Washington (CNN)People gathered at a 2020 presidential fundraiser for Joe Biden Saturday pushed back against the former vice president’s claim that just a few years ago people in Washington state would have let a homophobic comment slide, saying “Not in Seattle!”
The presidential hopeful suggested public sentiment toward gay rights issues has come far in a short period of time, saying five years ago if someone at a business meeting in Seattle “made fun of a gay waiter” people would just let it go, according to a pool report of the event. The audience vocally responded to the remark and some in the crowd said homophobic comments would not have gone unchallenged even before five years ago, according to the report.The event was hosted by public relations executive Roger Nyhus, who is known as a leader in the Seattle gay rights community.Why Kamala Harris' Biden attack workedBiden said if someone made homophobic comments today, “that person would not be invited back,” and said it was wrong that a gay couple could get married one day and get fired the next in 22 states because they lacked legal protections from job discrimination. Biden recalled when he, as vice president, said publicly in 2012 that he supported same-sex marriage before former President Barack Obama. Obama, who had previously said his position on the issue was “evolving,” announced his support for same-sex marriage after Biden’s comments. Read MoreThe former vice president said he told White House advisers at the time, “The American people are so far ahead of their leaders on this issue.” Harris dropped a bomb on Biden that's bigger than politicsBiden told the crowd that he recently visited the site of the Stonewall riots, and said, “Think of the incredible, physical, moral courage it took to stand up and fight back.”Biden also spent a portion of his about 30-minute speech addressing Trump’s relationship with authoritarian leaders and the Trump administration’s impact on the country. He closed his remarks to applause.