Pete Buttigieg Private Fundraiser Interrupted by Protest From 'Queers Against Pete'

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."

After being shouted down, the protesters were removed from the premises.

Outside the event, a Buttigieg supporter reportedly yelled at protesters calling them "homophobes." One of the protesters responded by saying, "We're all gay!"

"Some have touted former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg's openly gay identity as proof of progress in our politics," read an open letter on the Queers Against Pete website. "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 communities."

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.

Newsweek reached out to Buttigieg's campaign for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

pete buttigieg
Activist group "Queers Against Pete" protested Friday outside former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg's San Francisco fundraiser for his presidential campaign. Justin Sullivan/Getty

While some in the LGBTQ community feel Buttigieg isn't doing enough to highlight issues that impact their lives, Buttigieg has attempted to offer words of encouragement and inclusion.

"The fact that I'm standing here, the fact that my husband's in the audience watching right now, is just an amazing example of that belief that yes, yes, you belong, and this country has a place for you," Buttigieg said to supporters in February.

Buttigieg's electability status was connected to his sexuality Wednesday by conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh who told his radio audience that "America's still not ready to elect a gay guy kissing his husband on the debate stage president."

Some other Democratic candidates came to Buttigieg's defense after Limbaugh's comments.

"These homophobic attacks against @PeteButtigieg are hateful and offensive," tweeted Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. "We will not tolerate this in the Democratic presidential race, and we will fight together against the hate and bigotry that Donald Trump promotes and rewards."

These homophobic attacks against @PeteButtigieg are hateful and offensive. We will not tolerate this in the Democratic presidential race, and we will fight together against the hate and bigotry that Donald Trump promotes and rewards.

— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) February 15, 2020

"Pete and I are competitors," former Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday during an appearance on The View, "but this guy has honor, he has courage, he's smart as hell."

Buttigieg claimed a narrow victory in the Iowa caucuses, defeating Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders by one-tenth of a percentage point. After the failure of a vote-reporting app which delayed final tabulations for days, those results were contested by both candidates who asked for a recanvass of certain Iowa precincts. Those results are expected to be announced within the next week.