Luke Robbins couldn’t hold back the tears when he introduced South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg as a featured speaker at the College Democrats of America’s 2018 convention.
Robbins told the gathering that Buttigieg’s 2015 public essay, “Why Coming out Matters,” helped persuade him – a gay teen from a conservative Indiana family – to come out. It also showed him that doing so wouldn’t mean giving up his love of politics.
As Buttigieg explores a bid for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president, “it just makes me so happy,” said Robbins, president of College Democrats of Indiana.
But Buttigieg isn’t necessarily Robbins’ top choice for the nomination. “I’m personally very feminist. I would love to see a female candidate,” he said. “I have no clue who I’m going to support.”
And there's the evolution in American politics. Buttigieg’s trailblazing role as the first presidential contender with a same-sex spouse is a milestone – maybe more so because it has not won him instant backing from the LGBTQ community, an important part of the Democratic base. Just as not all women supported Hillary Clinton because she was female, Buttigieg isn't getting monolithic support from LGBTQ voters.
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