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Buttigieg campaign facing criticism from LGBT lobby after dispute over stripper pole

Buttigieg is being criticized for bowing to "pole stigma"

Mario Tama/Getty Images

The Buttigieg campaign is facing criticism from the gay community after it cancelled a campaign event at a gay nightclub over the presence of a stripper pole.

The owners of the nightclub said the disagreement highlights how Pete Buttigieg, who is openly gay, doesn't respect the trials and tribulations of gay rights activists who came before him.

"We guess this is what the gay candidate does to the gay community! #downonthepoles #dancersforanyoneelse," the owners said on Facebook.

"We're open, we're here, we're queer, get over it!" they added.

The campaign faced other criticism over the cancellation, including that of 2010 American Pole Fitness Champion Steven Retchless.

"The pole stigma is associated with sex work, but sex workers whether they're on a pole or not are humans, too, and shouldn't be discriminated against for providing a service as old as time," Retchless told the Washington Blade. "Get over it and support the whole gay community."

The Buttigieg campaign denied snubbing the gay community in a statement released about the cancellation.

"Our commitment to LGBTQ+ spaces is strong and we always strive to hold events in inclusive spaces," the statement read. "Pete and [his husband] Chasten know first-hand how important it is for members of the LGBTQ+ community to have a safe space to gather and our campaign would never do anything to intentionally disrespect such a space."

Here's a local news video about the controversy:

www.youtube.com

[H/T: the Free Beacon]

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