Biden hits Trump, Pence on LGBTQ+ rights

Biden hits Trump, Pence on LGBTQ+ rights
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Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump denies White House asked about adding him to Mount Rushmore HuffPost reporter: Biden's VP shortlist doesn't suggest progressive economic policies Jill Biden says she plans to continue teaching if she becomes first lady MORE hit President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump suggests some states may 'pay nothing' as part of unemployment plan Trump denies White House asked about adding him to Mount Rushmore Trump, US face pivotal UN vote on Iran MORE and Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceOn The Trail: Pence's knives come out Pence: Chief Justice Roberts 'has been a disappointment to conservatives' Students at school system Pence called 'forefront' of reopening now in quarantine MORE on Sunday – the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia – for undermining LGBTQ+ rights.

The former vice president said in a campaign statement the Trump-Pence administration’s actions has made LGBTQ+ advocates around the world “no longer sure that the United States is their friend and ally.”

“Instead of building on this progress, the Trump-Pence Administration has done everything it can to undermine LGBTQ+ rights,” Biden said. 

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Biden said the administration has created a safe harbor for hate, rolled back protections for the LGBTQ+ community, prevented transgender people from serving in the military, denied health care access to the community and has not fought the “epidemic of violence” against transgender people. 

Biden cited progress during the Obama-Biden administration when “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was repealed and the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act was passed. 

“We fought to advance the civil liberties of LGBTQ+ people in the United States and, for the first time ever, established the advancement of LGBTQ+ equality as a foreign policy goal,” he said.

The former vice president vowed to “reinvigorate and expand U.S efforts to advance the human rights of LGBTQ+ people at home and around the world” as president.

“We belong at the forefront of this struggle — speaking out, standing strong for our most dearly held values,” the statement read. “We should be sending a clear message that bigotry is bigotry, prejudice is prejudice, and hate is hate, no matter where we find it. American leadership must mean moral leadership in the fight for equality for all.”

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Sarah Matthews, a spokeswoman for the Trump campaign, noted the president's launch of "a global effort to end the criminalization of homosexuality" and his pledge "to end the HIV epidemic by 2030"

"President Trump will continue to protect and empower all members of the LGBTQ community across this country,” Matthews said in a statement to The Hill.

--This report was updated at 12:48 p.m.