The mayor of South Bend, Ind., and 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg is making headlines once again, but this time it doesn’t have to do with his potential run — instead, it’s for marrying a couple on their way to have a baby.
On Monday, Buttigieg said he was approached by Mary and her partner, Gabe, who did not provide their last names. The couple asked Buttigieg if he could marry them.
“In my mind, I saw the rare few minutes of free time I had left vanishing and, without meaning to be discouraging, tried to hint that I did not have a lot of time for unplanned meetings,” Buttigieg said in a Facebook post.
But it’s what they told him next that changed his mind on leaving them with another person to take care of the wedding.
Mary and Gabe were on their way to get a caesarean section and were hoping to be married before Mary delivered.
“We wanted to hit our parents with both things: new grandparents, new in-laws, all at once,” Mary said from her hospital room.
She added that they were told there was no one available when they were at city hall but that they could try the mayor, as he could do marriages.
The couple had all the paperwork needed and wanted to see if Buttigieg would do the honours.
“First I was like, ‘Are you sure?’ And then I thought, ‘Well, I’m here to serve so I might as well make myself useful,'” he said.
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Buttigieg gathered some staff members to serve as witnesses, and as the couple had no rings, they used a ribbon to “do the trick.”
Minutes later, the couple were married by a man who is in the race to be the next president and were on their way to give birth.
The couple said it was a “very happy surprise,” and a little more than three hours later, Jade Katherine Jones was born.
It’s obviously not the first time Buttigieg has been in the spotlight. Recently, he came in fifth nationally in a poll for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. presidency, raised US$7 million in just the first three months of his exploratory campaign, and if elected, he’d be the first openly gay president of the United States.
For the South Bend mayor, however, it’s moments like Monday that he says he’ll miss when his term ends and are a special part of being mayor.