Biden: Jewish leaders helped gay marriage succeed

Jewish leaders in the media are in large part responsible for American acceptance of gay marriage, Vice President Biden said Tuesday night.

“I believe what affects the movements in America, what affects our attitudes in America are as much the culture and the arts as anything else,” he said at a Democratic National Committee reception for Jewish American Heritage Month. He cited social media and the sitcom "Will and Grace," giving Jews a large part of the credit for both. 

“I bet you 85 percent of those changes, whether it’s in Hollywood or social media are a consequence of Jewish leaders in the industry," he said. "The influence is immense, the influence is immense. And, I might add, it is all to the good. ”

The vice president also praised Jewish contributions to science, immigration reform, the civil-rights movement, the arts, the law and to feminism.

"I think you vastly underestimate the impact you've had on the development of this nation," he said. "We’re a great country because of the contributions and most importantly because of Jewish heritage and the values you brought."

The praise was so profuse that New York Magazine's Jonathan Chait found it worrisome, noting that white supremacists are already taking Biden's speech as evidence of a secret Jewish conspiracy.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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Rachel Weiner · May 22, 2013