In an interview with CNN on the weekend, presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said opposition to same-sex marriage among the African-American community will “start to wash away”. Adding when those, “struggling to get on the right side of history,” see he will work in their interests.
Polling has shown that under half of African-American Protestant Christians support same-sex marriage.
Buttigieg has faced controversy after an officer-involved shooting of an African-American man in South Bend in June, but on CNN the candidate, who is married, was asked if being gay was part of what was holding him back with at least some black voters.
“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,” he 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 said.
Buttigieg has been extremely critical of Vice-President Pence. On CNN, he was asked if such criticism could also apply to African-American primary voters who oppose same-sex 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. And I just laid out the case on the kind of job that I was doing,” he told CNN.
“And 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 marginalised 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,” he said in the CNN interview.