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 ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegThe Memo: Centrists change tone of Democratic race Poll: Biden holds 20-point lead in South Carolina Sanders reclaims second place in new 2020 poll 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 BashMichelle Obama presents Lin-Manuel Miranda with National Portrait Award Charlize Theron: We didn't want the politics to overshadow 'Bombshell' Human Rights Campaign head pushes back against idea that Buttigieg's sexuality is a barrier among black voters 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 Devi HarrisJayapal hits back at Biden on marijuana 'prohibition' Poll: Biden holds 20-point lead in South Carolina Fox News anchor apologizes for saying Booker dropped out of 2020 race MORE (D-Calif.) told CNN that same day.

— Tess Bonn