New Republic magazine pulls down homophobic op-ed about Pete Buttigieg by an openly gay literary critic

The author argued that because Buttigieg waited until his early 30s to come out as gay, he would be too preoccupied with sex and drugs to be an effective president.
Image: Pete Buttigieg
Pete Buttigieg speaks during a campaign stop in Dover, New Hampshire, on July 12, 2019.Brian Snyder / Reuters file

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
SUBSCRIBE
By Josh Lederman

The New Republic has retracted a vulgar and homophobic op-ed about Pete Buttigieg by openly gay literary critic Dale Peck.

The magazine had published the piece, titled “My Mayor Pete Problem,” on its website on Friday.

Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.

In the piece, Peck described Buttigieg as “the gay equivalent of Uncle Tom,” and he referred to the presidential candidate as “Mary Pete” throughout the column.

Peck argued that because Buttigieg waited until his early 30s to come out as gay, he would be too preoccupied with sex and drugs to be an effective president. The piece also crudely speculated about intimate details of Buttigieg’s personal life.

Almost immediately, social media erupted in widespread condemnation.

Hours later the op-ed was taken down and replaced by an editor’s note saying: “Dale Peck’s post ‘My Mayor Pete Problem’ has been removed from the site, in response to criticism of the piece’s inappropriate and invasive content. We regret its publication.”

The New Republic's editor, Chris Lehmann, added separately in a statement, "The New Republic recognizes that this post crossed a line, and while it was largely intended as satire, it was inappropriate and invasive."

The Buttigieg campaign declined to comment.

Peck, an author and literary critic whose published pieces have drawn controversy before, did not respond Saturday to a request for comment.