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Antigay Politician Implies Buttigieg Is Accustomed to Groping

Biden and Buttigieg

State Sen. Mike Young's comment implied that Buttigieg is "used to" unwanted touching or even assault by other men.

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An Indiana Republican state senator is getting slammed for homophobia due to his comment on a meme of Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden.

The meme, which has been making the rounds on Facebook, uses photos of the former vice president approaching Buttigieg and putting his hands on the younger man's shoulders, which Biden did after Buttigieg endorsed him for the Democratic presidential nomination Monday night. Captions depict Buttigieg thinking "oh shit," "oh god," and "oh no."

State Sen. Mike Young's comment on the meme was "He's used to it," implying that the former South Bend mayor and (until recently) presidential aspirant, who is gay, is accustomed to unwanted touching and even sexual assault from other men. Biden has been criticized for touching women inappropriately in a variety of situations. The comment, now deleted, was first reported by internet radio station Indiana Talks, which posted a screen shot of it.

Young has an anti-LGBTQ record. In 2016 he proposed strengthening Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which had just been amended the previous year to be less threatening to LGBTQ people. Young wanted to go back to something similar to the original language, which critics said could enable discrimination; his proposal went nowhere. He helped to kill an LGBTQ-inclusive hate-crimes bill in 2018. Back in 2007, he supported amending the state's constitution to ban same-sex marriage or civil unions. He has also urged Indiana's State Bureau of Motor Vehicles to stop issuing license plates that benefit an Indianapolis LGBTQ youth group.

Indiana Democrats and LGBTQ activists were quick to condemn the comment, while Young so far has not responded. Reaction came from political strategist Drew Anderson, out Indiana City Council member Ali Brown, and more.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.