Showing posts with label Vice-President. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vice-President. Show all posts

November 19, 2016

Mike Pence Not A Danger to LGBT? Think Again

People who try to say Mike Pence isn't dangerous to queer people are a special kind of ignorant. It's nonsensical and infuriating that anyone could look at a man who supports conversion therapyopposes marriage equality, and doesn't believe queer people can be the victim of hate crimes and decide that he doesn't hate all LGBTQ people. Can someone please explain this to me? I don't understand this white supremacist logic that says Mike Pence is an acceptable candidate for anything other than a drink thrown in his face.
During and after the election, articles have been popping up all over the web, reminding us of Pence's history of anti-LGBTQ work, because the mainstream seems to continually drop it from his narrative. It's like they don't believe he'll do anything awful while he's in the White House as if somehow this more powerful position will offer him less influence than when he was Governor of Indiana. His actions aside--and that's a big aside--his hateful and violent words and ideologies speak for themselves. He’d rather give money to organizations that convert sexuality than those that actually support them.  
 On his Governor campaign website he said, "Congress should support reauthorization of the   Ryan White Care Act only after completion of an audit to ensure that federal dollars were no longer being given to organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus. Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.” 
Hidden behind the spectacle of Trump, people didn't pay attention to Pence. In fact, some people even found him to be the respectable and reasonable one next to Trump who could barely get through a debate without countless interruptions and tantrums. That was the media's mistake. Queer people knew who Mike Pence was from the start but people didn't want to listen to us. And now, as we fear for our futures, the same people that didn’t listen to us want to tell us that everything is going to be ok. 
It's beyond any sort of feeling of anger and indignation that non-queer people and privileged queer people can say that Pence isn't a threat. The words slither into my ears like tiny crawly bugs that I can't seem to get out. It doesn't make sense from any perspective. This isn't about emotions or bipartisan politics. This is about the fact that his track record proves without a shadow of a doubt that he will simultaneously attempt to stop us from getting any further in strides for equality and that he will try his damnedest to take away the rights and protections we do have. 
Don't let phony empathy and ignorance make you feel bad for feeling how you feel. Marginalized people are always expected to take the high road and appeal to the sensibilities of their oppressors, but forget that mess. You don't need to be ok about any of this. If someone in your life is bothered that you're afraid or if it makes them uncomfortable, that's their problem, not yours. The truth is the truth no matter how they feel. 
 The horrifying reality is that Pence has passed and supported anti-queer legislation,presented historically successful, bigoted arguments about religious freedom that queer antagonistic people eat upadvocated against womens rights, and enabled an HIV outbreak.  These aren't things we fear that he might do because of the media, these are just the things we have receipts for. Now he's one person away from being President of the United States of America and, given Trump's lack of any political history, you can be sure Pence will be doing much more than a typical Vice President. This is a legitimate reason to be afraid. 
There will be people who try to talk you down and tell you that you're overreacting and that he won't really be able to do any of the horrible things he's proposed, but at the end of the day, they're just trying to make themselves feel better. We have a serious lack of empathy in this country, and people would rather lie to themselves and others than accept dark realities and concern themselves with the lives and liberties of other people. This situation is inconvenient, painful, traumatizing, and scary. Don't listen to anyone who tries to tell you otherwise because anyone who does clearly has never been harassed or attacked for their actual or perceived gender or sexuality. In short, they have no idea what they’re talking about.

October 8, 2016

Pence Extreme Against LGBT and this is How

 If you ask Pence about this quote he will talk your ear off until you forget
the question but he will not go there

When the issue of abortion came up during the first vice presidential debate Tuesday night, Republican nominee Donald Trump's running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, gave an impassioned answer about why he's pro-life.
"For me, the sanctity of life proceeds out of the belief, that ancient principle where God says 'before you were formed in the womb, I knew you,'" Pence said of how his faith shaped his anti-abortion views. "A society can be judged by how it deals with its most vulnerable: the aged, the infirm, the disabled and the unborn."
Many who were watching the debate quickly picked up on Pence's use of the phrase "sanctity of life" and compare it to his political beliefs and policies they pointing in the opposite direction. 

 Pence doesn't seem to really care about the "sanctity" of all lives — especially LGBTQ people, the poor and refugees.

