Biden on transgender civil rights

“Vice President Joe Biden said transgender discrimination is ‘the civil rights issue of our time’ during a visit to a Florida,” as reported in The Huffington Post. Biden was meeting with volunteers at an Obama for America office in Sarasota, Fla., when he singled out one woman “who he thought had beautiful eyes,” reads the pool report. The woman said something to Biden that was inaudible to the pool reporter, but Biden responded to her by saying it was the ‘civil rights issue of our time.’” The statement is circulating widely on internet news feeds. For more, see “Joe Biden: Transgender Discrimination is the Civil Rights Issue of Our Time.”

Biden’s statement is important at a moment when LGBT issues like marriage equality seem to be getting more attention. As The Huffington Post‘s Jennifer Bebdery continues “The vice president has been a steadfast ally to the LGBT community. He told gay rights advocates in August that they are “freeing the soul of the American people.” Most notably, however, he got out in front of President Barack Obama in May when he unexpectedly announced that he is “absolutely comfortable” with same-sex marriage. Obama, at the time, was still “evolving” on the issue.Four days later, the president endorsed same-sex marriage. When he made his announcement, Obama noted that Biden “probably got out a little bit over his skis, but out of generosity of spirit.”

Biden’s remarks come just two weeks after resolution of  a controversy in San Francisco where Casto District officials initially declined to replace the traditional rainbow flag  with the transgender pride flag for the upcoming Transgender Day of Rememberence on Nov. 20.  See “Castro Flag Draws Controversy in San Francisco”, also in Huffington Post.

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