Mayor Pete Buttigieg officially launched his presidential candidacy before a crowd of thousands in his hometown city of South Bend, Indiana yesterday. The announcement makes Mayor Buttigieg the first openly LGBTQ Democratic presidential candidate in U.S. history – a milestone in American politics and for an LGBTQ community increasingly able to win high-level elected office.
The first openly LGBTQ presidential candidate was Fred Karger, who ran in the Republican presidential primary in 2012.
“Mayor Pete shattered a lavender ceiling once thought unbreakable, becoming the first openly LGBTQ Democratic presidential candidate in American history and our first real shot at the Oval Office,” said Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund. “There is enormous power in an openly gay presidential candidate stumping at town halls in Iowa and speaking to Americans from the presidential debate stage – it changes perceptions of our community and raises the bar for candidates who seek LGBTQ support. While Mayor Pete’s candidacy is historic and a milestone moment for our community, his meteoric rise is most notable for the support he’s receiving from diverse groups of voters. There are enormous minefields and hurdles to running as an openly LGBTQ candidate, and so far, Mayor Pete has gracefully leapt over them on the world’s largest political stage. He’s the real deal.”