In 2015, Pence signed into a law a bill that would allow Indiana business owners to deny service to LGBTQ customers. He also once advocated for conversion therapy, a practice that is considered harmful by most medical and psychological organizations. 
Pence's war to protect unborn fetuses also had a very real consequence on the rural poor in Indiana, many of whom relied on Planned Parenthood. After gutting funding for the organization, parts of rural Indiana were left without easily accessible resources for HIV prevention, counseling and testing, leading to an outbreak, as the Chicago Tribune reported.
Following the terrorist attacks in Paris, Pence said that Indiana would notresettle Syrian refugees, saying "Indiana has a long tradition of opening our arms and homes to refugees from around the world but, as governor, my first responsibility is to ensure the safety and security of all Hoosiers."
Pence, however, does not have the authority to make such a call, according to a federal court ruling
Pence is also a staunch supporter of the death penalty, something that more than half of Americans no longer support.

Pence may seem more level-headed than Trump, but many of his views are extreme.

While Pence may seem to be a good foil to Trump’s brash and bombastic demeanor, he has a history of extreme viewpoints and policy decisions, which one can argue is actually worse than Trump's say-anything approach.
Here are some of the statements and positions Pence had has related to LGBT issues:
He said gay couples signaled ‘societal collapse’
In 2006, as head of the Republican Study Committee, a group of the 100 most-conservative House members, Pence rose in support of a constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman. Citing a Harvard researcher, Pence said in his speech, “societal collapse was always brought about following an advent of the deterioration of marriage and family.” Pence also called being gay a choice and said keeping gays from marrying was not discrimination, but an enforcement of “God’s idea.”
He opposed a law that would prohibit discrimination against LGBT people in the workplace
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act would have banned discrimination against people based on sexual orientation. Pence voted against that law in 2007 and later said the law “wages war on freedom and religion in the workplace.
More than 20 years after the bill was first introduced, the Senate approved the proposal in 2013, but the bill failed in the House. 
He opposed the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
Pence favored the longtime military policy of not letting soldiers openly identify as gay. In 2010, Pence told CNN he did not want to see the military become “a backdrop for social experimentation.” The policy ended in 2011.
He rejected the Obama administration directive on transgender bathrooms
In May, the federal government directed school districts to allow students to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with. The directive came as criticism crescendoed around a North Carolina law that would have restricted the use of bathrooms.
Along with many other conservatives, Pence opposed Obama’s directive and said it was a state issue. “The federal government has not business getting involved in issues of this nature,” Pence said.              [ TIME ]

July 25, 2016

Timothy Kaine As Liberal as They Come?

Image result for liberal stamp

For those who know Sen. Timothy M. Kaine well in his home state of Virginia, there is rich irony to the blowback from liberal advocacy groups upset that Hillary Clinton did not pick someone more progressive to be her Democratic running mate.

“Throughout his time in politics here, there has always been this question about whether Tim Kaine was too liberal for Virginia,” said Bob Holsworth, a longtime political analyst. “No one has ever suggested this was a moderate who couldn’t be counted on to support liberal values.”

Before entering politics, Kaine worked as a civil rights lawyer, focusing on housing discrimination affecting African American families and representing inmates on death row. He began his political career in 1994 by winning a seat on Richmond’s City Council, whose majority-black members selected him as mayor four years later.

In the two decades that followed, Kaine rose through the political ranks to serve as Virginia’s lieutenant governor, governor and U.S. senator.

In those positions, he successfully pushed a smoking ban in restaurants in a state where tobacco giant Philip Morris is a major employer. He advocated gun control in a state where the National Rifle Association has its headquarters. He spoke out against the death penalty in a leading state for executions. And he’s remained a close ally of labor groups in a state that prides itself on its right-to-work status.

“I don’t understand it,” said Mo Elleithee, a friend and longtime Democratic operative who once worked for Kaine. “My sense is most of the progressives who’ve been concerned don’t know him and have another candidate they would have preferred.”

The critique in recent days from national progressive groups — some with ties to Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.), the runner-up in the Democratic primaries — has focused on a handful of issues, related primarily to trade and banking. And some liberal activists have expressed dismay that Clinton passed over Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), a darling of the party’s left wing whom Clinton had dangled as a possible pick.

On Sunday, Sanders said during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he would have preferred Warren. Sanders said Kaine is more conservative than him but praised his Senate colleague for being smart and “a very nice guy.”

Winnie Wong, an Occupy Wall Street veteran who founded the group People for Bernie, said Clinton’s pick of Kaine showed “a woeful disregard to the progressives who fought so hard this year to create conditions for transformational change this country desperately needs.”

Norman Solomon, the coordinator of a group billing itself as the Bernie Delegates Network, called Kaine “a loyal servant of oligarchy.”

“If Clinton has reached out to Bernie supporters, it appears that she has done so to stick triangulating thumbs in their eyes,” said Solomon, whose organization claims to represent hundreds of Sanders delegates attending the convention in Philadelphia but is not coordinating with the campaign.

Kaine’s stance on trade has been at odds with progressive groups, particularly over the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a pending trade pact being championed by President Obama but opposed by most liberal interest groups and most liberal Democrats in Congress, including Sanders.

Kaine was one of 13 Senate Democrats who voted in June 2015 to grant Obama “fast-track” authority to push the deal through Congress.

“Why would I not give to this president the same tools to negotiate a trade deal that other presidents had?” Kaine told reporters Thursday, the day before he was picked to be Clinton’s running mate. Speaking of the deal itself, Kaine also said, “I see much in it to like.”

During her tenure as secretary of state, Clinton called the pending pact the “gold standard” of multinational trade, but she has since announced her opposition, and Kaine is expected to fall into line, citing some of the same reservations.

Kaine also drew fire from liberal groups for signing a bipartisan letter last week urging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to “carefully tailor its rulemaking” regarding community banks and credit unions so as not to “unduly burden” the institutions with regulations aimed at commercial banks.

Kaine said that the letter merely reflected the differing environments under which different kinds of financial institutions operate, but the activist network Democracy for America, which backed Sanders in the primaries, said his action should be “disqualifying” for any potential Democratic vice-presidential pick, calling it an attempt to “help banks dodge consumer protection standards.”

Holsworth, the longtime Virginia political analyst, said that part of the friction between Kaine and these groups can be attributed to an evolving definition of what it means to be a progressive.

Kaine’s progressivism is rooted in a civil rights and social justice tradition, Holsworth said.

But now “there’s a growing emphasis on more adversarial relationships with large institutions,” including Wall Street firms and large corporations, he said. “That’s not the kind of tradition Tim Kaine comes out of.”

Most governors, Holsworth argued, tend to be more sympathetic to businesses, because part of their job is attracting them to their state. And in the case of Virginia, which is home to one of the nation’s larger deep-water ports, it’s also important to understand the benefits of trade.

“There are particular issue areas where Kaine can be vulnerable to the progressive critique, but when you look at his entire career, it’s hard to say he isn’t closer to them than the Blue Dogs or other more moderate factions,” he said.

Kaine is also considered well to the left of Virginia’s senior senator, Mark R. Warner, a venture capitalist and one of the Senate’s wealthiest members. The political distance between the two is often overlooked, given that Kaine served as lieutenant governor during Warner’s tenure as governor, and some cast Kaine’s 2005 bid for governor as an extension of Warner’s service.

Neil Sroka, communications director for Democracy for America, one of the liberal groups that have been critical of Kaine, said there’s much to like about him.

“His record on civil rights and guns is unquestionable,” Sroka said, but he argued that doesn’t erase his group’s concerns. “A willingness to take on the corporate establishment is essential to this election,” he said.

Kaine’s boosters say they’ve been puzzled by the progressive groups that have spoken out against his being chosen.

Since winning his Senate seat in 2012, Kaine has won perfect or near-perfect scores from an array of liberal interest groups, reflecting a record that is in line with their positions on abortion rights, gun control, gay rights and labor interests.

In 2013, Kaine also made history with a floor speech entirely in Spanish, an address in support of an immigration law overhaul.

During her introduction of Kaine to a national audience Saturday at a rally in Miami, Clinton repeatedly called Kaine “a progressive who likes to get things done.”

Elleithee and others point to several defining moments in Kaine’s career that speak to his progressive values.

In his race for governor, for example, Kaine was hit hard by his Republican opponent, Jerry W. Kilgore, for his personal opposition to the death penalty. Kilgore ran television ads that featured family members of murdered Virginians denouncing Kaine.

Kaine countered with an ad in which he stared straight into the camera and declared his position a matter of faith — but pledged to carry out the law. As governor, he did allow executions to continue but vetoed bills seeking to expand the application of the death penalty. 

Kaine also clashed with Republican legislators early in his term when he sought to appoint an old friend and longtime labor leader to be secretary of the commonwealth, a position responsible for making thousands of appointments to state boards and commissions.

In a rare move, the House of Delegates voted down the nomination of former AFL-CIO state director Daniel G. LeBlanc, citing concerns about his long-standing opposition to “right to work” labor laws.

In an interview, LeBlanc described himself as “one of those guys who was pushing for the Democrats to be more progressive in Virginia” and praised Kaine for what he did next: appoint him to another Cabinet-level position that didn’t require confirmation by the legislature.

In that position, which LeBlanc described as a workforce development “czar,” he was able to work in areas closer to his expertise.

Kaine’s national politics also have showed a progressive bent. During the 2008 presidential cycle, he was the first governor outside of Illinois to endorse Barack Obama.

July 23, 2016

Hillary Picks her Vice President Running Mate Sen.Tim Kaine

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine is Hillary Clinton's choice for her vice president, giving her a running mate with experience at all levels of government to round out the Democratic ticket.

Clinton told supporters the news in a text message and a tweet on Friday evening just after 8 p.m. ET. According to a Clinton campaign official, the former secretary of state called Kaine this evening to make the formal offer.

In recent days, Kaine had emerged as the favorite — albeit safe — pick for Clinton, over other finalists such as Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Labor Secretary Tom Perez and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.
According to the Clinton campaign official, their vetting process first began back in April with more than two dozen potential running mates. Kaine and Clinton campaigned last week in Northern Virginia as a tryout of sorts, and Clinton walked away impressed and comfortable with him as a partner. The two met with aides and then one-on-one for a total of about 90 minutes that night.

Last Saturday, the Kaine and Clinton met together with their families for lunch at the Clintons' home in Chappaqua, N.Y. She remained comfortable with Kaine as someone who could do the job, and the alliance was made.

Kaine's addition to the ticket gives her a loyal ally who can help reach out to the Hispanic community and possibly woo disaffected independents or even some moderate Republicans turned off by Republican nominee Donald Trump.

He is a low-risk pick, comes from a swing state that has become increasingly crucial in presidential elections, has a reputation as a moderate who works across the aisle, and doesn't overshadow the top of the ticket. In fact, in an interview last month on NBC's Meet the Press, Kaine even admitted, "I am boring."

Kaine was a finalist eight years ago in President Obama's vice presidential search, and he had endorsed the then-Illinois senator early on. This time, he joined the "Ready for Hillary" bandwagon before she even announced.

The 58-year-old is a former housing lawyer who took off time from law school to work with Jesuit missionaries in Honduras, during which he became fluent in Spanish. Kaine got his start in politics on the Richmond City Council and later became the mayor of the Virginia capital. In 2001, he was elected the commonwealth’s lieutenant governor. 

Why 'Boring' Tim Kaine Might Be Exactly What Hillary Clinton Needs
In 2005, he won a hard-fought race against then-Republican Attorney General Jerry Kilgore, helped by strong margins in the Northern Virginia suburbs and exurbs. His father-in-law is also a former Virginia governor.

Kaine's tenure as governor (Virginia is the last state that still limits its governors to a single four-year term) was marked by the deadly shooting at Virginia Tech in April 2007. He was praised for his response to the shootings, gathering a panel to investigate the school's response and push for more mental health reforms.

He struggled as governor, though, as the recession hit in 2008, and he unsuccessfully tried to push through a tax hike to fund his budget proposals. He was an early supporter of President Obama in the 2008 primary over Clinton.

After Obama won, he tapped Kaine to lead the Democratic National Committee, and Kaine served as both chairman and governor for a year — something that drew some criticism within the state. He was chairman of the DNC during the disastrous 2010 midterm elections for Democrats that saw them lose the House. And his time atop the party committee may have chipped away at some his moderate credentials.

He left the DNC in 2011 but jumped back into politics in 2012 to run for the Senate. He easily defeated former Republican governor and Sen. George Allen. In the Senate, he has been praised for building relationships on both sides of the aisle, and he could help Clinton with her legislative priorities in Congress. 

Meet Mike Pence, 'Midwestern Polite' With An Unrelenting Conservative Message
Kaine sits on the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services committee and has been less hawkish than Clinton in some instances. He has said the Obama administration needed to get authorization from Congress to use force against ISIS, and he has been critical of Congress for not granting an Authorization for Use of Military Force.

Some of his more centrist positions have upset some past supporters of Clinton's former rival Bernie Sanders, many of whom wanted her to make a more progressive pick. Kaine is a supporter of free trade deals, and as his vice presidential stock began to rise, many progressive groups voiced their displeasure. But, as other observers have noted, the Minnesota native, who was raised in Kansas City, Mo., could help Clinton appeal to one of her weakest demographic areas — white, working-class men in the Rust Belt, a group where Trump has an advantage.


July 16, 2016

Pence a Homophobe Out of Step with LGBT Rights and Future Model for Business

Image result for indiana governor anti gay


Mike Pence ran for governor of Indiana in 2012, touting himself as “a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order.” That helped get him elected, but devotion to his faith put him at odds with corporate interests and a changing cultural landscape.

Pence, Donald Trump’s running mate, felt the political ground shift as normally Republican-friendly chambers of commerce and prominent Indiana employers objected to his championing efforts to ban gay marriage and sanction what the businesses saw as discrimination. They included Eli Lilly & Co. and Cummins Inc.

Pence, 57, signed a Republican-approved Religious Freedom Restoration Act in March 2015 that let businesses refuse to serve gays and lesbians on religious grounds. Businesses, including Lilly, viewed the law as legal cover for bigotry and pushed for its reversal. The controversy drew unwelcome attention to the governor and his state, prompting Moody’s Investors Service to say the measure threatened the economy and undermined tourism revenue in Indianapolis, the state’s economic engine.

Facing business-travel suspensions and boycotts, Pence and lawmakers amended the measure a week later to make clear that discrimination wouldn’t be allowed. The governor said it had “become a subject of great misunderstanding and controversy across our state and nation.”
Still, Pence’s selection by Trump has the potential of attracting religious and social conservatives to the ticket led by the thrice-married and often coarse-talking billionaire. By many measures he is the conventional companion to the unconventional candidate.

Pence, who after being named running mate abandoned his Indiana re-election bid, has seen his approval ratings drop in the past year. A May survey of 600 registered voters in the state showed 40 percent approved of his job performance while 42 percent disapproved, and he was locked in a tight contest against Democrat John Gregg, whom he defeated four years ago by 3 percentage points.
Pence’s unpopularity is due in part to his handling of gay rights issues. He also was powerless to stop the loss of 2,100 jobs from the decision in February by United Technologies Electronic Controls and Carrier Corp. to shift operations to Mexico. Trump used the announcement to argue against free trade agreements and promised to bring the jobs back to Indiana.

James Brainard, the Republican mayor of the Indianapolis suburb of Carmel, said Pence was in an almost no-win situation when he entered the Religious Freedom Restoration debate.
"I think when Pence got into it, he got into it not realizing how passionate people are on this wedge issue," Brainard said. "Could it have been done differently? Probably. But you don’t judge someone on just one issue.”

That controversy wasn’t Pence’s first run-in with Indiana’s major employers. In early 2014, two local chambers of commerce and employers led by Cummins, the world’s largest maker of big diesel engines, and Lilly, the biggest U.S. maker of insulin products, each gave $100,000 to a campaign against putting a constitutional amendment prohibiting gay unions on the November ballot.
Keep up with the race of a lifetime.
Executives for Cummins, which has 46,000 employees in more than 60 countries and its headquarters in Columbus, and Indianapolis-based Lilly, with about 38,000 workers worldwide, joined a coalition called Freedom Indiana to block the amendment. They said they need to recruit engineers, scientists and other “knowledge” workers, and that the amendment would impede them — especially when employees can work in states where gays and lesbians can marry.

A decade after voters in 11 states approved gay marriage bans, Indiana Republicans moved in 2014 to enshrine the prohibition in the state’s constitution. Large employers saw the ban as a clear message to talented workers to avoid the state. The momentum behind the measure soon died.

Pence’s setbacks in his home state reflect the reversal in public attitudes that, a decade ago, delivered big Republican political victories across the nation. As Pence was pushing for the constitutional ban, 17 states and the District of Columbia had already legalized gay marriage, and more would come. The U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in June 2015.

Historically, businesses had tended to avoid divisive cultural issues, out of fear of a backlash from employees, shareholders and customers. The fast-food chain Chick-fil-A Inc. faced calls for boycotts from supporters of gay marriage in 2012 when its chief executive said his company endorsed the “biblical definition of the family unit.”

The business blowback to Pence, a six-term congressman and former talk radio host who considered his own run for president, struck other governors who took similar stands.

Arkansas Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson was also forced to appease businesses, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., that said a so-called religious freedom bill in 2015 would allow discrimination against gays and lesbians. North Carolina Republican Governor Pat McCrory is dealing with job cancellations and boycotts after he signed a law requiring people to use bathrooms corresponding to the gender on their birth certificates.

