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Pete Buttigieg Slams ‘Maddening’ Republican Attacks on LGBTQ+ Community

Pete Buttigieg Slams ‘Maddening’ Republican Attacks on LGBTQ+ Community

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg speaking to a DC Metro employee

He says that issues like drag queens and beer commercials are not top of mind in conversations he has while traveling the country and speaking to everyday Americans.

As spending bill debates on Capitol Hill continued, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg strongly condemned the growing rhetoric and focus on culture war issues while passing those bills, such as anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments.

At the Department of Transportation, Buttigieg, who the Senate confirmed as the first out cabinet secretary, discussed the topic with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, NPR reports.

According to Buttigieg, he was not “very closely” paying attention to Tuesday’s fight over funding for transportation, housing, and urban development in the House of Representatives. In the session, Democrats condemned Republicans for cutting funding for three community centers, two in Pennsylvania and one in Massachusetts. All were singled out because they contained the term LGBTQ, several Democratic members toldThe Advocate.

Buttigieg said culture war issues do not represent real concerns in communities nationwide. He cited the recent Bud Light boycott by conservatives upset that trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney posted one paid partnership video on social media as well as legislation in red states that target drag performers.

“When I’m out in Wheeling, West Virginia, or Pittsburgh at the airport or anywhere else, the questions are not about beer bottles or drag queens,” he said. “The questions are about making sure that we can deliver these transportation assets that people can count on.”

Buttigieg continued, “It is maddening sometimes to look at the split screen on cable TV, and I’m trying to make sure people are aware of the literally tens of thousands of good projects we’ve already supported around the country.”

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, the top Democrat on the Appropriations Committee, called Republicans “terrorists” for moving to block funding for LGBTQ+ centers and related programs. Republicans pushed back, arguing that they were not targeting specific groups; rather, they were opposed to funding projects that, according to Maryland Republican Rep. Andy Harris, “groom” kids. He also claimed that the requirement to be a member of the LGBTQ+ community or an ally to qualify for participation in one program was discriminatory against non-LGBTQ+ people.

Several recesses were taken during the hearing as insults were traded between the members.

Buttigieg said culture war political rhetoric overshadows other issues, such as funding measures for his agency and others needed to prevent a government shutdown.

“We need to do two things, and it should not be hard to do," he said. "One is to safeguard vulnerable groups as a matter of policy, which is something we believe in as administration and is the right thing to do, and another is to keep doing the work of taking care of the basics.”

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