On May 16, International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, Joe Biden wrote an Op-Ed in The Washington Post concerning the treatment of the LGBTQ community in America and across the globe. The article centered around the idea that Americans need to “raise awareness, stand up and speak up about anti-LGBT hate.”
Biden recounted the successes of the LGBT rights movement in America over the last decade, before going into detail about the discrimination that still exists.
“In 28 states, you can still be fired for being a lesbian, gay or bisexual—30 if you’re transgender.”
He then went into detail about the treatment of LGBT people in other countries, from Syria and Iraq to Russia, “where appalling reports recently surfaced that authorities in Chechnya were imprisoning and torturing individuals believed to be gay or bisexual”
“Violence against any person, in any form, is intolerable.”
He even struck out at homophobic and transphobic politicians, saying: “Using religion or culture to license discrimination and demonizing LGBT individuals to score political points are no more justifiable around the world than they are here at home.”
“No one should be killed, tortured, assaulted or harassed because of who they are.”
He went on to put the progress of other countries in the spotlight. Biden praised Mozambique and it’s former president Joaquim Chissano for “revis[ing] its penal code to decriminalize homosexuality” and Nepal, for “ enshrining LGBT protections in its constitution and allowing transgender individuals and other third-gender communities to choose their gender on identity documents.”
The ex-vice president urged everyone to do their part and make a difference, from business owners who can, “change the terms of the debate by highlighting the economic costs of discrimination,” to governments, who “can wield the levers of diplomacy, defense and foreign aid to promote and protect the human rights of all people.”
As for what he will do, Biden pledged to “continue to speak out for the full equality of all people” and that “The Biden Foundation has prioritized promoting LGBT equality and will use its resources to convene networks and catalyze action on issues ranging from transgender equality to LGBT youths to global human rights.”
The Bidens launched the Biden Foundation earlier this year, focusing on causes important to the former vice president, including LGBT rights. For his work promoting transgender equality, he is to receive the inaugural LGBT hero award at the Democratic National Committee’s annual LGBT Gala on June 21st.
Unfortunately, he has no intention to run for the presidency in 2020.
“Together, we will work to defend and advance the human rights of all people, and we will not rest until equality, at home, and around the world, is fully realized,” he wrote.
“Until then, to all those suffering discrimination and violence simply because of who they are or whom they love, know this: The American people are on your side.”
You can read the full piece here.