Democratic presidential candidate and former vice president Joe Biden said at an event for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) that he would make protecting LGBTQ rights through the Equality Act his number one priority if elected president.

Biden attended HRC’s annual gala in Columbus, Ohio on Saturday (June 1), where he made his commitment to the LGBTQ community in a 30-minute speech for the audience of LGBTQ activists.

“There’s nothing that can change what you’ve started,” Biden addressed the audience. “Many of you paid a personal price for being who you are. You risked your jobs. You risked your livelihoods. Many risked their physical wellbeing.”

“Thanks to you, our children and grandchildren are growing up in a world which is far more just, far more open-minded, far more humane,” he continued. “But here’s the hard truth… this fight, as you know, is not nearly over.”

Biden went on to call LGBTQ rights “the civil rights issue of our time.”

“Just like with racial justice and women’s rights, we are seeing pushback against all the progress we’ve made toward equality,” he said, adding that the Trump administration was on “the wrong side of history” – “It’s wrong and it is immoral what they’re doing.”

He followed the condemnation of the Trump administration with an endorsement of the Equality Act.

“[W]e need the Equality Act… We need to elect a Democratic Senate that will pass it,” he said. “I promise you if I’m elected president, that’ll be the first thing I ask to be done.”

The former vice president also mentioned his “As You Are” campaign, which shares the stories of LGBTQ youth in the hopes of showing the importance of family acceptance.

Many other Democratic presidential candidates posted LGBTQ-supportive messages on social media in honor of Pride Month.

President Trump also recognized Pride Month for the first time in his presidency, but was consequently criticized by LGBTQ groups because of his consistent attacks on the LGBTQ community.

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