Beto O’Rourke, a former member of the House of Representatives, defended South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg against homophobic attacks on Friday evening.
Both men are running for president, seeking to obtain the official nomination from the Democratic Party, which technically makes them rivals.
Buttigieg was speaking at the Dallas County Democratic Party’s Johnson Jordan Dinner on Friday evening when the heckling took place. He was also interrupted by a woman who was protesting the candidate’s pro-choice stance on abortion, per reporting from ABC News. The woman was escorted out of a back entrance due to her disruptive behavior.
After news spread online regarding the vitriolic behavior of some in Buttigieg’s audience, O’Rourke, quoting a tweet that described the outbursts and heckling against his fellow Democratic candidate, stated bluntly that his home state doesn’t “stand for this kind of homophobia and hatred.”
Texans don’t stand for this kind of homophobia and hatred. Mayor Pete, we are grateful you came to Texas and hope to see you and Chasten back again soon. https://t.co/IhRDtIBREb
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) May 4, 2019
“Mayor Pete, we are grateful you came to Texas and hope to see you and [husband Chasten Glezman] back again soon,” O’Rourke added.
The tweet O’Rourke cited showed video of protesters interrupting Buttigieg. They had done so, up to that point, at least four times.
One person yelled out “Marriage is between a man and a woman!” while another urged Buttigieg to “repent,” according to a tweet from DJ Judd, a CNN political reporter.
Pete Buttigieg has been interrupted four times here in Dallas by protesters. One yelled “Marriage is between a man and a woman!” Another yelled “Repent!” After the 4th, Buttigieg continued, “The moment I packed my bags for Afghanistan, to defend that man’s freedom of speech…” pic.twitter.com/zIpDSCIrti
— DJ Judd (@DJJudd) May 4, 2019
It’s not the only time Buttigieg has faced heckling or criticisms for his being openly gay. Per previous reporting from HillReporter.com, Buttigieg also faced down hecklers in Iowa in April. His response to those hecklers then was cool and collected: “The condition of my soul is in the hands of God but the Iowa caucuses are up to you,” he said.
But Franklin Graham, a prominent Evangelical preacher and the son of the late Billy Graham, logged onto Facebook shortly after Buttigieg’s response in April to condemn the candidate’s sexuality.
Graham also cited a Bible verse from the Old Testament in that Facebook post, which stated the adequate punishment for gay individuals was to be put to death.