Former Vice President Joe Biden. Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden vowed at the Human Rights Campaign’s gala Saturday his legislative priority was preserving Equality Act protections for LGBTQ people, as he accused the Trump administration of committing "immoral" acts against the community.

“You can get married because the Supreme Court now says that, but you can walk into your place of employment in so many states and be fired ... It’s got to change, because of the values we have to demonstrate to the rest of the world. It’s got to change because it’s just morally wrong."

Why it matters: The Equality Act passed in the Democratic-controlled House last month, but it's expected to be blocked by the Republican-controlled Senate. Some conservatives argue the bill — which would amend a 1964 law permitting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity — violates religious freedom and nullifies women's rights.

The big picture: Biden opted to address the HRC dinner in Columbus, Ohio, on the first day of Pride Month, rather than attend the California Democratic Convention, at which several of the former vice president's 2020 rivals gave speeches.

  • During his HRC speech, the former vice president noted 5 black transgender women were killed this year. He said the fastest way to stop the violence was to "end the Trump administration."
  • Biden denounced the Trump administration for attempting to roll back LGBTQ rights protection.
  • He accused President Trump and the White House of having a "bully pulpit" to "callously" extend power over the most vulnerable, "implementing the most discriminatory policies like Muslim bans, turning away asylum seekers, putting children in cages."
  • Biden said Vice President Mike Pence was using religious freedom as an "excuse to license discrimination." "It's wrong and it is immoral what they're doing," he said.

The other side: President Trump tweeted on Friday that his administration "has launched a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality." He invited all nations to join the effort.

"As we celebrate LGBT Pride Month and recognize the outstanding contributions LGBT people have made to our great Nation, let us also stand in solidarity with the many LGBT people who live in dozens of countries worldwide that punish, imprison, or even execute individuals...on the basis of their sexual orientation."

Go deeper: Joe Biden on the issues, in under 500 words

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
48 mins ago - Economy & Business

Coronavirus surge is sinking consumer confidence

Data: Hamilton Place Strategies, CivicScience; Chart: Axios Visuals

The rise in coronavirus cases in certain parts of the U.S. is stunting confidence across the country, a crop of new reports show.

Driving the news: After stalling during the previous two-week period, overall economic sentiment declined for the first time in two months, according to the Economic Sentiment Index, a biweekly survey from data firm CivicScience and Hamilton Place Strategies (HPS).

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage."
  2. Health: Mask mandates help control the rise in coronavirus hospitalizations. Hospitals face a crush.
  3. Business: Coronavirus testing is a windfall. Winter threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. World: Putin mandates face masks.

The GOP's monstrous math problem

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Republicans, win or lose next week, face a big — and growing — math problem.

The state of play: They're relying almost exclusively on a shrinking demographic (white men), living in shrinking areas (small, rural towns), creating a reliance on people with shrinking incomes (white workers without college degrees) to survive.