Vice President and potential Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden recently addressed the Human Rights Campaign National Dinner, where he celebrated the progress that LGBT activists have achieved over the past few years and called out the Republican presidential candidates for their overt and shameless bigotry. Recognizing the significant shift in public attitudes, he remarked that “the American people are already with you. Look at the numbers” before acknowledging that there is still much work to be done: “Oh, there are homophobes still left. Most of them are running for President, I think.”
The Pew Research Center’s 2015 polling shows that 55% of Americans support same-sex marriage, while only 39% oppose it. The Republican Party represents that 39%, and every one of their candidates stands united in their opposition to granting gay Americans the rights all our citizens deserve. It is clear that the Republican Party cannot be taken seriously as offering a legitimate platform of governance. They go out of their way to champion their intolerance and prejudices, an offensive rejection of everything our nation stands for. “We become more of what America was meant to be, all men created equal, all have a right to liberty, pursuit of happiness. We say it so often that it loses its meaning. The very fact that we finally recognize that love is not a political matter, it’s a basic human right — the fact that we’ve recognized that is because of you” applauded Biden.
Biden went on to reaffirm the White House’s continued support for the Equality Act, a comprehensive anti-discrimination bill that is currently being reviewed by a subcommittee, and expressed his remorse that it’s taken us so long to extend the same benefits that straight people enjoy to LGBT Americans. His words remind us all how important this coming election is- for Democrats to take back the reins of our country and restore not only the rights all of our citizens deserve but also the ideals of acceptance and tolerance that made our country great in the first place.
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Colin Taylor is the managing editor of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.