Even as some politicians continue to threaten LGBTQ+ rights, Americans as a whole seem to be more supportive of the LGBTQ+ community than ever. We now have more LGBTQ people in government, including the first openly bisexual U.S. senator and Chicago’s first openly gay mayor (as of yesterday, April 2nd). And it turns out that a significant proportion of Americans are ready for a gay presidential candidate.
According to an April 2nd poll from NBC News, 68% of Americans are either enthusiastic or comfortable with the idea of a gay presidential candidate. NBC notes that this is a huge change from just 13 years ago in 2006, when only 43% said they would be either enthusiastic about or comfortable with the idea.
The number of voters open to a gay presidential candidate younger than 35 is even higher, at 75%. On the other hand, only 56% of voters older than 65 are accepting of the idea (still a majority though). It should also be noted that the poll only asked about gay and lesbian candidates, so it’s not clear if voters would be equally supportive of bisexual or transgender politicians.
According to The New York Times, more LGBTQ candidates were elected in the 2018 midterms than in any other election. And one of the Democratic candidates running for president in 2020—former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg—is openly gay and married to a man.
Ideally, 100% of Americans would be comfortable with a gay candidate, but it’s still encouraging to see progress on this important front.