LGBTQ America reaches historic milestone

First Openly-Gay Candidate Wins Iowa Caucus

Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg made history at the Iowa caucus as the first openly-gay presidential candidate to win primary delegates toward a major party’s nomination process.

Buttigieg’s win represents just how far the LGBTQ community has come in recent decades. The mere fact that an openly-gay individual is able to run for president shows that attitudes in the U.S. toward homosexuality are changing.

“He is running for president against a notably homophobic president and administration, and — right now, in his bit of the contest — he’s winning, rising, and creating a memorable public silhouette,” said The Daily Beast Senior Editor and Writer Tim Teeman. “Wherever his campaign goes from here, Iowa represents a pivotal moment in not just simple political terms, but also about what the prospect of a Buttigieg presidency means for and to LGBTQ America,” Teeman added.

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Following Buttigieg’s landmark win at the Iowa caucus, he went on to take second place to Bernie Sanders by only two percentage points in the New Hampshire primaries.

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“The electability assumptions of political pundits are tumbling down all around us — with Pete showing in Iowa and New Hampshire that he can build broad coalitions in cities and rural areas and across the political spectrum,” Annise Parker, LGBTQ Victory Fund president and CEO said in a statement. “It shatters the notion that an openly-gay candidate can win in only the most liberal hotspots and underscores Pete’s position as the best candidate to unite Americans in defeating Donald Trump. That the historic nature of his candidacy is relatively subdued is a testament to our progress as a nation. With enormous momentum heading into the upcoming primaries, it is clear America is ready to elect its first openly gay president.”

As part of our coverage in TurnOUT: How LGBTQ Organizations Have Mobilized the Community, this project has been supported by the Solutions Journalism Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems, solutionsjournalism.org.

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