WASHINGTON – Vice President Joe Biden says he’s “absolutely comfortable” with gay couples who marry getting the same civil rights and liberties as heterosexual couples, a stand that gay rights advocates interpreted as an endorsement of same-sex marriage.
But the White House and President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, eager to avoid a debate on a hot-button social issue in an election year, insisted that Biden was not breaking ranks with Obama, who does not publicly support gay marriage.
Biden told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that marriage should be about being loyal to someone you love, whether that marriage is between a man and a woman, two men or two women. “I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men and women marrying one another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties,” Biden said in the interview, broadcast Sunday.
Gay rights advocates said Biden’s comments signaled unmistakable support for gay marriage, which they said made him the highest-ranking member in the Obama administration to take that position.
The vice president’s office said Sunday after the interview aired that Biden’s comments were not an endorsement of gay marriage, but simply a reaffirmation of his belief that same-sex couples deserve the same rights and protections as all Americans.
Man found dead worked at track
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Authorities said a man whose body was found early Sunday in a barn at Churchill Downs hours after the Kentucky Derby worked at the racetrack.
The victim was identified Sunday as 48-year-old Adan Fabian Perez, a Guatemala native, according to Jo-Ann Farmer, chief deputy coroner for Jefferson County.
Farmer said he was identified by his 19-year-old son, who also works at the track.
“There’s a suspicion of foul play,” Farmer said Sunday evening. An autopsy is scheduled for today.
The Louisville Metro Police said the death is being investigated as a homicide, but that there appears to be no connection to the track.