An unnamed Iowa woman decided to withdraw her support to Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg after coming to know that he is gay and married to a man. The woman cited religious beliefs behind her decision to withdraw her preference card.
The woman, who previously supported Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, was supporting Buttigieg at the caucus site in Crestwood High School in Cresco, Iowa, where the incident took place. Later, the woman was allowed to change her vote. She then switched her support to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
What made Iowa woman change her mind?
The woman was caught on camera asking her card back after she learnt that Buttigieg was in a same sex relationship. The video, posted on Twitter by filmmaker Annabel Park, soon went viral with people coming in support of the Democratic Presidential candidate.
In the incident, the Iowa woman overheard Buttigieg's supporters talking about his spouse Chasten Buttigieg. "Are you saying that he has the same-sex partner? Pete? Are you kidding?" she could be heard asking the precinct captain, Nikki van den Heever.
When Van den Heever replied, "Yes, he's married to him," the woman said: "Then I don't want anybody like that in the White House. So can I have my card back?" adding that she was unaware of the fact, openly disclosed by Buttigieg.
'Buttigieg should read Bible'
However, when Van den Heever argued that Buttigieg was a human being just like them and his sexual orientation shouldn't really matter, the woman said that Buttigieg should read Bible. Van den Heever said: "He does, and he says that God doesn't choose a political party" before being cut midsentence by the voter saying, "Why does it say in the Bible that a man should marry a woman then? How come this has never been brought out before? I never heard it."
'It all just went right down the toilet, that's where it all went'- Iowa woman voter
Trying to convince the woman to stick with her original vote, Van den Heever said: "I guess what I would like you to just think deep inside and think should it matter if it's a man or if they're a woman or if they're heterosexual or homosexual if you believe in what they say." The Iowa woman said, "It all just went right down the toilet, that's where it all went."
Van den Heever went on to say that while the woman has a 'total right to her opinion,' she too was a Christian who taught her son that 'Love is love, and we're all human beings.'
Later, sharing the video on Twitter, Laura Hubka, the Democratic chair of Howard County, said that she was very proud of Heever for the way she handled the reaction of the woman voter at the centre. "Van den Heever is a wonderful example of Cresco," Hubka tweeted adding that the 'other woman does not represent all of rural Iowa.'
Buttigiegs campaigned together as a couple for the 2020 Presidential elections
Buttigieg, the 38-year-old former Mayor came out as gay in 2015. Three years later, in June 2018 he married Chasten Buttigieg, a high school drama teacher, after dating him since 2015.
The duo has been together campaigning aggressively for the 2020 Presidential elections. The Time magazine carried a picture of the couple on their May cover with a headline, 'First Family'.
During one of his campaign speeches in Iowa, Buttigieg said that Iowa had this beautiful capacity for showing what can be done for people who aren't quite sure. "I was a volunteer — first time I ever came through Iowa, first time I set foot in this state, they sent me to Creston as a volunteer on the Obama campaign in 2008."
"And I was here in Iowa when this state changed what the country and world thought was possible in American presidential politics. And then, about a decade ago, I wasn't here to see it, but I was watching from where I lived, when this state gave me permission to believe that someone like me could be wearing this wedding ring that I've got on right now," he had said in the speech.