Pete Buttigieg to Mike Pence: You’re using your religion as a ‘justification to harm people’

During an appearance on Ellen this Friday, Pete Buttigieg came close to officially announcing his candidacy for president, but suggested that he’s saving his announcement for another venue.

“I can think of no better place than here. Except one, which is my home town,” Buttigieg told host Ellen DeGeneres, referring to South Bend, Indiana. “We have a big event planned on Sunday and can’t wait to have as many friends and supporters as we can come, and we’re looking to make some news.”

While Buttigieg chose to remain vague about what’s to come this Saturday, he did choose to about his recent spat with Vice President Mike Pence.

When Degeneres brought up Pence’s comments regarding Buttigieg’s criticisms, the South Bend, Indiana mayor said he was referring to Pence’s policies, not his faith.

“I’m not critical of his faith, I’m critical of bad policies,” Buttigieg said. “I don’t have a problem with religion, I’m religious too. I have a problem with religion being used as a justification to harm people, especially in the LGBTQ community.”

Buttigieg said that while he doesn’t want to get wrapped up in an ongoing feud with Pence, he wants the Vice President to clarify his policies, saying “he could come out to today and say he’s changed his mind, that it shouldn’t be legal to discriminate against anybody in this country for who they are.”

He went on to talk about the importance of have diversity and “gender balance” in government.

“The next president is going to have to make sure that that administration, at the most senior levels, has gender balance. Especially if the next president turns out to be male,” Buttigieg said. “Gender balance and diversity in general, is going to be extremely important and that starts with the ticket.”

Watch the segment below, via TheEllenShow:

Featured image: screen grab (CNN/Fox News)

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