The Human Rights Campaign had a special, and important, guest at its Spring Equality Convention: US Vice President Joe Biden.
The Democrat spoke to the country’s largest LGBT civil rights organization yesterday, 6 March.
In the speech, Biden noted the struggle for LGBTI equality is part of the larger work for human rights.
‘You have done more to liberate straight folks than you can possibly imagine,’ the vice president said.
He also made a connection with the 50-year anniversary of the march on Selma, Alabama and the Stonewall Riots.
On 7 March, 1965 approximately 600 civil rights activists walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. They were attacked by police; the officers used tear gas, nightsticks, and dogs.
Four years later, in 1969, the Stonewall Riots occurred in New York City after a police raid of a gay bar.
‘Although the events of Stonewall and Selma were separate movements, they were, in fact, the same movement,’ Biden explained.
While acknowledging the success of the LGBT movement on open military service and marriage rights, the vice president noted there is still more to be done. especially with discrimination laws.
‘We have to pass the federal non-discrimination legislation, and we need to pass it now,’ Biden said.
According to the HRC, a bill will be presented to the Congress, later this spring, that ‘is expected to include protections in employment, housing, public accommodations, credit, education, jury service and federal funding.’
The vice president took time to mock Republican Ben Carson. This past week, the famed neurosurgeon argued that being gay was a choice. His evidence for the theory was prison.
‘It’s kind of hard to fathom, isn’t it,’ Biden chuckled to the crowd. ‘But think of the universal ridicule. That would not have happened two years ago.’
Below is a clip of Biden’s speech.