Presidential Candidate Joe Biden said “Christians violate LGBT rights simply by existing” or something to that equivalent effect.
On May 17, 2015, then-US Vice President Joe Biden issued a short statement in observance of the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia. In that short statement, Biden remarked that “in too many places, LGBT community members face violence with impunity, mistreatment by police, the denial of healthcare, or religious condemnation and social isolation.” Since these remarks were made, an article from the website NowTheEndBegins.com claimed that Biden said “Christians violate LGBT rights simply by existing.” That claim has gone viral and has persisted on social media, specifically Twitter.
Misbar’s investigation into this claim reveals it to be false. Biden’s claim and the claim of NowTheEndBegins.com are completely different. It would seem that the writer of the article assumed that by the phrase “religious condemnation,” Biden was including Biblical exhortations by traditional Christians against ostensible ‘sexual deviancy’ from the classical nuclear family. It would also seem that the author assumed that this belief is non-negotiable among Christians, and is tied to their very existence as such. Finally, it would seem that the author assumed that by the phrase “In too many places, life for LGBT individuals is actually getting worse. In too many places…” Biden was implicitly saying that these inherent Christian beliefs violate LGBT rights. Obviously these are large leaps in logic. But in so many words, NowTheEndBegins seems to be suggesting that inherent Christian beliefs do in some sense violate LGBT rights if it can furthermore be assumed that they are acted upon faithfully to the belief system. After all, rights can only be violated by actions, not thoughts.