(CNSNews.com) - Appearing on NBC on Sunday, Vice President Joe Biden applauded an NBC entertainment program he believes helped change American culture by moving the country toward acceptance of same-sex marriage.
“My measure, David, and I take a look at when things really begin to change, is when the social culture changes,” Biden told NBC's "Meet the Press" host David Gregory. “I think ‘Will & Grace’ probably did more to educate the American public than almost anything anybody's ever done so far.”
“Will and Grace” was a sitcom aired by NBC from 1998 through 2006. It featured a main character who was homosexual.
Since 1998, the year “Will & Grace” premiered, voters in 30 states have approved state constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage. In no state have voters approved a referendum legalizing same-sex marriage.
Gregory had introduced a discussion of same-sex marriage by telling Biden that the “president has said that his views on gay marriage, on same-sex marriage have evolved.” He then asked Biden whether his views have evolved also.
“Look, I just think that the good news is that as more and more Americans come to understand what this is all about is a simple proposition. Who do you love? Who do you love?” said Biden. “And will you be loyal to the person you love? And that's what people are finding out is what all marriages at their root are about. Whether they're marriages of lesbians or gay men or heterosexuals.”
“That's what I believe,” Biden said.
“And you're comfortable with same-sex marriage now?” Gregory asked.
“Look, I am vice president of the United States of America. The president sets the policy,” said Biden. “I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And quite frankly, I don't see much of a distinction beyond that."
When Gregory asked whether the administration, in a second term, would support legalized same-sex marriage, Biden said he could not speak to that.
“Well, the president continues to fight, whether it's Don't Ask, Don't Tell, or whether it is making sure, across the board, that you cannot discriminate,” said Biden. “Look, the executive orders he's put in place. Any hospital that gets federal funding, which is almost all of them, they can't deny a partner from being able to have access to their partner who's ill or making the call on whether or not they--you know, it's just, this is evolving.
“And by the way, my measure, David, and I take a look at when things really begin to change, is when the social culture changes,” said Biden. “I think 'Will & Grace' probably did more to educate the American public than almost anything anybody's ever done so far. And I think people fear that which is different. Now they're beginning to understand. They're beginning to understand.”