Barack Obama’s VP Joe Biden calls on Trump administration to protect LGBT rights abroad

Former US Vice President Joe Biden addresses a Human Rights Campaign gala

Joe Biden has called on Donald Trump’s administration to use its power to help protect the rights of LGBT people across the globe.

Barack Obama’s Vice President, who had the role from 2009 to 2017, made the comments in a comment piece for The Washington Post after being announced as an LGBT hero for his work.

Mr Biden called on Americans to “stand with LGBT people around the world” and hit out against anti-LGBT hate that exists globally and also at home in the US.

Donald Trump and Ivanka

Donald Trump and Ivanka (Getty)

“Many times, this kind of discrimination, harassment and violence is justified in the name of ‘culture’,” Mr Biden said.

“This offensive argument ignores the fundamental truth that LGBT rights are human rights. Prejudice is prejudice; inhumanity is inhumanity.

“Using religion or culture to license discrimination and demonizing LGBT individuals to score political points are no more justifiable around the world than they are here at home.”

He added: “Progress is possible. But we cannot wait, we cannot stand by.

“Governments, including ours, can wield the levers of diplomacy, defense and foreign aid to promote and protect the human rights of all people.

“The foreign-policy community can further incorporate and highlight LGBT equality in broader conversations about global health, gender-based violence and human rights.”

In the piece, Biden outlined just some of the progress made on LGBT rights during the Obama administration.

This included new federal laws and policies and, of course, the Supreme Court decision in favour of equal marriage.

Mr Biden famously publicly expressed his support for gay marriage while President Obama’s beliefs were still evolving on the issue.

He even went on to obtain a temporary marriage licence to allow him to marry two gay male White House employees, Brian and Joe, at his home.

Joe Biden marries gay couple Joe and Brian

Joe Biden marries gay couple Joe and Brian

The former VP said that work on LGBT rights was not yet complete in the US, with 28 states still allowing firms to fire people because they are lesbian, gay or bisexual, and 30 allowing firms to sack staff for being transgender.

Mr Biden will receive the inaugural LGBT hero award at the Democratic National Committee’s annual LGBT Gala in New York on June 21.

In the past, Mr Biden has admitted to having several “run-ins” with other heads of state after taking them to task for their country’s record on LGBT rights.

He also backed an executive order banning anti-gay discrimination, seemingly contradicting the official White House line and saying there was “no downside” to it.

Mr Biden’s influence eventually resulted in President Obama signing the order.