Biden cancels gay rights speech

Vice President Biden is scrapping an appearance at the Human Rights Campaign's annual dinner due to the government shutdown, his office said Thursday.

Biden had originally been slated to give the keynote address at the gay rights group's Oct. 5 dinner. 

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“Unfortunately, because of the government shutdown, the vice president is not going to be able to attend Saturday evening’s Human Rights Campaign National Dinner," Biden's office said in a statement.

The vice president has become a popular figure in the gay rights community following his decision to express support for gay marriage in May 2012. 

At the time, President Obama has not yet announced his support for same-sex marriage. When the president eventually voiced his support for gay marriage, he acknowledged that Biden's statements had forced the issue for him.

Human Rights Campaign has sold out the dinner, which is expected to draw 3,400 guests.

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama also scrapped an appearance at Wednesday night's Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s Annual Awards Dinner.

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