Appearing Saturday at a fundraiser
hosted by gay philanthropist Tim Gill and his husband Scott Miller,
former Vice President Joe Biden said that he gets more credit for
marriage equality than he deserves.
Biden, the frontrunner for the 2020
Democratic presidential nomination, announced his support for
same-sex marriage during an appearance on Meet the Press in
2012. Within days, President Barack Obama announced his support for
allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.
“I get more credit for marriage
equality than I deserve,” Bident told the crowd, estimated at
around 200 people.
“I didn't have to evolve very much,”
he added. (The Washington Blade noted in its coverage that
Biden in 1996, then a senator, voted in favor of the Defense of
Marriage Act (DOMA), which prohibited the federal government from
recognizing the legal marriages of gay couples.)
Biden also reiterated his support for
the Equality Act, a federal bill which seeks to add protections
against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender
identity to existing civil rights laws. The measure cleared the House
earlier this year.
“The first bill I want to sign is the
Equality Act because today you can be married in a number of states
on Saturday and be fired on Monday when you go into work,” Biden
“And it's gotta change,” he added.
“And most people don't even know that. If we let them know that, we
can change the law across the country.”
Gill is often credited as being the
LGBT rights movement's largest donor, having committed more than $422
million of his own money to the cause since the early 1990s.