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HORIST: Pete Buttigieg and the demise of the gay issue

HORIST: Pete Buttigieg and the demise of the gay issue

Gayness as a political issue is dead.  While it had been on its deathbed for decades, the final gasp of life was the decision by the Supreme Court to approve of gay marriages as a legitimate institution in America.  While there have been efforts to pass a constitutional amendment to declare that marriage in America is only between a man and a woman, those efforts have gained no gravitas on the left or the right.

Being gay is no longer a barrier to public office.  We have a large number of openly gay officeholders across the nation – including in Congress.  Chicago recently elected a gay female mayor and in Pete Buttigieg, we have the first credible openly gay candidate for President of the United States.  His candidacy did not nullify the issue.  Rather, it was the result of the issue having been nullified by the American public in the past.

We have to keep in mind that all those elected gay officials have been put in office by mostly straight voters.    By general demographic statistics, the newly elected mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, was elected in a city where 95 percent of the voters are straight and religious.  Despite being an obscure mayor of a small city in Indiana, Buttigieg has major support in virtually every poll and has financial contributions from millions of voters – the vast majority of whom are straight and people of faith.  America may not be ready for a gay President, but the fact that Buttigieg is in the running says something about the change in our culture.

Within less than 60 years, gay people have gone from the pariahs of society whose sexual orientation – if made public — would have ended their careers in almost any field of endeavor – even in libertine Hollywood.  If gays were portrayed in the entertainment industry, it was sick and pathetic characters or as the butt of mocking humor.  In the latter case, stereotypical gay mannerisms were standard comedic fare for generations, but it was without publicly revealing that the person was gay.  That included such personalities as Liberace, Charles Nelson Reilly and Richard Simmons.

It was at least 15 years ago when I began advising candidates for public office to avoid the issue of homosexuality.  My advice was based on pure pragmatism.  It was a losing issue.  Open gayness was already normalized in the hearts and minds of most of the American public.  The old fears and stereotypes had faded as a decisive – or even important – issue for most voters.

This is not to suggest that there are not controversial issues within the gay political agenda that need to be debated — issues such as whether the owners of a mom and pop bakery have a religious right to not participate – even as a merchant – in a gay wedding.   It is not necessarily an assault on civil rights to believe it is wrong to boycott Chick fil A – which serves the straight and gay community equally — because of the religious views of the owner.  And there is certainly a debate to be had over the use of bathrooms.

But what about the religious objection?

Most certainly the harshest religious response to homosexuality is found in Muslim-majority nations, where Shira Law calls for death sentences – and even so-called “honor killings” by family members.  Those are not the practices of ancient times.  In 2016, the Sultan of Brunei incorporated Sharia Law into the nation’s penal code that now calls for the stoning death of Muslim homosexuals and adulterers.

Christianity , for the most part, expresses moral objection to homosexuality, but with a more charitable approach – hate the sin, but love the sinner.  Within the Christian population, however, there can be a discomforting tolerance of violence against gays.  On the other hand, there are Christian denominations that accept homosexuality and will perform gay marriages.  The Episcopal Church has elevated gay clergy to its hierarchy.  Pope Francis has hinted at a more tolerant policy regarding homosexuality.  Religion, itself, is a crumbling obstacle to gay acceptance.

The acceptance of homosexuality is evident even on the political right –with the exception of a portion of the fundamentalist religious right.  This is reflected in the rise of such gay conservative activists as Milo Yiannopoulos, who brings a conservative message to college campuses, Brandon Straka, founder of the Walk-A-Way Movement that encourages Democrats to switch parties, and the increasing numbers in the Log Cabin Republicans – a GOP organization that serves the interests of gay Republicans and was only recently allowed to participate in the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).  It is noteworthy that it was largely unnoticed that President Trump appointed a gay man, Richard Grenell, as ambassador to Germany.

Looking at America in general, it is irrefutable that homosexuality has been normalized as a part of the national fabric – as it has in most of the Western World.  This cultural trend is likely to continue throughout the world as more tolerant generations rise to leadership.  One only need look at the opinions of the senior generation on this subject and those of the Millennials.

