This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal

Speaking at the Human Rights Campaign's Spring Equality Convention on Friday, Vice President Joe Biden directly addressed the recent controversial comments on gay marriage made by neurosurgeon Ben Carson, a likely Republican presidential candidate. Carson had said on Wednesday that being gay is "absolutely" a choice. To back up his assertion, Carson said that "a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight—and when they come out, they're gay."

Carson's remarks sparked immediate backlash. In his speech, Biden addressed the changing political culture on gay issues, saying how views such as Carson's are no longer accepted by the public. Here's what Biden said, to laughter and applause: 

Let me just put it to you in this context: Eight, 10 years ago—even two years ago—homophobic statements would have been, if not embraced, [they would have not been] viewed as generating any political liability. Looks what is happening in ... the other party today. Seriously. Don't misread the political trends in history here. Every ridiculous assertion from Dr. Carson on. I mean, Jesus, God. [Laughter from audience] Oh, God. It's kind of hard to fathom isn't it? But think about the universal ridicule [directed at Carson]. That wouldn't have happened two years ago, five years ago. It matters.

This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.

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