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The complete truth about Joe Biden’s LGBT record

For over four decades in Washington, Joe Biden has attacked LGBT people.



On Aug. 31, 2020 pop superstar Cher hosted a digital LGBT fundraiser for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. Joe Biden has been roundly endorsed by prominent, left-wing LGBT groups and famous personalities. Biden’s actual record, spanning over 40 years in Washington, instead shows a politician who spent his entire career attacking gay people and the LGBT community. From his persistent opposition to gay marriage, to continued support for regimes that murder homosexuals, and even suggesting gay people might be “security risks” as federal employees, Biden’s open support for LGBT rights arrived very late, even among Democrats, and well after great advances toward LGBT equality had already been made.

In the Workplace

Biden suggested that gay federal employees were “security risks”

In 1973, As a senator Joe Biden said gay people could not receive security clearances because they would be a “security risk.”  “Biden also agreed to answer later by mail a series of questions on U.S. Civil Service and military job discrimination which Robert Vane, a gay activist, presented him. ‘My gut reaction,’ Biden told Vane, ‘is that they [homosexuals] are security risks but I must admit I haven’t given this much thought…I’ll be darned!’” according to The Morning News

Biden voted for Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, which kicked 14,500 service members out of the U.S. Military

As a U.S. senator, Joe Biden supported Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. In 1993, Joe Biden voted in favor of H.R. 2401 (National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 1994) which codified the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy concerning gays in the military. 

More than 14,500 service members were discharged from the military for violating the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy between 1994 and 2011, according to the non-profit watchdog and lobby group, the Service members Legal Defense Network.

In Schools

Biden voted for an amendment to cut off federal funding for schools that taught “acceptance of homosexuality as a lifestyle”

In August 1994, Biden was one of 23 Democrats to vote for S.Amdt. 2434. The amendment “cut off federal funds to any school district that teaches acceptance of homosexuality as a lifestyle.” The 63-36 vote came during debate on reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which provides $12.5 billion in federal funds to the nation’s public schools.

In Representation

Biden’s home state newspaper described him as being relatively silent on gay rights

In 1998, Delaware Pride board member Vicki Morelli said that “none” of Delaware’s congressional delegation, including Biden, stood up for gay rights and instead stayed quiet. “They’re all good enough politicians that they know not to make hateful comments against gays, yet not to fight so vigorously for gay rights that alienate voters,” she said to The News Journal on Jul. 26, 1998.

Biden never acknowledged the historic appointment of Richard Grenell to the Cabinet

Richard Grenell became the highest ranking openly gay federal official when he was confirmed by the Senate for the prestigious ambassadorship to Germany. He was then appointed by President Trump to serve as Acting Director of National Intelligence, the only openly gay man to serve in a presidential Cabinet. Biden never once acknowledged or congratulated Grenell on the historic appointment and the watershed moment for gay representation in government.

In Children and Families

Biden voted for the Defense Of Marriage Act

In 1996, the Defense Of Marriage Act defined marriage “as only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife… The measure defined marriage as between a man and a woman and allowed states not to recognize same-sex marriages. Same-sex couples could not claim federal benefits,” according to PolitiFact. DOMA “amends the Federal judicial code to provide that no State, territory, or possession of the United States or Indian tribe shall be required to give effect to any marriage between persons of the same sex… Establishes a Federal definition of: (1) ‘marriage’ as only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.” Biden was one of 85 senators to vote in favor.

In the 2000s, Biden called same-sex marriage a “state issue,” repeatedly saying “marriage is between a man and a woman”

Biden repeatedly reiterated his support for the Defense Of Marriage Act. As a senator in 2004 he stated, “This has long been a state issue, and it should remain that way.” In February 2004, Biden said he opposed President Bush’s proposed marriage amendment, but did so by describing it as unnecessary and touting his prior vote for the Defense Of Marriage Act. 

“As President Bush said on a previous occasion, this issue should be left to the states. I agree. That’s why I voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a ‘union between one man and one woman’ and does not require any state to recognize a same-sex union sanctioned under the laws of another state,” he said, according to The News Journal.

