Respect for Marriage Act: Biden’s record on gay marriage

Much has changed since a decade ago, when then-Vice President Biden shocked the political world by announcing his support for same-sex marriage.

WASHINGTON — A decade ago, then-Vice President Joe Biden sent shockwaves through the political world and pre-empted his boss when he suddenly announced his support for same-sex marriage on national television. But not everyone is surprised.

A small group attended a private fundraiser with Biden a few weeks earlier in Los Angeles, where he revealed not only his endorsement but also his firm conclusion about a positive future for marriage. homosexuality.

He predicts, “Things are changing so quickly, it becomes politically responsible in the near future if someone says, ‘I’m against same-sex marriage.'”

“Take my word for it. And it’s my job – our job – to keep this momentum going to the inevitable.”

The day Biden envisioned may have arrived. He plans on Tuesday to sign legislation, passed by a bipartisan majority in Congress, to protect same-sex marriages – even if the Supreme Court should reconsider its ruling in favor of the right to marry. marriage of same-sex couples nationwide.

Biden’s signature will polish his legacy as an equality fighter at a time when the LGBTQ community is anxious to protect the legal changes from an inherently right-wing backlash. incitement, especially against transgender people.

Politics was a far cry from a decade ago, when gay rights activists were frustrated with President Barack Obama. He’s made some changes, such as removing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule that prevents openly gay people from serving in the military, but doesn’t accept marriage equality.

As Obama’s vice president, Biden shares the same stance. So there was some tension in April 2012 when Biden attended a fundraiser at the home of a married gay couple and their children in Los Angeles.

Chad Griffin, an activist who also helped organize the event, decided to ask Biden about it.

He told Biden: “When you arrived tonight, you met Michael and Sonny with their two beautiful children. And I wonder if you can speak frankly and honestly about your personal views regarding marriage equality.”

Biden replied: “All you have to do is look those kids in the eye. And no one can question, no one can wonder if they are cared for, nurtured, loved and nurtured. And people, what’s happening is, people are starting to see it.”

Just over two weeks later, Biden was on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” and host David Gregory asked if he supported same-sex marriage.

Biden said the problem stems from “are you loyal to the one you love? And that’s what people are figuring out what all marriages, at their roots, are for, no matter what. it’s a lesbian or gay, or heterosexual marriage.”

Biden said the president, not him, “sets the policy.” But he said same-sex couples should have “all civil rights, all civil liberties.”

It was an unusually unplanned moment in Washington.

For Biden, “every political activity is personal,” said Bruce Reed, the White House deputy chief of staff and chief of staff in Biden’s office of vice president. “And I think that’s what prompted him to speak his mind.”

Not everyone is satisfied. Obama was one step behind his vice president, and three days later gave an interview to reveal his own support for same-sex marriage. He said Biden was “a bit skateboarding” but had no hard feelings.

The following year, the Supreme Court ruled that the Protection of Marriage Act was unconstitutional, and Jim Obergefell proposed to his life partner, John Arthur.

They married in Maryland, where it was legal, but their home state of Ohio did not recognize their union. Although Arthur is dead, their legal battle continues to the Supreme Court. Obergefell first met Biden in 2015.

“I just remember going up to him and he hugged me and the first words he said were condolences for my husband’s passing,” he said.

The Supreme Court soon legalized same-sex marriage nationally in a decision known as Obergefell v. Hodges.

The issue resurfaced in June when a conservative majority of the court overturned Roe v Wade, the case that legalized abortion in 1973. In a concurrence opinion, Judge Clarence Thomas wrote. that the court “should also reconsider” other precedents, including the Obergefell ruling.

Supporters believe they can muster enough Republican votes to overcome a Senate debate and defend same-sex marriage. They were right.

However, Obergefell was not satisfied.

“We now know that the rights people believe in and expect are no longer secure,” he said.

That is the common sentiment today in the face of political attacks on LGBTQ issues.

Governor Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., signed legislation limiting the ability of teachers to talk about sexual orientation or gender identity in schools. In Texas, GOP Governor Greg Abbott wants the state’s child welfare investigators to treat sex-affirmative care as a form of abuse.

Protesters, sometimes armed, appeared at events where drag queens read to children. Five people were shot dead at a gay club in Colorado last month. The suspect has been charged with hate crimes.

Biden has taken steps to protect transgender rights, such as reinstating anti-discrimination provisions that were removed by Donald Trump. He also ended a ban on transgender people serving in the military.

Sarah McBride, a transgender senator from Biden’s home state of Delaware, said it was comforting “for so many of us who feel scared, vulnerable or lonely, knowing that the leader of this country, the leader of the free world, not only sees us but embraces us.”

McBride worked for Biden’s eldest son, Beau, on his campaigns for the Delaware attorney general. Before Beau died of brain cancer in 2015, he helped pass a Delaware law that legalized same-sex marriage and banned discrimination on the basis of gender identity. McBride said the experience has deepened Biden’s own commitment to these issues and “he is continuing Beau’s legacy.”

As last month’s midterm elections approached, the White House invited Dylan Mulvaney, a Broadway performer who has documented his transgender transition on TikTok, to talk about issues transgender issue with Biden.

When asked by Mulvaney how leaders can better advocate for transgender people, Biden replied that it’s important to “meet people like you.”

“People are afraid of what they don’t know. They fear what they don’t know,” he said. “And when people realize, individuals realize, ‘Oh, this is what they’re telling me to be afraid of, this is the problem.’ I mean, people change their minds. Respect for Marriage Act: Biden’s record on gay marriage

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