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Biden’s 2006 same-sex marriage clip is problematic, to say the least

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Joe Biden’s flip-flopping on the issue of same-sex marriage was highlighted in a more than decade-old video clip that caught some renewed attention online.

The presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee asserted that “marriage is between a man and a woman” during a 2006 interview that was shared again on Twitter by conservative actor James Woods, and former acting Director of National Intelligence, Richard Grenell.

In a tweet on Sunday, Grenell noted that Annise Parker, former Democratic mayor of Houston, Texas should watch the video, tagging her and the LGBTQ Victory Fund. One of the first openly gay mayors of a major U.S. city, Parker served as the president and CEO of the “political arm” of the LGBTQ community.

“How does any member of the #LGBTQ community watch this and still support #JoeBiden with a straight face (no pun intended)?” Woods asked in the tweet.

The late host of “Meet the Press,” Tim Russert, asked Biden in the 2006 clip about urging by then-President George W. Bush for Congress to pass a Federal Marriage Amendment banning same-sex marriage.

“You know, think about this. The world is going to Hades in a handbasket,” Biden, then a Democratic senator representing Delaware, said, citing other issues like the avian flu and a lack of police officers that were more important than the proposed amendment.

“I can’t believe the American people can’t see through this. We already have a law, the Defense of Marriage Act,” Biden, who voted for the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, added.

“We’ve all voted — not, where I’ve voted, and others have said, look, marriage is between a man and a woman and states must respect that. Nobody’s violated that law, there’s been no challenge to that law. Why do we need a constitutional amendment? Marriage is between a man and a woman,” he asserted.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional in 2013 and, in 2015, ruled that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage, making it nationwide.

Biden had voted to block the recognition of same-sex marriages when he defended DOMA in 1996, In 1994 he had voted on a measure that barred schools from teaching the acceptance of homosexuality to children by cutting off federal funds.

But as vice president, Biden seemed to make a marked turnaround from his earlier stance, as he came out in favor of same-sex marriage in 2012, days before former President Obama did so publicly as well.

“I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men and women marrying one another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties,” Obama’s then-VP said at the time. “And quite frankly, I don’t see much of a distinction beyond that.”


(Source: NBC News)

This moment changed the views of many about Biden on the LGBTQ issue and some are willing to overlook his past stands in favor of his current advocacy.

“He has been supporting L.G.B.T.Q. people for quite some time,” Alphonso David, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, told The New York Times. “And yes, we have votes that he’s taken that we wish he would have voted differently. But ultimately when we look at his entire record, he has a very strong record of supporting L.G.B.T.Q. equality.”

But the resurfaced comments from then-senator Biden prompted plenty f discussion on social media.

Frieda Powers

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