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Joe Biden: Gay rights are ‘the civil rights issue of our day’

U.S Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the 2nd Annual Creativity Conference presented by the Motion Picture Association of America at The Newseum on May 2, 2014 in Washington, DC.
Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images

Vice President Joe Biden continues to be a leading voice within the Obama administration when it comes to LGBT rights and the right against anti-gay violence and discrimination. On Tuesday, Biden declared a focus and energy on protecting gay rights globally, especially in those civilized nations where harsh anti-gay laws threaten the equality of all humanity.

Biden addressed a gathering of about 100 U.S. and international gay rights advocates at the Naval Observatory’s vice president mansion. The message he sent was clear. President Barack Obama has directed that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the rights of LGBT men and women nationally and around the world. Biden said, “I don’t care what your culture is. Inhumanity is inhumanity is inhumanity. Prejudice is prejudice is prejudice.”

The vice president was directing his message to countries like Uganda, Russia and Brunei, three of the 80 counties with strict anti-gay laws. Last week, the U.S. reduced money to Uganda over their anti-gay laws and while similar efforts haven’t been made towards Russia and Brunei financially, the U.S. has stood up socially through boycott and protests. Many of these countries have invoked these anti-gay laws standing behind religion and the history of their culture. Biden says that cannot be an excuse for inequality and inhumane actions taken against people based on sexual orientation.

Biden also sent a warning to countries that fail to transcend into a LGBT protective focus. He said, “There is a price to play for being inhumane.” Uganda is currently feeling that price and other nations promoting anti-gay laws will soon also feel that effect. Biden made his address in front of ambassadors from Britain, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland. The White House has led by example by recently pushing forward on initiatives that assure LGBT equality in the work place and eliminate other discriminations against individuals based on sexual orientation.

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