1977 June 18

President Carter Puts Foot in Mouth: Calls Same-Sex Relationships “Not Normal”


In a long interview on this day, in which he planned to highlight his family-friendly policies, President Jimmy Carter suggested that same-sex relationships were “not normal.” The issue came up in response to a question about allowing same-sex couples to adopt children. The comment alienated Carter’s lesbian and gay supporters.

The comments were unfortunate, because during the 1976 presidential campaign, Carter became the first major party candidate to oppose employment discrimination against homosexuals, on May 21, 1976. Also, early in his administration, a delegation of lesbian and gay activists met with his staff in the White House on March 26, 1977 — a first in American history.

The Supreme Court  ruled that same-sex marriages were constitutional on June 26, 2015.

Learn more about the history of psychiatry and homosexuality: http://www.aglp.org/gap/1_history/

Years later, Carter says the U.S. is ready for a gay president: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPVXQp3ebN4

Learn more about President Carter’s civil liberties record: Samuel Walker, Presidents and Civil Liberties From Wilson to Obama (2012)

Learn more about Carter’s post-presidential work at the Carter Center: http://www.cartercenter.org/index.html

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