October 3, 2013 | by Michael K. Lavers
Biden cancels HRC dinner speech

Vice President Joseph Biden (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Vice President Joseph Biden (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Vice President Biden has cancelled his appearance at this weekend’s Human Rights Campaign dinner in D.C. over the federal government shutdown.

Biden had been scheduled to deliver the keynote address at the Saturday event at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center that is expected to draw more than 3,000 people. HRC spokesperson Fred Sainz told the Washington Blade the vice president called his organization’s president, Chad Griffin, late on Wednesday to “express his regrets.”

Sainz added Biden “reaffirmed his clear commitment to equality nationwide for all LGBT people” to Griffin.

“We’re disappointed but understand,” Sainz told the Blade.

Jennifer Lopez and pop singer Sara Bareilles are scheduled to appear at the dinner alongside DOMA plaintiff Edith Windsor and attorney Roberta Kaplan whom HRC will honor.

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Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

7 Comments
  • Please clarify how the shutdown should affect the appearance of the VP at a charity dinner?

  • I certainly see how it could affect security arrangements. Obviously, the VP always has Secret Service protection, but he needs more people when he's on the move and in public. Also, he might be negotiating with his colleagues of the past three decades in the Senate (though the real problem is in the House).

  • The HRC Dinner is unquestionably an annual political event. So it must take a back seat to unexpected events plotted by the GOP’s worst players, which now adversely impacts millions of Americans.

    All ranking Democrats involved in this crucial and historic WH/Congress budget integrity showdown– most especially the Prez and Veep– must appear to be above politics-as-usual. The unity conveyed by top Dems throughout this showdown– their “game faces” in more competitive parlance– must be serious and credible throughout.

    Nobody can doubt Joe Biden’s abiding commitment to LGBT equality throughout his long career.

  • I hear the president is canceling his Pacific trip and the VP is going in his stead.

  • Harry Reid has already gaffed the shutdown with his statement that those little kids can get along just fine with brain tumors, because, after all, he has for years. Obama can't afford more gaffes, his polls are dropping daily. His Barrackaiding of open public spaces like parks, roads, and the WWII memorial is making it clear even to some of his dwindling numbers of sheeple that he is a fascist.

  • Um you do realize the Republicans caused this right? #TheBlackGuyWonGetOverIt

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