Speaking at a gathering of LGBT rights activists today, Vice President Joe Biden took a swipe at potential Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson for his recent remark that being gay is a choice.
Biden, who has been a longtime advocate for gay rights, called Carson’s comment a “ridiculous assertion.”
“I mean Jesus God. I mean it’s kind of hard to fathom,” Biden told an audience at the Human Rights Campaign spring equality convention in Washington, D.C.
Biden’s comments on Carson got laughs and cheers from the packed room.
Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, sparked controversy when on Wednesday he said in an interview with CNN that gay people chose their sexuality because “a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight--and when they come out, they’re gay.”
Yesterday, CNN reported, he apologized for it in a statement: "I do not pretend to know how every individual came to their sexual orientation. I regret that my words to express that concept were hurtful and divisive. For that I apologize unreservedly to all that were offended.”
Fighting through a cold and with a hoarse voice, Biden argued for basic human rights not just in the U.S. but for the world and said he was “optimistic” that this country would enact federal anti-discrimination legislation, but that we “have to pass it now.”
“Granted we've come a great distance and we've still have much further to go...The momentum is undeniably on our side. It is not capable of being slowed, it is not capable of being stopped,” Biden said. “We are all entitled to basic human rights.”
He also drew comparisons between the civil rights march across Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge and the Stonewall Riots, when the gay community protested the police raiding of New York City gay bars, calling them “the same basic movement.”