Biden Comes Out Against Prop 8

Democratic running mate Joe Biden will appear on lesbian funny lady Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show Monday. And, during their heart-to-heart, the Senator reportedly takes an unequivocal stand against Proposition 8, the ballot measure looking to overturn California’s gay marriage win.

Biden also took some time to slam the initiative during an event in West Hollywood last night, according to Variety:

At the event, Biden told IN Los Angeles magazine journalist Karen Ocamb that he opposes Proposition 8, which would ban same-sex marriage in California. He had just finished taping an episode of The Ellen Show that will air Monday, and expressed his opposition to the measure to host Ellen DeGeneres.

At the vice presidential debate with Sarah Palin, Biden said that he opposes same-sex marriage. Obama holds the same position, but also has said he opposes Proposition 8, citing the fact that it would write a restriction into a state constitution.

Biden plead with the crowd gathered at the $500-per-person fund-raiser at the Pacific Design Center to talk to their friends and family and “make the case for us.”

“There’s a great deal at stake, so my plea to you is, we have less than three weeks to go, so this is the time to focus like we never have before.”

Biden garnered some gay ire this month after being accused of taking too similar a stance as Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin during their debate.

Meanwhile, Ocamb will have a piece up on Bilerico this afternoon. We’ll let you know what she has to say for herself. Something awesome, we’re sure.

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  • Woof

    We cannot let Prop 8 pass! VOTE VOTE VOTE.

  • marco hussein channing

    Also, call all your relatives who might be voting for this and TALK to them. Humanize it’s effect for them.

  • James

    Tell this douche bag he should embrace the gay community… [email protected]

  • jamesn

    I disagree with Variety’s characterization of Biden’s debate answer. Here’s the money quote:

    “No. Barack Obama nor I support redefining from a civil side what constitutes marriage. We do not support that. That is basically the decision to be able to be able to be left to faiths and people who practice their faiths the determination what you call it.”

    That’s a very careful, obviously practiced, answer which requires careful parsing. Pay close attention to the word “civil” and the last sentence. It seems to me, that Biden’s answer separates the two institutions of marriage; the civil institution (the social contract, which should only be defined by the parties involved and possibly their religious beliefs) from the legal institution (which requires a license, provides for joint tax returns, right of community property and inheritance).

  • Shannon

    Biden is such a freaking hypocrite. So is Obama. If they just said they support same-sex marriage in the first place, as part of their “change” and equality and diversity platform, they wouldn’t have to monkey around and and have hugely contradictory and offensive statements that have to be “carefully parsed” out. Obama’s own parents wouldn’t have been able to marry before the 1967 Loving v. VA case. They’re trying to pander to both sides – tell the LGBTQ community we support them to their faces, but oh oh, now we’re facing “mainstream” “average” Americans, so better tone it down! The VP debate said it all.

    If Biden can somehow get more support and money to the NO on 8 campaign now, by all means do it. But considering the fact that his atrocious backstabbing with his friend Sarah Palin is being used widely by Yes on 8, it’s a pretty ludicrous line to walk.

    Anyway, NO on 8 – NO on hate!

  • jamesn

    It’s probably a good idea to be careful with what you wish for. While it’s clear that the majority of the electorate supports the concept, calling it marriage scares the hell out of them. Our own failure to separate the two institutions with careful use of language has largely contributed to state after state writing discrimination into their constitutions. Our own failure to tread carefully around the language gives the other side an opening for their (successful) fear mongering.

    Flying the, “I support nothing but full equality right now and anything less is unacceptable, damnit,” flag on Obama’s part would surly drive the soft middle part of the electorate to the right and into the hands of what would be President McCain. That’s not any way to make sure we get a repeal of DOMA and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in the next Congress. Action on both of these things is far more important to me than anyone’s pussyfooted use of words.

  • James

    Biden is a lying, manipulative fool. He clearly stated his position as being AGAINST gay marriage. He did not want to denying rights, but plainly stated that he did not believe in the right to gay marriage.

    Now, in pandering for votes, he goes on Ellen’s show and offers his support. It’s nice when people turn and overlook his statement…his true feelings and stance on the subject is NO to gay marriage. He does not believe in it.

    I have it TIVO’d…I’d be glad to replay it for anyone.

    I thought only McCain supporters turned such a deaf ear to outrageous comments.

