Obama’s VP Joe Biden to be honoured as ‘LGBT hero’
Former Vice President Joe Biden will be honoured as an LGBT hero for his work during the Obama administration.
Mr Biden was a massive proponent of LGBT rights during the Obama era, backing equal marriage and anti-discrimination protections before the President and standing up to leaders around the world.
It was announced today that the former Vice President will headline the Democratic National Committee’s annual LGBT Gala in New York next month.
At the June 21 event, Mr Biden will receive the inaugural LGBT hero award for his advocacy.
DNC Chair Tom Perez said: “I am very excited to join in celebrating Joe Biden for his allyship with the LGBTQ community. Joe always speaks from the heart and he’s used his platform to fearlessly champion the rights of some of the most vulnerable.
“Even 5 years ago, Vice President Biden was at the forefront of transgender equality, calling it ‘the civil rights issue of our time,’ and he fiercely condemned the Trump administration’s decision to strip protections for transgender students.
“I hope this ceremony serves as a testament to the strides we’ve made for equality and inspires us to imitate Joe Biden in our support for the LGBTQ community.”
The former Veep, who has repeatedly ruled out a run for President himself, has confessed to “run-ins with at least four heads of state” after challenging their LGBT rights records during official meetings.
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He has even famously stepped on the toes of President Obama.
He forced the President’s hand on same-sex marriage in May 2012, by backing it while the President was still officially ‘evolving’ on the issue.
A book later claimed that “chaos erupted inside the West Wing” after news of Biden’s comments – and within days Obama had also come out in favour of same-sex marriage.
Lightning struck again when the VP backed an executive order banning anti-LGBT workplace discrimination in 2014, when the President had already rebuffed calls for executive action.
Mr Biden got his way on that occasion as well, with Obama reversing his position again and signing an order just two months later.
Towards the end of his time in office, Mr Biden carried out a same-sex wedding in the White House for two gay staffers.
His support for LGBT rights was so strong that the homophobic Westboro Baptist Church picketed the funeral of his late son Beau Biden.
Mr Biden’s son had served as Attorney General of Delaware, and like his father was a staunch defender of LGBT rights, worked to successfully introduce non-discrimination laws in the state in 2013.