The Time magazine cover photo didn’t do it. Nor did the March appearance on ABC’s “The View” or a year’s worth of digital and television news stories.
It was not until Monday night — after casting her caucus vote for presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg — that an Iowa Democratic caucus voter, known only as “Geert,” first learned that the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is gay and married a man in 2018.
“Are you saying he has a same-sex partner?” the woman asked in a now viral video that has garnered almost 3 million views on Twitter. “Are you kidding?”
A person nearby confirmed that information, saying “He’s married to him, yeah,” referring to Chasten Buttigieg.
“Then I don’t want anybody like that in the White House,” the shocked caucusgoer said. “So, can I have my card back?”
Nikki van den Heever, a Buttigieg campaign precinct captain, made an effort to appeal to the voter, who was otherwise unidentified in the video.
“The whole point of it is, though, he’s a human being, right? Just like you and me, and it shouldn’t really matter,” she said.
Geert responded by asking, “Why does it say in the Bible that a man should marry a woman then?”
“I totally respect your viewpoint on this, I so totally do, but I think that we were not around when the Bible was written,” van den Heever said.
“How come this has never been brought out before?” Geert continued. “I never heard it.”
Van den Heever remained calm and responded by saying, “I guess what I would like you to just dig deep inside and think, should it matter if it's a woman or if it's a man or if they’re heterosexual or homosexual if you believe in what they say?”
Geert wasn’t buying it: “It all just went right down the toilet is where it just went.”
Neither van den Heever nor Geert could immediately be reached for comment.
Laura Hubka, the Democratic Party chair for Howard County, Iowa, tweeted her praise of van den Heever’s handling of the situation, saying she “is a wonderful example of Cresco,” referring to the Iowa town where the exchange took place, and that “this is what it’s all about.”
“I have known Geert for many years. I had no idea that she was a homophobe,” Hubka wrote in a separate tweet. “She has no social media and only has a flip phone and no cable TV.”
In yet another tweet, Hubka shared more of Geert’s back story
“She has been an interesting voter,” Hubka wrote of Geert. “She was all in for Amy but Amy wasn't viable. She went over to Pete and found out he was gay so she took her card and moved on to Warren. Out of all of the hundreds of people that caucus in Howard County. She does not represent us.” Hubka was referring to the Democratic presidential candidates Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
While the Iowa caucus results have been delayed, Buttigieg is ahead of the pack as of Wednesday morning with over 70 percent of precincts reporting — no thanks to Geert, though.