wishes since first sharing the news that we’re becoming parents,” Pete Buttigieg wrote. “We are delighted to welcome Penelope Rose and Joseph August Buttigieg to our family.”
Chasten and I are beyond thankful for all the kind wishes since first sharing the news that we’re becoming parents. We are delighted to welcome Penelope Rose and Joseph August Buttigieg to our family. pic.twitter.com/kS89gb11Ax
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) September 4, 2021
Pete Buttigieg revealed last month that the couple had become parents, noting at that time that the “process isn’t done yet.”
Chasten Buttigieg had previously spoken about the couple’s efforts to start a family together. In an interview with the Washington Post in July, Buttigieg said that the couple had been attempting to adopt for a year.
They had come close at one point, receiving a call about a woman entering labor who wanted to place the child up for adoption. The Buttigiegs scrambled to prepare, but a few hours later were informed that the mother had changed her mind.
“It’s a really weird cycle of anger and frustration and hope,” Buttigieg said. “You think it’s finally happening and you get so excited, and then it’s gone.”
While congratulations poured in for the couple after they revealed their twins — from people across the political spectrum — one group seemed particularly irate at two gay men becoming fathers.
Conservatives Christians flooded Twitter with homophobic posts condemning the Buttigiegs for any number of flippant reasons, from the homophobic insinuation that children should be raised with a mother and father, to the bizarre conspiracy theory that the couple had ejected the childrens’ birth mother from a hospital bed to take their photo.
Anti-abortion activist Lila Rose, founder of anti-choice group Live Action, was condemned for responding to Pete Buttigieg’s photo by asking, “Where are the mothers? My heart goes out to these infants.”
LGBTQ writer and activist Charlotte Clymer retorted: “Not only did you choose to tweet this, but you did so at 3am on a Sunday. Lots to unpack there, Lila. I hope you get the healing you so desperately need.”
Not only did you choose to tweet this, but you did so at 3am on a Sunday. Lots to unpack there, Lila. I hope you get the healing you so desperately need.
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) September 6, 2021
Conservative writer Matt Walsh accused the Buttigiegs of taking over an occupied bed, tweeting, “My wife has given birth to four kids and it never once occurred to me to have her get out of the hospital bed so that I could take a photo.”
Failed Republican candidate for Missouri governor Saundra McDowell asked, “Why are they both in the hospital bed like they had these babies? Photo-op.”
One person responded: “I have known plenty of straight fathers who have had photos holding their newborn babies while in a hospital bed. Nobody batted an eyelid.”
Despite conservative Christians being among the most opposed to COVID-19 vaccines, a surprising number also seemed deeply concerned about the Buttigiegs taking a photo in a hospital bed given the surge of the delta variant across the country.
Florida Republican candidate Lavern Spicer, who has argued against wearing masks, suddenly seemed to care about the raging pandemic in her state, tweeting, “The hospitals are so full but glad they had time for these two men to have a photo-op with children they did not birth.”
“The audacity to mention hospitals being over crowded when you post anti-vaccine and anti-mask tweets,” one person replied. “Again, you just wanted to be homophobic.”
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