Pete Buttigieg, the first openly gay presidential candidate to earn delegates in a major party, focused heavily on LGBT rights in a speech during the final night of the Democratic National Convention.
With a prime speaking spot in the convention’s final hour, Buttigieg addressed the audience from Lang Lab, an arts and co-working space in his hometown of South Bend, Indiana, where he and his husband, Chasten, held their wedding reception in 2018.
At one point, Buttigieg flashed his wedding band, saying that while America has often fallen short of its “promise of a place where everyone can belong,” the nation is “at its best whenever we make that circle of belonging wider.”
“The very ring on my finger — a wedding we celebrated right where I’m standing — reflects how this country can change,” Buttigieg said. “Love makes my marriage real, but political courage made it possible — including that of Joe Biden, who stepped out ahead of even this party when he said that marriage equality should be the law of the land.”
Buttigieg said the issue is “personal” for him in part because when he joined the military, the “don’t ask, don’t tell” ban on openly gay service members was still in effect.
“Now in 2020, it is unlawful in America to fire anyone because of who they are or who they love,” he said. “If so much can change between 2010 and 2020, imagine what 2030 could look like.”
“I trust Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to guide this nation toward that better future, because I have seen their commitment, and their empathy, up close. And I trust the capacity of America to grow more inclusive, because I have lived it,” Buttigieg said. “The day I was born, close to where I’m standing, here in South Bend, the idea of an ‘out’ candidate seeking any federal office at all was laughable. Yet earlier this year I campaigned for the presidency, often with my husband at my side, winning delegates to this very convention.”
More from Twitter below.