Post submitted by Maureen McCarty, former HRC Deputy Director of Marketing

Last night Vice President Biden addressed over 1,000 LGBT rights supporters at the Human Rights Campaign Los Angeles gala.  Check out some of the 15 top lines from his speech below: 

1) “All of you spoke out and stepped up and came forward, you came out and you marched, you demanded to be recognized, demanded your constitutional rights, demanded a basic American dream.  You demanded respect. And because of what all of you have done, my granddaughter is going to grow up in a better country, a more just country, and a more fair country.”

2) “Thank all of you, your actions not only liberated millions, millions, in the LGBT community, but here’s the point you, I don’t think you fully understand.   You liberated tens of millions of straight guys and straight women.  No-no.  No-no, you have.  You have.  Those of you who are old enough, those of you who are old enough, 20 years ago, if four guys were sitting in a restaurant and there was a gay waiter and as he left the table, one of them made fun of it, the other three would remain silent.  Not today.  You freed them.  You freed them to speak up, because now they know.  They know they’re not the exception, they know they’re the majority. They know, because of you.” 

3) “And with regard to my being on Meet the Press, besides, I told the President, when he asked me to be Vice President, two things, I wasn’t going to wear any funny hats, and I wasn’t changing my brand.  There’s no way.  I’m too old man.  I’m too old, seriously, seriously.  It’s just, I, how could you remain silent anymore.  You know, I have had, and I continue to have faith in the American people.”

4) “My grandkids, my children, and their kids are going to be shocked, it shocks the conscious that this very moment in American history, in some states, an employer can fire you just because of who you are, or who you love.  It’s close to barbaric.  I mean think about this, a man, no I really mean this.  Imagine, imagine, 20 years from now, as America look back and say how in the hell could that have ever been allowed?   The country’s moved on.  The American people have moved on, it’s time for the Congress to move on, and pass ENDA.  Pass ENDA now.  Not tomorrow, now!” 

5) “Well ladies and gentleman, the world -- God willing -- is beginning to change.  To paraphrase Pope Francis of all things, but think about this, think about what he said.  One sentence he uttered.  To paraphrase him, “who are we to judge,” -- who are they to judge you or me?”  

6) “In Jamaica, we hear about corrective rape for lesbian women.  The world was outraged when we found out about genital mutilation that takes place in some African countries.  Corrective rape?   What in God’s name are we talking about?  How can a country that speaks in those terms be remotely considered to be a civil society?” 

7) “Find me a country in the world that singles out a set of citizens, and I’ll guarantee you that country is where justice does not live.”  

8) “Uganda a nation where you can go to prison for life for so call aggravated homosexuality, whatever the hell that is.  Aggravated homosexuality?  Whoa.  There’s some sick people in the world.”

9) “The single most basic of all human rights is the right to decide who you love.  It’s the single basic building block…it is.  It is the single most important human right that exist… and hate, hate can never, never be defended because it’s a so called cultural norm.  I’ve had it up here with cultural norms.” 

10)  “In every aspect, in every aspect of American foreign policy, we should have as the focus in our foreign policy that we lead not merely by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.  That’s what makes us different.  That’s what makes us strong.” 

11) “Barack and I believe that the rights of LGBT people is an inseparable part of America’s promotion of human rights around the world.  It is not, it cannot, is not distinguishable it’s a false distinction made in the past.” 

12) “And we’re excited to work with you, the Human Rights Campaign through your new global engagement program to which you take the same passion and remarkable courage you brought to fighting for LGBT rights in this country to help people around the world.” 

13) “We’re in the early days of a long, long fight, but you should never underestimate the epiphanies that follow a culture that makes a breakthrough of conscious.”   

14) “Thank you for not only liberating people who have been persecuted and pummeled, but thank you for getting us in the way of liberating all of America.  It’s a fight we will win.” 

15) “And as long as I have a breath in me, I will not be satisfied ‘till everyone in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community is afforded the dignity, the freedom and the equality that my father spoke so clearly of.” 

Filed under: International

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