VP Joe Biden praises LGBT community at HRC Gala: “It’s been the honor of my lifetime to work alongside so many of you”
It was terrific attending last night’s Human Rights Campaign gala and seeing Vice President Joe Biden speak in person for the first time.
He was introduced by his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, who said ‘I’m so proud of Joe and his commitment. … a man who always speaks from the heart’
I was very moved by how the veep spoke about the LGBT community saying we ‘have never been silent and never lost hope even in some very difficult times. You demand respect. … Many of you paid a personal and professional price for speaking out. Every one of you in this room stepped up – I’m astonished at the bravery that resides in every one of you in this room.’
He also later said: ‘It’s been the honor of my lifetime to work alongside so many of you.’
The VP reminded the sellout crowd that they have made ‘a lot of progress in a relatively short amount of time but, guess what: There’s so much left to be done.’
Biden pointed to the fact that in far too many states LGBT people can still be fired for being who they are. He predicted that a few decades from now people will wonder: ‘How the hell was that even allowed? It’s almost beyond belief in 2014. It is bizarre, it really is. I don’t even think most Americans even know that employers can do that.’
Biden also talked about some of the anti-gay laws and atrocities being committed against LGBT people in other countries such as Russia and Uganda.
“A country that does not respect the rights of its citizens will not respect the rights of its neighbors.”
“And we’re seeing that today,” said Biden, a reference to the current crisis in Ukraine.
So how did the veep get so LGBT friendly?
It goes back a long way and the example his father set.
He remembered being in school and being taken by his father to city hall to apply for a job as a lifeguard. In the car parked in front of them, he saw two men kiss each other goodbye. He remembers his father looking at him and saying: ‘They love each other.’