Vice President Joe Biden speaks during Human Rights Campaign National Dinner at Walter E. Washington Convention Center, in Washington, Saturday, October 3, 2015.
Vice President Joe Biden is throwing his unequivocal support behind letting transgender people serve openly in the USA military, as the Obama administration considers whether and when to lift the longstanding ban.
“You left the Supreme Court no choice what so ever”, Biden said of this year’s landmark decision that made same-sex marriage legal across the U.S.
But the White House has avoided prejudging the outcome of the review, wary of criticism that Obama is imposing politically driven changes irrespective of the advice of his military commanders. “Look at the numbers”, Biden said, pointing to poll numbers that capture the public’s rapidly changing views on gay rights.
“I’m running for president to stand up for the fundamental rights of LGBT Americans”, Clinton said.
He said there were still homophobes in the country, adding, and taking aim at GOP candidates, that “most of them are running for president”.
Less than halfway into his speech, Biden moved to the work ahead.
Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton addressed the Human Rights Campaign at a breakfast earlier Saturday and is expected to appear on NBC’s Saturday Night Live. The 72-year-old grandfather just isn’t sure if he wants to do it. Biden has twice before sought the nomination, and he has proved to be an uneven campaigner.
While Biden seemed dismissive of his own White House ambitions, the crowd was vocal in their support, with at least one noticeable interruption urging the vice president to make a 2016 run.
Biden is still mourning his son Beau, the former Attorney General of Delaware who lost his fight with brain cancer this spring. Jill Biden, has said that should the vice president launch a bid for the Oval Office, “of course” she would “be on board”. When an audience member interrupted with a loud shout of “you should run“, Biden quickly shifted back to a story about his dad. Dropping away from the issue at hand-gay rights-he turned to the issue of gun violence and the campus shooting last week in Oregon.
“I strongly support the Equality Act, and it will pass. It will pass. It may not pass this Congress, but it will pass because it’s simple and it’s straightforward”, Biden said, echoing Clinton’s morning remarks, and going on to discuss what work he believes will be needed to get it passed into law.