Jenna Ellis, a conservative attorney and a past adviser to former President Donald Trump, declared that children should only be raised in households with heterosexual parents while taking a swipe at openly gay U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and his family.
Ellis commented on a tweet from a user named @TheRichFromCali, who wrote, “I am extremely saddened by the hateful and homophobic comments made by Mike Pence,” referring to a recent joke that Pence, the former vice president, made about Buttigieg taking parental leave at the Gridiron Club dinner.
The White House previously condemned the joke — which referred to Buttigieg taking “maternity leave” to take care of children he adopted with his husband — as homophobic, demanding an apology from Pence.
But Pence has refused to do so, insisting that his critics are overly sensitive and that the joke was referencing pandemic-related disruptions to travel and supply chain issues that occurred while Buttigieg took paternity leave to take care of the twins, who became sick with respiratory issues in their first few months after being born.
A spokesperson for the former vice president even accused the White House of attempting to gin up “faux outrage.”
@TheRichFromCali added a photo of Buttigieg, his husband, Chasten, and their daughter, Penelope, who was adopted by the couple in 2021 along with her twin brother, Joseph.
“This is Pete Buttigieg and his family, ♥️ if you support them!” wrote @TheRichFromCali.
It really saddens me that Mike Pence, and now Jenna Ellis, is attacking the Buttieg family. Love is the #1 thing a child needs and this family shows love, RT and ❤️ to show support pic.twitter.com/Nw7jAqYEJM
— Rich from CA (@TheRichFromCali) March 17, 2023
In a tweet, that appears to have since been deleted, Ellis — a self-described Christian who has been outspoken about her socially conservative views, including opposition to same-sex nuptials — criticized Pete and Chasten Buttigieg for being same-sex parents.
“This isn’t a family,” Ellis wrote. “It’s two sexual perverts and a child that deserves an actual family: a mom and dad. Children’s rights matter. Kids are not commodities.”
When pressed by Newsweek about her comments, Ellis was unapologetic.
“Children have rights, which include the right to life, to their mother and father, to sexual innocence [no sex/gender ideology in schools], and to intact bodies [no chemical/surgical mutilation],” Ellis responded. “Children are not commodities for people like Pete Buttigieg to buy and use for their own selfish purposes, pretending they can borrow from normal and call themselves a family.”
Buttigieg, the first openly gay cabinet member to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, has become a favorite target of cultural conservatives, who — even as they claim they are critiquing his performance and administrative failures he’s overseen as Transportation Secretary — frequently make offensive comments fixating on his sexual orientation, his marriage, or his family.
@TheRichFromCali later posted about Ellis’s comments, posting additional photos of the Buttigieg family and asking for retweets to show support. Plenty of Twitter users responded favorably, with one writing, “Beautiful Family, Sending Love to Your Family!”
“ANY child that is brought into a loving home will thrive from the love and caring it is given, the dynamics of their parent(s) is completely IRRELEVANT, many many children have been brought up with male & female partners and SUFFERED HORRENDOUSLY!” wrote another user.
ANY child that is brought into a loving home will thrive from the love and caring it is given, the dynamics of their parent(s) is completely IRRELEVANT, many many children have been brought up with male & female partners and SUFFERED HORRENDOUSLY!
— Aussie Girl ☮️ 🇦🇺 🐨 🇮🇪☘️🇺🇦🌻NO DM’s (@GerriCheyne25) March 17, 2023
“People have the right to their existence without an obligation to make YOU feel comfortable about it,” wrote a third user who commented on Ellis sharing Newsweek‘s story quoting her.
People have the right to their existence without an obligation to make YOU feel comfortable about it.
— Fishful Thinking (@FishBanc) March 17, 2023
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