Speaking Saturday at the Human Rights
Campaign's (HRC) 2019 Columbus Dinner, former Vice President Joe
Biden reiterated his support for LGBT rights.
Biden, who is leading candidates vying
for the Democratic presidential nomination, called out the anti-LGBT
policies of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
“Instead of using the full might of
the executive branch to assure justice, dignity, safety for all, this
president, this White House has literally, literally a bully pulpit.
Is callously extending his power over the most vulnerable,
implementing discriminatory policies like Muslim bans, turning away
asylum seekers, putting children in cages,” Biden said.
“And the current vice president uses
religious freedom as an excuse to license discrimination across broad
areas and denying LGBTQ Americans their basic rights.”
“It's wrong and it is immoral what
they're doing. … And that's not what this country is about.”
“We have to stand up for our shared
values, come together as a nation, not exploit our differences …
but bring us together.”
“It's outrageous,” Biden continued
after noting a long list of Trump attacks on the LGBT community. “It
must, it must, it must end. And the fastest way to end it is [to] end
the Trump administration. The Trump administration has not only been
a disaster for human rights at home but around the world. Just look
at the ugliness – the anti-LGBTQ actions taken by this
administration, challenges to the right to marry, barring transgender
service members, removing Title IX protections for trans students.”
Biden concluded by saying that he would
continue to support LGBT rights even if he is not elected president.
“Your courage has given millions of
people reason to hope, inspired so many people around the world to be
said. “And I promise you, whether I'm elected or not, I'll be
back as a private citizen to make sure I stand with you in this
fight. It matters to my children. It matters to my granddaughters.
We've got to push back.”
At the event, HRC honored out actor
Jake Choi (The Sun is Also a Star, Single Parents) with
its Visibility Award.