Pete Buttigieg’s family just doubled in size — he and husband Chasten are welcoming not just one but two bundles of joy.
The U.S. secretary of transportation announced the birth of the couple’s newborn twins on his social media platforms Saturday, writing, “Chasten and I are beyond thankful for all the kind wishes since first sharing the news that we’re becoming parents. We are delighted to welcome Penelope Rose and Joseph August Buttigieg to our family.”
He also shared a black and white photo of himself and Chasten beaming while holding Penelope and Joseph in their arms in a hospital bed.
Buttigieg previously announced that he and Chasten were parents on Twitter last month but provided very few details. “For some time, Chasten and I have wanted to grow our family. We’re overjoyed to share that we’ve become parents!” he wrote, adding that ”the process isn’t done yet.”
Buttigieg is the country’s first openly gay person to hold a Senate-confirmed position in the Cabinet. After his unsuccessful bid for president in 2020, he was sworn in as the secretary of transportation in February.
The couple’s announcement was immediately met with scores of congratulations, offers to babysit the twins and an enthusiastic welcome into the “parents of twins club” from colleagues and supporters alike.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki wrote, “Happy news we all can use.”
Sen. Mark Kelly offered he and wife Gabrielle Giffords’ congratulations in addition to one (very necessary) favor. “Congratulations Pete and Chasten! @GabbyGiffords and I are very happy for you both. We’ll send coffee.”
Legal analyst Joyce Vance also offered to babysit little Penelope and Joseph, replying, “I volunteer to babysit. I’m very good with tiny babies. Wishing you every happiness with your beautiful family.”
Buttigieg’s announcement also had celebrated film journalist Mark Harris feeling reflective.
“I’m just old enough to be slightly amazed by this, from a Cabinet secretary. It’s a reminder of how much more has to be accomplished for so many people,” he tweeted with a thumbs-up emoji.
Of course, the joy and celebration of a new baby in a loving family was also met by a small fringe group online that responded to the news with homophobic attacks, accusing the Buttigiegs of “stealing” a hospital bed and misunderstanding the custom of new fathers being present at the hospital when their children are born.
On the other hand, even Pete’s former opponent for the presidency (and alleged nemesis) Amy Klobuchar had well-wishes for his new family.
“You’re both going to make wonderful parents, congrats @Chasten and @PeteButtigieg,” she tweeted.