Vice President Joseph R. Biden claimed Thursday that the Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing same-sex marriage is “as consequential” as the Brown v. Board of Education decision to desegregate public schools.
“This is the civil rights movement of our generation,” Mr. Biden said at a gay-rights Freedom To Marry event in New York, The Hill reported. “This decision is as consequential as Brown v. the Board.”
“In my view, the court’s decision was inevitable,” he told the crowd. “So many remained silent for fear of being ostracized. You set them free.”
On May 5, 2012, the vice president separately expressed his support for same-sex marriage during an NBC interview, which prompted President Obama to also announce his support on ABC four days later.
Mr. Biden joked at the opening of his speech Thursday: “Let me begin by saying I take full credit for everything.”
Turning serious, he told the audience “you don’t owe me or [White House senior adviser] Valerie [Jarrett] or the president or anybody any thanks. We owe you,” The Hill reported.
Ms. Jarrett also attended the function.
“I really do think it is an incredible job you all have done,” Mr. Biden said. “This has been a heroic battle.”
The vice president said there is still more work to be done, noting that LGBT people can be fired from their jobs in 32 states.
“As you know better than anyone, although this is a giant step toward equality, there is still many more steps we have to take and there is so much more to do,” he said. “There are still 32 states where marriage can be recognized in the morning but you can be fired in the afternoon.”