Biden gay marriage

Former Vice President Joe Biden Officiates a Same-Sex Wedding

This weekend, former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden officiated a same-sex wedding ceremony for Democratic staffer and Democratic National Committee Finance chair Henry Munoz and his partner Kyle Ferrari. Actress Melanie Griffith posted an image from the ceremony on her Instagram.

It’s actually the second same-sex wedding that Biden has officiated — the first was in August 2016 when he helped wed two White House employees.

Biden has long been a supporter of same-sex marriage and LGBTQ rights. In May 2012 (three years before the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide), he famously told David Gregory, the host of Meet the Press, “I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men marrying women are entitled to the same exact rights.”

His embrace of same-sex marriage overshot then-President Barack Obama’s public declaration of support for same-sex marriage. Obama had supported same-sex marriage as far back as 1996 when he filled out a questionnaire stating “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.”

Obama later walked back his support under the advice of his political strategist David Axelrod who worried that an open embrace of same-sex marriage might cause him the support of black religious voters and other religious swing-state voters while running for U.S. President.

Biden had never officiated a wedding before overseeing the 2012 marriage of Brian Mosteller and Joe Mahshie. Biden obtained a special temporary certification as a wedding officiant from the District of Columbia and conducted the ceremony in his residence at the U.S. Naval Observatory.

Biden’s affirmation of same-sex marriage provides a visual counterpoint to the largely anti-LGBTQ cabinet and policies of the current administration of now-U.S. President Donald Trump.