  • Robert

    I kinda agree with Jamesn…

    My belief all along has been that we are going about this in the wrong way.

    We need to do away with the word marriage… both gay and straight couples should be required to secure a license to enter into a joint union, etc. If after that, they want to host a ceremony that correlates with a specific faith based belief (marriage) and it is supported by that faith then so be it.

    If straight and gay couples were both issued ‘civil union’ licenses (or some other term not tied to faith) that entitles all the same rights then problem solved. I don’t think that most people have a problem granting us the same rights, they have a problem with reconciling their faith to ‘gay marriage’ But we keep insisting on using the word marriage so we set ourselves up for failure.

    In addition, lets not forget that this is a state based issue, federally we still don’t have the same rights no matter what happens on a state level.

  • Brian

    Jamesn pretty much posted what I was going to post. I’ll bet you that Biden, and certainly Obama, in their heart of hearts support gay marriage. But if they were to say they did, they probably couldn’t get elected. I’ll take the half a loaf, please. Not only does McCain support don’t ask, don’t tell, he’s even against gay couples adopting. Sometimes we have to make compromises, and unfortunately this is one of them. At least Obama and Biden have stated that they oppose Prop 8. Let’s take what we can get. It could be much, much worse.

  • stevedenver

    This is so similar to the tap dance Clinton did around Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. It made him look squishy and weak. This does the same for Biden. I appreciate his support, but I question it.

  • Bill Perdue

    Jamesn, Brian and Robert can twist meanings, “parse” and torture all they want but the cold, hard facts are that Biden is a bigot who voted for DOMA and DADT, as did the vast majority of Democrats.

    Obama claims that his bigoted position on same sex marriage is grounded on his belief in superstition. “God is in the mix.” I believe him.

    Voting for bigots is unprincipled and self destructive. Attempts to reform the Democrats, a party dedicated to deregulation, union busting, pursuit of an unwinnable war and a party that trashed our entire agenda during the last two years is futility personified.

    It’s time to construct an independent political identity for the LGBT movement by building massive militant movements to compel the bigots to accept our equality.

  • Bill Perdue

    Oops – ‘torture logic all they want’

  • akaison

    Option A

    Obama/Biden say vote no on Prop 8

    Option B

    McCain/Palin say vote yes on Prop 8

    Type until your fingers are raw- Option B is never going to trump Option A

    That’s the reality of the options.

  • Leonidas

    Finally, a blog that realizes that the dems are against it but the reps are truthful about it.

    We’re going to get married in SF in December if Prop 8 is rejected. If NOT, we are STILL going to have a blessing in a religious service there then get married next summer in New England so my family can attend.

    To me, it is all semantics. All I want is for him, after 25 years of putting up with me, to get my social security benefits. Call it what you will, I want that. He suffered as a political prisoner in a Communist country for 6 years and fears O’Bama more than anything. Even our best friend, a banker who is a crazed democrat, refuses to even consider voting for O’Huss.

    I’ve only been one place in my life where no one was negative about my gayness. The straight guys were outraged at the lack of equality afforded us in this country. That country? England.

    While all politicos are expected to talk out of both sides of their holes, at least the Republicans, if misguided, will tell you unequivocally that they are against it and won’t try to mealy-mouth their way into the 90069 pocketbooks.


  • Bill Perdue


    The reality on the ground is that Option A = Option B. A=B=bigotry.

    If Biden and the Democrats were serious about opposing Prop.8 they’d donate $1,000,000.00 to No on 8 every time they spew their hate filled superstition driven, pigheaded opinions about same sex marriage.

    But don’t count on it. It seems they’re just as serious about that as they were when they voted overwhelming to pass DOMA and DADT and last year when they gutted ENDA and scrapped the hate crimes bill. GLBT folks who vote for Democrats or Republicans are casting pearls before swine.

  • akaison

    You can type until your fingers are raw. Option A will never equal B on Prop 8- which is the topic at hand, not your distractions. If you want to continue to fight the last battle while the rest us fight the one in front of us- that’s your perogative, but you are still wasting your time if you think this argument is convincing to anyone beyond a narrow subset of stupi-gays.


    Same Sex Unions/Domestic Partnerships have all the legal rights as a Married heterosexual couple.

    This is about the definition of Marriage, not about rights. This is not a civil rights issue it is a moral issue.

    Biden/Obama are weak and deceitful. Listen to the debate and read the transcript.

