Waymon Hudson

LGBT Groups react to Biden Pick

Filed By Waymon Hudson | August 23, 2008 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics, The Movement
Tags: Barack Obama, HRC, Joe Biden, LGBT organizations, Stonewall Democrats, vice presidential pick

I'll be posting and updating the statements Thumbnail image for Obama/Bidenfrom various LGBT groups about Obama picking Joe Biden as a running mate as they come in. So far we have HRC and Stonewall Dems.

I'll be adding things as they come in, so be sure to check back!

Take a look at the statements after the jump...

From HRC:

Human Rights Campaign Statement on Selection of Senator Joe Biden as Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate

HRC President Hails Biden as "A Proven and Effective Advocate for Fairness and Equality"

WASHINGTON - Today, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, hailed the presumptive Democratic nominee, Senator Barack Obama's selection of Senator Joe Biden as his Vice Presidential running mate. During his career in Congress, Senator Biden has a proven record of fighting for and supporting issues of fairness and equality.

"In selecting Senator Joe Biden as his running mate, Senator Obama has chosen a proven and effective advocate for fairness and equality that our entire community can be proud of," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "Senator Biden's record in the United States Senate is one of support and understanding that has been unwavering throughout his career."

Recently, Senator Biden, as Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, played an instrumental role in securing the passage of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), legislation which included Senator John Kerry and Senator Gordon Smith's provision repealing the discriminatory HIV travel and immigration ban. His working across the aisle guaranteed that the Kerry-Smith provision was adopted. Furthermore, when opponents of the provision attempted to garner support to strip the provision from the bill, Senator Biden fought to keep the provision in the bill and helped secure the votes for PEPFAR'S final passage.

"We only need to look back to the recent passage of the repeal of the HIV travel and immigration ban to see the type of leadership we can expect from Senator Biden on the issues important to our community," continued Solmonese. "It was because of his determination and tenacity that we were able to see this relic of discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS torn down."

"If the support Senator Biden has proven on our issues is any indication of the type of Vice President he will be than our community can be assured that Senator Obama has chosen a thoughtful and staunch advocate for equality as his closest adviser," concluded Solmonese.

The Human Rights Campaign is America 's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

- 30 -

Highlights of Senator Joe Biden's Record of Support for the GLBT Community

101st Congress (1989-1990): Overall Scorecard Rating 90%
102nd Congress (1991-1992): Overall Scorecard Rating 91%
103rd Congress (1993-1994): Overall Scorecard Rating 89%
104th Congress (1995-1996): Overall Scorecard Rating 78%
105th Congress (1997-1998): Overall Scorecard Rating 83%
106th Congress (1999-2000): Overall Scorecard Rating 86%
107th Congress (2001-2002): Overall Scorecard Rating 100%
108th Congress (2003-2004): Overall Scorecard Rating 63%
109th Congress (2005-2006): Overall Scorecard Rating 78%

? Helms Amendment - Hate Crimes Statistics Act (February 8, 1990)
Senator Helms offered an amendment to a hate crimes statistics bill ( S. AMDT. 1251 to S. 419) stating that "the homosexual movement threatens the strength and survival of the American family" and that "state sodomy laws should be enforced." The Helms amendment failed 19-77 (Record Vote No. 12). HRC opposed this amendment. Biden also opposed it.

? District of Columbia 's Health Care Benefits Expansion Act (July 30, 1992)
Senator Brock Adams (D-WA) offered a procedural motion to block attempts to repeal the District of Columbia 's Health Care Benefits Expansion Act, a measure adopted by the D.C. Council to provide D.C. government employees the opportunity to purchase health care coverage for their domestic partners. The motion failed 41-51 and implementation of the D.C. law was subsequently prohibited by Congress. HRC supported this motion. Biden also supported it.

? Justice Clarence Thomas Confirmation (October 15, 1991)
The Senate voted on President George H.W. Bush's nomination of Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Senate confirmed his nomination 52-48 (Record Vote No. 220). HRC opposed this nomination. Biden also opposed it.

