Democratic presidential candidate and former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg was met with protesters representing the group Queers Against Pete outside of a private fundraising event at the National LGBTQ Center for the Arts in San Francisco on Friday.
Inside the building, two activists attempted to disrupt the fundraiser after Buttigieg was asked about his husband, Chasten, by a member of the audience. “I respect your activism,” Buttigieg said, “but this is a gathering of supporters of our campaign and I just got a question about my husband and I’m really excited to answer it.”
Some of the group’s concerns include Buttigieg’s lack of support for canceling student loan debt, his opposition to a fully-realized Medicare for All plan and free universal public college.
The Guardian reports:
Before the event, the line of Buttigieg supporters wrapped around the block to enter, with protesters chanting and waving signs while people waited. Some supporters seemed flummoxed by their presence. “Queers against Pete?” one attendee questioned, reading their signs.
“We’re on the same team,” someone muttered. “What’s the point?” someone else said. “Just vote for your candidate. Don’t tear down the others.”
“You’re coming to San Francisco, the heart of gay activism in America,” Emily Lee, director of the San Francisco Rising Action Fund, said in an interview. “You need to actually respond to the people of San Francisco who identify as gay or queer. It’s a very fitting place to be asking him these hard questions.”
From the group’s website:
There has been much talk about identity and diversity in the race to win the Democratic party nomination for president. Some have touted former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s openly gay identity as proof of progress in our politics. However, being gay is not enough to earn the support of LGBTQIA communities.
We cannot in good conscience allow Mayor Pete to become the nominee without demanding that he address the needs and concerns of the broader Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual (LGBTQIA) communities. While many see different issues in silos, we are clear that LGBTQIA people are directly and disproportionately impacted by police violence, incarceration, unaffordable healthcare, homelessness, deportation, and economic inequality among other things.
Mayor Pete is leaning on the support and actively courting the LGBTQIA community, but has shown time and time again that he is out of touch, not fit to be President of the United States, and simply falls short.