- The Washington Times - Monday, April 8, 2019

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a 2020 presidential hopeful, took direct shots at Vice President Mike Pence Sunday regarding his sexuality, telling the vice president his marriage to a man has moved him “closer to God.”

“That’s the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand: That if you have a problem with who I am, your quarrel is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator,” the Indiana Democrat said during a speech at the LGBTQ Victory Fund’s annual brunch.

This is not the first swipe Mr. Buttigieg has taken at the vice president.

In March during his CNN town hall, he said Mr. Pence had allowed himself “to become the cheerleader for the porn star presidency” and accused him of violating his religion to support President Trump.

Mr. Pence gained an anti-LGBTQ reputation during his tenure as Indiana governor when his religious liberty bill in 2015 received a public outcry and put him in the national spotlight.

Critics were afraid the measure would give business owners the ability to discriminate against gay patrons, which Mr. Pence said “certainly wasn’t my intent.

SEE ALSO: Pete Buttigieg: I’m not someone who has ‘been marinating in Washington’

Mr. Buttigieg, who has been open about both his sexuality and religious beliefs, has not officially entered the presidential race and instead started an exploratory committee in January.

The mayor has “a special announcement” planned for April 14, which is likely his official candidacy for the 2020 presidential election.

• Bailey Vogt can be reached at bvogt@washingtontimes.com.

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