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Biden Praises Jewish Leaders for Helping Change Americans' Views on Gay Marriage

"I bet you 85 percent of those changes, whether it's in Hollywood or social media, are a consequence of Jewish leaders in the industry."

US Vice President Joe Biden speaks during an event highlighting Joining Forces hiring initiative for military veterans and spouses in civilian jobs in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on April 30, 2013. Since President Obama challenged American businesses to hire US military veterans and spouses in August 2011, they have hired or trained 290,000 military veterans and spouses and now pledge to hire or train an additional 435,000 veterans and military spouses by 2018. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

WASHINGTON (TheBlaze/AP) -- Vice President Joe Biden is praising Jewish leaders for helping change American attitudes about gay marriage -- and for the group's role in other important issues.

During a speech last night, Biden said culture and arts change people's attitudes. He also cited social media and the old NBC TV series "Will and Grace" as examples of what helped changed perspectives on one of America's most contentious social issues.

US President Barack Obama(R) speaks alongside US Vice President Joe Biden about the deadly tornadoes that hit Oklahoma earlier this week, from the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, May 21, 2013. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

While speaking on Tuesday night at a Jewish American Heritage Month reception hosted by the Democratic National Committee, the vice-president said, "Think -- behind of all that, I bet you 85 percent of those changes, whether it's in Hollywood or social media, are a consequence of Jewish leaders in the industry."

Politico has more regarding Biden's words about this group's impact on American culture:

“It wasn’t anything we legislatively did. It was ‘Will and Grace,’ it was the social media. Literally. That’s what changed peoples’ attitudes. That’s why I was so certain that the vast majority of people would embrace and rapidly embrace” gay marriage, Biden said.

“Think behind of all that, I bet you 85 percent of those changes, whether it’s in Hollywood or social media are a consequence of Jewish leaders in the industry. The influence is immense, the influence is immense. And, I might add, it is all to the good,” he said.

Jews have also been key to the evolution of American jurisprudence, he continued, namedropping Brandeis, Fortas, Frankfurter, Cardozo, Ginsberg, Breyer, Kagan. “You literally can’t. You can’t talk about the recognition of … rights in the Constitution without looking at these incredible jurists that we’ve had.”

“Jewish heritage has shaped who we are – all of us, us, me – as much or more than any other factor in the last 223 years. And that’s a fact," he said.

In sum: Biden said the influence is immense and that those changes have been for the good; he also drove home the notion that Jewish values are an essential part of who Americans are.

One last thing…
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