Watch: Pete Buttigieg on Faith, Breaking Ground as an Openly Gay Cabinet Member

by Kevin Schattenkirk

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Monday February 22, 2021

Pete Buttigieg spoke with NBC News NOW about what it means to be the first openly gay member of a Presidential cabinet.

The Biden administration's recently-sworn-in Transportation Secretary - the first openly gay Cabinet member to be confirmed by the Senate - told Savannah Sellers, "You could really feel the history swirling around us when the Vice President was swearing me in with my husband Chasten at my side. There were times in living memory where you couldn't have any job in the federal government if you were gay. And so it's a really encouraging sign about the change that can happen, but also a reminder that we've got a long way to go."

While he was a candidate in the Democratic primaries, Buttigieg also discussed the role faith plays in his life. Sellers asked the former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, about how he feels being a member of both the LGBTQ and faith communities, and essentially how the divide between the two can be bridged. Buttigieg said, "As a citizen, as an individual, as a married gay man and as a believer, I think about this a lot. And sometimes I do feel like, you sort of have to defend the LGBTQ community within the church.

"Again, there are a lot times when I feel like I'm defending the church in the LGBTQ community, especially because there's so many people in our community whose experience with faith or experience with religion is one of exclusion and one of hurt. Making sure to connect people with different experience, a more inclusive vision of what faith can mean.

"I think that's something that is very much alive in the Christian community, and more broadly across communities of faith, but only if we talk about it. Only if we really explore these issues together."

Watch the interview below.

Kevin Schattenkirk is an ethnomusicologist and pop music aficionado.