'Don't Give Up:' Joe Biden Urges LGBT Community to Fight Back Against Republicans

Joe Biden
Former Vice President Joe Biden delivers a speech during the Concordia Europe Summit in Athens, Greece June 7, 2017. Costas Baltas/Reuters

Joe Biden has a message for America's LGBT community: "Don't give up."

Speaking at an LGBT gala event hosted by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in New York, Biden said: "Just because you don't have Barack and me in the White House doesn't mean it's time to give up, keep quiet, stay on the sidelines," according to the Associated Press.

"Hold President Trump accountable for his pledge to be your friend," Biden said.

In February, the Trump administration changed federal guidelines that permitted transgender students to choose school bathrooms and locker rooms that matched their individual gender identities.

The Trump administration at the time cited the right of states to set their own rules on the issue, but insisted that "President Trump has been clear in his commitment to improving the lives of all Americans, including those in the LGBT community."

The change opens the door for reversals of Obama-era policies: In his speech, Biden lashed out at laws "targeting young people, kids who are just trying to attend school."

"Transgender Americans are under attack from state legislatures from North Carolina to Texas," Biden added.

The DNC finance chair Henry Munoz introduced Biden, who officiated at his same-sex wedding. Munoz warned of a hostile atmosphere for gay and trans people created by the Trump administration.

"This moment has been injected with hate and separation and is the farthest away from equality we have ever stood in my lifetime," Munoz said.

Biden's appearance comes weeks after he launched a political action committee (PAC) called American Possibilities, re-launching speculation that he planned to run for the presidency in 2020.

"Folks, the history of the journey of this nation is one of ordinary people doing extraordinary things," Biden wrote in a Medium post at the time, "We're the people who built the Hoover Dam and the Transcontinental Railroad, landed a man on the moon, cured polio, built the Internet and sequenced the human genome. And yes -- soon we will be the people who will find a cure for cancer. Thinking big is stamped into the DNA of the American soul."