Joe Biden has responded to criticism from figures including Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon after he called anti-gay Vice President Mike Pence “a decent guy.”
During a speech at the University of Nebraska Omaha on Thursday (February 28), Biden described “a decent guy, our vice president, who stood before this group of allies and leaders and said: ‘I’m here on behalf of President Trump,’ and there was dead silence,” according to CNN.
The remarks, which were about Pence’s appearance at the Munich Security Conference last month, prompted an angry response from many who pointed out that the Vice President has a terrible record on LGBT+ rights.
Nixon was one of those who hit out at Biden’s comments. The queer actress and activist, who lost her bid to the Democratic party nomination for New York governor in September, tweeted at the former vice president: “You’ve just called America’s most anti-LGBT elected leader ‘a decent guy.’
“Please consider how this falls on the ears of our community.”
In response, Biden wrote: “You’re right, Cynthia. I was making a point in a foreign policy context, that under normal circumstances a Vice President wouldn’t be given a silent reaction on the world stage.
You’re right, Cynthia. I was making a point in a foreign policy context, that under normal circumstances a Vice President wouldn’t be given a silent reaction on the world stage.
But there is nothing decent about being anti-LGBTQ rights, and that includes the Vice President.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) February 28, 2019
“But there is nothing decent about being anti-LGBTQ rights, and that includes the Vice President.”
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Nixon replied to his tweet, saying: “Thanks @JoeBiden. Appreciate the response.
“His dehumanising of our community disqualifies @MikePence for the honorific of ‘decent,’ regardless of the context.”
— Cynthia Nixon to Joe Biden
“But please understand from where we sit, his dehumanising of our community disqualifies @MikePence for the honorific of ‘decent,’ regardless of the context.”
While he was Governor of Indiana, Pence called for HIV funding to be drained from programmes supporting LGBT+ people and given instead to groups helping people to “change their sexual behaviour.”
Joe Biden has called Mike Pence a “decent guy” before
Biden, who is yet to reveal whether he will run for president, also called Pence a “decent guy” at a rally in Illinois last year, according to CNN.
During the speech in Nebraska last week, Biden reportedly labelled Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a “good guy” as well.
Pompeo has a long record of anti-LGBT stances as a Republican lawmaker.
He attracted anger from LGBT+ activists last year when he refused to distance himself from his past comments describing gay people as a “perversion.”
The former CIA director has also insisted that he “stands by” what he called his “very clear view on whether it was appropriate for two same-sex persons to marry.”