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Pete Buttigieg calls out Alitos’ ‘insurrectionist symbology’ after complaint over Pride flags

Pete Buttigieg Martha wife justice Samuel Alito
Jeremy Bustin Photography/Shutterstock; ANDREW HARNIK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Secretary of Transportation laid out the difference between Pride flags and insurrectionist flags.

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U.S. Transportation SecretaryPete Buttigieg, the first gay man to hold the position, once again addressed Republican attacks on theLGBTQ+ community during an appearance on CNN Wednesday morning. Responding to recent comments by Martha-Ann Alito, wife of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, Buttigieg emphasized the importance of equality and fairness in the nation’s highest court.

During the interview withCNN’s John Berman, a just-released recording was played in which Martha-Ann Alitoexpressed her disdain for the Pride flag and her desire to replace it with a “Sacred Heart of Jesus” flag. She stated, “I want a Sacred Heart of Jesus flag because I have to look across the lagoon at the Pride flag for the next month ... but when you are free of this nonsense, I’m putting it up, and I’m going to send them a message every day.”

Buttigied replied, “Look, I’m often reminded that the most important thing in my life, which is my marriage and my family, and the two beautiful children that my husband,Chasten, and I are raising, that marriage only exists by the grace of a single vote on theUnited States Supreme Court that expanded our rights and freedoms back in 2015 and made it possible for somebody like me to get married,” Buttigieg said.

“Supreme Court justices have an unbelievable amount of power, and by the nature and the structure of the Supreme Court, there’s no supervision over that power," he continued. "They’re entrusted with it literally for as long as they live. And part of that trust is we expect them to enter into those enormously consequential decisions that shape our everyday lives with a sense of fairness.”

The Alitos havepreviously drawn criticism for their use of controversial symbols. Justice Alito came under fire for displaying an upside-down American flag, a symbol associated with the January 6 insurrection, at their home in Virginia; he said it was his wife's doing. They have also been noted for flying the “Appeal to Heaven” flag, which has historical roots dating back to the Revolutionary War but has recently been co-opted by far-right groups advocating for a Christian nationalist vision of America.

Buttigieg contrasted the Pride flag with the insurrectionist symbols displayed by the Alitos. “I also hope that most Americans can understand the difference between a flag that symbolizes love and acceptance and signals to people who have sometimes feared for their safety that they’re going to be OK and insurrectionist symbology; I’ll just leave it at that,” he said.

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Christopher Wiggins

Christopher Wiggins is a senior national reporter for The Advocate. He has a rich career in storytelling and highlighting underrepresented voices. Growing up in a bilingual household in Germany, his German mother and U.S. Army father exposed him to diverse cultures early on, influencing his appreciation for varied perspectives and communication. His work in Washington, D.C., primarily covers the nexus of public policy, politics, law, and LGBTQ+ issues. Wiggins' reporting focuses on revealing lesser-known stories within the LGBTQ+ community. Key moments in his career include traveling with Vice President Kamala Harris and interviewing her in the West Wing about LGBTQ+ support. In addition to his national and political reporting, Wiggins represents The Advocate in the White House Press Pool and is a member of several professional journalistic organizations, including the White House Correspondents’ Association, Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists, and Society of Professional Journalists. His involvement in these groups highlights his commitment to ethical journalism and excellence in the field. Follow him on X/Twitter @CWNewser (https://twitter.com/CWNewser) and Threads @CWNewserDC (https://www.threads.net/@cwnewserdc).
Christopher Wiggins is a senior national reporter for The Advocate. He has a rich career in storytelling and highlighting underrepresented voices. Growing up in a bilingual household in Germany, his German mother and U.S. Army father exposed him to diverse cultures early on, influencing his appreciation for varied perspectives and communication. His work in Washington, D.C., primarily covers the nexus of public policy, politics, law, and LGBTQ+ issues. Wiggins' reporting focuses on revealing lesser-known stories within the LGBTQ+ community. Key moments in his career include traveling with Vice President Kamala Harris and interviewing her in the West Wing about LGBTQ+ support. In addition to his national and political reporting, Wiggins represents The Advocate in the White House Press Pool and is a member of several professional journalistic organizations, including the White House Correspondents’ Association, Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists, and Society of Professional Journalists. His involvement in these groups highlights his commitment to ethical journalism and excellence in the field. Follow him on X/Twitter @CWNewser (https://twitter.com/CWNewser) and Threads @CWNewserDC (https://www.threads.net/@cwnewserdc).