May 21, 2019

An Openly Gay Presidential Candidate Signals Quick Progression & More Questions

May 21, 2019 - Resources by |

Gay Marriage Only Became Legal In Recent Years

It was only three years ago when we wondered on this blog if American voters would vote for a divorced president. They would indeed, as Donald Trump’s romantic and personal relationship history did not hinder him on the ballots. Now, there’s another question at stake—would voters side with an openly gay Presidential candidate?

Pete Buttigieg is the mayor of South Bend, Indiana. He likes to go by the nickname “Mayor Pete,” and he’s not shying away from the fact that he’s gay, married to husband Chasten.

If this doesn’t seem like a huge moment in terms of progressive views and social issues, then take a quick step back. It was only four years ago, in 2015, that the Supreme Court made its ruling that states could not bar same sex couples from marrying.

Before that the matter of same sex marriage was handled on a state by state basis. It was just in 2009 that Vermont became the first state to legalize same sex marriage legislatively, rather than through litigation, as was the case with a Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling some five years earlier. In other words, it has only been a decade since the first state passed legislation to legalize same sex marriage, and now there’s an openly gay Presidential candidate. That’s a rather quick timeline for progress and social change.

The Democratic field of contenders is packed with people from all backgrounds, with nearly two dozen candidates throwing their hats into the ring officially. This includes numerous women, itself a huge sign of progression. After Hillary Clinton’s defeat in the 2016 election, women such as Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris are among those running.

Will Democratic supporters vote for another woman in the wake of Clinton’s loss? Will they vote for a gay candidate, or a minority candidate? Will all of the “progressive” candidates cannibalize each other’s votes, leaving a candidate such as Joe Biden left standing in the wake of the primaries? We’re not political analysts and we’re not interested in how you vote, either. But these are important questions to consider, and the results offer a view at where the country stands on social issues in 2019 and looking ahead to 2020.

All of this, and at the same time, the current conservative Supreme Court may be looking to roll back rights in other progressive areas, whether it’s the matter of abortion, LGBT rights on the whole, and potentially even same sex marriage as well.

The next few years will be very interesting from a social issue standpoint, regardless of where you personally stand on such matters. There’s a lot at stake in the next rounds of elections, and the outcomes will impact many important areas of our lives.