Breaking News: Joe Biden Endorses Same-Sex Marriage

This morning Vice President Joseph Biden endorsed same-sex marriage during an appearance on the television show Meet The Press this morning (Sunday May 6th).

According to

Vice President Joe Biden has endorsed same-sex marriage, becoming the highest ranking American official to back marriage for gay and lesbian people. His comments signify a split within the Obama administration and may pave the way for President Obama — who says he supports civil unions and is still evolving on the matter — to also embrace equality.

ThinkProgress also quotes the VP as saying that the television show Will & Grace helped progress his views (Shout out to David Kohan!), but cautions that it is not him, but the President who sets policy.

BIDEN: Look, I am Vice President of the United States of America. The president sets the policy. I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men marrying women are entitled to the same exact rights. All the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And quite frankly I don’t see much of a distinction beyond that. […] I think Will & Grace probably did more to educate the American public than almost anything anybody has done so far. People fear that is different and now they’re beginning to understand.

What do you think? Will Joe Biden’s statement change the course of American history in regards to marriage rights for same-sex couples? Will President Obama follow suit?

Do you agree that shows like Will & Grace and Modern Family help change the public perception of what homosexuality looks like?

About Joanna Schroeder

Joanna Schroeder is a feminist writer and editor with a special focus in issues facing raising boys and gender in the media. Her work has appeared on Redbook, Yahoo!, xoJane,,, and more. She and her husband are outdoor sports enthusiasts raising very active sons. She is currently co-editing a book of essays for boys and young men with author and advocate Jeff Perera. Follow her shenanigans on Twitter.


  1. wellokaythen says:

    I think a reference to “Will and Grace” did not really do him any favors. Has he watched TV in the last 10 years? (Come to think of it, maybe that’s the message – “I’m not up on the latest TV shows, because I’m too busy doing more important things.”) Perhaps I’m a little biased because I never really got into Will & Grace. To my mind all four main characters had essentially the same annoying personality.

    I think “Modern Family” may be a more influential example. The same-sex couple is a source of humor, but the same amount of ridicule as the other households on the show, no more and no less.

    There’s a question in election campaigning not just of the number of votes but how strongly people feel about any particular issue. I suspect the people most outraged at a possible Obama endorsement of same-sex marriage rights are people who would NEVER vote for Obama anyway, so no big electoral loss. By the same token, people who voted for Obama are probably not going to vote for someone else just because Obama fails to support same-sex marriage. I doubt he will lose many votes by continuing his status quo. Ultimately it may come down to a Democrat calculation over how many votes you would gain versus how many you would lose.

    This announcement could also be serving the function of a trial balloon. Have the Veep run this up the flag pole and see who salutes. Bad reaction, we say it was just the VP expressing his own opinion and he doesn’t set policy. Good reaction, and we can work up something for the President to say. That’s how they’d do it on “The West Wing”…. : – )

  2. Ryan H says:

    This is nothing more than calculated political posturing. This allows the administration to appease those who are disgruntled by Obama’s silence on/ refusal to support gay marriage by pointing to Biden and saying half of the presidential ticket supports it. It’s just enough to keep them on the bandwagon, and since Biden’s already known as a liberal mind anyway it changes nothing about him or support for him. On the other side of the ticket, though, it allows Obama to keep in his court those independents and moderates who *don’t* support gay marriage (including a significant number of religious black Americans, whose churches by and large stand in strong opposition) and don’t want him to endorse it. He needs those those voters’ enthusiasm, he needs them to come vote for him instead of staying home on Election Day because they’re put off by his campaign platform.

    If and when Obama wins his second term, I fully believe at that point he’ll come out in favor of gay marriage. There is no doubt in my mind it will be one the first things he does, and I look forward to that day. But he’s known since he started running in 2008 that he couldn’t do it until he’d secured his second (lame-duck) term in office. Sending Biden out to support gay marriage in advance of the election is simply making sure that wing of the constituency stays on board and turns out to vote in November.

  3. John Anderson says:

    I don’t think Biden’s statement changes much. The media portrayals of homosexuals probably had some impact. I remember when civil unions were first debated. I thought that was a great idea. When same sex marriage was first debated, I thought no, no, no, not now. It wasn’t that I was against same sex marriage. I was afraid that the forces opposing it were still strong enough to block it. I was afraid of a constitutional amendment or several blocking it. I looked at the demographic data and noticed that there was strongest support among younger people and strongest opposition among the oldest segment of society. I thought that if we just waited 8 years, two election cycles, it would be unstoppable.

    Thankfully, I was wrong and people didn’t need to suffer for 8 more years. I think at this point same sex marriage is inevitable and those who oppose it stand on the wrong side of history. Biden endorsing it could only help, but I don’t think it was necessary to make it reality.

  4. The political climate would have to be juuuuuust right for this to be a game changer. Who knows, maybe it will be. But the Veep disagreeing with the POTUS on this issue is nothing new. Dick Cheney (much as I despise him) differed with his president for 8 years on this issue and it made not a bit of difference.

  5. I definitely think that the more positive (and realistic) media portrayals of same-sex couples, the better. I think where Will & Grace fell short was on the ‘realistic’ factor, considering it was a sit-com and thus pretty outrageous sometimes. I think that shows that have lgbt guest appearances (like In Plain Sight) shouldn’t be overlooked, either. When they do it well, those appearances do a lot to show an integrated view of lgbt individuals. They aren’t living in their own little bubble (a la Queer as Folk or Will & Grace)…they’re in the larger world too.

    As for whether Biden’s endorsement will get anything done. Naw, I don’t think it’ll actually do anything. It’s great for him to say, but he’s the VP and he’s a Democrat. It’s not a game-changing announcement.


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