Mike Pence dodged questions on whether he thought being gay was sinful and a choice in an interview with CNN, in which he also accused Mayor Pete Buttigieg of attacking his faith.
“I hope that Pete will offer more to the American people than attacks on my Christian faith or attacks on the President as he seeks the highest office in the land,” Pence said, adding, “he’d do well to reflect on the importance of respecting the freedom of religion of every American.”
In a wide-ranging interview, Pence was asked about Buttigieg’s recent comments about him during the LGBTQ Victory Fund National Champagne Brunch. The Democratic presidential candidate said he wished the “Mike Pences of the world” would understand that his marriage brought him closer to God, that he didn’t choose to be gay, and that if someone has a problem with that they should take it up “with my creator.”
Pence said he and the mayor worked together closely back when he was the governor of Indiana, and that he considered him a friend. When CNN’S Dana Bash tried to pin down Pence’s specific beliefs, he demurred.
When asked if he agreed with Buttigieg’s statement that God made him gay, Pence offered only that “all of us have our own religious convictions. Pete has his convictions, I have mine.”
“I think Pete’s quarrel is with the First Amendment. All of us in this country have the right to our religious beliefs. I’m a Bible-believing Christian,” he went on.
When pressed as to whether that included the belief that being gay is a sin, Pence said, “I’m a Bible-believing Christian. I draw my truth from God’s word.”
Buttigieg has pushed back on the notion that he’s attacking Pence over his faith, telling Ellen DeGeneres this week that he doesn’t oppose Pence’s religion, noting he is also a Christian. Instead, he explained, he is criticizing his policies.
“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, and especially in the LGBTQ community,” he said.
Pence also spoke to CNN about Trump’s continued battle for the border wall, and his use of the word “treasonous” to describe his political opponents who are against the wall. Video of that answer follows.