However, today a majority of Americans say they're fine with an LGBT presidential candidate, according to the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. Reportedly 54 percent of people said they were "comfortable" with a gay president, while 14 percent said they were enthusiastic, making for a combined support of 68 percent.
As you might expect, older generations are more likely than younger generations to express reservations about gay candidates, yet both age groups showed increasing tolerance. The people polled younger than 35 who say they're enthusiastic or comfortable with an LGBT candidate increased by 28 percentage points. Meanwhile, 56% of seniors said they had no objections to the idea, a rise from 31 percent in 2006.
Buttigieg, a millennial, hasn't shied away from speaking about his sexuality. During a speech at the LGBTQ Victory Fund National Champagne Brunch in Washington, D.C., he reflected on his early days in politics. "You could either be openly gay or run for office, but not both," he said, per CBS News. "I would have done anything to not be gay... If you had offered me a pill to make me straight, I would have swallowed it before I could get a sip of water."
However, after returning home from Afghanistan in 2014, Buttigieg realized you only get one life, and decided to come out.
Later in his speech at the brunch, Buttigieg criticized Vice President Mike Pence, who opposed same-sex marriage and pursued anti-LGBTQ policies throughout his political career.
"My marriage to Chasten has made me a better man and yes, Mr. Vice President, it has moved me closer to God," said Buttigieg, a devout Episcopalian. "I can tell you, that if me being gay was a choice, it was a choice that was made far, far above my pay grade. And that's the thing I wish the Mike Pence's of the world could understand, that if you have a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator."