31 May 2015

R.I.P. "Beau" Biden

Yesterday we lost one of our champions:  Joseph Robinette "Beau" Biden III lost his battle with brain cancer.

Two years ago, as the Attorney General of the State of Delaware, he joined Governor Jack Markell in supporting same-sex marriage legislation, which passed soon thereafter.  Thus did Delaware become the eleventh state--and the twelfth jurisdiction--in the US to legalize gay marriage.  

One month later, he urged state lawmakers to pass legislation that would establish legal protections based on gender identity.  Only fifteen days later, Governor Markell signed that bill into law.

So, within the space of just over two months, Biden managed to bring both same-sex marriage and gender equality to his state.  How many other public officials have such a record?

While his commitment to human rights was palpable, he's an example of how "an apple doesn't fall far from the tree".  If his last name looks familiar to you, it's because his father is Joe Biden--yes, that one, the Vice-President of the United States.  It was Biden pere who, in essence, cornered President Obama into supporting same-sex marriage, something he had opposed while campaigning for office.