The presidential hopeful suggested public sentiment toward gay rights issues has come far in a short period of time, saying five years ago if someone at a business meeting in Seattle “made fun of a gay waiter” people would just let it go, according to a pool report of the event. The audience vocally responded to the remark and some in the crowd said homophobic comments would not have gone unchallenged even before five years ago, according to the report.
The event was hosted by public relations executive Roger Nyhus, who is known as a leader in the Seattle gay rights community.
Biden said if someone made homophobic comments today, “that person would not be invited back,” and said it was wrong that a gay couple could get married one day and get fired the next in 22 states because they lacked legal protections from job discrimination.
The former vice president said he told White House advisers at the time, “The American people are so far ahead of their leaders on this issue.”
Biden told the crowd that he recently visited the site of the Stonewall riots, and said, “Think of the incredible, physical, moral courage it took to stand up and fight back.”
Biden also spent a portion of his about 30-minute speech addressing Trump’s relationship with authoritarian leaders and the Trump administration’s impact on the country. He closed his remarks to applause.