Biden Says the U.S. Should Follow Ireland on Gay Marriage

Vice President Joe Biden said the United States should follow Ireland’s course in recognizing gay marriage.

Writing in the LGBT publication The Advocate, the Irish-American vice president said 1.2 million Irish voters took a “courageous stand” when they voted in favor of a referendum to legalize gay marriage throughout the country.

Vice President Joe Biden speaks about the minimum wage during a roundtable discussion with business leaders in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014. Biden is on a six-city swing that includes stops in Nevada, California, Oregon and Washington state. (AP PhotoNick Ut) AP PhotoNick Ut
AP Photo/Nick Ut

Biden wrote:

They recognized the fundamental truth that every person is entitled to dignity and respect, and that there can be no justification for the denigration or persecution of anyone because of who they love or who they are. […]

In 22 years, Ireland has gone from a nation where simply being LGBT was against the law to a nation where the people resoundingly stand for equal rights.

And here in the United States, in just the past three years we’ve gone from six states recognizing marriage equality to 37 states, comprising 224 million Americans. It’s about love. It’s about equality. It’s about dignity. It’s about our most cherished values.

It was Biden in 2012 who first said he had changed his view on same-sex marriage, even before President Barack Obama announced his change of heart on the issue. Both had previously said they opposed gay marriage.

“There is still work to be done,” Biden wrote in his op-ed, published Tuesday. “There are still too many nations that deny people even the right to be safe from violence and severe discrimination, and too many states here in America that allow a person to be fired simply for being lesbian, gay, transgender, or bisexual.

“But the progress is undeniable. As advocates in Ireland, in the United States, and around the world have proven time and again, where there’s passion and commitment, there is opportunity,” he continued. “I continue to believe that in every corner of the world, people want to do the right thing. You should never underestimate the epiphanies that follow when a culture makes a breakthrough of conscience.”

335 Comments