News (USA)

Joe Biden is revving up for a 2020 campaign by promoting LGBTQ equality

Joe Biden LGBT
Joe Biden speaking at the Human Rights Campaign Spring Equity Convention.Photo: Cliff Owen/Associated Press

Judging by the polls, former Vice President Joe Biden remains a viable contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. In a recent survey, nearly a third of Democrats picked Biden as their top choice, double the number of those picking Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Biden has done nothing to discourage talk of a 2020 campaign, even though he will turn 78 just after the November election that year. No doubt he’s been buoyed other surveys that show him beating 74-year-old Donald Trump in a head-to-head contest.

One sign that Biden may be mulling over a bid is the launch of a new campaign from the Biden Foundation promoting LGBTQ equality and family acceptance. The campaign, called “As You Are,”

“We’ll use our resources to highlight the harms of family rejection, and to lift up research, best practices and personal stories to show the importance of family acceptance,” Biden says in a video kicking off the campaign. “By sharing your stories–your stories–we can work together to change the culture and ensure a bright future for the LGBTQ young people in America.”

The video also features a range of LGBTQ activists, as well as musician Cyndi Laupner and Wade Davis, a former NFL player who later came out as gay.

While the video doesn’t take direct aim at the Trump administration, it does include a rundown of the Obama administration’s greatest hits, including the legalization of marriage equality and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

Although the Biden Foundation is a nonprofit, its mission sounds a lot like a candidate message: “to identify policies that advance the middle class, decrease economic inequality, and increase opportunity for all people. And, to ensure that everyone — no matter their income level, race, gender, age, or sexuality — is treated equally and gets a fair shot at achieving the American Dream.”

Reaching out to the LGBTQ community is a savvy move for Biden. He certainly has the credentials for it. After all, he forced Obama’s hand on marriage equality by blurting out his support for it on national television without alerting the White House beforehand.

Biden’s move is also a sign just how hard the Democrats are going to target the etire LGBTQ community for support, and not just gays and lesbians. There are plenty of other signs as well. For example, in response to complaints by transgender travelers, Rep. Kathleen Rice has introduced the Screening with Dignity Act, a bill that would address some of the issues caused by the Transportation Security Administration’s aggressive policies.

Where Biden goes, other would-be candidates will no doubt follow. All of which promises to draw into even sharper relief the differences between whoever the Democrats nominate in 2020 and the current office holder.

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