Biden: 'Will and Grace' Increased Acceptance of Homosexuality

May 7th, 2012 4:45 PM

During an interview on yesterday's edition of 'Meet the Press,' Vice President Joe Biden stated that he is “absolutely comfortable” with same-sex marriage and praised a long-running situation comedy for “educating” the American public on homosexuality.

However, Biden first had to defend his record of “evolving” views regarding homosexual issues, just as President Barack Obama, who says he supports civil unions. When asked by Meet the Press Host David Gregory regarding the difference in views between himself and the president, Biden sprang to Obama's defense.

I am vice president of the United States of America, but the president sets the policy.
I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties.
And quite frankly, I don’t see much of a distinction beyond that.

This was the vice president's first interview since Obama officially kicked off his reelection campaign on Saturday.

While the president says he supports civil unions, homosexual activists have been pressing the Democrat leader to take a stand in matters that affect gay people.

During the interview, Biden stated that same-sex marriage comes down to “a simple proposition.”

Who do you love? And will you be loyal to the person you love? And that’s what people are finding out is: what all marriages, at their root, are about, whether they’re marriages of lesbians or gay men or heterosexuals.

The vice president told Gregory that as society has become accustomed to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people, the door has opened for instituting federal measures to protect them, from executive orders banning discrimination to the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” which is one of Obama’s signature items regarding homosexual issues.

I take a look at when things really begin to change, is when the social culture changes. I think ‘Will and Grace’ probably did more to educate the American public than almost anything anybody’s ever done so far. And I think—people fear that which is different. Now they’re beginning to understand.

Biden was referring to the NBC sitcom that had two homosexual main characters who were gay from 1998 until 2006.

Actress Debra Messing, who played the heterosexual character Grace on the series, responded to Biden's comments by writing on Twitter that “I'm thrilled Biden has come out in support of gay marriage and am beyond proud of what he said.”

Her co-star Eric McCormack, who played Grace's gay roommate Will Truman, also supported Biden’s remarks.“Three cheers for VP Joe Biden! Fantastic interview. Now who ELSE is gonna step up?”

Despite the actors' enthusiasm on the vice president's remarks, a spokesman later said that Biden had said “nothing new.”

The vice president was saying what the president has said previously—that committed and loving same-sex couples deserve the same rights and protections enjoyed by all Americans, and that we oppose any effort to rollback those rights. That’s why we stopped defending the constitutionality of section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act in legal challenges and support legislation to repeal it.

Same-sex marriage is legal in six states and Washington, D.C., and has been passed by two more—Maryland and Washington state—but is not in effect, pending referendums in November. A legalization vote is scheduled for November in Maine, and votes to ban gay marriage will also take place in North Carolina and Minnesota.