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Biden: LGBT discrimination the ‘civil rights issue of our time’

CHRIS JOHNSON | Washington Blade
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
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Vice President Joseph Biden apparently called LGBT discrimination the “civil rights issue of our time” before an Obama campaign office in Florida, according to a pool report.

According to The Tribune’s Michael Memoli, Biden made the remarks to a woman in Sarasota, Fla., following a speech he delivered to supporters at a local campaign office.

He singled one woman out who he thought had beautiful eyes. She said something to her at first inaudible to pool, to which VP responded was the “civil rights issue of our time”

Pool later asked the woman, Linda Carragher Bourne of Sarasota about the exchange. She said her daughter was Miss Trans New England and asked if he would help them.

“A lot of my friends are being killed, and they don’t have the civil rights yet. These guys are gonna make it happen,” she told the pool.

According to LinkedIn, a Linda Carragher Bourne works as a freelancer writer in Sarasota and is an editor a Self Magazine, an magazine for women’s health and fitness. The most recent winner of Miss Trans New England, according to the pageant’s website, is Nicole Hamidi.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Biden’s reference to the “civil rights issue of our time” was meant to indicate LGBT discrimination in general or, more specifically, transgender discrimination.

Biden has been among the most outspoken officials in the Obama administration in his support for LGBT rights. His endorsement of same-sex marriage preceded President Obama’s when he said in May during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he’s “absolutely comfortable” with married gay couples having the same rights as straight couples.

Over the course of the presidential campaign, Biden has engaged in LGBT outreach. Before a crowd at the prominent gay resort town of Provincetown, Mass., Biden said in August that LGBT Americans are “freeing the souls of the American people” and gay activists aren’t just fighting for their own civil rights, but the “civil rights of every straight American.”

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