Buttigieg responds to protesters yelling about 'Sodom and Gomorrah'

Presidential hopeful Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegPress: Another billionaire need not apply Saagar Enjeti dismisses Warren, Klobuchar claims of sexism Warren on winning over male voters: I was told to 'smile more' MORE (D) was confronted by two protesters shouting about the biblical cities of Sodom and Gomorrah at a campaign event Tuesday night in Iowa.

Two protesters interrupted Buttigieg, who is openly gay, during a speech in Fort Dodge, Iowa, shouting about the two cities that the Bible says were destroyed by what it calls sinful acts, including sodomy. They were both quickly shouted down by a crowd of 1,650 people chanting the South Bend, Ind., mayor’s name and escorted out of the area by security. 

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"The good news is the condition of my soul is in the hands of God, but the Iowa caucuses are up to you," Buttigieg said after the first protester was ushered away from the crowd. 

"Remember the beauty of our democracy. Everyone here gets the exact same voice and vote. Feels like the numbers are on our side," he added after the second protester was removed. 

When asked for further comment regarding the protesters, Buttigieg’s campaign directed The Hill to the candidate’s statements during the event. 

Buttigieg’s sexual orientation has been thrust into the spotlight in recent days as he feuds with Vice President Pence over the former Indiana governor’s stances on the LGBTQ community. He was particularly critical of a 2015 law Pence signed that allowed businesses to use religious liberty as a defense if they believed the government was infringing on their exercise of religion. Critics said the law would allow businesses to discriminate against the LGBTQ community.

“The vice president is entitled to his religious beliefs,” Buttigieg said Tuesday on CNN’s “New Day.” “My problem is when those religious beliefs are used as an excuse to harm other people.”

“That was a huge issue for us in Indiana when he advanced a discriminatory bill in 2015 under the guise of religious freedom that said it was lawful to discriminate, provided you invoked religion as your excuse,” he added. 

However, Buttigieg had not fielded such public and personal attacks on his sexuality during his campaign until Tuesday. 

Buttigieg has recently seen a spike in attention in a crowded Democratic primary field, surging in polls in crucial states such as Iowa and New Hampshire and seeing a boost in fundraising, hauling in more cash than other candidates with higher name recognition, including Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenOvernight Energy: BLM staff face choice of relocation or resignation as agency moves | Trump says he's 'very much into climate' | EPA rule would expand limits on scientific studies Krystal Ball credits Gabbard's upswing in 2020 race to 'feckless' Democratic establishment Outsider candidates outpoll insider candidates MORE (D-Mass.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerThe Hill's Campaign Report: Bloomberg looks to upend Democratic race Poll: Biden support hits record low of 26 percent The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump demands Bidens testify MORE (D-N.J.).