? Hate Crimes Sentencing Enhancement (November 4, 1993)
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) offered an amendment to the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1993 (S. AMDT. 1097 to S. 1607) to increase penalties for federal crimes motivated by the victim's sexual orientation and other characteristics. The Feinstein Amendment was the first piece of federal legislation to provide protection on the basis of sexual orientation. The amendment passed 95-4 (Record Vote No. 351). HRC supported this amendment. Biden also supported it.

? Codification of the Ban on Gays and Lesbians in the Military (September 9, 1993)
Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) offered an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 1994 (S. AMDT. 783 to S. 1298) to prevent codification of the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy on lesbians and gays in the military. The amendment failed 33-63 (Record Vote No. 250). HRC supported this amendment. Biden also supported it.

? District of Columbia 's Domestic Partners Ordinance (July 27, 1993)
An amendment was offered to allow the District of Columbia to implement its ordinance allowing unmarried couples or partners to register with the D.C. government, making them eligible for group health insurance offered to D.C. government employees for a higher premium. It failed 43-55 (Record Vote No. 217). HRC supported this amendment. Biden also supported it.

? Employment Non-Discrimination Act (September 10, 1996)
In its first test in Congress, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (S. 932), which would prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, came within one vote of passage in the Senate. Senator David Pryor (D-AR), who supported ENDA, missed the vote for a family emergency. The bill failed 49-50 (Record Vote No. 281). HRC supported this bill. Biden also supported it.

? Hate Crimes Amendment to Defense Authorization (June 20, 2000)
Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Gordon Smith (R-OR) introduced the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, renamed the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act, as an amendment to the fiscal year 2001 defense authorization bill (S. AMDT. 3473 to S. 2549). The Kennedy-Smith amendment would extend basic hate crime protections to all Americans in all communities by adding real or perceived sexual orientation, gender and disability to the categories covered and by removing the federally protected activity requirement. This amendment was overwhelmingly approved 57-42 (Record Vote No. 136). HRC supported this amendment. Biden also supported it.

? Federal Marriage Amendment (July 14, 2004)
The Federal Marriage Amendment (S.J. Res 40), introduced in the Senate by Senator Wayne Allard (R-CO), would have enshrined discrimination into the U.S. Constitution by defining marriage as the union between one man and one woman and prohibiting federal and state laws from conferring same-sex couples with marital status and "the legal incidents thereof," thereby endangering civil unions and domestic partnership benefits. The amendment needed a two-thirds majority (67) to be passed in the Senate and a three-fifths majority (60) to proceed to a vote on the amendment (cloture). The cloture motion failed 48-50 (Record Vote No. 155). HRC opposed this cloture motion. Biden also opposed it.

? Federal Marriage Amendment (June 7, 2006)
The Marriage Protection Amendment (formerly called the Federal Marriage Amendment) (S.J. Res. 1) would have enshrined discrimination into the U.S. Constitution by defining marriage as the union between one man and one woman and prohibiting federal and state laws from conferring same-sex couples with marital status and "the legal incidents thereof." The amendment would thereby endanger civil unions and domestic partnership benefits. The amendment failed by a vote of 49-48, falling 11 votes short of the 60 necessary to invoke cloture, a procedural motion to advance to a vote on the substance of the bill (Record Vote No. 163). The amendment would have needed 67 votes (two-thirds majority) to pass. HRC opposed this amendment. Biden also opposed it.

? Justice Samuel Alito Confirmation (January 31, 2006)
The Senate voted on President W. Bush's nomination of Judge Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Senate confirmed his nomination 58-42 (Record Vote No. 2). HRC opposed this nomination. Biden also opposed it.

? Judge William Pryor Confirmation (June 9, 2005)
The Senate voted on President Bush's nomination of Judge William Pryor to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The Senate confirmed his nomination 53-45 (Record Vote No. 133). HRC opposed this nomination. Biden also opposed it.

From National Stonewall Democrats:

Washington, DC - Today, the Stonewall Democrats released the following statement on the selection of Senator Joseph Biden (DE) to join Senator Obama on the Democratic national ticket:

"With the selection of Senator Biden, Democrats now have a national ticket that is ready to lead our party to victory this November," said Jon Hoadley, Executive Director. "Our endorsed candidate, Senator Barack Obama, has called Stonewall Democrats 'a powerful grassroots force in our politics' and it is this grassroots infrastructure that we will now use to elect the Obama/Biden ticket.

