Sunday 17th October 2021
Buttigieg counters criticism
Gay US minister defends parental leave
In the US, Transport Minister Buttigieg is causing a stir because he has taken parental leave. Malice comes from the political opponent, now the democrat reacts and defends his decision – together with a small tip against a prominent critic.
US Democrats’ shooting star Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has defended his paternity leave. Buttigieg told CNN that he would not apologize to anyone for taking care of his twins. The 39-year-old and his husband Chasten adopted newborn twins this summer. Buttigieg said he was proud to have taken parental leave. He is the first openly gay federal minister in the United States.
The right-wing populist TV presenter Tucker Carlson made fun of Buttigieg on his Fox News program last week. He’s trying to figure out how to breastfeed, he scoffed. “As you can imagine, we bottle feed our children – at any time of the day or night,” said Buttigieg. It is “joyful, fulfilling, wonderful work” and everyone in the United States should have the opportunity to do so after having a child. The United States has no statutory regulation of paid parental leave – only a few states have statutory entitlements.
Buttigieg had previously reacted to Carlson’s statement and noted that it was strange that criticism came from a party that always presented itself as family-friendly. Buttigieg took parental leave in mid-August. Critics complained that the USA is currently struggling with major delivery bottlenecks – a problem that also falls within Buttigieg’s portfolio. He emphasized that he could always be reached during parental leave.
Until the end of 2019, Buttigieg was mayor of a city of 100,000 in the US state of Indiana. Buttigieg then caused a sensation as a candidate for the presidential candidacy of the US Democrats. In the primaries, however, he quickly fell behind and finally gave up his candidacy. From then on he supported the eventual election winner Joe Biden. President Biden eventually made Buttigieg his transport minister.