Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) defended his fellow Democratic presidential contender Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE on Friday after the South Bend, Ind., mayor was confronted by hecklers at an event in Texas who appeared to shout anti-gay messages.
O’Rourke, a former Texas Senate candidate, wrote on Twitter that his home state doesn’t “stand for this kind of homophobia and hatred.”
“Mayor Pete, we are grateful you came to Texas and hope to see you and Chasten back again soon,” O’Rourke wrote to Buttigieg, who is gay, and his husband, Chasten.
O’Rourke’s message came after Buttigieg was interrupted several times while speaking at the Dallas County Democratic Party’s Johnson Jordan Dinner by protestors who appeared to shout anti-gay messages, according to The Texas Tribune.
Hecklers yelled for Buttigieg to “repent” and shouted that “marriage is between a man and a woman,” according to a video posted to Twitter by CNN reporter DJ Judd.
Buttigieg, a veteran, reportedly carried on through the interruption, noting that he served in Afghanistan “to defend that man’s freedom of speech.”
He at one point deadpanned that it was a “lively room” and later added that he was “just thinking of that scripture that says bless and do not curse,” the Tribune reported.
Buttigieg, the only openly gay candidate in the 2020 race, has faced public and personal attacks for his sexuality on the campaign trail.
Last month, he was confronted by two protesters in Iowa shouting biblical references about the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, which the Bible says were destroyed by what it calls sinful acts, including sodomy.
“The good news is the condition of my soul is in the hands of God, but the Iowa caucuses are up to you,” Buttigieg said at the time. “Remember the beauty of our democracy. Everyone here gets the exact same voice and vote. Feels like the numbers are on our side.”
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