Yesterday, Politico reported that Joe Biden is set to keynote a major LGBTQ+ dinner. He has agreed to keynote the Human Rights Campaign’s annual dinner which helps the nation’s biggest and most politically active LGBTQ+ advocacy organization continue its push into the midterms.
However, Joe Biden is no stranger to being an ally for the LGBTQ+ community. Biden previously appeared at the dinner in 2015 while he and Obama were still in office. During their presidency, he was the first to speak out in favor of legalizing gay marriage and was responsible for pressing President Obama to speak out himself. The Human Rights Campaign’s president, Chad Griffin, called Biden:
“A strong voice for the vulnerable and a bold advocate for LGBTQ people.”
On top of his work with the Human Rights Campaign, Joe Biden also made headlines last month for launching an LGBTQ+ family acceptance campaign. His campaign was created to emphasize the importance of family and community acceptance of LGBTQ people. Through a social media campaign and testimonies, they hope to hear from people within the LGBTQ+ community, family members, and other members of the community in order to inspire and heal.
On the campaign, Biden said:
“I’m so proud to announce the Biden Foundation has launched this campaign. We’ll use our resources to highlight the harms of family rejection and lift up research, best practices, and personal stories to powerfully show the significant value of family acceptance. LGBTQ young people should never have to face rejection from those who love them. [I encourage stories] about the importance of family acceptance because we all deserve to be safe, loved, and affirmed.”
The announcement was accompanied by a video in which Biden and advocates for the cause decried the rates of homelessness and suicide in the LGBTQ+ community.
According to a 2012 study from the Williams Institute at UCLA, forty percent of youth who are homeless identify as LGBT. A JAMA study conducted in 2017 showed that teens who identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or questioning were at a much more vulnerable to planning or attempting suicide. While transgender teens were not included in the study, their rates are estimated to be the same if not higher.
Biden’s help to the LGBTQ+ community is a small ripple in the river but it is always refreshing to see a politician who puts his money where his mouth is.
h/t: Politico, CNN, NYU Local