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Jimmy Carter: U.S. will soon be ready to elect gay president

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said in a recent interview with Big Think that he believes the country is at a point where it will soon be acceptable to elect a gay president. “I think the entire population of America has come tremendous strides forward in dealing with the issue of gays,” Carter said.

“Step by step we have realized that this issue of homosexuality has the same adverse and progressive elements as when we dealt with the race issue 50 years ago.”

Watch his full response to the question below:

Last week TAI profiled Fred Karger, a former political consultant who is likely to make a run for the GOP 2012 presidential nomination. Karger would be the first openly gay presidential candidate if he makes his campaign official.

Unfortunately for Karger, Carter’s statements were on the promising future of the American electorate but not a reflection on where things stand today. “I would say the answer is yes. I don’t know about next election, but I think in the near future,” Carter said.

When he spoke with TAI, Karger was aware of his position as a longshot, insurgent candidate and appeared to believe that his lasting impact might be laying the ground work for future LGBT politicians. “If I do nothing else … [I can] put a face on this issue, as opposed to what happened in previous elections like 2004, where the gay community was getting used as a political tool to strengthen the president’s reelection,” Karger said. “If I can do that I’ll have done quite a bit.”

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