Former Vice President Joe Biden ducked into the Stonewall Inn on Tuesday afternoon for an under-the-radar visit. He worked the room, shaking hands and taking pictures.
“When people had the courage to come out, stand out and speak, say who they were, all of a sudden people realized, ‘These folks are just like me, they are just like me: ordinary, decent honorable people,'” Biden said to members of the news media at the Stonewall Inn.
Biden hopped behind the bar and even wrote a note to the teacher of a young boy who was missing school to be there.
Biden is leading the 2020 Democratic presidential field and came through New York to raise money for his campaign. He held a fundraiser Monday night on the Upper East Side. He reportedly revealed at the event that he has raised almost $20 million for his White House bid. An aide said she believed it was Biden’s first visit to Stonewall.
“Imagine the courage it took 50 years ago to stand up and say, ‘I’m gay, I’m trans, I’m whatever, I’m a lesbian,'” Biden said.
The former vice president came out in favor of same-sex marriage in 2012, ahead of other prominent Democrats, including President Barack Obama.
“The public is way ahead of the politicians on this,” Biden said. “They are way ahead on marriage and they are way ahead on the basic rights that every American should have.”
Henry Munoz is the former Finance Chair of the Democratic National Committee. Biden officiated at his wedding to his husband, Kyle, two years ago.
“To have somebody who could be president of the United States come here to see what this means to our people, to see what it means to our country — the only national monument to the LGBTQ community of the United States — is incredibly important. It means he has our back,” Munoz said.
An owner of the Stonewall Inn told me that Biden was the first 2020 presidential hopeful to make a visit. But she says the doors of the bar are open to all the candidates.
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