Former Vice President and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden made a surprise visit to the Stonewall Inn Tuesday afternoon to court potential voters.
Biden’s visit to the iconic West Village gay bar took many by surprise, including Mark Segal, the founder of Philadelphia Gay News and a longtime LGBTQ activist who was present at the 1969 Stonewall uprising — and during Biden’s visit yesterday, reports NBC News.
“If you would have suggested something like this 50 years ago, the 18-year-old me would think you were an alien,” Segal told NBC News.
“His staff hearing that there was a Stonewall pioneer in the room brought us together,” Segal added.
He said he and Biden shook hands and that Biden said, “Thank you for your service.”
Biden reportedly bought a round of drinks for all the bar patrons.
The Biden campaign released a statement following his stop. “VP Biden and Dr. Biden,” it read, “stopped by Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York this afternoon to commemorate 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising and demonstrate their unwavering support for the LGBTQ community during Pride Month and the NYC World Pride celebrations.”
Stopped by @TheStonewallNYC to celebrate #PrideMonth & #WorldPride where the movement began 50 years ago. pic.twitter.com/2Z4PyfzyOq
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) June 18, 2019
In 2012, Biden was asked on NBC’s Meet the Press whether his views on marriage equality had evolved, to which he responded, “I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men and women marrying one another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties.”
“Quite frankly, I don’t see much of a distinction — beyond that,” he added.
His comments came at a time when same-sex couples could marry in only six states and Washington, D.C., and came shortly before President Barack Obama publicly came out in support marriage equality.