The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s most prominent LGBTQ advocacy organization, endorsed Joe Biden for president.
Today’s announcement from HRC came on the eighth anniversary of Biden’s appearance on Meet the Press in which he endorsed marriage equality. He was vice president then, and President Barack Obama made a similar statement a few days later.
“Vice President Joe Biden is the leader our community and our country need at this moment,” HRC President Alphonso David said in a press release. “His dedication to advancing LGBTQ equality, even when it was unpopular to do so, has pushed our country and our movement forward. This November, the stakes could not be higher. Far too many LGBTQ people, and particularly those who are most vulnerable, face discrimination, intimidation, and violence simply because of who they are and who they love. But rather than have our backs, Donald Trump and Mike Pence have spent the last three and a half years rolling back and rescinding protections for LGBTQ people. Joe Biden will be a president who stands up for all of us. HRC and our more than 3 million members and supporters will work day and night to ensure he is the next president of the United States.”
HRC noted that Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has a long history of advocating for LGBTQ rights, both as vice president and before that as a longtime U.S. senator from Delaware. It cited his role in passing an LGBTQ-inclusive hate-crimes law, championing funding to address HIV and AIDS, repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell,” opening military service to openly transgender people (a policy now reversed by Trump), and more.
In the Senate, he supported the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which never passed and has now been superseded by the more sweeping Equality Act. Biden has said passing the Equality Act would be one of his priorities as president. He has also committed to reversing Trump’s trans military ban and taking action to stop the epidemic of violence against trans people, especially women of color. He has called trans rights “the civil rights issue of our time.”
David announced the endorsement on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. Biden “supported marriage equality at a time when both his and President Obama’s reelection were on the line, and he made this decision when few people at the time saw it as the right political decision, but he knew that it was the right moral decision,” David told cohost Mika Brzezinski. David also elaborated on Biden’s other pro-LGBTQ positions and the Trump administration’s anti-LGBTQ actions. “We have in Joe Biden someone who is a fighter for equality,” he said.
Brzezinski concluded the interview by bringing up former Senate aide Tara Reade’s accusation that she was sexually assaulted by Biden in 1993; appearing on Morning Joe last week, Biden said no such assault ever happened. “Does anything about her accusations concern you in any way?” Brzezinski asked David.
He said survivors of assault (or alleged assault) should be listened to and taken seriously, and their allegations should be evaluated. “But in the meantime, we must mobilize to defeat Donald Trump and Mike Pence,” he said. “We cannot afford for Donald Trump to win another election. Another four years is not tenable for people like me,” for LGBTQ people in general, or for other marginalized communities. “This election is about our lives.”