2012 Election | Barack Obama | Gay Marriage | Gay Marriage Quotes | Joseph Biden

Vice President Joe Biden Is For Marriage Equality: VIDEO

Biden

This morning on Meet The Press, in an interview with David Gregory, Vice President Joe Biden announced his support of marriage equality.

Watch Joe Biden on Meet The Press AFTER THE JUMP...

Here's a transcript of the relevant part of the interview:

Gregory: You write social policy. I'm curious. You know, the president has said that his views on gay marriage, on same sex marriage, have evolved. But he's opposed to it. You are opposed to it. Have your views evolved?

Biden: Look -- I just think that, uh, the good news is that as more and more Americans come to understand what this is about, it's a simple proposition. Who do you love? Who do you love? And will you be loyal to the person you love? And that's what people are finding out. It's what all marriages, at their root, are about. Whether they're marriages of lesbians, or gay men, or heterosexuals.

That's what you believe now?

That's what I believe!

And you're comfortable with same sex marriage now?

Look. I'm Vice President of the United States of America. The president sets the policy. I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual -- men and women marrying – are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And quite frankly, I don’t see much of a distinction beyond that.

In a second term, will this administration come out behind same sex marriage? The institution of marriage?

Well, I, I can't speak to that. Uh, I, I, I, I don't know the answer to that. But I can tell you --

Sounds like you'd like to see it happen. If that's where the president ...

Well, the president continues to fight. Whether it's Don't Ask Don't Tell, or whether it is making sure, across the board, that you can't discriminate -- look at the executive orders he's put in place. Any hospital that gets federal funding, which is almost all of them, they can't deny a partner from being able to have access to their partner [who's] ill, or making the call on whether or not they, you know ... it's just, this is evolving. And by the way, my measure, David -- and I take a look at when things really began to change, is when the social culture changes. I think Will and Grace probably did more to educate the American public than almost anything anybody's ever done so far.

And I think people fear that which is different. Now they're beginning to understand, they're beginning to understand that this -- as a base! -- I, uh, was speaking to a group of gay leaders in Los Angeles last, two weeks ago. And one gentleman looked at me in the question period and said, let me ask you, how do you feel about us? And I had just walked in to the backdoor of this gay couple and their, their two adopted -- and I turned to the man who owned the house, and said: What did I do when I walked in? He said: You walked right to my children. They were seven and five, and giving you flowers. And I said, I wish every American could see the look of love those children have in their eyes for you guys, and they wouldn't have any doubt what this is about. 

This is the kind of off-the-script vice-presidential headline-making that any administration can either hurry to embrace or else attempt to slink away from. Interestingly, the Obama administration seems to be doing both. 

According to the Washington Post, a "Biden spokesperson" clarifies:

[The Vice President] was saying what the President has said previously -- that committed and loving same-sex couples deserve the same rights and protections enjoyed by all Americans, and that we oppose any effort to rollback those rights.

On Twitter, President Obama's Communications Director, David Axelrod, is more succinct:

What VP said-that all married couples should have exactly the same legal rights-is precisely POTUS's position.

Good to know.

Watch Joe Biden on Meet The Press AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. Like it or not, Obama will wait until after the election. I can understand being tired of waiting for something that we shouldn't have to wait for, but it's coming soon. He'll win the election first, and then come out for gay marriage.

    Posted by: David T | May 6, 2012 1:05:43 PM


  2. This is SOOOOOOOOOOOO not news. The first time I heard Mr. Biden say something like this was during the VP debate with Ms. Palin. It was the first time I heard someone use the Equal Protection Clause in relation to the marriage equality issue (this was before the Iowa Supreme Court, BTW). So once again "journalists" like David Gregory are boning up (heh heh) on reruns of the news rather than trying to cover real issues.

    Posted by: DougChgo | May 6, 2012 1:27:24 PM


  3. It's important to note that Biden did not "endorse" marriage equality. He simply said he's "comfortable" with it. There's a big difference there, folks.

    Posted by: Jimbo | May 6, 2012 2:05:24 PM


  4. Sigh... Lets face some facts for a moment shall we?

    1) President Obama does NOT believe in marriage equality he believes in "Separate but Equal (ish)" Civil Unions. He will not "evolve" because he is OPPOSED to Marriage equality,

    2) The President's past statements to the contrary in 1996 were the words of politician wooing campaign cash out of Chicago's Boystown, nothing more.

    3) For President Obama, speaking eloquently about an issue is in his mind, the same thing as doing something about an issue. "Not defending DOMA in court" is a nice sound byte nothing more, while the ENFORCEMENT of DOMA continues full tilt.

