Former Vice President Joe Biden will receive an award honoring his advocacy on behalf of the LGBTQ community at the Democratic National Committee’s annual LGBT gala in New York next month.
Biden will be presented with the inaugural LGBT Hero award on June 21 for his allyship with the LGBTQ community, according to DNC Chair Tom Perez.
Never one to be silent or reserved when it comes to expressing his opinion, Biden is the person credited with forcing former President Barack Obama to come out publicly in support of marriage equality just prior to his 2012 re-election campaign. Three days before Obama’s announcement, Biden had given an interview in which he expressed his own support for allowing same-sex couples to legally marry.
Biden has also been outspoken in his support of transgender rights, calling it “the civil rights issue of our time.” And he has been fiercely critical of reports of anti-gay persecution in Chechnya and elsewhere in the world. He recently wrote an op-ed calling on the Americans — including the Trump administration — to speak out against LGBTQ human rights abuses and to leverage their power and influence in order to force foreign governments to stop committing such atrocities.
“Joe always speaks from the heart and he’s used his platform to fearlessly champion the rights of some of the most vulnerable,” Perez said in a statement. “Even 5 years ago, Vice President Biden was at the forefront of transgender equality, calling it ‘the civil rights issue of our time,’ and he fiercely condemned the Trump administration’s decision to strip protections for transgender students.
“I hope this ceremony serves as a testament to the strides we’ve made for equality and inspires us to imitate Joe Biden in our support for the LGBTQ community.”