Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said Thursday at the LGBTQ CNN forum that the Christian view of LGBTQ people sometimes “makes God smaller.”
The South Bend mayor spoke out about his beliefs on religious liberty Thursday night in Los Angeles, saying “religious liberty is an important principle in this country, and we honor that.”
“It’s also the case that any freedom that we honor in this country has limits when it comes to harming other people,” Buttigieg said. “We say that the right to free speech does not include the right to yell ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater. A famous justice once said my right to swing my fist ends where somebody else’s nose begins, and the right to religious freedom ends where religion is being used as an excuse to harm other people.” (RELATED: Protesters Interrupt Pete Buttigieg, Shouting ‘Trans People Are Dying, Do Something!’)
He spoke several times about his Christian faith’s view of LGBTQ people, saying his Christian tradition teaches that “you believe that God loves you, and you look around, and you notice that you’re gay and those two things exist at the same time.”
The South Bend mayor said his marriage to his husband Chasten Buttigieg has made him to be “more able to be true” to his faith.
“And I would also say that nothing has made me feel more connected, more able to be true, however imperfectly to my faith, than the experience of putting myself second, that came with committing my life to my husband Chasten,” Buttigieg said, before taking a shot at Vice President Mike Pence.
“I really feel that that marriage moved me closer to God, and I wish the VP could understand that,” he said.
Buttigieg sparked a backlash before for criticizing Christian politicians, specifically his criticisms of Vice President Mike Pence. Buttigieg has said Pence has a “problem” with him because Buttigieg is gay.
Despite Buttigieg’s comments, Pence praised him after the South Bend may0r came out as gay in 2015 and called him a “patriot” who Pence holds in the “highest personal regard.”
Buttigieg has also accused Christian politicians of hypocrisy in their politics.
“The Republican Party likes to cloak itself in the language of religion,” Buttigieg said during the June Democratic debates.
“We should call hypocrisy and for a party that associates with Christianity to say it is okay to suggest that God would smile on the division of families at the hands of federal agents, that God would condone putting children in cages has lost all claim to ever use religion language again.”
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