Democratic 2020 candidate and out gay mayor Pete Buttigieg said on Sunday night the opposition to same-sex marriage among African Americans will “wash away.”
This came in response to CNN host Jake Tapper’s question on how Buttigieg’s sexuality could be holding him back with some African American voters, noting that less than half of African American Christians support same-sex marriage.
“I think most black voters like most voters, in general, want to know what the candidates are actually going to do to improve their lives,” Buttigieg said.
“And when I talk to black voters, in particular, there’s a sense of having been taken for granted in politics in the sense that candidates haven’t always been speaking to them in terms of gaining their trust.”
Buttigieg cited two policy proposals, including increasing the number of African American entrepreneurs and his Douglass plan which attempts to tackle “institutional racism that works on health”.
“I think that a lot of these other factors start to wash away once voters understand what it’s going to mean for them that you versus the others are running for office,” Buttigieg continued.
“But we’ve got six months to make sure we get that message out, make sure we demonstrate that I’m serious about the things I would do as president, and that’s how I plan to earn support among black voters.”
Buttigieg has been quite vocal on LGBTQI rights and has also publicly criticised the current Vice President Mike Pence about his stance on LGBTQI issues earlier this year.
In the CNN interview, Jack Tapper asked Buttigieg if his criticism on gay issues could also apply to African American primary voters who oppose gay marriage.
“I think back to my experience in Indiana when I was running for re-election after I came out in a community that’s generally Democratic but also quite socially conservative, he responded. “And I just laid out the case on the kind of job that I was doing.
“What I found was that a lot of people were able to move past old prejudices and move into the future. This is not an easy conversation for a lot of people who have frankly been brung up in a certain way and are struggling to get on to the right side of history.
“But I also believe that this conversation is picking up speed, that it’s a healthy conversation and that where it leads is an understanding that all marginalized people need to stand together at a time when so many Americans in so many different ways, especially under this presidency, are coming under attack.”
Buttigieg will go up against 23 other Democratic candidates in the 2020 primaries.