Biden HRC questionnaire
Human Rights Campaign
1. Senator Biden opposes employment discrimination of any kind – including race, religion, gender, disability or sexual orientation. He has consistently supported the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to prohibit employment discrimination on basis of sexual orientation.
2. Senator Biden is a co-sponsor of the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007 and has consistently supported expanding federal hate crimes to include offenses based on gender, sexual orientation or disability.
3. Senator Biden was a co-sponsor of the original Ryan White Care Act and has supported all reauthorization efforts. The Senator has supported numerous efforts to increase federal funding of research and treatment for people with HIV/AIDS and has consistently backed initiatives to supply AIDS drugs to the poor, both here in the United States and internationally on the African continent and in other developing countries.
4. Senator Biden has long recognized the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of HIV in the battle to combat the spread of AIDS and to prolong a healthy and productive life of HIV-infected people. He was an early supporter and co-sponsor of the Ryan White Care Act and has worked to expand the reach of prevention and treatment services and to increase research funding. Early treatment of this disease is critical and he has voted to markedly increase federal funds to programs that deliver HIV/AIDS drugs to low-income people.
5. Senator Biden supports comprehensive and age appropriate sex-education that includes science-based prevention methods.
6. Senator Biden believes that government has an obligation to ensure that individuals are free from discrimination and that fundamental principle – that freedom and justice should be equally applied to each American – has guided his actions throughout his service as a United States Senator. Senator Biden supports letting states determine how to recognize civil unions and how to define marriage. He believes that legal recognition should not be denied to same-sex couples.
7. Senator Biden supported protecting the District of Columbia’s domestic partnership law allowing unmarried couples, including same-sex couples, to register as domestic partners and encouraging businesses in the District to provide health and other benefits to partners. Many states, local governments and private companies have adopted policies that extend employment-related benefits to domestic partners. Senator Biden believes that we need to re-examine federal laws, including the federal tax code, to ensure that our national laws do not impose unfair burdens or obstacles to the provision of employee and other benefits.
8. Senator Biden believes that federal employees in legally recognized, committed relationships should not be discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation.
9. Senator Biden believes that committed adults who are adopting should not be discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation.
10. Senator Biden believes that permanent partners of US citizens or lawful residents should be treated fairly and by the same standards under the immigration code.
11. Senator Biden supports ending the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. It is antiquated and unworkable. According to recent polls, three-quarters of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan said that they had no problem serving with openly gay people. Twenty-four of the nations serving alongside US forces in Iraq permit open service which has had no negative impact on these forces or the morale of our brave soldiers. Finally, the US does not have enough troops to fulfill our current missions – it is ridiculous to turn away brave and patriotic Americans who volunteer to serve solely because of their sexual orientation – especially in light of the Defense Department’s recent decision to extend tours of duty in Iraq.
Senator Biden believes that we should treat everyone serving in the military by the same standards regardless of orientation.