Biden Engages NYC LGBTQ Community Post-Debate Performance Concerns

Biden Engages NYC LGBTQ Community Post-Debate Performance Concerns

Under the shadow of a poor debate performance and concern among some Democrats, President Joe Biden addressed Friday at the opening of an LGBTQ history visitor center in New York City.

Biden spoke to several hundred LGBTQ attendees and allies, including singer Elton John, actor Neil Patrick Harris, fashion designer Michael Kors, and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” star Courtney Act, during the opening of the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center to honor Pride Month.

“Today, I’m proud to unveil a new visitor center for Stonewall National Monument, the first ever LGBTQ+ visitor center in the national parks of America,” Mr. Biden stated. “It matters. We are still battling for America’s soul. But I look around and see the pride, hope, and light that each of you brings, and I know we’re going to win this battle and keep making progress.”

The new center, located in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, honors the history of the Stonewall riots of June 1969. The days-long demonstration erupted following a police raid on a homosexual club, the Stonewall Inn, and is widely regarded as a watershed moment in the modern gay and lesbian rights movement. Friday’s celebration commemorated the 55th anniversary of the rebellion.

According to several LGBTQ participants, what was supposed to be a day commemorating the nation’s past was marred by Biden’s dismal debate performance Thursday night and concerns about the country’s future.

“It would be great if the focus of this was what happened here, its history, and its importance for our ongoing struggle for equal rights,” said Robert Denning, a gay benefactor. “But it will likely be overshadowed by that.”

Scott Dewey, an account executive at software company SAP, one of the new tourist center’s sponsors, described the argument as “humiliating.”

“I felt so bad for Biden, but then at the same time, I was thinking, ‘Are they doing this so early, are the Democrats trying to sabotage him?'” Dewey, a gay man, was referring to Thursday’s discussion, which took place months before any other first presidential debate in history.

“It was a disgrace,” Dewey said. “He’s too old, and he confirmed that last night.”

Biden attempted to alleviate concerns about his debate performance and motivate voters at a rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, just hours before his New York trip.

“I understand I’m not a young man. I don’t walk as well as I used to. I don’t talk as fluently as I used to. I don’t debate as well as I used to, but I do know one thing: I can tell the truth!” Biden referred to the criticism he received following the debate, as well as the inaccuracies in some of former President Donald Trump’s comments.

Adrian Elim, 34, a freelance filmmaker at the visitor center, described the dispute as “a mess.” However, Elim, who is nonbinary and uses the pronouns they/she, stated that the center will remain open regardless of who the is president.

“If you want to focus on the wild-ass argument from yesterday, that’s fine, but what’s more important? “What is most important here is to honor the legacy of the Stonewall rebellion as well as the legacy of the LGBTQ community,” Elim stated.

Before the debate, a Gallup poll found that roughly 4 in 10 LGBTQ Americans, who overwhelmingly vote Democratic, approved of how the president is handling the country. According to an NBC News poll, Biden has a comparable approval rating among all voters, at 42%.

NBC News reported earlier this month that the Biden campaign intended to attend over 200 Pride events in 23 states, including all of the battleground states, to rally queer voters. The Human Rights Campaign, the country’s largest LGBTQ advocacy organization, has also committed to invest $15 million in six key states to aid the Biden campaign, citing fears about dwindling LGBTQ voter support.

Although some LGBTQ voters questioned the president’s qualifications for office, the hundreds of participants at Friday’s event gave him a standing ovation when he arrived and loud applause when he related a tale about an interaction he had with his father as a teenager.

“I remember my dad was dropping me off to get a license to be a lifeguard in Wilmington, Delaware, at the swimming pools,” Biden told the reporter. “When I got out of the car, two well-dressed men were kissing each other.” I had not seen that before. I looked at my father. I was sixteen years old. I looked at my father, who answered, ‘It’s simple, Joey; they love each other. “It is simple.”

The president’s participation at the center comes at a critical time for lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, transgender, and queer persons in the United States, as noted by the iconic artist Elton John, who was introduced by Biden. John, who is out gay, informed the audience that more than 500 laws aimed at the LGBTQ population had been introduced in state legislatures across the country this year NBCNEWS.

“As President Biden has reminded us today too, we face one of those seminal moments,” Mr. John stated. “Do we stand up for our vision and principles, or will disinformation and scapegoating roll back the clock? “No way,” he responded, as the president made the sign of the cross behind him and the audience laughed.

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