Chasten Buttigieg posts photo kissing husband Pete in pointed tweet at Rush Limbaugh’s homophobic comments

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Graig Graziosi
·4 min read
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SOUTH BEND, INDIANA - MARCH 01: Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg kisses his husband Chasten after Chasten introduced him before a speech where he announced he was ending his campaign to be the Democratic nominee for president during a speech at the Century Center on March 01, 2020 in South Bend, Indiana. Buttigieg was the first openly-gay candidate for president. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) ***BESTPIX*** (Getty Images)
SOUTH BEND, INDIANA - MARCH 01: Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg kisses his husband Chasten after Chasten introduced him before a speech where he announced he was ending his campaign to be the Democratic nominee for president during a speech at the Century Center on March 01, 2020 in South Bend, Indiana. Buttigieg was the first openly-gay candidate for president. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) ***BESTPIX*** (Getty Images)

Chasten Buttigieg shared an image of himself kissing his husband, former Democratic presidential primary candidate and current US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg on stage, in an apparent reference to the death of conservative radio icon Rush Limbaugh, who once made homophobic comments about the couple.

During Mr Buttigieg's primary campaign, Mr Limbaugh made a comment during his radio show that he did not think the US was ready for a gay couple to lead the nation.

“Okay, how’s this going to look, 37-year-old gay guy kissing his husband onstage next to Mr. Man Donald Trump? What’s going to happen there?’” Mr Limbaugh said. “They’ve got to be saying that despite all the great progress and despite all the great wokeness, and despite all the great ground that’s been covered, America’s still not ready to elect a gay guy kissing his husband on the debate stage president.”

Mr Limbaugh thought Donald Trump would "have fun" facing off against a candidate who "kissed his husband on the debate stage."

Pete Buttigieg defended himself and his husband shortly after the radio host made the comments.

“Well, I love my husband. I’m faithful to my husband. Onstage, we usually just go for a hug, but I love him very much,” Pete Buttigieg said. “And I’m not going to take lectures on family values from the likes of Rush Limbaugh.”

Mr Limbaugh was married four times, three of which ended in divorce.

The radio host died at age 70 of complications arising from lung cancer.

At the time, then-presidential primary candidate Joe Biden defended Mr Buttigieg during an appearance on ABC's The View.

“I mean, my God,” Mr Biden said, calling it “part of the depravity of this administration.”

“Pete and I are competitors, but this guy has honor, he has courage, he is smart as hell,” Mr Biden said.

Even Mr Trump - who Mr Limbaugh supported from the start of his presidential campaign in 2016 and who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by the former president - distanced himself from the radio host's comments.

When asked if he thought Americans were ready for a gay couple in the White House, the he said "I think so."

“I think there would be some that wouldn’t. I wouldn’t be among that group, to be honest with you,” he said.

Sen. Lindsey Graham also backed away from the comments at the time.

“It’s a miscalculation as to where the country is at,” Mr Graham told The Associated Press at the time. “I think the country is not going to disqualify somebody because of their sexual orientation.”

Mr Limbaugh's controversial views were not limited to sexual orientation.

The radio host said former President Barack Obama was only elected because he is Black, and once said watching the NFL "all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons."

He often denigrated the idea of sexual consent, and criticized a policy at Ohio State University promoting verbal consent by asking "how many of you guys ... have learned that 'no' means 'yes' if you know how to spot it?"

“If there is consent on both or all three or all four, however many are involved in the sex act, it’s perfectly fine, whatever it is. But if the left ever senses and smells that there’s no consent in part of the equation then here come the rape police. But consent is the magic key to the left,” he said.

He was also critical of feminism and popularized the derogatory term "femi-nazi."

Mr Limbaugh also rejected the scientific consensus on climate change, arguing that concern over climate issues was purely a political issue.

Dr Joseph Jones, the director of the Peabody Awards, one of the top awards in broadcasting, outlined Mr Limbaugh's media legacy in a scathing review of his life's work.

"What Rush Limbaugh did to us: 1. Made opponents into true enemies 2. Revived overt and dog whistle racism 3. Stifled attempts to revive the Fairness Doctrine 4. Showed Roger Ailes the formula for right-wing broadcast success 5. Offered ignorance as "common sense" thinking," he wrote.

Mr Limbaugh's radio career spanned nearly fifty years. His show was incredibly popular among conservatives and attracted many liberal listeners as well.

In 2019, Talkers Magazine estimated that Mr Limbaugh's show regularly attracted 15.5m listeners, making it the most popular radio show in the country.

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