Discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals is indefensible as a cultural norm, U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden told a gathering of business executives Thursday.
Biden led a roundtable discussion with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) about equality in the workplace for LGBT employees on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
He criticized countries without LGBT rights for hiding behind a “this is our culture” slogan, saying that culture never justifies discrimination or violations of human rights. “There's no cultural justification. None. None. None," Biden said pounding the table.
FILE - In this Oct. 22, 2015, photo, a gay Syrian who fled from the Islamic State group, poses with the rainbow flag symbolic of LGBT rights in his apartment in southern Turkey.
He said that together with the president of the United States they have raised LGBT rights in every bilateral meeting with leaders of countries that are hostile to the issue.
Biden urged CEOs to sign the HRC pledge to global workplace fairness.
He said when it comes to LGBT rights, the world looks to corporations, too, even more so than the Supreme Court or the Obama White House. When the private sector speaks up, Biden said, it can change public opinion.
LGBT individuals are banned in 75 countries around the world.