At a conference hosted by Human Rights Campaign (HRC) this week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Vice President Joe Biden delivered a passionate address in support of LGBT rights.
The annual conference draws leaders from across the world, including representatives from around 75 countries where being LGBT is still criminalized and, to varying degrees, punished. At the time of the discussion, Biden said, he had already confronted at least four leaders of such countries, making clear America's commitment to equality.
Seated next to HRC President Chad Griffin, Biden lashed out at those who justify continued persecution, slamming his hands on the table as a mark of his agitation:
"I've had it up to here with culture. I really mean it. Culture never justifies rank, raw, discrimination or violation of human rights. There is no cultural justification. None. None. None."
"LGBT people face violence, harassment, unequal treatment, mistreatment by cops, denial of health care, isolation—always in the name of culture."
He then went on to encourage businesses to adopt better workplace protections and vocalize calls to end discrimination:
"When you speak up, you change the terms of the debate."
Watch Biden's remarks below: