Vice President Joe Biden says there is no longer any question that transgender people can serve in the US military.
Biden famously said on “Meet the Press” during the 2012 presidential campaign that he was “absolutely comfortable” with same-sex marriage – speaking out on the issue before President Barack Obama said he supported same-sex marriage. Although the White House says Obama supports a Pentagon review aimed at ending the transgender ban, neither Obama nor the military has said definitively that the policy will be changed.
The vice president, who is considering running for president, took a jab at Republican presidential candidates.
But Biden, during a speech on Saturday at the Human Rights Campaign’s annual gala in Washington, D.C., is already offering his unqualified support for open service. If Biden were to enter, the Iowa poll now shows Biden in third place with 22%, behind Sanders at 28% and Clinton leading with 33%. “As president, I will fight for it and I hope many of you will be with me when I sign it into law”.
Biden also echoed President Obama’s call for legislation to limit gun violence, singling out the need to reinstitute background checks and limits on the size of automatic weapons magazines that were rescinded under President George W. Bush.
“He knows he has faced that before and has always landed on his feet”, one close friend says, speaking on condition of anonymity to avoid violating Biden’s trust.
Biden’s keynote speech at the dinner mentioned everything democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton said at her morning address to the organization, but added more to the conversation.
Biden believes he would have the money and the organizational support he needs to run, including from many in the party who are not enthusiastic about Clinton’s performance as a candidate. He suggested that most Americans didn’t realize LGBT people still could get fired from a job or discriminated against when finding an apartment or house.
Mr Biden is expected to announce in the coming days whether he’ll run for U.S. president. She thanked the Human Rights Campaign for helping “change a lot of minds, including mine” on marriage equality.
A few of the fundraisers have gone public with their presidential preference.
Clinton backed her husband’s Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, and said in a Senate speech in 2004 that marriage between a man and a woman was a “fundamental bedrock principle”.
Her pivot on the issue may give her primary opponents a chance to broadcast their liberal credentials, allowing them to point out that they came to the right side of history years before Clinton.
“There are going to be Biden supporters in the gay community, but he has issues for me”, said Stone, citing the Anita Hill hearings.
Without Biden in the race, it’s impossible to know which of those scenarios – or a third or fourth possibility – is most likely.