Human Rights Campaign head pushes back against idea that Buttigieg's sexuality is a barrier among black voters

Human Rights Campaign president Alphonso David pushed back against the idea that South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegLGBTQ voters must show up at the polls, or risk losing progress Buttigieg says it's time to 'turn the page' on Trump administration Sunday shows preview: Coronavirus cases surge in the Midwest; Trump hits campaign trail after COVID-19 MORE’s sexuality could be seen as an issue when it comes to winning support among some black voters.

“The claim that black voters don’t support Pete Buttigieg or anyone else because of sexual orientation is nothing more than a racist trope,” David told Hill.TV on Thursday.

“What it does is it paints the entire black community as a monolithic community that is only voting based on one factor or one identity, which is false,” he continued.

David added that such an argument also fails to acknowledge that the black community at large votes on a variety of issues, saying all of the 2020 candidates need to work to address those concerns. 

“What all the candidates have to do is make sure that they’re speaking to the communities that they want to cater to and those communities will respond but they’re not going to reject the candidate because that candidate is LGBTQ,” he told Hill.TV.

The Human Rights Campaign has not officially endorsed any of the Democratic presidential hopefuls, but David said the organization plans to do so early next year.

David’s comments follow CNN’s Dana BashDana BashTrump plays video of Biden, Harris talking about fracking at Pennsylvania rally CNN's John King: Barrett 'would be getting 70 votes or more' in Senate if nominated by another GOP president Romney calls first Trump-Biden debate 'an embarrassment' MORE asking South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn (D) Sunday about an internal Buttigieg campaign memo that concluded that the mayor’s sexuality could be an issue for black voters, particularly older black voters.

“Is Mayor Buttigieg’s struggle in the state of South Carolina because he’s gay,” Bash asked.

Clyburn responded by saying that there was “no question” that the White House hopeful’s sexuality was a problem among older African Americans, calling it a “generational” issue.

“I’m not going to sit here and tell you otherwise, because I think everybody knows that’s an issue. But I’m saying it’s an issue not the way it used to be,” he said.

Buttigieg later disputed Clyburn’s remarks, telling CNN in a separate interview that he was elected mayor of South Bend, Ind., despite the prevalence of “socially conservative Democrats.”

"It is remarkable how Americans are capable of moving past old habit, moving past old prejudices, making history, and getting the president that will serve them best regardless of the other noise that’s circling around the race,” he told CNN on Monday. 

Some of his fellow Democratic contenders also shot down the idea that older black voters are homophobic.

“To label one community in particular as being burdened by this bias as compared to others is misinformed, it’s misdirected and it’s just simply wrong,” Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisTrump plays video of Biden, Harris talking about fracking at Pennsylvania rally Overnight Defense: US, Russia closer on nuclear treaty extension after Moscow accepts warhead freeze | Khashoggi's fiancee sues Saudi crown prince | Biden nets hundreds more national security endorsements Democrats make gains in Georgia Senate races: poll MORE (D-Calif.) told CNN that same day.

— Tess Bonn