Later that year, Biden said, “this has long been a state issue, and it should remain that way,” according to The News Journal.

In June 2006, Biden said he did not oppose a federal marriage constitutional amendment on substance, but that he opposed “the timing” of the amendment. Appearing on Anderson Cooper 360, host John Roberts asked, “are you more against the amendment itself or the timing of it?”

“I’m against the timing of it. Look, marriage is between a man and a woman. Tell me why that has to be put in the Constitution now?” Biden said.

Biden said he did not know whether a federal marriage amendment would be “writing discrimination into the Constitution” as Mary Cheney had characterized it. “You also have Mary Cheney and Russ Feingold both saying that, to pass this amendment, would be to write discrimination into the Constitution. Is this really writing discrimination into the Constitution?” Roberts asked on Anderson Cooper 360.

“Look, I don’t — I don’t know whether it would be writing discrimination into the Constitution… marriage has always been something we left to the states… We don’t pass a federal law telling you the conditions on which you can get married, who can marry you, how you can get married.”

That same year, on Meet The Press, Biden defended DOMA once again. Host Tim Russert asked Biden, “The president used his radio address yesterday, and tomorrow in the Rose Garden, to talk about a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.”

“You know, think about this. The world’s going to Hades in a handbasket… and we’re going to debate, the next three weeks, I’m told, gay marriage, a flag amendment, and God only knows what else… We already have a law, the Defense of Marriage Act. We’ve all voted—not, where I’ve voted, and others have said, look, marriage is between a man and a woman and states must respect that. Nobody’s violated that law, there’s been no challenge to that law. Why do we need a constitutional amendment? Marriage is between a man and a woman.”

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Biden refused to back gay marriage

Asked at a July 2007 campaign event if “in the next five years, you’re president, do you see gay marriage in the future?” Biden responded “I don’t.” “I have to ask you this because it does affect me and my family directly” an attended asked in Iowa. “But if, in the next five years, if you’re president, do you see gay marriage in the future?” Biden responded: “I don’t. Here’s what I do see. I see an absolute guarantee of civil union with the exact same rights. Now, here’s the dilemma. Here’s the dilemma. The truth of the matter is states have made legal, through licensing, the performance of marriage what religions have essentially consecrated. That’s how they view it,” according to Fox News.

During the 2008 vice presidential debate when asked if he would support gay marriage, then-Senator Biden said “[Neither] Barack Obama nor I support redefining from a civil side what constitutes marriage,” referring to his running mate, according to Reuters.

At a debate that year, moderator Gwen Ifill asked Biden, “Let’s try to avoid nuance, Senator. Do you support gay marriage?”

“No,” Biden responded.

Biden has falsely claimed he was the first major leader to support same-sex marriage

At the February 7, 2020 Democrat debates, Biden claimed “I was the first major leader holding public office to call for same sex marriage. So I don’t know what about the past of Barack Obama and Joe Biden was so bad.”

At the March 15, 2020 Democrat debate, Biden repeated the false claim that he was the first person of any administration “to go on national television” in support of gay marriage. “And by the way, I might add, I’m the first person to go on national television in any administration and say I supported gay marriage. I supported gay marriage when asked. And so it started a ripple effect.”

Other prominent officials, including Republicans, voiced support and openness to same-sex marriage long before Biden did

In 2000, vice presidential nominee Dick Cheney “spoke out in favor of gay marriage and rights.” “Dick Cheney spoke out in support of gay marriage and rights during the 2000 vice presidential debate, breaking with his running mate George W. Bush and earning the support of the progressive Human Rights Campaign,’” according to Fox News.

Multiple prominent Democrats came out in support of gay marriage long before Biden. “Beyond Cheney, many Democrats also supported gay marriage before Biden. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., opposed DOMA in 1996, when 14 senators voted against the legislation. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., supported gay marriage in 2011, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., also came out for gay marriage in 2009… before Biden,” according to Fox News.

In November 2011, Obama HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan “became the first sitting Cabinet secretary to announce support for marriage equality” nearly a half-year before Biden’s endorsement. “U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan became the first sitting cabinet secretary to announce support for marriage equality, saying on Nov. 15 that he ‘absolutely’ supports marriage equality in an exclusive interview with Metro Weekly… We’ve got more work to do in the Obama administration in a second term.’ Asked if that included marriage equality, Donovan confirmed it did, saying, ‘Like marriage equality,'” according to Metro Weekly.

