Joe Biden: ‘I Stand With LGBTQ+ People And Their Allies Around The World’

Former Vice President Joe Biden (photo via campaign)

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate, issued this statement today in honor of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.


Today, on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, I stand with LGBTQ+ people and their allies around the world to celebrate and champion the inherent dignity and worth of all persons, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Around the globe, including here at home, brave LGBTQ+ activists are fighting for equal protection under the law, freedom from violence, and recognition of their fundamental human rights. The United States should have their backs. We belong at the forefront of this struggle — speaking out, standing strong for our most dearly held values. We should be sending a clear message that bigotry is bigotry, prejudice is prejudice, and hate is hate, no matter where we find it. American leadership must mean moral leadership in the fight for equality for all.

The Obama-Biden Administration took unprecedented steps to ensure that our government delivered real progress on the promise of equality, both at home and abroad. From signing the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law, to repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” to supporting marriage equality, we fought to advance the civil liberties of LGBTQ+ people in the United States and, for the first time ever, established the advancement of LGBTQ+ equality as a foreign policy goal.

Instead of building on this progress, the Trump-Pence Administration has done everything it can to undermine LGBTQ+ rights: giving safe harbor to hate and rolling back protections for LGBTQ+ persons, blocking the ability of transgender individuals to openly serve their country, denying LGBTQ+ people access to critical health care, and failing to address the epidemic of violence against transgender people, among other odious policies.

Today, many LGBTQ+ people in the United States live in fear, and LGBTQ+ activists in other countries, who are often fighting desperately for their rights and personal safety, are no longer sure that the United States is their friend and ally.

As President, I will reinvigorate and expand U.S. efforts to advance the human rights of LGBTQ+ people at home and around the world.

The United States will again be a beacon of hope for people anywhere in the world who suffer violence and discrimination for the simple fact of who they are or who they love. We will strengthen the coalition of countries determined to eliminate discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Anything less would be un-American.

President Obama Observes 2016 International Day Against Homophobia And Transphobia: “LGBT Rights Are Human Rights”

President Obama issued this statement today in observation of the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia (IDAHOT).

Since 2004, the day represents an annual landmark to draw the attention of decision makers, the media, the public, opinion leaders and local authorities to the alarming situation faced by lesbian, gay, bisexuals, transgender and intersex people and all those who do not conform to majority sexual and gender norms.

On May 17, Americans and people around the world mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia by reaffirming the dignity and inherent worth of all people, regardless of who they love or their gender identity.

Our nation is committed to the principle that all people should be treated fairly and with respect. Advancing this goal has long been a cornerstone of American diplomacy, and I am proud that my Administration has made advancing the human rights of LGBT individuals a specific focus of our engagement around the world. I am also proud of the great strides that our nation has made at home in recent years, including that we now have marriage equality as a result of last year’s landmark Supreme Court decision.

At the same time, there is much work to be done to combat homophobia and transphobia, both at home and abroad.‎ In too many places, LGBT individuals grow up forced to conceal or deny who they truly are for fear of persecution, discrimination, and violence. All nations and all communities can, and must, do better. Fortunately, human rights champions and good citizens around the world continue to strive towards this goal every day by lifting up the simple truth that LGBT rights are human rights. The United States honors their work and will continue to support them in their struggle for human dignity.

The date of May 17th was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.

President Obama on the 2015 International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

Michelle and I join our fellow Americans and others around the world in commemorating the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia tomorrow, May 17. We take this opportunity to reaffirm that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights are human rights, to celebrate the dignity of every person, and to underscore that all people deserve to live free from fear, violence, and discrimination, regardless of who they are or whom they love.

We work toward this goal every day. Here at home, we are working to end bias-motivated violence, combat discrimination in the workplace, and address the specific needs of transgender persons. Overseas, I am proud of the steps that the United States has taken to prioritize the protection and promotion of LGBT rights in our diplomacy and global outreach.

There is much more to do, and this fight for equality will not be won in a day. But we will keep working, at home and abroad, and we will keep fighting, for however long it takes until we are all able to live free and equal in dignity and rights.

(via White House press release)

President Obama on International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

President Obama issued the following statement yesterday in advance of the tenth annual observance of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia:

“Tomorrow, as we commemorate the 10th annual International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, we recommit ourselves to the fundamental belief that all people should be treated equally, that they should have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential, and that no one should face violence or discrimination — no matter who they are or whom they love.

“This year, the United States celebrates the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, and the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. In doing so, we reflect on lessons learned from our own civil rights struggles and reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that the human rights of all people are universally protected.

“At a time when, tragically, we are seeing increased efforts to criminalize or oppress LGBT persons, we call on partners everywhere to join us in defending the equal rights of our LGBT brothers and sisters, and in ensuring they are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.”

(via press release Friday, May 16, 2014)