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WATCH: At DNC, Pete Buttigieg details experience as gay veteran

Pete Buttigieg says his experience as an openly gay man and military veteran shows how far the U.S. has come in just a few years and how much farther it has to go.

Watch Buttigieg remarks in the player above.

The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, says when he was born in 1982, it was unthinkable for an openly gay person to seek any federal office. Yet he noted Thursday at the Democratic National Convention that he had campaigned for the presidency.

He says he did so “often with my husband at my side, winning delegates to this very convention.”

Buttigieg, a combat veteran in Afghanistan, also noted that when he joined the military, “firing me because of who I am wasn’t just possible — it was policy,” because of “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”

He said there’s still a long way to go in making America a place of healing and not exclusion, but he says if things changed so much in major social issues for the country over the last 10 years, imagine how much they could during the next.

“Joe Biden is right,” Buttigieg said. “This is a contest for the soul of the nation.”

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