Biden: ‘In Too Many Places, LGBT Community Members Face…Religious Condemnation’

By Staff | May 18, 2015 | 11:47 AM EDT

Vice President Joe Biden takes the oath of office on Jan. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Kevin Lamarque)

( Vice President Joe Biden said in a statement he issued yesterday as he marked the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia that “in too many places, LGBT community members face…religious condemnation."

LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.

Last month, speaking at the Women in the World Summit, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton similarly pointed to religion as a force standing in the way of a cultural change she would like to see.

“Yes, we’ve cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are denied access to reproductive health care and safe childbirth,” Clinton said. “All the laws we’ve passed don’t count for much if they’re not enforced. Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will. And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”

Here is Vice President Biden’s statement on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia:

My father taught me the simple notion that everyone, everywhere is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect. When it comes to LGBT people, that simple proposition has been painfully difficult to accomplish over the years. But in the last decade, thanks to the astounding bravery of the LGBT community and those who have championed their cause, the United States has made remarkable progress toward the ultimate goal of equality in law and in life. Our progress remains incomplete, but the momentum has shifted in the right direction.

Progress has also been made in many places around the world. But in too many places, life for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals is actually getting worse. In too many places, LGBT community members face violence with impunity, mistreatment by police, the denial of healthcare, or religious condemnation and social isolation.

The best mechanism to confront this hatred is to speak up in favor of universal human rights. Supportive voices must be heard. Today and every day, let us continue to defend the rights of LGBT people, whether from nearby cities or far-off villages. We cannot rest until everyone receives the dignity, respect, and equal treatment under the law that all people deserve.

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