Vice President Joe Biden said during a speech on Tuesday that protecting gay rights trumps national cultures and social traditions, as President Barack Obama’s administration continues promoting LGBT rights around the world.
“I don’t care what your culture is,” Biden told about 100 guests at the Naval Observatory’s vice presidential mansion, The Associated Press reported. “Inhumanity is inhumanity is inhumanity. Prejudice is prejudice is prejudice.”
He added that the cause is a “defining mark of a civilized nation” and met with a number of religious, human rights and HIV health care advocates in a forum dedicated to promoting gay rights internationally.
White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice added that protecting gay people from global discrimination, abuse and even death is one of the most challenging international issues facing the U.S.
“To achieve lasting global change, we need everyone’s shoulder at the wheel,” Rice said. “With more voices to enrich and amplify the message — the message that gay rights are straight-up human rights — we can open more minds.”
She continued: “Governments are responsible for protecting the rights of all citizens, and it is incumbent upon the state, and on each of us, to foster tolerance and to reverse the tide of discrimination.”