The White House has rebuked Mike Pence (Republican Party) for a homophobic remark he made about US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.
Pence referred to the “maternity leave” Buttigieg took, which would have caused the country to experience “postpartum depression”. The White House calls on the former vice president to apologize.
“When Pete’s two children were born, he took two months of maternity leave, stranding thousands of travellers in airports, the air traffic system going down, and planes nearly colliding in mid-air.” For example, Pence lashed out at Democrat Buttigieg last Saturday at the annual bipartisan dinner at the Gridiron Club.
Buttigieg, America’s first openly gay minister, adopted twins with his husband in September 2021 and took two months off. That made him, according to Pence, “the only person in history to have a child, and the rest of us have postpartum depression.”
The Gridiron dinner typically lends itself to light-hearted speeches and jokes, but Pence went too far, according to the White House. “The former vice president’s homophobic joke about Secretary Buttigieg was offensive and inappropriate, especially since he laughed at women with postpartum depression,” President Joe Biden’s press officer Karine Jean-Pierre said Monday.
“He should apologize to women and the LGBTQ+ community, who have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.” But the question is whether Pence will. His former chief of staff, Marc Short, responded on Twitter that the White House should “spare America from false disgrace.” Pence, who may be running for president in 2024, also lashed out at other potential candidates during the dinner, including Donald Trump, his former boss.