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Joe Biden Has Tense Exchange Over L.G.B.T. Record

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. at the L.G.B.T.Q. Presidential Forum in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He was pressed repeatedly about his past votes for the Defense of Marriage Act.

The candidates boasted about...

The candidates boasted about their accomplishments — large and small — on behalf of L.G.B.T.Q Americans.

Mr. Booker noted that as mayor of Newark he vowed not to officiate any weddings until everyone had the right to wed.

Mr. Biden, he said, has been sympathetic to same-sex couples since he was a boy, when, he said, he and his father witnessed two men kissing while disembarking from the train station in Wilmington, Del.

“He said, ‘Joey, it’s simple,’” Mr. Biden said. “They love each other.”

In a historically diverse field, the L.G.B.T.Q. community has celebrated their own record-breaking first: Mr. Buttigieg, the first openly gay man[1] to mount a major campaign for president.

Though Mr. Buttigieg has collected significant financial support from the leaders in the gay community, some have begun to question his commitment to their causes. While Mr. Buttigieg frequently references his husband, Chasten, at campaign events and told his coming out story on the debate stage[2] last week as an example of resiliency, he hasn’t placed L.G.B.T.Q. equality at the center of his campaign.

He faced questions about a ban on gay men donating blood, pointing out that as mayor he couldn’t participate in a blood drive sponsored by his office.

“It’s an example, one of many examples, of the exclusions in this country,” he said. “We are still living with the long tail of prejudices.”

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