In June 2011, the Obama White House was already looking at how Obama could announce support for same-sex marriage, nearly a year before Biden endorsed it. “The White House would not comment on whether Mr. Obama was ready to endorse same-sex marriage… And Representative Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat who is gay, said in an interview that a top adviser to Mr. Obama, whom he would not name, asked him this year, ‘What would be the effect if he came out for same-sex marriage?’ ‘My own view is that I look at President Obama’s record, he was probably inclined to think that same-sex marriage was legitimate, but as a candidate for president in 2008 that would have been an unwise thing to say,’ Mr. Frank said,” according to The New York Times.

Biden and Obama White House aides insisted Biden did not endorse gay marriage during his 2012 Meet The Press interview. In May 2012, after Biden signaled support for same-sex marriage on Meet the Press, top Obama White House officials immediately sought to walk back Biden’s comments. “Despite his record, in several presidential debates this year, Biden questionably claimed that he was the first major political leader to support gay marriage… top Obama administration officials immediately sought to walk back Biden’s comments in the interview…‘Chaos … erupted inside the West Wing after an e-mailed transcript of the interview landed in the in-box of the White House press team,’ according to an insider account by investigative reporter Jo Becker,” reports Fox News.

Biden’s office then gave a statement to NBC saying Biden was speaking on his own, not on behalf of the administration, and that Biden “had not fully endorsed” same-sex marriage. “Biden’s office, however, would tell NBC’s Chuck Todd, shortly after the ‘Meet the Press’ interview concluded, that he was speaking on his own and not on behalf of the administration. A spokesperson for the vice president further clarified the ‘Meet the Press’ remarks, stating in part that Biden had not fully endorsed same-sex marriage… Beyond that, the Vice President was expressing that he too is evolving on the issue, after meeting so many committed couples and families in this country.’ Biden never explicitly said that he backed marriage equality, but he implied it,” according to The Huffington Post.

In the World

Biden voted to block the immigration of HIV+ individuals into the United States

Biden voted for an amendment in 1993 to codify the Department Of Health And Human Services’ prohibition of the permanent immigration of HIV+ individuals. “Vote on Senator Don Nickles’ (R-OK) amendment to codify the Department of Health and Human Services’ prohibition of the permanent immigration of HIV+ individuals. The amendment passed by a vote of 76-23: R 42-1, D 34-22. The Human Rights Campaign opposed this amendment.

Biden claimed he was “ambivalent on the issue” but voted for the amendment, saying the issue was “bigger than whether HIV should be on the list or off the list.” According to The Washington Times on Feb. 19, 1993, “Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., Delaware Democrat, said he was ambivalent on the issue but ultimately sided against Mr. Clinton. ‘One side of me says just let the public health officials make the decision, and both Republican and Democratic officials have agreed on it [to drop the ban],’ he said. ‘But it seems to me the policy is bigger than whether HIV should be on the list or off the list.’”

Biden supports sending aid to nations that murder and imprison homosexuals

The Obama-Biden administration spent two years crafting the Iran Nuclear Deal that eased sanctions on the Iranian regime and allowed the nation to enrich uranium and plutonium that could be used to make a nuclear weapon. Iran is one of eight nations that puts homosexuals to death and one of 69 nations where homosexuality is criminalized. A year after the Iran Nuclear Deal, the Obama-Biden administration secretly sent $400 million in cash to the Iranian government. The Trump administration withdrew from the Iranian Nuclear Deal. Biden says he will reinstate the deal if elected president.

“Former Vice President Joe Biden, for one, has said he will return to the agreement only once Iran is in compliance. But he’s also pledged to find a way to ‘strengthen and extend it.’ A senior Biden campaign adviser said the former vice president knows a lot can change by 2021, but he sees pledging a return to the 2015 agreement as, among other things, an important signal to send to U.S. allies in Europe who are furious over Trump’s abandonment,” according to Politico.