LGBT Rights More Important Than Culture, Tradition, Says VP Joe Biden

In a statement that inspired pro-LGBT communities across the globe, Vice President Joe Biden declared Tuesday that gay and lesbian rights should be given more importance than national cultures and social traditions.

According to Politico, Biden was speaking to a group of U.S. and international gay rights activist when he made the bold statement. Biden, a potential 2016 contender, emphasized that the Obama administration is clear with its promotion of pro-gay policies and rights. Biden added that the current administration’s attitude does not only extend to the LGBT movement inside the U.S., but also to the gay and lesbian communities around the world.

In response to a growing number of international policies discriminating against gays and lesbians, most notably in Russia and Uganda, Joe Biden and other top White House officials corresponded with religious, human rights, and HIV health care activists and professionals.

There have been estimates that about 80 percent of all countries in the world enforce anti-gay policies and laws.

Addressing a crowd of around 100 guests at the Naval Observatory’s vice-presidential mansion, Biden said:

“I don’t care what your culture is. Inhumanity is inhumanity is inhumanity. Prejudice is prejudice is prejudice.”

Joe Biden has been one of the most prominent pro-gay politicians in the U.S., especially after he declared his support for gay marriage in 2012. In an interview with NBC’sMeet the Press, Joe Biden expressed that he was “absolutely comfortable” with the idea of gay marriage and that he found the growing acceptance of gay and lesbians across the country heartening.

“Look, I am vice president of the United States of America. The president sets the policy. I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And quite frankly, I don’t see much of a distinction– beyond that.”

Recently, the U.S government imposed visa bans against Ugandan officials who have been observed to encourage or enforce anti-gay policies in their home country. Last year, Uganda was the center of human rights controversy after President Museveni allowed the passage of the “Kill The Gays Bill” in the Parliament of Uganda. Last May, two Ugandan gay men, Kim Mikusa and Jackson Makusa, were the first to face charges of homosexuality in the country. Despite heavy warnings from Washington to Kampala, Ugandan president Museveni insisted on a country-wide persecution of gays and lesbians.

photo credit: Barack Obama via photopin cc