Buttigieg To Pence: ‘My Problem Is When’ His ‘Religious Beliefs Are Used As An Excuse To Harm’ LGBT People




During Tuesday’s CNN broadcast of “New Day,” South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg fired back at Vice President Mike Pence’s false assertion in an interview Friday that the openly gay 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful has an issue with him using his First Amendment to attack homosexuality.

Buttigieg corrected the record on Monday, telling CNN that his issue is with Pence using his religion as an excuse to “harm people.”

“The vice president is entitled to his religious beliefs,” Buttigieg said.

“My problem is when those religious beliefs are used as an excuse to harm other people,” he said.



“That was a huge issue for us in Indiana when he advanced a discriminatory bill in 2015 under the guise of religious freedom, that said it was lawful to discriminate, provided you invoked religion as your excuse,” Buttigieg continued, referring to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that Pence signed into law.

The Indiana law allowed businesses in the state to use “religious liberty” as a defense if they believed government was burdening their exercise of religion. Critics argued the law would allow businesses to legally discriminate against the LGBTQ community.

“I just believe that’s wrong,” Buttigieg said. “This isn’t about him as a human being. This is about policies that hurt people, policies that hurt children.”

Buttigieg noted that Pence has still never acknowledged that it “shouldn’t be legal to discriminate against people in this country because they’re LGBT.

“I would love to see him evolve on that issue.”



Pence’s anti-LGBT record includes advocating for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, opposing measures to protect gay men and lesbians from discrimination in the workplace, and opposing expanding the definition of hate crimes to cover offenses based on a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

When Pence was running for Congress back in 2000, he supported the use of federal funding to treat people “seeking to change their sexual behavior.”

His campaign web site at the time touted his call to add the stipulation to the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act, a 1990 law providing funding for HIV/AIDS treatment for patients living with the disease lacking either the income or the necessary insurance to pay for it on their own, to

The website said:

Congress should support the reauthorization of the Ryan White Care Act only after completion of an audit to ensure that federal dollars were no longer being given to organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus. Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.