Democratic presidential candidate Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegButtigieg says he has ‘batting practice’ dealing with bullies Poll: Biden leads Dem primary field by 30 points Castro secures spot on 2020 primary debate stage MORE was interrupted several times by hecklers shouting anti-gay messages during a speech Friday evening in Dallas.
The South Bend, Ind., mayor, who is gay, was speaking at the Dallas County Democratic Party’s Johnson Jordan Dinner when he was interrupted several times by protesters, at least some of whom appeared to yell anti-gay messages, according to The Texas Tribune.
“Marriage is between a man and a woman,” one shouted.
“Repent,” another yelled, according to a video posted to Twitter by CNN reporter DJ Judd.
Buttigieg reportedly carried on through the interruption, noting that he served in Afghanistan “to defend that man’s freedom of speech.”
Pete Buttigieg has been interrupted four times here in Dallas by protesters. One yelled “Marriage is between a man and a woman!” Another yelled “Repent!” After the 4th, Buttigieg continued, “The moment I packed my bags for Afghanistan, to defend that man’s freedom of speech…” pic.twitter.com/zIpDSCIrti
— DJ Judd (@DJJudd) May 4, 2019
Buttigieg 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 is the only openly gay presidential candidate running for the 2020 election and married his husband, Chasten, in 2018.
He has faced public and personal attacks for his sexuality on the campaign trail, including an incident last month in which he was confronted by two protesters in Iowa shouting biblical references.
The protesters shouted about the biblical 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 responded in stride as the protesters were ushered away. “Remember the beauty of our democracy. Everyone here gets the exact same voice and vote. Feels like the numbers are on our side,” he added.
Another 2020 candidate, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), apologized to his competitor for the incident on Twitter.
“Texans don’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.
Texans don’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. https://t.co/IhRDtIBREb
— Beto O’RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O’RourkeOvernight Energy — Presented by Job Creators Network — Inslee unveils first of many climate proposals for 2020 | Inslee plan gets backing of key green group | Free concert tickets flow to Interior secretary, despite ethics questions Castro secures spot on 2020 primary debate stage Group backing Green New Deal supports Inslee climate plan MORE (@BetoORourke) May 4, 2019