  • Robert

    Truth, that is not accurate, they are not equal.

  • Robert

    Here is a quick comparison

    The Difference between Gay Marriage and Civil Unions

    by Kathy Belge

    You hear the politicians saying it all the time. “I support Civil Unions, but not gay marriage.” What exactly does this mean? Some even say they support equal rights for gays and lesbians, but not gay marriage. Is this possible? And why do gays and lesbians want marriage so badly when they can have civil unions?

    First of all, What is Marriage? When people marry, they tend to do so for reasons of love and commitment. But marriage is also a legal status, which comes with rights and responsibilities. Marriage establishes a legal kinship between you and your spouse. It is a relationship that is recognized across cultures, countries and religions.

    What is a Civil Union? Civil Unions exist in only a handful of places: Vermont, New Jersey and Connecticut. California and Oregon have domestic partnership laws that offer many of the same rights as civil unions.

    Vermont civil unions were created in 2000 to provide legal protections to gays and lesbians in relationships in that state because gay marriage is not an option. The protections do not extend beyond the border of Vermont and no federal protections are included with a Civil Union. Civil Unions offer some of the same rights and responsibilities as marriage, but only on a state level.

    What about Domestic partnership? Some states and municipalities have domestic partnership registries, but no domestic partnership law is the same. Some, like the recently passed California domestic partnership law comes with many rights and responsibilities. Others, like the one in Washingtonoffer very few benefits to the couple.

    What are some of the differences between Civil Unions and Gay Marriage?

    Recognition in other states: Even though each state has its own laws around marriage, if someone is married in one state and moves to another, their marriage is legally recognized. For example, Oregon marriage law applies to people 17 and over. In Washington state, the couple must be 18 to wed. However, Washington will recognize the marriage of two 17 year olds from Oregon who move there. This is not the case with Civil Unions. If someone has a Civil Union in Vermont, that union is not recognized in any other state. As a matter of fact, two states, Connecticut and Georgia, have ruled that they do not have to recognize civil unions performed in Vermont, because their states have no such legal category. As gay marriages become legal in other states, this status may change.

    Dissolving a Civil Union v. Divorce:

    Vermont has no residency requirement for Civil Unions. That means two people from any other state or country can come there and have a civil union ceremony. If the couple breaks up and wishes to dissolve the union, one of them must be a resident of Vermont for one year before the Civil Union can be dissolved in family court. Married couples can divorce in any state they reside, no matter where they were married.


    A United States citizen who is married can sponsor his or her non-American spouse for immigration into this country. Those with Civil Unions have no such privilege.


    Civil Unions are not recognized by the federal government, so couples would not be able to file joint-tax returns or be eligible for tax breaks or protections the government affords to married couples.


    The General Accounting Office in 1997 released a list of 1,049 benefits and protections available to heterosexual married couples. These benefits range from federal benefits, such as survivor benefits through Social Security, sick leave to care for ailing partner, tax breaks, veterans benefits and insurance breaks. They also include things like family discounts, obtaining family insurance through your employer, visiting your spouse in the hospital and making medical decisions if your partner is unable to. Civil Unions protect some of these rights, but not all of them.

    But can’t a lawyer set all this up for gay and lesbian couples?

    No. A lawyer can set up some things like durable power of attorney, wills and medical power of attorney. There are several problems with this, however.

    1. It costs thousands of dollars in legal fees. A simple marriage license, which usually costs under $100 would cover all the same rights and benefits.

    2. Any of these can be challenged in court. As a matter of fact, more wills are challenged than not. In the case of wills, legal spouses always have more legal power than any other family member.

    3. Marriage laws are universal. If someone’s husband or wife is injured in an accident, all you need to do is show up and say you’re his or her spouse. You will not be questioned. If you show up at the hospital with your legal paperwork, the employees may not know what to do with you. If you simply say, “He’s my husband,” you will immediately be taken to your spouse’s side.

  • akaison

    Thanks for posting that Robert. One of the more difficult things with this issue is to separate out from people’s mind that this is just a question of word choice versus their ignorance (and I am talking to you Truth) over what marriage means legally. By the way, if you want to see a real world example of the difference legally , then you should look at NJ which now has civil unions,but affords less rights. The reason why marriage is actually easier is because the laws are already set up for it. Unions are harder because its a new entity for which neither the private sector or public has any history in the US (at the federal, state and interstate ) levels- this matters a lot when it comes to apply laws equally. To have civil unions work on an equal basis with marriage would require changing federal, state, intertate law.

