In front of a crowded hotel ballroom at a fundraising brunch Sunday, presumed Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg—the openly gay mayor of South Bend, Indiana—took on the vice president. "That’s the thing that I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand," Buttigieg said after reflecting on the struggles he faced growing up gay, and explaining that his marriage to his husband ultimately brought him closer to God. "That if you have a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator." When society sends gay youth a signal that there's something wrong with them, he said, that "is a message that puts you at war not only with yourself, but with your maker."
Buttigieg was speaking at an event for the Victory Fund, which supports LGBTQ candidates. As USA Today puts it, "it's unusual for Democratic presidential candidates to talk about faith as often as Buttigieg does." But the mayor's supporters seem to be in favor. One supporter says she's "really very excited about hearing a voice from the Christian left. I think that’s a voice not used in the Democratic Party for too long." As for Buttigieg's aforementioned husband, Chasten, he's been getting quite a bit of press of his own; over the weekend, CNN referred to him as Mayor Pete's "not-so-secret weapon." Buttigieg is widely expected to be formally announcing his presidential campaign next week, per the Indy Star. (Read more Pete Buttigieg stories.)