Pete Buttigieg, the transportation secretary, said on Saturday that he and his husband, Chasten, were now the parents of two children, making him the first openly gay cabinet secretary to become a parent while serving.
“We are delighted to welcome Penelope Rose and Joseph August Buttigieg to our family,” Mr. Buttigieg, 39, said in a statement on social media, sharing a photograph of his daughter and son for the first time since announcing last month that they would become parents.
In the image, the couple, seated on a hospital bed, are smiling as they each cradle a newborn. The Buttigieges did not immediately respond to a phone call seeking comment.
Mr. Buttigieg surfaced in national politics when he entered the presidential race in 2019 as mayor of South Bend, Ind. This year, Mr. Buttigieg and Chasten, 32, relocated to Washington after Mr. Buttigieg became transportation secretary, making him the first openly gay cabinet member to be confirmed by the Senate. He is also the youngest member of President Biden’s cabinet.
Mr. Buttigieg and Chasten, a former middle school teacher, wed in 2018. Since Mr. Buttigieg entered the national spotlight, they have often sought to upend perceptions of gay relationships.
“People are accustomed to politics looking a different way, and you’re here to make sure that, you know, it can look a different way,” Chasten said in an interview with The New York Times this spring.
The couple had been exploring adoption in recent months. Chasten, who wrote a memoir published in June about growing up gay in the Midwest, also recently told USA Today that the couple was navigating the process of starting a family.
“We have quite a few friends in our circle who’ve navigated that, so we’ve just been having a lot of conversations with friends and started trying to figure out what will work for us,” he said.
After the couple indicated last month that they were in the process of adopting children, activists said that the Buttigieges’ announcement could reshape assumptions of gay fatherhood.
“As parents, they will now shine a national spotlight on L.G.B.T.Q. families, who often face daunting challenges because of outdated policies that narrowly define what families are,” Annise Parker, the president of the Victory Institute, an organization that helps prepare L.G.B.T.Q. people to run for political office, said in a statement.
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