  • Charles J. Mueller

    I thank you for that posting as well, Robert. As a person who has been involved in a multi-national relationship for the past five plus years, I relate only too well to the differences between a civil-union and a marriage.

    Because we cannot legally marry either in the Philippines or in the US, I have been forced, like many other Americans, to choose between my country and my family and am obliged to maintain two households in order to be with my partner for a portion of each year.

    Despite my ability to support him financially, I cannot even get him into the USA on a student visa, much less a visitors visa. It sucks. Big time.

    Corrective unconscious has been making similar posts to yours for more moons than I can keep track of on, but I never cease to be amazed by the sheer number of gays who insist that the two very different terms (and results) are just a matter of semantics.

    As the old adage goes, I guess these misinformed people will never realize the difference between civil-unions and marriage, until they are forced, as I have been, to walk a mile in another man’s moccasins.

  • crazylove

    The problem with the gay community is that it promotes the Peter Pan syndrome, and has been doing so since the gay movement started with being mostly a sexual liberation movement back in the 1970s. I am getting this mostly second hand from my older gay friends.

    Because of this, there is often a hedonism that doesn’t really want to fight for anything, but rather wants to party or just hang out. Unless it directly affects them right now this moment or will eventually effect them directly, they don’t care. Hence why the money was so annemic. Hence why the right is often more focused on taking our rights than we are on protecting them.

    Yes, there was a brief period was this was not true in the 1980s. But, that period is mostly dead. Hence, the reason you find that even many gay people have no idea what they are talking about when discussing civil unions versus marriage.

    They literally don’t worry about it because

    a) it’s not what they want with their lives so they don’t care it maybe something that is a right all gays should have as a matter of course as citizens of the country (it’s like the right to vote- women fought hard for it even if all women don’t now use that right- but that doesn’t change the fact that it is a right all women should have)

    b) they put other interests before their rights as gay people because they have been taught to think of gay rights as lesser although when articulating it they think somehow they are advocating choice (in fact real choice would say that one can choose marriage or not rather than not having the choice to choose marriage at all).

    c) they are just plain ignorant just like the average american

  • M Shane

    It’s absurd to me that other gay people believe the inane bullshit of people like Sullivan and Bawer that we just have to get marriage rights and militry rights and we will be integrated into the straight acommunity.
    This country has got a long long way to go in establishing the status of our community and lifestyle before we are getting any rights. There are prejudices which are deeper than what can be simply legislated away.

  • crazylove

    What’s absurd M Shane are gay orthodoxists such as yourself who do not get that this isn’t about conservative versus liberal. I don’t want to go to the military, but as a full citizen of my country I should not be denied any right whether I want to excercise it or not. It’s like the right to vote- if I am denied it- not by my choice, but by someone else because of my status- then that means I am unequal. It’s the equality under the law issue. Not the particular thing we are being denied. Until you get that this is about equality, then you will always fixate on whether its something that Shane M wants rather than whether its about denial of rights. It’s quite sad folks such as yourself are so fixated on your own talking points that you are incapable of even understanding what your fellow gays are saying such that you want to lable all of us with a broad stroke. I happen to be very liberal. I also happen to believe in equality.


    Ooo how great! after he has voted for DOMA and has reiterated during the vice-presidential debate what his beloved Obama thinks about us, “that marriage should be between one man and one woman”.

    Well that will surely end up convincing the serapes and the ghetto inhabitants to vote No on Prop 8. Yep, a message as clear as sewage water!

  • crazylove

    Again reading the comments here one would think that Biden supports Prop 8, and McCain supports the no on Prop 8. Meanwhile over at Daily Kos, another liberal website, they have raised over 100k for the No on Prop 8. How many conservative websites have done the same on this issue?

  • julie

    M SHANE, I agree with you 100%. Poeple need to realise that we have made the most progress in just the last 20 years. Remember the last election, when gay marriage was one of the most important topics? Today, even Sarah Palin says that she is not in a position to judge (although she says her religious beliefs say it’s wrong). Insist on what you believe, but understand progress takes time. I, for one, am happy with how far we have come. I think within the next 10 years gay marriage will be legal all throughout the country.

