Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg addressed Vice President Mike Pence’s religious opposition to same-sex marriage at the LGBTQ Victory Fund’s annual brunch on Sunday (April 7), reported LGBTQ Nation.

Buttigieg spoke about the experience being married to his husband Chasten and how it both made him a better person and strengthened his religious faith.

“{My marriage} has made me more compassionate, more understanding more self-aware, more decent,” Buttigieg said. “My marriage to Chasten has made me a better man.”

“And yes, Mr. Vice President, it has moved me closed to God.”

Pence has spoken out against LGBTQ rights, like the right to marry, accrediting his Christian religion to the birth of these anti-LGBTQ beliefs. However, Buttigieg – who is a Christian – said people like Pence have problems with God, not the “choice” LGBTQ people supposedly make.

“That’s the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand, that if you have a problem with who I am, your quarrel is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator,” Buttigieg said. “Speaking only for myself, I can tell you if me being gay was a choice, it was a choice that was made far, far above my pay grade.”

The mayor from Indiana also talked about the struggles he faced when he was young with being gay, according to the Washington Blade, saying his sexuality waged a “war” within him.

“If you had offered me a pill to make me straight, I would have swallowed it before you had time to give me a sip of water,” he said. “That’s a hard thing to think about now… The best thing in my life, my marriage, might now have happened at all. Thank God there was no pill.”

Buttigieg, a Navy veteran, also brought up Donald Trump’s transgender military ban, noting the president’s avoidance of the draft during the Vietnam War.

“The struggle is not over when transgender troops, ready to put their lives on the line for this country, have their careers threated with ruin one tweet at a time by a Commander-in-Chief who himself pretended to be disabled in order to get out of serving,” he said.

The speech was concluded with the answer to the question: Is American ready for a gay president?

“And so, when a reported asks me if America is ready for a gay president, I’m going to tell the truth,” Buttigieg said. “I will five them the only honest answer I can thing of, and it is this: I trust my fellow Americans, but at the end of the day there is exactly one way to find out for sure.”

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