Joe Biden addresses LGBTQ community, calls Trump a bully
Former Vice President Joe Biden made an appearance at the dinner organized by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), where he spoke out against President Donald Trump and his bullying of the LGBT community.
The dinner was hosted by the country’s largest LGBTQ civil rights group last Saturday, which honored Academy Award-winning actress Anne Hathaway with the HRC National Equality Award.
Biden was the headliner for the event, following Hillary Rodham Clinton’s appearance at last year’s HRC dinner. His wife, Jill Biden, introduced the former 47th vice president.
Joe Biden takes on Trump
Biden followed in the footsteps of former President Barack Obama, who recently criticized Trump in public for his divisive policies.
In his speech, Biden said: “Instead of using the full might of the executive branch to secure justice, dignity, and safety for all, the President uses the White House as a literal, literal bully pulpit, callously exerting his power over those who have little or none>”
He also said that under Trump, “forces of intolerance remain determined to undermine and roll back the progress” made by the LGBTQ community.
Obama had earlier spoke before students at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign and said Trump is “capitalizing on resentment that politicians have been fanning for years.”
Joe Biden on backing marriage equality
Biden also lamented on not backing marriage equality earlier during his term as vice-president.
Speaking of the time when he had partnered with Obama as his running mate in 2008, Biden said: “I would not affirmatively make the case [for marriage equality], but if I was asked, I would not remain silent.”
Biden went on to support marriage equality in 2012, which he later admitted before the HRC audience was “very late.” Obama later followed with his own declaration of support.
He likewise compared “the disease of homophobia” to the cancer that led to the death of his son, Beau Biden, and declared: “We can end it.”
Other guests at the HRC event
Aside from Biden and Hathaway, other guests at the 22nd annual HRC National Dinner included former Attorney General of the United States Eric Holder and Virginia Delegate Danica Roem.
Also present were Democratic candidate for Nevada Secretary of State Nelson Araujo, while rapper, actress, and Ocean’s Eight co-star Awkwafina presented the award to Hathaway.
Performing for the night was transgender advocate and artist Shea Diamond while special guests included Olympic bronze medalist Adam Rippon and comedian Dana Goldberg, among others.
Listen to Biden’s speech in the video below: