Pete Buttigieg did pretty well in Iowa this week. Though the final tally in Monday’s all-important caucus had yet to be determined at the time of this writing, the first openly gay presidential candidate in US history was holding on to a narrow lead that is, frankly, a historic victory in itself.
But a video shared by TMZ on Tuesday shows that at least one of the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor’s supporters might be jumping ship.
A caucus-goer spoke to Buttigieg precinct captain Nikki Heever on camera when she found out for the first time (!) that her favored candidate was married to another man after already casting her vote. The surprise was not a welcome one; the woman, who hails from the city of Cresco in Iowa’s Howard County, immediately asked Heever if she could change her vote.
After being told by Heever that “she’s not sure if they can do that,” the disgruntled citizen launches into a display of incredulous homophobia, saying “I don’t want anybody like that in the White House,” and that Buttigieg “had better read the Bible.”
The plucky Buttigieg staffer then attempts to talk the woman down, gently suggesting that a candidate’s sexuality shouldn’t matter if “you believe in what they are saying,” while stressing that everybody is entitled to their own beliefs. She does an impressive job of maintaining her pleasant composure, but she and a co-worker are clearly put at a loss for words when the woman asks them, “How come none of this has been brought out before?”
After that, the conversation shifts as Heever manages the situation, telling the woman that they she can go and ask a supervisor whether the ballot can be changed. She also manages, politely but firmly, to point out that she teaches her own son (who is standing right beside her with a bewildered look on his face) that “love is love, and we’re all human beings.”
There’s no report so far as to whether or not the bible-thumping bigot was allowed to change her vote; but either way, the video reveals the unpleasant truth that homophobia is alive and well in America – even in the Democratic Party.