Just days after facing off against his
Republican vice presidential rival, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin,
Senator Joe Biden will be the featured speaker at a gay rights
While Biden used part of his time
during the first and only vice presidential debate Thursday to defend gay
rights, he failed to endorse marriage for gay couples.
When debate moderator and PBS anchor
Gwen Ifill asked the candidates if they supported granting benefits
to gay couples, Biden answered that he believed gay couples deserve
equal rights under the law.
“Absolutely, positively. Look, in an
Obama-Biden administration there will be absolutely no distinction
from a constitutional standpoint or a legal standpoint between a same
sex and a heterosexual couple. The fact of the matter is that under
the constitution we should be granted – same sex couples should be
able to have visitation right in the hospital, joint ownership of
property, life insurance policies, etc. That's only fair; it's what
the constitution calls for. And so we do support, we do support,
making sure that committed couples in a same sex marriage are
guaranteed the same constitutional benefits as it relates to their
property rights, their right to visitation, their rights to
insurance, their rights to ownership, as heterosexual couples do,”
Sarah Palin answered that she was
“tolerant” of gays and lesbians and does not support gay
More than 3,000 people are expected to
attend the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) Twelfth Annual National
Dinner in Washington D.C. on October 4th.
Saturday's program of political
speakers, entertainment by Jennifer Holliday and Crystal Waters, and
an award presentation to openly gay personal finance expert Suze
Orman will benefit HRC, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual
and transgender advocacy group.
“I'm honored to participate in this
event,” Biden said in a statement. “Discrimination has no place
in this country and I am proud to stand with HRC in the fight to end
it. Barack Obama and I will bring the change we need in Washington.
The Bush administration's policies have been disastrous for the LGBT
[lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] community and a McCain
administration would just mean four more years of the same.”
Biden, who has mostly supported gay and
lesbian rights in his nearly thirty-six years as Senator, has
received praise from the gay rights group in the past.
“Senator Biden's record in the United
States Senate is one of support and understanding that has been
unwavering throughout his career. In this critical election year,
his outspoken advocacy for the LGBT community is invaluable,” said
HRC President Joe Solmonese.