The moral objections to homosexuality that were once dominant in the American culture are now largely reserved to portions of the religious community.  Like it or not, normalization of the gay community is a pragmatic reality in terms of America’s socio-political life – and the proof is in the existence and election of so many openly gay candidates for high office by majorities of straight voters.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Jackie weatherl

    Well, I would Never, Never vote for this guy,as it is sickening to me for two of the same sex referring to their husband and wife! He referred to his creator and I did not know if his creator refers to homosexuality as an abomination of God and so is Abortion! I do hope and pray that we do not end up with these two in our White House and if so, I really prAy that Jesus has come to Rapture the Christians first, so we Christians will be gone! I look at those men as such a waste, as they could have a Normal life! it is very bad example for all of our children! God Created man and women and he created us to be different! Praise God for this! I think he will not get it! If elected, What a shame?

    • Harold

      This country was founded on CRISTian faith in the Bible, and not Man’s laws. Homosexuals that are seeking to get Man’s laws to sanction their immoral life style are living in sin. And don’t give me the BS that God blessed you marriage, the Devil did. Being in love does not make it right, try telling God that when you take your last breath. My Bible says;

      “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

      Gen. 9:1 & 7
      God instructs those who love Him to be holy, for He is holy (Lev. 20:7)
      Homosexuality, like all sin, separates people from God (Rom. 1: 26-27)
      Deuteronomy 23:2
      No one born of a forbidden marriage nor any of his descendants may enter the assembly of the LORD, even down to the tenth generation
      Corinthians 6:9 (King James Version)
      9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
      1 Corinthians 6:9 (New King James Version)
      9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals,] nor sodomites
      Romans 1:24-32

  2. mispidge

    This is complete BS…………they aren’t normal and will never be.

  3. Black Knight

    I think your article is pathetic.Running on I am gay will not get Buttigieg elected. He has no platform except he is a fruit cake. He can have all the money he wants but that is not going to buy him the presidency. He like Cortez is as dumb as a bag of rocks. All the opponents have to do is ask the question how are you going to be president if you can’t even figure out your own sex. That is a mental disorder and should not even allow him to qualify to run for office.

  4. Robert L. Kahlcke

    Hey Butthead, every time obama hears your name he gets an erection. Obama & Butthead, perfect together, lookout Moochele, you may have to go back to work or move to China to take care of your children they recently cloned.

  5. stephanie wilson

    all these means is our country is going to hell. how depressing

  6. Robert Gagliardi

    I believe the problem starts when a group of people have an advantage and they use it.The Dem’s and the Rep’s in charge have been playing illegally with illegal taxes etc.Playing against the average American.Bringing in a Gay participant or Female or any other than Old White Male is just added for confusion and more for citizens to think about instead of the Real Issues.DISTRACTIONS101 !!!!!

  7. Pepsi Cola

    y’all some real dumb

  8. John

    Pete buttcrack.

  9. DAV

    Sodom Francisco- a GAYreat suckulent city. You can have it and them !

  10. Barb Brown

    hey buttboy…this country doesn’t want you…….oprah doesn’t have enough money to pay for an election for u…take ur perverted and REALLY STUPID plans ideas and get lost.. you are a joke LOL

  11. Claude Armstrong

    Signs that Y’suah haMssiach tells us 2000 years ago, as still true now, “the end is near, becaauseas in the pre-flood day of Noah, so is it at that appointed time at the last hour of man’s rule over tiny planet earth.

  12. M. Buchs

    While a degree of mockery is acceptable in regard to the candidate, it’s better to dissect the bizarre version of history presented in the article above.
    Most times the issue of so-called ‘gay’ so-called ‘marriage’ was put to a democratic vote, the people rejected it.
    The California ballot was a typical example, when the majority said no and were promptly told by a judge known for his ‘gay’ sympathies that democracy was of no consequence.
    The same goes for the UK, where no referendum was held, and France, and Germany.
    There have been exceptions, true, as in Australia, where the ‘gay’ lobby raged against allowing people to vote, but were presumably surprised when a majority supported ‘gay’ weddings.
    I suspect that the biased media there, as biased in the USA ( think CNN), had a lot to do with it.