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Pete Buttigieg: “I Have a Lot to Repent for When It Comes to My Marriage“

Except for that one big thing.

When they go low, Pete Buttigieg always goes high.

During a live Q&A with Washington Post contributor Jonathan Capehart this week at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, the gay presidential hopeful had a particularly memorable response to public critics of his sexual orientation.

Capehart specifically brought up evangelist Franklin Graham's recent tweet that Buttigieg’s sexuality is "something to be repentant of, not something to be flaunted, praised or politicized."

“What would you say to the Franklin Grahams of the world, the Mike Pences of the world, that have an issue with the LGBT community?” the journalist asked.

“I guess I would say that we all have a lot to repent for,” Buttigieg replied. “I have a lot to repent for when it comes to my marriage–moments when I have not been as caring as I should be, moments when I’ve been selfish, moments when I’ve said a harsh word that I wish I could take back. But one thing that I absolutely should not be repentant for in the context of my marriage is the fact that I’m in love with my husband.”

The 37-year-old South Bend mayor officially announced his bid last month to become the youngest and first openly gay president of the United States.

Born in South Bend, Indiana’s fourth largest city with roughly 100,000 residents, Buttigieg is a Harvard graduate, a Rhodes scholar, and a veteran Naval lieutenant who served in Afghanistan. He was elected mayor in 2011 and, despite governing as a progressive Democrat in a very red state, was reelected for a second term.

Buttigieg came out publicly as gay in an open letter printed in the South Bend Tribune in 2015, shortly before the Supreme Court's ruling on federal marriage equality, making him Indiana's first openly gay executive and that state's highest elected official to come out.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 20: Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg (L) is introduced by his husband, Chasten Glezman Buttigieg, as he takes to the stage during a grassroots fundraiser at the Wynwood Walls on May 20, 2019 in Miami, Florida. Buttigieg is one of more than 20 candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for president. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

He married his longtime partner, teacher Chasten Glezman, last summer, and has revealed they met on a dating app. During a January press conference, Buttigieg described his marriage as “the most important thing in my life.”

At the top of his presidential campaign announcement speech, Buttigieg thanked his husband, "my love" Chasten, "for giving me the strength to do this and the grounding to be myself as we go." Chasten later joined his husband at the podium, where they embraced and shared a kiss.

If Buttigieg wins the Democratic nomination, he would become the first openly gay presidential nominee from a major political party.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

SOUTH BEND, INDIANA - APRIL 14: South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg hugs his husband Chasten Glezman announcing that he will be seeking the Democratic nomination for president during a rally in the old Studebaker car factory on April 14, 2019 in South Bend, Indiana. Buttigieg has been drumming up support for his run during several recent campaign swings through Iowa, where he will be retuning to continue his campaign later this week. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Last month at the LGBTQ Victory Fund National Champagne Brunch, Buttigieg said he wished the "Mike Pences of the world would understand that if you've got a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me—your quarrel, sir, is with my creator."

The progressive Christian candidate later addressed Vice President and former Indiana Governor Pence’s comments accusing Buttigieg of criticizing Pence's faith. "I don’t have a problem with religion," he told Ellen DeGeneres. "I’m religious, too. I have a problem with religion being used as a justification to harm people, and especially in the LGBTQ community."

Time portentously named the Buttigiegs “First Family” on a recent cover.

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