    4) Axelrod is an idiot. He is terrified by an issue that is already decided. The wingnuts of the GOP already firmly believe the President is 100000% FOR same sex marriage and his waffling on the issues simply confirms to the average Teabagger that the President is a liar on this issue as well as everything else. The political firewall Axelrod thinks he is holding has never actually existed.

    5) An Obama 2nd term will be NO DIFFERENT than his first on LGBT issues. The President will NEVER EVER lead on any issue, he will happily FOLLOW Congress if they do all the work, and take all the political risk. So he can show up after the battle is won, claim victory and the photo-op as he signs a bill he had nothing to do with.

    6) The White House knew exactly what they were doing when the sent the Vice President out to do that interview today. It was meant as a carrot dangled out before the GayTM so the LGBT community can be Charlie Brown taking yet another run at the football "Lucy Van Pelt/Axelrod" is holding while PROMISING (yet again) THIS time will be different...

    And finally...

    7) President Obama on his WORST day is infinitely better than Mittens Romney on ANY day. But let's not pretend that President Obama is in any way a progressive on the issue of Civil Rights.

    Posted by: daveusEricuk | May 6, 2012 2:14:13 PM


  5. Actually, the sad part is that Obama does believe in gay marriage privately. He's a smart man and his past essays he's written on the matter state his true feelings.

    The sad part comes in based on the fact he's too cowardly to ruffle feathers with the religious part of his base, specifically uber-religious Black voters.

    Posted by: Jason | May 6, 2012 2:16:22 PM


  6. Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Hold your horses here GLBTQ media! It's goes even a step further than Jimbo mentioned (who was also correct)....

    Biden just mimicked the Administration's line....just in his typically un-succinct manner. He did not say the words "I believe that all couples have the right to marry, even if they are the same sex."

    His spokesperson may have said this in the quote above, in a round about way, but that is not what Biden himself said and it is not the administration's position. So there has been no movement on this position. It is still the same: the Admin believes that those couples who ARE married under their State's laws should not be discriminated against, but there is no position on the expansion of the RIGHT to marry, nor the nationalization/federalization of this right as of the moment.

    Posted by: NVAgBoi | May 6, 2012 2:18:58 PM


  7. This is starting to annoy me.

    Do the LGBT community really want a Romney administration?

    Have patience. Obama will come out for marriage equality soon after his reelection.

    Posted by: JigsawFalling | May 6, 2012 2:33:05 PM


  8. @ JIGSAWFALLING : Agreed !

    How many times must it be said ?

    Obama may or may not come through on marriage equality.........but we sure as pfuck don't want Romney appointing replacements for Ginsberg and Bryer on SCOTUS.

    Same sex marriage is important to us.....agreed.......but all our rights will be quashed if Scalia,Thomas,Roberts & Alito get another buddy to support their extremist right wing doctrinaire interpretations of the constitution.

    Sweet Jesus, imagine the Right having two more SCOTUS justices.....

    There is only one show in town.....get on board and let's stop whinging , for the moment.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | May 6, 2012 3:01:25 PM


  9. Can we just treat this as a positive comment? Thanks.

    Posted by: Terry | May 6, 2012 3:02:51 PM


  10. What the president means when he says he is "evolving" on the issue is that he will support it when it isn't going to cause him any political trouble.

    Posted by: JC | May 6, 2012 3:21:04 PM


  11. RIght on JACKFKNTWIST. And, JC, welcome to reality (aka, Realpolitik). Be an adult and work hard for a second Obama term.

    Posted by: David R. | May 6, 2012 3:52:44 PM


  12. And guess what folks, NO ONE in a democracy gets exactly what they want. Isn't that what all those fairy tales of three wishes are about? Or better yet, listen to "Into the Woods" for the 10,000 times it deserves.

    Posted by: David R. | May 6, 2012 3:54:31 PM


  13. Obama and Biden believe in marriage equality. However, because of the election they can't endorse it for fear of marriage equality being a lightning rod to draw anti-gay forces to the polls. Bush used anti-gay legislation to get out the vote in 2004.

    Look. While Obama was a state senator in Illinois, he was pro marriage equality.

    This is politics. Look at Obama's willingness to refute DOMA.

    Romney has PLEDGED to pass an anti-marriage amendment. We've already seen him kick an openly gay campaign staff member to the curb to appease his anti-gay base.

