Gay Republicans have to pause?
Where do they go?
Buttigieg won’t be the Democratic nominee…
But will he have dislodged some gay Republicans from voting for a possible Trump ticket come next November?
Pete Buttigieg is creating a split-screen moment for gay Republicans: The rising 2020 presidential contender speaks passionately about the military, God and efficient government. Some gay conservatives have spoken positively about Buttigieg — a moderate-sounding Midwesterner who married his husband last year — being a leap forward for gay Americans and politicians.
But the South Bend, Ind., mayor’s public squabbles with Vice President Mike Pence are pushing some gay Republicans to fire back at Buttigieg to defend a leader of their party. The dust-up is riling up parts of the right and serving as a high-profile test of how the broader electorate might handle the nation’s first prominent gay presidential candidate.
“What’s intriguing about this particular candidate is that he’s running on really, you could say, the ‘gay conservative platform,’” said Richard Tafel, who helped launch the Log Cabin Republicans and authored “Party Crasher,” a book about being a gay conservative activist. “He’s talking about his military service. He’s talking about his faith. And he keeps saying we should make a moral argument. So on those things that also makes him somewhat attractive to gay conservatives.”
The 37-year-old Buttigieg’s rising stature within the Democratic presidential primary has moved some gay Republicans to defend him on a key front where he’s vulnerable, pushing back against anti-gay attacks and sharing their own experiences. Their outspokenness could help shift conservative views on gay marriage and ultimately help Buttigieg connect with voters who would otherwise never give a gay candidate of either party a second look….
image….Vice President Mike Pence (left) speaks with South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg in South Bend, Ind., in April 2013. Buttigieg has pointed to Pence when arguing that being gay was not a choice. | Robert Franklin/South Bend Tribune via AP