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Jimmy Carter: Nation is ready for a gay president

Former President Jimmy Carter told the website Big Think that he thinks the nation is ready for an openly gay president.

Carter said since the nation is accustomed to the idea of President Obama or a President Hillary Rodham Clinton, hw wouldn’t be surprised to see similar feelings about a gay president.

Pundit James Carville asked Carter about the possibility that there has already been a gay president.

The most obvious president fitting that description is James Buchanan (1857 – 1861). The never-married Buchanan lived with Alabama Sen. William Rufus King for 15 years. Andrew Jackson and others in Washington openly referred to King as “Miss Nancy” and “Aunt Fancy.”

In the book “Lies Across America,” historian James W. Loewen published an 1844 letter Buchanan sent to a friend after King was appointed minister for France.

“I am now 'solitary and alone', having no companion in the house with me,” Buchanan wrote. “I have gone a wooing to several gentlemen, but have not succeeded with any one of them. I feel that it is not good for man to be alone, and (I) should not be astonished to find myself married to some old maid who can nurse me when I am sick, provide good dinners for me when I am well, and not expect from me any very ardent or romantic.”

Abraham Lincoln, who succeeded Buchanan, is also believed by many to have been gay. Lincoln’s sexuality was explored in a 2005 book by C.A. Tripp.

In his 1926 biography of Lincoln, Carl Sandburg in 1926 referred to the early relationship of Lincoln and his friend Joshua Fry Speed as having "a streak of lavender, and spots soft as May violets."

"Streak of lavender" was slang in the 1930s for an effeminate man, and later connoted homosexuality.

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