Gay Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg officially launches historic campaign

Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg

Gay Democratic Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg has officially launched his campaign to become President of the United States.

The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is one of more than 15 Democrats vying for the chance to challenge Donald Trump in the 2020 Presidential election.

The candidate, who formed an exploratory committee for his Presidential bid in January, formally launched his campaign on Sunday (April 14) in South Bend.

Pete Buttigieg makes history with Presidential bid

In his speech to the Pete for America rally, Buttigieg said: “My name is Pete Buttigieg. They call me Mayor Pete. I am a proud son of South Bend, Indiana, and I am running for President of the United States.”

He added: “We live in a moment that compels us each to act. The forces changing our country today are tectonic.

“Forces that help to explain what made this current presidency even possible. This time it’s not just about winning an election, it’s about winning an era.”

Pete Buttigieg launched his campaign at an event in South Bend, Indiana

Pete Buttigieg launched his campaign at an event in South Bend, Indiana

The mayor set out a liberal agenda, calling out “violent white nationalism rearing its ugly head” and setting out plans for economic reforms to boost smaller post-industrial cities.

The candidate also paid an emotional tribute to his husband Chasten, to loud cheers from the crowd, “for giving me the strength to do this, and the grounding to be myself as we go.”

Referencing LGBT+ rights, he said: “Take it from Chasten and me, you’re not free if a county clerk gets to tell you who you ought to marry because their idea of their political beliefs.”

He added: “Our marriage exists by the grace of a single vote on the US Supreme Court. Nine women and men sat down in a room and took a vote, and brought me the most important freedom in my life.”

Pete Buttigieg campaign launch hailed as ‘historic’

The candidate is the first serious openly gay candidate for a major political party in recent history.

Chris Cabaldon, the mayor of West Sacramento, California, introduced Buttigieg with an emotional speech about gay equality.

He said: “Are you aware we are making history? For the first time since the founding of our Republic, we’re here today for an American who can be legally fired for no reason other than how his Creator made him. Who in most states, can be evicted from his home.

“An American whose marriage was still illegal in 40 states up until a couple years ago.  An American who federal policy so thoroughly dehumanises down at the cellular level, that Pete would be turned away at the bloodmobile, if, as Mayor, he had to rush to the scene of the Pulse nightclub in his own community, to rescue the people he’s sworn to protect.

“But for the first time in our nation’s history, that American is a top-tier major party candidate for President of the United States.”

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