Stonewall Democrats across the country continue to log thousands of hours making phone calls, visiting neighbors and registering new voters on behalf of Senator Obama and the Democratic ticket. We know the stark contrast between strong leadership Senator Obama and the anti-equality record that John McCain continues to build. If we are to enact significant pro-equality positions at the federal level, then we must continue our work that is helping to elect Barack Obama as our next President.

Senator Barack Obama has championed many issues important to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Illinois, Congress and on the campaign trail. The Senator has vocally advocated for a fully-inclusive Employee Non-Discrimination Act, equitable benefits for the partners of federal employees, increased HIV/AIDS funding, the passage of hate crimes legislation, the repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. In striking contrast with his Republican opponent, Senator Obama has opposed anti-marriage ballot initiatives in Arizona, California and Florida. During the nomination season, Senator Obama, and his campaign, routinely engaged members of the Stonewall Democrats.

For over two years, Stonewall Democrats used its grassroots network to help shape the Democratic field into the most accountable and tested group of candidates in the history of the Democratic Party. From the living rooms of New Hampshire to the greens of historically Black college campuses, Stonewall Democrats organized its members to meet with candidates to discuss issues that are crucial to LGBT Americans. This included national trainings in the early-voting states of New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina and Stonewall Democrats town hall events with Democratic presidential campaigns in states like Ohio and Texas. Stonewall Democrats will now use the network of advocates it built upon during the nomination season to organize support for Senator Obama and the Democratic ticket.

National Stonewall Democrats is the national voice of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and allied Democrats, with more than 90 local chapters across the nation. Stonewall Democrats works to elect more pro-equality Democrats - regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity - and to improve the Democratic Party on issues important to LGBT Democrats.


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Obama-Biden is a winning combination!

Wilson46201 | August 23, 2008 2:31 PM

...and soon the Log Cabin Republicans will issue a firm denunciation of Senator Joe Biden exposing his hair transplants which goes to prove he's a total phony and unfit to govern in the wise and firm footsteps of that eminent stateman Vice-President of the United States of America, Richard Cheney!

Someone joked (and I'm afraid I can't remember who), that Joe is the only US senator who had less hair when he first came to the Senate than he does now.

I guess those plugs finally paid off. Would he have been picked if he was balder than McCain? ;-)

If the LCR's say word one that is negative towards Biden, I am going to take the gloves off and encourage everyone to refer to them as the bigoted, elitist, collaborationist kapos of the gay social ghetto, loading the trains to take away the liberty of LGBT's to curry brief favour from the oppressors.
And then I will get nasty...

I just don't get the feeling that you would really get upset with LCR. There was no strong emotion there.

:::sigh:::
Well, I was being as nice to them as I could find it within me to be, Monica...I guess that I went too easy on them..

Robert Cadalso | August 23, 2008 5:21 PM

I like Senator Biden. It is Barack Obama who I don't like.

This gay democrat will not be voting for them.

That's known as cutting off your nose despite your face. There are only two possible candidates who will succeed President Bush: John McCain or Barack Obama. If John McCain is elected, he will appoint Supreme Court justices who will be Scalia and Thomas clones. That will result in the overturn of Roe v. Wade and Lawrence v. Texas.

Anything you do which does not support Obama's candidacy, helps elect McCain.

Perhaps you should consider becoming a Republican. If you're going to screw yourself, you might as well go all the way. Of course you'll also be screwing all GLBT people and women, as well. So good luck getting laid.

Rory, there is always the option of not voting at all. Alex wrote a wonderful post about this a few weeks ago. I think it's been a huge mistake for Obama to focus on capturing the Evangelical vote when he should be focused on shoring up the Democratic base. I get pissed off that it's just taken for granted that we'll actually turn out to vote. I think the Democrats are in for a rude wake-up call in November.

What I'm trying to understand is why it's preferable to not vote at all than to vote for Obama when McCain is the other option. It's not even possible to paint them as too similar (as happened with Al Gore and George W. Bush).

It seems to me that the last thing anyone would want is for McCain to win. What does passively letting him into the Oval Office accomplish? Do we need more war?

