Pete Buttigieg says opposition to same-sex marriage among black voters will ‘wash away’

Pete Buttigieg

US presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg will work to win the support of black voters and said opposition to same-sex marriage among black Protestants will “wash away”.

According to a poll by the Pew Research Center, fewer than half of US black Protestant Christians support same-sex marriage.

For CNN‘s State of the Union, Buttigieg was asked: “Do you think that the fact that you’re gay is part of what might be holding you back with at least some black voters?”

The Democratic candidate responded: “I think most black voters, like most voters in general, want to know what the candidates are actually going to do to improve their lives.

“And when I talk to black voters in particular, there’s a sense of having been taken for granted in politics, and the sense that candidates haven’t always been speaking to them or earning their trust.”

“So more than anything, I think my job is to make sure I explain how our vision for increasing the number of black entrepreneurs is going to lead to economic empowerment, how the part of my Douglass plan for tackling institutional racism that works on health will help close the maternal mortality gap.

“I think a lot of these other factors start to wash away once voters understand what it’s going to mean for them that you, versus the others, are running for office.”

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Pete Buttigieg with his husband Chasten Buttigieg. (JOSHUA LOTT/AFP/Getty)

Pete Buttigieg said that “all marginalised people need to stand together”.

He was then asked explain the difference between his criticism of vice president Mike Pence’s religious conservative stance on LGBT+ issues, and his attitude to the views of religious black voters.

Buttigieg said: “I think back to my experience in Indiana when I was running for re-election after I came out, in a community that’s generally Democratic but also quite socially conservative.

“I just laid out the case on the kind of job that I was doing and what I found was that a lot of people were able to move past old prejudices and move into the future.

“This is not an easy conversation for a lot of people who have frankly been brought up in a certain way and are struggling to get on to the right side of history.

“But I also believe that this conversation is picking up speed, that it’s a healthy conversation, and that where it leads is an understanding that all marginalised people need to stand together at a time when so many Americans in so many different ways, especially under this presidency, are coming under attack.”

Buttigieg married his partner, middle school teacher Chasten Glezman, in June 2018.