Rush Limbaugh’s homophobic comments against Pete Buttigieg are part of a long anti-LGBTQ history

A week after receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Limbaugh repeatedly derided Buttigieg’s marriage and sexuality

Rush Limbaugh

One week after President Donald Trump awarded anti-LGBTQ right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh the Medal of Freedom during his State of the Union address, Limbaugh made several homophobic comments mocking openly gay Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg’s marriage and sexuality. But those remarks are only a small part of Limbaugh’s long history of anti-LGBTQ commentary.

On February 12, Limbaugh compared Buttigieg to “Mr. Man Donald Trump” by repeatedly mocking Buttigieg’s marriage, one day after he spent another show obsessing over an ad featuring Buttigieg “kissing his husband.” 

There was notable reaction against Limbaugh’s comments, including from hosts on ABC’s The View and presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden. CNN, though, also hosted pro-Trump, anti-LGBTQ bigot Ben Ferguson to discuss the remarks during a segment that devolved into an argument about manliness with Ferguson echoing Limbaugh’s homophobic framing.

Limbaugh has long used his talk radio show to disparage the LGBTQ community, including arguing in 2013 that if same-sex marriage was legalized, then “who’s to say you cannot have sex with a child”:

  • In 2019, Limbaugh claimed that “the entire homosexual community is going to become pro-life” if it's “discovered that homosexuality is genetic.”
  • In 2017, Limbaugh used an anti-trans slur while saying that Republicans should not “provide a comforting atmosphere for the tranny community and the gay community.”

  • In 2016, Limbaugh claimed that the Iowa LGBT Rural Summit was an attempt to “convince lesbians to become farmers” in order to “bust up one of the last geographically conservative regions in the country.”

  • In 2016, Limbaugh claimed that Washington state schools’ trans-inclusive curriculum would be “teaching transgenderism to kindergartners” as a “recruitment” tactic.

  • That same year, Limbaugh claimed that LGBTQ rights are “leading to the erosion of private property” and that “the federal government is going to have to come in and take over everything in order to guarantee civil rights.”

  • That same year, Limbaugh suggested that Roman Catholic Church sexual abuse cases in Boston were a result of “the gay infiltration of the Catholic Church.”

  • After the U.S. military lifted began to allow trans people to serve openly in the military in 2016, Limbaugh mocked trans soldiers by saying they had an “add-a-dick-to-me procedure.”

  • In 2015, Limbaugh called transgender people mentally ill and said that gender-affirming health care is “treating mental illness with mental illness.”

  • That same year, defending then-Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Limbaugh suggested that marriage equality would lead to bestiality, asking, “What happens if you love your dog?” 

  • In 2014, Limbaugh falsely claimed that the murder of Matthew Shepard was not a hate crime.

  • In 2013, according to Politico, Limbaugh said there was “a movement to normalize pedophilia” and tied it to same-sex marriage.

  • Later that year, Limbaugh said that conservatives are terrified of criticizing the LGBTQ community because of its “militant political gay element.” 

  • According to LGBTQ Nation, Limbaugh spent years deriding people with HIV and AIDS and denounced federal spending on preventing the diseases’ spread because there was no “evidence that it was spreading to the heterosexual community, not sexually anyway.”