Is America Ready for a Gay First Family

May 3, 2019 Off By Michael
Gay couple sharing a quiet family moment.
Photo by Alex Suprun on Upsplash

Before former Vice President Joe Biden pushed President Barack Obama into coming out in favor of same-sex marriage, this was an unthinkable question.

Biden’s 2011 support for Gay marriage may be more of an impediment to his chances of winning the Democratic Primary in 2020 than any of the other issues raised about his four decades in public life

Obama’s support of same-sex marriage mainstreamed the union of people of the same sex. As a result, members of the LGBTQ community came out of the shadows and are aggressively flexing their political muscle. Pete Buttigieg’s candidacy all but makes it a certainty Biden will not receive the LGBTQ vote.

Given the size of the LGBTQ community, both in and out of the closet, Pete Buttigieg, Mayor of South Bend, Indiana and his husband, Chasten Glezman are poised to win the Democratic Party nomination for President. The couple married last year, just in time for Buttigieg run for President.

In 1975, I worked as the political poster for Rev. Julius C. Hope’s run for Mayor of Macon, Georgia. Pessimist dogged Hope’s campaign from the moment he announced with the chatter that “Macon is not ready for a Black Mayor.”

Our polling told us that Macon’s white community was overwhelmingly not ready for a Black person as mayor. Also, less than a quarter of the Black population agreed with Hope that the time was right for him to become mayor, despite his skin color.

Hope pressed on because he believed issues facing the Black community would not get addressed if he did not become mayor. Our polling enabled us to tailor a message which led Hope to rally 90 percent of the Black vote on Primary day. The Black majority forced a run-off election

However, in the run-off, the white community’s unreadiness over the issue of a Black mayor led to a trouncing. Twenty years later, Macon elected its first Black mayor.

While same-sex relations should not matter, America seems divided down the middle on the question of Gay marriage. Most of the Americans who oppose same-sex relationships are conservative Republicans. Perhaps the more appropriate question is whether Independent conservatives will vote to return a flawed President to the White House if the Buttigieg family is the alternative.

In 1975, I knew that Hope’s skin color should not stop him from winning the election. I knew that one day, a Black man or woman would serve as the city’s mayor.

I believe that a same-sex family will occupy the White House. I am not sure how long it will take. It could be as early as January 20, 2021. It could be longer.

While Democratic Primary voters may very well nominate Buttigieg, his candidacy may get swallowed up by the conservative tide in America.

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist. He is a Contributor at The Hill, SCLC National Magazine, Southern Changes Magazine, Medium, and Black College Nines. Contact him at