. . . and takes jabs at Republican presidential candidates
Obama’s goal of reversing the ban on transgender troops serving openly in the military seems likely to manifest itself next year. Reports suggest that the transgender ban is slated to end in May, 2016.
In keeping with the Obama policy and perhaps angling himself to run to the left of Hillary and to the right of Sanders, Joe Biden announced Saturday that he backs transgender troops openly serving.
Vice President Joe Biden is throwing his unequivocal support behind letting transgender people serve openly in the military, as the Obama administration considers whether and when to lift the longstanding ban.
Biden’s declaration at the Human Rights Campaign’s annual dinner Saturday goes further than anything the Obama administration has said before, evoking memories of when Biden outpaced President Barack Obama in endorsing gay marriage.
. . . . Biden is considering running for president. He says transgender rights are “the civil rights issue of our time.”
During the same dinner, Biden applauded gay rights activists for “changing the course of America.” The Hill reports:
“We become more of what America was meant to be,” Biden said. “All men created equal, all have a right to liberty, pursuit of happiness. We say it so often that it loses its meaning. The very fact that we finally recognize that love is not a political matter, it’s a basic human right — the fact that we’ve recognized that is because of you.”
While he has not yet announced his candidacy, he is expected to do so within the next week or so. If Saturday’s speech is any indication it would seem that, should he run, he will be using tactics similar to his comment that Republicans want to put people “back in chains.” For example, the Hill quotes Biden as stating, “There’s homophobes still left. Most of them are running for president, I think.”
He also singled out Ted Cruz for particular . . . attention, referring to an encounter with a Canadian actress regarding LGBT rights in America and addressed his position on gun control. The Hill reports:
Biden also recognized actress Ellen Page, who was in attendance, for confronting Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) at the Iowa State Fair in August over gay rights.
“By the way, Ellen, you won that debate at the Iowa State Fair,” he said. “You won that debate. There was a clear winner in Iowa.”
The vice president encouraged audience members to try to enact further societal change for those who identify as transgender.
He also made a call for gun reform legislation in the wake of a community college shooting in Oregon that left nine dead Thursday.
“If you’ll forgive me, there’s a basic human right that should concern us all,” Biden said. “I know it’s not the subject of this meeting, and that’s the freedom to be free of violence, whether at the hand of another person or at the bullet of a gun.”
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