Gay rights and religion fuel feud between Buttigieg and Pence

Indiana

Gay rights and religion are at the heart of a simmering feud between Vice President Mike Pence — and Pete Buttigieg, the Mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

Buttigieg, a Democratic presidential contender, has blasted Pence’s cultural and religious conservatism; but, Buttigieg’s tone toward the state’s Republican former governor was more muted.

The two once had a cordial relationship. Buttigieg presented Pence with a South Bend promotional T-shirt. And at ceremonial events, Pence would lavish Buttigieg with praise.

Their interactions are now under scrutiny as Buttigieg’s campaign has become a surprise hit.
As the openly gay mayor became a celebrated voice for LGBT equality, his rhetoric toward Pence has hardened.

Buttigieg has called Pence’s religious conservatism a “fanatical” ideology. But Pence says Buttigieg “knows better.”

On Sunday, Buttigieg is expected to formally launch his campaign for president. 

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