Buttigieg responds to protesters yelling anti-gay messages in Dallas

Democratic presidential candidate Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegGabbard hits DNC over poll criteria for debates The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch Buttigieg unveils plan to strengthen mental health care, fight addiction MORE was interrupted several times by hecklers shouting anti-gay messages during a speech Friday evening in Dallas.

The South Bend, Ind., mayor, who is gay, was speaking at the Dallas County Democratic Party's Johnson Jordan Dinner when he was interrupted several times by protesters, at least some of whom appeared to yell anti-gay messages, according to The Texas Tribune.

"Marriage is between a man and a woman," one shouted.

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"Repent," another yelled, according to a video posted to Twitter by CNN reporter DJ Judd.

Buttigieg reportedly carried on through the interruption, noting that he served in Afghanistan "to defend that man’s freedom of speech."

Buttigieg at one point deadpanned that it was a "lively room" and later added that he was "just thinking of that scripture that says bless and do not curse," the Tribune reported.

Buttigieg is the only openly gay presidential candidate running for the 2020 election and married his husband, Chasten, in 2018.

He has faced public and personal attacks for his sexuality on the campaign trail, including an incident last month in which he was confronted by two protesters in Iowa shouting biblical references.

The protesters shouted about the biblical cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, which the Bible says were destroyed by what it calls sinful acts, including sodomy. 

"The good news is the condition of my soul is in the hands of God, but the Iowa caucuses are up to you," Buttigieg responded in stride as the protesters were ushered away. "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.

Another 2020 candidate, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), apologized to his competitor for the incident on Twitter.

"Texans don’t stand for this kind of homophobia and hatred. Mayor Pete, we are grateful you came to Texas and hope to see you and Chasten back again soon," O’Rourke wrote.