Society

Joe Biden Officiates Same-Sex Wedding

| by Robert Fowler
Vice President Joe Biden officiates the wedding of two same-sex White House staffersVice President Joe Biden officiates the wedding of two same-sex White House staffers

Vice President Joe Biden has officiated a same-sex marriage for two White House staffers, Brian Mosteller and Joe Mahshie. The ceremony punctuated how far Biden has come on the issue since 2008.

On Aug. 1, Biden revealed that he had officiated the marriage of the two White House staffers in his own home. The vice president was able to do the honors after obtaining a temporary certification from the District of Columbia, The Huffington Post reports.

After the ceremony, Biden took to Twitter to post a picture of the event, which was attended only by the couples' immediate family.

“Proud to marry Brian and Joe at my house,” Biden tweeted out. “Couldn’t be happier, two longtime White House staffers, two great guys.”

The vice president’s wife, Dr. Jill Biden, followed up shortly after with her own tweet, stating, “Love is love!”

Mosteller is the director of Oval Office operations and a special assistant to President Barack Obama. Mahshie is the trip coordinator for First Lady Michelle Obama.

The ceremony offered a stark contrast to Biden’s attitude toward same-sex marriage eight years ago, when he only supported civil unions.

In October 2008, during a debate with Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, Biden and his opponent held matching positions on same-sex rights: providing the benefits of legal marriage without allowing civil marriages, according to Reuters.

“In an Obama-Biden administration, there will be absolutely no distinction from a constitutional standpoint or a legal standpoint between a same-sex and a heterosexual couple,” Biden stated during the debate.

When asked if he would actually support same-sex marriage, Biden flatly said no.

“Barack Obama nor I support redefining, from a civil side, what constitutes marriage,” Biden asserted.

In May 2012, Biden revealed that his views on same-sex marriage had shifted.

“I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men marrying women are entitled to the same exact rights,” Biden told NBC News.

Biden’s off-the-cuff remarks had actually arrived before Obama’s planned endorsement of same-sex marriage, enraging White House staffers at the time, according to CNN.

When Obama officially announced his support for same-sex marriage, he noted that Biden had spoiled the announcement by speaking out of turn, but concluded that “all’s well that ends well.”

Sources: CNNThe Huffington Post, NBC News via YouTube, Reuters / Photo credit: Vice President Joe Biden/Twitter

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