Gay rights group shows love for Biden, keeps a special spot for Hillary

October 4, 2015
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton laughs before speaking to supporters at the Human Rights Campaign Breakfast in Washington, October 3, 2015. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton laughs before speaking to supporters at the Human Rights Campaign Breakfast in Washington, October 3, 2015. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Hillary Clinton still has plenty of fans at the influential gay rights organization, the Human Rights Campaign, despite a report that she turned down a chance to be the keynote speaker at the group’s annual gala this weekend in order to appear on Saturday Night Live.

Clinton spoke at the HRC’s morning event instead, and the top speaking slot went to Vice President Joe Biden, who is weighing whether to challenge Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Biden has long had enthusiastic support from gay rights activists dating back to 2012 when he publicly declared his support for gay marriage, forcing President Barack Obama to come out in favor of gay unions earlier than he had planned.

“Love is not a political matter, it’s a basic human right. The fact that we recognize that is because of you,” Biden told attendees at the HRC gala.

To the cheers of the nearly 800 attendees at the HRC earlier event, Clinton spoke of the injustices that many in the LGBT community still face and vowed “to end them once and for all.” She promised to sign the Equality Act into law if elected president and chided Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, who came under fire earlier this year for refusing to issue marriage certificates for same-sex couples.

“It was like a rock star,” LeeAnn Jones, 53, said after watching Clinton speak.

She and Becca Sherrill, 63, agreed that while they were big Biden admirers, they were rooting for Clinton to clinch the nomination.

“Joe Biden is loved,” Sherrill said, but “we need a woman president, and we need Hillary.”

“I love Joe, and we all love him, but this is Hillary’s time,” she added.

Eddie Sargent, 70, said he hasn’t yet made up his mind on who he would vote for if it came down to Biden and Clinton — his two favorites for the nomination — but said he isn’t sure if Biden is exactly sold on running yet.

“I don’t even know if he wants to run,” he said.

Sargent praised Biden’s work in his time as vice president and said it would be interesting to watch it all unfold if Biden actually did decide to make a bid.

At the dinner, Biden enjoyed some of the same “rock star” status as Clinton, with even a few shouts of “Run Joe!” peppered through his speech. But, even with the apparent adoration of the 3,500 person dinner, the Clinton fervor still shone through with the crowd breaking into raucous applause at her mention.

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Good to see that the LGBT community has forgiven Hillary for her defense of traditional marriage (until as late as 2013) while Bernie Sanders has been a steadfast supporter of LGBT rights for decades.

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