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Chasten Buttigieg: Marriage Makes Me Want to Be a Better Person

Buttigieg family

The husband of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg shared his sentiments a few hours before the U.S. Senate voted on the Respect for Marriage Act.

For anyone wondering what marriage means to one of the best-known gay men in the U.S., Chasten Buttigieg has an answer.

"My marriage has filled this house with so much love it makes me want to be a better husband, father, and citizen every day," the husband of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg wrote in a Tuesday post on Medium. "It's called me to something bigger than myself while recognizing that my kids are now the most important thing in life, and I'd do anything to protect them. Our family and our union push me to make sure we leave our kids a country and a world they can thrive in so that they, too, can enjoy all of the love and light and happiness that Pete and I have known simply by falling in love with one another."

The piece was published a few hours before the U.S. Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act, which will write marriage equality into federal law so that it will be established even if the Supreme Court overturns its 2015 marriage equality ruling. Right-wing Justice Clarence Thomas has said that ruling should be reversed if the court gets the chance.

The House of Representatives has already passed the act, but the Senate added an amendment to it aimed at allaying concerns about the impact on religious freedom, so the House must vote again. President Joe Biden has promised to sign it into law.

After describing his morning with his children -- the Buttigiegs are parents of twins, Penelope and Gus -- Chasten Buttigieg said he hoped lawmakers would consider the significance of marriage to families like theirs.

"I hope that our friends on the other side of the aisle will listen to over 70% of Americans and vote to protect families like mine and the unions that make us all better Americans," he wrote. "And if a member of congress is confused, or has questions and wants to turn down the noise from the online rhetoric -- our playroom is always open, should you want to meet a family who is just trying their best to make their kids happy and their country better, just like you."

As it turned out, 12 senators from that side of the aisle -- Republicans -- joined the 49 Democrats and independents present to pass the bill. Still, the vast majority of Republicans rejected it.

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