Video Shows Iowa Caucus-Goer Trying To Change Her Vote After Learning Pete Buttigieg Is Gay


Tuesday, February 4th 2020, 11:49 am
By: CBS News


 An Iowa caucus-goer who initially voted for Pete Buttigieg asked to change her vote after learning the Democratic candidate is gay. In the exchange with a precinct captain named Nikki van den Heever, the Iowa woman appears startled to find out Buttigieg is married to a man. 

"Are you saying he has a same-sex partner? Pete?" the unnamed woman asks. "Are you kidding?"

When the woman is told Buttigieg is married to his partner, Chasten, she says, "I don't want anybody like that in the White House."

"So, can I have my card back?" she asks, referring to her caucus voting card. 

 

Van den Heever tells the woman she doesn't know if the rules allow her to rescind her vote. Then she patiently engages the woman in a discussion of her views. "The whole point of it, though, is that he's a human being, right? Just like you and me, and it shouldn't really matter," van den Heever says.

When the voter brings up the Bible, van den Heever says Buttigieg does read the Bible and believes God doesn't choose a political party. The woman says that according to the Bible, a man should marry a woman. "Well, I totally respect your viewpoint on this... but I think that we were not around when the Bible was written," van den Heever replies. 

Though the woman was unaware of Buttigieg's personal story, the former South Bend mayor has spoken openly of coming to terms with his sexuality and meeting and marrying his husband, Chasten. Van den Heever and another voter standing nearby told the woman it was "common knowledge."

Then van den Heever told her, "I guess what I would like you to do is just dig deep inside and think, should it matter if it's a woman or if it's a man, or if they're homosexual or heterosexual, if you believe what they say?"

When the woman retorts that "it all just went down the toilet," van den Heever continued to keep her cool, saying the voter is entitled to her opinion.

Van den Heever is now being praised for how she handled the situation. Filmmaker Annabel Park, who shared footage of the interaction on Twitter, called van den Heever's reaction a "masterclass in patience, persistence, and love." 

 

It is unclear if the woman in the video was able to change her vote in Monday night's Iowa caucus — the interaction was posted on Twitter in the middle of the night and Park did not post an update on what happened after the video ended.