In mid-December 2020, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden nominated former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg to be the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, thus making Buttigieg the "first openly gay man to be nominated to a Cabinet role":
Nearly a year ago in Des Moines, Pete Buttigieg hugged his husband onstage after his win in the Iowa caucuses made him the first openly LGBTQ candidate to earn delegates toward a major political party’s presidential nomination.
Now, he’s making history again as the first openly gay man to be nominated to a Cabinet role, with President-elect Joe Biden tapping Buttigieg this week as his pick for U.S. Transportation secretary.
As Buttigieg accepted the nomination, he recalled how as a 17 year old in Indiana, he watched the experience of James Hormel, who President Bill Clinton nominated as ambassador to Luxembourg in 1998 -- an appointment Senate Republicans balked at for two years in protest.
“I can remember watching the news… (and) seeing a story about an appointee of President Clinton named to be an ambassador attacked and denied a vote in the Senate because he was gay – ultimately able to serve only by a recess appointment,” he said. “And I learned something about some of the limits that exist in this country when it comes to who is allowed to belong. But just as important, I saw how those limits could be challenged."
Shortly afterwards, social media users began recirculating an image of a post supposedly documenting that evangelist Franklin Graham had called upon Buttigieg to "repent for being gay":
This image was a reproduction of a genuine tweet issued by journalist Yashar Ali (and a response to it from political strategist and commentator Ana Navarro-Cárdenas) in April 2019:
As for the substance of the tweets, ABC News reported at the time (April 2019) that:
Conservative Evangelical leader Franklin Graham is blasting South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg for being gay and is calling on the presidential hopeful to repent for his “sin.”
In a series of tweets to his 1.9 million followers, Graham said, “Mayor Buttigieg says he’s a gay Christian. As a Christian, I believe the Bible which defines homosexuality as a sin, something to be repentant of, not something to be flaunted, praised or politicized. The Bible says marriage is between a man & a woman – not two men, not two women.”
Graham, the 66-year-old son of the late Billy Graham, began his attack by referring to Buttigieg’s comments at a CNN town hall, where the mayor said “God does not have a political party” while answering a question on uniting conservative, moderate and liberal Christians behind his 2020 campaign.
Graham's tweets read as follows: