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Biden Applauds Gay Activists in Provincetown

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Tuesday Aug 28, 2012

When Vice President Joe Biden visited Provincetown, Mass., during his campaign last weekend, he made sure to discuss LGBT issues. Not only that, but he specifically thanked gay activists for "freeing the soul of the American people," the Cape Cod Times reported.

Biden was finishing up a two-day fundraising trip to the cape with his wife Jill. On Sunday, Aug. 26, he stopped by the Pilgrim Monument and Museum and spoke to a crowd of nearly 300 people. The vice president talked for about an hour and touched on a number of issues but made sure to focus on civil rights and gay issues -- not surprisingly, as this is one of the nation's premier gay resort towns (filled with Democratic gay donors).

"Many of you have advanced civil rights at great expense," Biden said. "If I had to use one adjective to describe this community it'd be 'courage.' You have summoned the courage to speak out, to come out. We owe you."

Biden applauded LGBT activists for their effort in improving civil rights not just for themselves but the "civil rights of every straight American. You are freeing the soul of the American people," he said.

Biden's wife also spoke at the event and said equality for LGBT individuals is a long road.

The vice president didn't hesitate to bring up the state's former governor and current Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan.

"They are both decent, honorable men," he said. "But they have fundamentally different belief systems." He added that the upcoming election is a race between the "starkest contrasted candidates in recent memory" and that President Barack Obama "is determined to change the trajectory of this country." He then said that the Republican Congress has slowed down progress but "has not stopped it."

Obama voiced his support for gay marriage in May. At the time, he explained that he had previously "hesitated on gay marriage in part because I thought that civil unions would be sufficient" but "it is important for me personally to go ahead and affirm that same-sex couples should be able to get married."

But before the president endorsed marriage equality, it was Biden who said he was "absolutely comfortable" with same-sex couples who wanted to tie the knot, the Associated Press noted. Even back in 2010, Biden hinted at support for marriage equality and said on ABC's "Good Morning America" that same-sex marriage is "inevitable" because the country's views on the issue are evolving, AP also reported.

It was shortly after Biden fully endorsed same-sex marriage that Obama voiced support for full marriage equality. Many cite Biden as the catalyst for moving the needle on the president's radar.


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