We'll all be in for a rude awakening if come Novemeber John McCain is elected president. It might be satisfying for some to go nah-nah-nahnah to the Democratic Party, but everyone will pay the price.

I don't get how anyone is benefitted from not voting. Trust me, no one will notice a missing individual vote. Once you join the ranks of non-voters, campaigns will no longer target you for their message. That seems like a lose/lose proposition.

Increasingly, Obama is to the right of Biden's current positions....

I know that Obama states now that he is for full lgbt rights but what were his and Senator Bidens positions during the Enda debacle.I'm just curious since in the HRC statement they align him as always agreeing with them.Since he's always voted as they wished does that mean he supported T exclusion from enda as Hrc and Barney Frank did? Rory stated not voting Democrat is like cutting your nose of to spite yourself but from my influenced by enda and hrc view voting Democrat or Republican might be cutting my nose off to spite myself.

Let me get this straight:

* if Biden's voting record is too similiar to HRC's scorecard, then that means he's their lackey, as opposed to being a supporter of GLBT rights?

* that if Obama/Biden's record on T inclusion isn't pristine, McCain is preferable?

* that if your one litmus test is failed, screw women, gays, lesbians, civil libertarians, liberals, people of color, anti-war activists, etc. who would all certainly suffer under a McCain administration?

* that McCain's voting record on ENDA is superior than Biden's?

I'm waiting to see who Mc Cain picks as a running mate never know it might be Lieberman.But seriously though I value my vote and I'm not one to lock in on one politician and promise my vote.A lot can happen between now and November.Plus if Biden or Obama did agree with Hrc on Enda then I think as a T person I have every right to question their integrity towards T needs.Are you discriminating against Republican Women by saying there to mannish isn't that anti T and as far as I know Condolisa Rice is colored and I vaguely remember hearing about Bush protesting the vietnam war by failing to complete his Air National guard service.So the Republican Party has most of what you claimed it didn't within it as well.

-"I'm waiting to see who Mc Cain picks as a running mate never know it might be Lieberman."

If McCain is elected president, McCain will be setting policy, regardless of who his vice president is. Having said that, Leiberman's record on anti-discrimination based on gender identity and expression is not superior to Biden's. Further, he's a turncoat.

-"But seriously though I value my vote and I'm not one to lock in on one politician and promise my vote.A lot can happen between now and November."

No national candidate will change his philosophy on the constitutional right to privacy between now and the election, or suddenly become a supporter of GLBT rights who isn't already a supporter. McCain won't even allow a pro-choice Republican on his ticket, in fear of a riot at his national conventional. Vacillating your support between candidates doesn't alter the value of your vote.

-"Plus if Biden or Obama did agree with Hrc on Enda then I think as a T person I have every right to question their integrity towards T needs."

No you don't. Supporting GLBT rights doesn't equal supporting HRC, which doesn't equal being against T rights. So if that's your "reasoning" for not voting for Obama, then you have no justification for it. McCain doesn't support a T inclusive ENDA. So you have no reason to vote for him by your own logic.

-"Are you discriminating against Republican Women by saying there to mannish... "

I have no idea what you're talking about, leaving aside having to interpret your agrammatical sentence.

-" ...isn't that anti T... "

Saying someone is mannish isn't anti-transgender. It's a description of a gender expression. Assuming that being mannish is a bad thing *is* "anti T".

-" ...and as far as I know Condolisa Rice is colored... "

I find it hard to believe that you are unaware that that is considered highly offensive. Unless you've been in a coma since 1966, I'm not sure how you're going to explain being that insulting. BTW, her name is Dr. Condoleezza Rice.

-" ...and I vaguely remember hearing about Bush protesting the vietnam war by failing to complete his Air National guard service."

I have no idea how that could possibly be relevant. However, no, that isn't true. He joined the Air National Guard because of the influence of his father to get out of going to Vietnam. He wasn't against the war. He was just against *him* going to war. He didn't finish his National Guard service because he moved to Alabama to work on a political campaign, and again, his father's influence was used to give him permission to do that. However, most people believe he didn't finish his service because he is a drunk and partier. But I have no first hand knowledge of all the times he drank and did coke.