    Posted by: Mark | May 6, 2012 4:00:17 PM


  14. Will and Grace??

    Posted by: ChrisM | May 6, 2012 4:01:21 PM


  15. @Jason...

    unlike many white gays, black voters are not single issue voters and they would support the President regardless of his stance on marriage equality.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | May 6, 2012 4:15:37 PM


  16. The bigger headline here is the acclaim for 'Will and Grace'. Who knew Sean P Hayes would help potentially influence American policy?

    Posted by: Gregoire | May 6, 2012 4:18:24 PM


  17. you show me a gay man who thinks Obama won't bring about massive change in Term Two and I'll show you a man who is blisteringly upset that a Black Liberal President is going to be responsible for the earthshaking move in LGBT Equality that his own white family and community never lifted a finger to achieve.

    truth.

    on that note, i am sorry for those of you who are going to be upset that you'll be made aware, again, that the people you've been raised to hate are the sole people responsible for your freedoms and liberties as gay men. you're in for a world of spiteful bitterness.
    i'm not. so yay :D

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | May 6, 2012 4:29:37 PM


  18. I'm glad that he reminded us he's VP because he's done nothing. Think Gore and the awful Cheney and you realize that VPs can actually do things. Name a few things that Biden has done.

    Oh, Will and Grace. Truly a hallmark of Western civilization. I'm sure that bullying, suicides, more out people, right-minded young people, and myriad other factors were insignificant in increasing acceptance. For the record, Sean Hayes is an ass in real life.

    Posted by: Paul R | May 6, 2012 4:45:25 PM


  19. Quiet as it's kept, it's not the fear that Obama will lose black religious voters but that he'll lose some of the white evangelical voters that he was able to pick up in 2008.

    With a Mormon on the ballot, the President has an opening to duplicate (or maybe even surpass) his 2008 performance among that demographic.

    sure, he didn't get 50% + 1 of the white evangelical vote over McCain but he got enough of that vote to push him over the top in Indiana and North Carolina and to give him a cushion of votes in Colorado.

    He did substantially better with the white evangelical vote than John Kerry.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | May 6, 2012 4:47:15 PM


  20. I can't believe I'm reading these snide comments about Biden referencing "Will and Grace". Christ, who cares how he came about on his thinking? He's the Vice President of the United States and he's supportive of us and our rights.

    Posted by: Terry | May 6, 2012 5:17:25 PM


  21. Obama is for marriage equality in all ways that it matters for a president... He wants to repeal DOMA and he opposes all efforts at the state and federal level to limit marriage equaility rights. In essence, the last remaining thing for him is to say he personally supports it. I honestly don't care much about that since it doesn't impact his policy stances.

    Posted by: JP | May 6, 2012 5:22:07 PM


  22. You know, this is a roundabout way of trying to "make up" for his inaction, which HE could have easily prevented. I expect this from Biden and Axelrod, because they're nothing but lemmings for Obama. The only problem is, with them so blatantly defending him, they're putting it on him, and he isn't even stepping up to the plate. If this really matters to people, he'll pay for their words. It would be better for him to come out and say it, but he won't, because he's a coward, and he DOESN'T support marriage equality.

    @JIGSAWFALLING
    Obots like you are nothing but pure annoyance, so how does it feel?
    @JACKFCKNTWIST
    I'll pass, thanks. But please, don't let me stop you from working what your mama gave you for Big O.
    And ONE MORE THING. For the past 20 of the last 31 years, Republicans have been in power, electing judges. However, we make our biggest strides in the judicial branch, but we continue to have problems in the executive and legislative branches. Now, explain to me why we have to worry about the judges that are elected. Only Scalia and Thomas pose a threat, and they were elected the longest ago of all the justices.
    As for Roberts and Alito, you need to look them up and what they've done. You'll be sorry you ever cast them in the same light as Scalia and Thomas.

    Posted by: Matt | May 6, 2012 5:51:28 PM


  23. dear insecure white gays, stop being angry at President Obama for the fact that that white conservative community you were born into doesn't want you to be gay.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | May 6, 2012 6:02:49 PM


  24. I thought that was a picture of the Tanning Mom at first.

    Posted by: cho | May 6, 2012 6:26:43 PM


  25. @TERRY:

    The quotation is this: "I think Will and Grace probably did more to educate the American public than almost anything anybody's ever done so far."

    Sure, I'm very glad Biden is voicing his support for marriage equality. But you can't ignore this. This is like saying 'Fat Albert did more for the civil rights movement than anything else.' It's a fictional show that stereotypes gays. Just because Biden is supporting us and we like his overall message doesn't mean we should let this ignorant statement go by. Let's not sell ourselves short.

    Posted by: ChrisM | May 6, 2012 7:11:23 PM


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