According to Time the following is attributed to what Pence is said about LGBT:

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Donald Trump’s running mate, attracted national attention last year when he signed a religious freedom law that members of the LGBT community said could worsen discrimination against them.

After criticism from the business community, Pence signed an amendment to the law intended to protect gays and lesbians.

But it was not his first brush with criticism from the LGBT community. A self-described “Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order,” the former member of Congress was a prominent conservative figure in battles over marriage equality and equal rights in the last decade.

Here are some of the statements and positions Pence had has related to LGBT issues:

He said gay couples signaled ‘societal collapse’

In 2006, as head of the Republican Study Committee, a group of the 100 most-conservative House members, Pence rose in support of a constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman. Citing a Harvard researcher, Pence said in his speech, “societal collapse was always brought about following an advent of the deterioration of marriage and family.” Pence also called being gay a choice and said keeping gays from marrying was not discrimination, but an enforcement of “God’s idea.”

He opposed a law that would prohibit discrimination against LGBT people in the workplace

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act would have banned discrimination against people based on sexual orientation. Pence voted against that law in 2007 and later said the law “wages war on freedom and religion in the workplace.”

More than 20 years after the bill was first introduced, the Senate approved the proposal in 2013, but the bill failed in the House.

He opposed the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Pence favored the longtime military policy of not letting soldiers openly identify as gay. In 2010, Pence told CNN he did not want to see the military become “a backdrop for social experimentation.” The policy ended in 2011.

He rejected the Obama administration directive on transgender bathrooms

In May, the federal government directed school districts to allow students to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with. The directive came as criticism crescendoed around a North Carolina law that would have restricted the use of bathrooms.

Along with many other conservatives, Pence opposed Obama’s directive and said it was a state issue. “The federal government has not business getting involved in issues of this nature,” Pence said.

July 7, 2016

Trump’s Vice Presidential Possibilities (Interactive)

July 10, 2015

Biden Just Gave a Speech on SS-Marriage in NYC Sounding Like a Candidate

AP677029495748 Vice President Joe Biden.
Vice President Joe Biden may be mulling over a potential presidential campaign, but he is starting to sound a lot like a candidate.
Biden's speech on Thursday at Freedom to Marry's New York gala had all the hallmarks of a stump speech: praise for advocates, personal reflection, and a call to action.
Speaking at a celebration for the Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling, Biden lauded gay rights activists, promising to fight for equal protection laws for gay Americans, and not-so-subtly referenced his own role in helping gay marriage become legal.
"It is an incredible job that you've all done," Biden said.
At various points in the speech, Biden reflected on his own history supporting gay rights, noting his role in helping appoint Justice Anthony Kennedy — who cast the deciding vote in the gay marriage ruling — and talking about his experience learning to support gay rights as a teen. 
"This has been a heroic battle. But it's been based on this very simple proposition best expressed to me by my dad as a 17-year-old kid," Biden said.
The Vice President recalled a time when he and his father witnessed two men kissing. 
"I turned and looked at my dad, and I'll never forget what he said. 'Joey, they love each other, it's simple,'" Biden recalled.
Biden also didn't miss a chance to tout his famous interview on Meet the Press where he endorsed same sex marriage, reportedly frustrating Obama's team who had also planned on announcing the President's support for gay marriage.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Freedom to Marry gala celebration in lower Manhattan in New York.

Biden's speech also focused heavily on the fight to grant equal protection to individuals based on their sexuality.
Though he did not mention policy details, the Vice President said that the Obama administration will push to expand equal protection laws for gay Americans in the states that do not explicitly bar discrimination against sexuality.
"There are still 32 states where marriage can be recognized in the morning and you can be fired in the afternoon," Biden said.
"I want you to know that this next door will be a hell of a lot easier to open," Biden said.
Biden also touched on grander, slightly bizarre unifying themes. At various points, the Vice President thanked that the vocal gay community for helping many straight people feel more comfortable about supporting gay rights.
"[Homophobia] also intimidated millions of straight people who didn’t have a homophobic bone in their body," Biden said.
"They are free as well," Biden said.
The Vice President was careful not to steal too much of the spotlight for himself, spending most of the speech praising the strides that the marriage equality movement achieved. 
"You don't owe me or [Valarie Jarret] or the President any thanks," Biden said. "We owe you. It’s hard for me to imagine the sense of accomplishment you must feel."
Many longtime friends of the Vice President and diehard supporters are pushing Biden to get into the race. 
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Vice President's family has pushed him to enter the 2016 race, though aides have said that predictions about a run are premature. 

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