-"So the Republican Party has most of what you claimed it didn't within it as well."

Once again, I have no idea what you're talking about. But the Republican Party is NOT a pro-choice, pro-GLBT rights, pro-civil liberties party, and they don't even pretend to be. And to vote for them is not in the best interest of any GLBT person.

Rory I'll explain in greater detail where I was taking this you stated:That if your one litmus test failed screw women,gays,lesbians,civil libertarians,liberals,people of color,anti war activists etc who would all suffer under a Mc Cain administration.Condoleezza Rice is a person of colour and also a woman.Are you saying she isn't a woman or person of colour and that she wants to screw woman and other persons of colour and everthing else you listed simply because she's a Republican? As for the Republican Party or Mc Cain did I state anywhere my vote would go to either? My vote has to be earned and somewhere I think you undervalued the fact that I hold the Democratic party as partly responsible for the T being stripped from enda.Obama and Biden can make all the promises they want but what about that part of the Democratic Party that felt my rights as a T weren't important enough or were to much of a hot potato? If the Democratic Party was so great why are we just hopefully coming to the end of a long Twenty year conservative swing?Why is it that Barrack Obama felt it important to court the Evangelical vote in Saddleback?That's the vote that is 100 percent against us do you support that? Attaching lgbt rights to one party instead of portraying them as a universal need is a major error.Notice the Religious right is trying to spread into the Democratic Party and the party is courting them.There are pro choice,pro gay rights Republicans who think the war went wrong and that we got mislead.The far right is drowning out their voices and your helping by giving them validity and defining the Republican Party as strictly by their beliefs.There are non pro choice,non gay rights Democrats if you want my undivided attention and my vote flush them out of the party.What I would like to see is the religious element flushed out from both parties into their own party.It would make both the Democratic and Republican Party better and more effective and remove the religious voice from politics and put it back in the pews where it belongs.

Quoting Amym440:
Why is it that Barrack Obama felt it important to court the Evangelical vote in Saddleback?That's the vote that is 100 percent against us do you support that?

Obama needs to court the evangelical vote because it isn't 100% against us. You might want to pick up a copy of the magazine Sojourner's the next time you are in a library or book store - I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Quoting Amym440:
Attaching lgbt rights to one party instead of portraying them as a universal need is a major error.Notice the Religious right is trying to spread into the Democratic Party and the party is courting them.There are pro choice,pro gay rights Republicans who think the war went wrong and that we got mislead.

I agree with you that we shouldn't treat either party as a monolith. But could you name some of the Republican politicians who are pro-LGBT rights?

I don't claim to be a political pro but I'm willing to learn.I would say a great place to find those Republicans would be to look at any of the votes on previous lgbt issues within the house and the Senate.Any Republican that voted in the affimative for pro lgbt or in the negative for anti lgbt items would be a great place to start.While there numbers may not be large they are there and we should be showing them some support and seeking to grow their numbers.I have an idea of a few of their names but without doing the proper research I wouldn't want to list them for fear of being wrong.

Amy -
Senator Obama was a strong supporter of the Illinois bill that included sexual orientation and gender expression employment protection that was successfully passed when he was in the Illinois Senate. He is a strong supporter of human rights for everyone, including the LGBT community.

If you're not a white, middle-class (less than $5 million/year income) heterosexual, cissexual, Christian male who thinks that too many American men are living into their late 20s, then there's no reason to not vote for Obama.

McCain will be worse than Bush ever was.

I loved Biden's kick-off speech,

The gloves are off.....

John R. Selig | August 24, 2008 5:49 PM

Thanks for the great information Waymon.

Joe Biden is a great choice by Obam and showcases Obama's ability make good decisions. Biden is an expert in foreign polity (a perceived weakness of Obama's). He is popular with blue collar workers. His family roots are in Pennsylvania which is right next to Wilmington, DE so Biden should help Obama in a critical state. Also Biden will be a good bull dog if it becomes necessary. Obama has to remain above the fray as much as possible and Biden can do the counter attacking when necessary. biden's weakness in the past has been his verbosity but he has been great this year and everybody hos at least one weakness. Barack Obama made a good choice.