Marriage correspondence matters from a ‘dollar and pennies’ perspective Pete Buttigieg

In the wake of June’s landmark Supreme Court decision overturning the federal right to abortion, many have flagged concerns that the justices could revoke other already-established rights.

In a concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas argued that the same rationale the court used to remove the right to an abortion could be used to overturn the right same-sex marriage and contraception. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has stoked the issue by arguing that the Supreme Court was “clearly wrong” when it legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015.

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During a Yahoo Finance Presents interview from his office, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg weighed in on issues related to his department such as airlines and electric vehicles. But the Cabinet member, who’s gay, also lamented that his “marriage is now somehow once again up for debate in this town.”

The business community should pay attention, he noted, because this particular issue also matters from a “dollars and cents point of view.”

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg hugs his husband Chasten Buttigieg as he arrives at the podium to announce his withdrawal from the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination during an event in South Bend, Indiana, U.S., March 1, 2020. Mandatory Credit: Michael Caterina/South Bend Tribune via USA TODAY NETWORK via REUTERS

Pete Buttigieg hugs his husband Chasten Buttigieg in 2020 (Michael Caterina/South Bend Tribune via USA TODAY NETWORK via REUTERS)

‘Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator’
Economists have extensively documented the likely costs stemming from this summer’s abortion decision. In short, thousands of women are expected to have their economic futures diminished because they’ll be forced to continue pregnancies that they otherwise would have terminated.

While discussing the economic effects of a possible same-sex marriage ban, Buttigieg drew on his experience as the mayor of South Bend, Indiana from 2012-2020. His tenure as mayor coincided with then-Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s push in 2014 to amend the state’s constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

The bill was eventually tabled by state lawmakers. “It was the revolt of a lot of business leaders, Republican and Democratic, that helped force then-governor Pence to backtrack,” Buttigieg says.

While that effort failed, Pence and his allies followed up in 2015 with a “religious freedom” bill that some individuals and businesses used to discriminate on the basis of their religious beliefs. There was another outcry from the business community when that bill was enacted with figures from local businesses up to Apple CEO Tim Cook expressing their disappointment.

Pence stood by the bill, even amid charges it damaged Indiana’s economic reputation. Buttigieg now says that his effort “was really devastating to the reputation of the business community of my state.”

Former US Vice President Mike Pence (C) speaks with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg at the Washington National Cathedral before the funeral service of former US Senator Bob Dole, on December 10, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Brendan

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg speaks with former Vice President Mike Pence at the Washington National Cathedral before the funeral service of former US Senator Bob Dole in December.

When Buttigieg ran for president in 2020, he often criticized Pence’s stance on LGBTQ rights. In one memorable speech, Buttigieg said if Pence has “a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me — your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.”

‘We have to face what message it sends to our own private sector’
On Tuesday, 220 Democrats and 47 House Republicans joined together on a bill to write same-sex marriage into the law. Buttigieg called out the 157 Republicans who voted no.