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'Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator': gay presidential hopeful criticises VP in LGBT rights speech
Democratic presidential contender Pete Buttigieg has hit out at the US Vice President's traditional biblical view on sexuality.
Buttigieg is the mayor of South Bend, Indiana and the first openly gay candidate for president in US history.
Speaking at the LGBTQ Victory Fund National Champagne Brunch in Washington, Buttigieg said: "If me being gay was a choice it was a choice made far, far above my pay grade.
"And that's the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand.
"That if you have a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator."
If I saw a restaurant owner refuse to serve a gay couple, I wouldn't eat there anymore. http://t.co/QCAPBfnJzL— Governor Mike Pence (@GovPenceIN) March 30, 2015
Christian Vice President Mike Pence's stances on LGBT issues have faced criticism from gay rights activists.
Pence was governor of Indiana at the time Buttigieg came out as gay during his June 2015 mayoral re-election campaign, which he went on to win with 78 per cent of the vote.
Buttigieg opened up on Sunday about being gay and what his marriage to Chasten, a school teacher, means to him.
"When I was younger I would do anything to not be gay.
"If you had offered me a pill to make me straight I would have swallowed it before you had time to give me a sip of water.
"My marriage to Chasten has made me a better man and, yes, Mr Vice President, it has moved me closer to God."
Buttigieg was raised Catholic but later became an Episcopalian.
His comments came just hours after he criticised evangelical voters' support of President Donald Trump during an appearance on NBC's Meet The Press.
"It's something that really frustrates me because the hypocrisy is unbelievable," Buttigieg said.
"Here, you have somebody who not only acts in a way that is not consistent with anything that I hear in scripture or in church, where it's about lifting up the least among us and taking care of strangers, which is another word for immigrants.
"And making sure that you're focusing your effort on the poor. But also personally, how you're supposed to conduct yourself. Not chest thumping look-at-me-ism, but humbling yourself before others."
Buttigieg has never publicly expressed any concerns with how Pence has treated him until he started running for president.
For those of us in the LGBT community who deal in facts, we are chilled by recklessly repeated gossip. Mike Pence is a humble Christian who loves God, and all His creation. I know him. You obviously don’t. https://t.co/5OQzWEWCfP— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) March 13, 2019
US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, who is openly gay, tweeted his support of Pence in March.
"Mike Pence is a humble Christian who loves God, and all His creation," Grenell commented.
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