  • crazylove

    Yes we should be happy with whatever we get. That should be the motto of any civil rights movement. Just sit back , and enjoy the rights that others fight for while you complain

  • julie

    Excuse me, but are saying that I am complaining? Because if you are then you are sorely wrong.
    Most likely I am far older than you and I have fought my whole life. Therefore, I understand that things take time. Look at these racist fools at McCain rallys. While they may be extreme, taking them into account, do you thing the average American is ready for gay marriage NOW? All I am saying is that some of us are hasty, while we need to understand that most Americans need time.

  • ben

    If Obama and Biden said they were openly pro-gay marriage it would be the gold ticket to the white house for the Republicans. The Repubs would seize it and turn the race into a one issue event. They would make the election into a referendum on gay marriage and stoke fear and prejudice to win it.

    Obama and Biden are being practical and engaging in compromise on this and other issues. It would be better for America to get rid of private health insurance and join the rest of the first world in universal public health care, but they have developed a compromise on that too. America isn’t ready for some things, and progress will come in stages. We don’t have to be thrilled about it, but we’d be fools to reject opportunities for progress just because they don’t offer everything all at once.

  • seitan-on-a-stick

    Ben said it well, Julie makes some sense too, M Shane is caught up in his own orthodoxies and Crazylove is just busting-out for Barack to win! At this point, it’s worth laughing at the poor old Republicans here who claim Barack Obama is “Socialist” whereas he is in fact a Moderate Democrat like Bill and Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, Joe Biden and John Kerry. A Liberal Democrat is Dennis Kucinich (who is 100% pro-gay).

    If you live in a Swing State, then please vote Barack Obama for President. If you live in solid Democratic states, you have the right to support the Gay-inclusive Green Party (Ralph Nader left that party!) in order to build a third party so they can get federal matching funds and can be placed on ballots like most westernized countries even though we clearly have a duopoly in the U.S.

    I, for one, am actually excited about not only an African-American President and a younger-than-before president but the return of a Democrat President. Who knows, he may become our Best President (so far FDR has that claim) as we sure know who our Worst President Ever was (‘W’)

    BTW – Josh Brolin will win the Academy Award for his surprisingly sympathetic role of George ‘W’ Bush in ‘W’ but I loved Thandie Newton’s ‘Evilicious’ Condescending Rice. If only the last 8 years was just a movie. IF ONLY!!!

  • M Shane

    My “orthodoxies” have a great deal to do with societal world veiws changing. Like Julie I have been involved in this battle since the time when I didn’t know what what gay was- in fact I don’t think the word was used.
    There is a great deal to be learned ibn understanding these so called orthodoxies which they are not: they are theories of societal acceptance of different marginal groups. Knowledge is Power ultimately. Something not too many people have.

  • RCS

    For all those who are interested in human rights, this is a crucial time. Equality California is currently in dire need of funds to continue its fight against Proposition 8. It needs and deserves every dollar it can get for this battle. Bigots supporting that ballot measure have raised a large war chest to push their viewpoint and to air hate commercials against the gay community. There is an easy, and relatively painless, way to make sure they do not win and that they are not able take the right of marriage away from gays and lesbians in California. One can donate to Equality California’s campaign to defeat Proposition 8 on its website at The time to do this is now! Money, as much as one can spare, is required immediately to combat the propaganda of those who would strip gays and lesbians of this crucial human right.

  • TO

    People are entitled to their religious beliefs. You can’t force someone to believe that gay marriage is ok if they truly believe in their heart that God prohibits it. It is perfectly rational to disagree with gay marriage on moral grounds, but at the same time, believe, on legal grounds, that it is absolutely wrong to discriminate against people who do believe that gay marriage is ok and or who want to get married to a person of the same sex. Hence the commercials that urge people to vote no on prop 8 regardless of their personal or religious views because the proposition is not about religion, but about fairness. Attacking Obama and Biden and somehow implying that they are hypocrites or that they contradict themselves is an oversimplification of the issue. As a Christian, I believe God intended marriage to be between a man and woman. In fact the bible explicitly prohibits homosexuality. The bible also prohibits judging people and I dont think its my place or the place of the legislature to deny gays equals rights – hence the separation between church and state. Voting yes on prop 8 would be voting yes on discrimination. At the end of the day, we all have to answer to God for the way we live our lives, whether gay or straight, so its silly for straight people to someone believe that voting no on prop 8 would somehow jeopardize their religion.

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