In less than a week, the field of major Democrat presidential contenders has shrunk from seven to two: Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.
Much of the attention on the two has focused on their economic positions. But what about key social issues? Where do they stand, and how do they compare? Let’s take a look.
Biden and Bernie on Life
When it comes to abortion, there is essentially no difference between Sen. Sanders and former Vice President Biden. Both support abortions up to birth and are committed to only nominating judges who would defend Roe v. Wade in its entirety.
For example, Sanders recently told a Texas audience: “My promise to you is I will never nominate anybody to the Supreme Court or the federal bench who is not 100 percent pro-Roe v. Wade.”
But Biden, who is often cast as a moderate, is no less committed to the abortion-until-birth policies enabled by Roe v. Wade. In fact, he’s been even more explicit in in terming his pro-abortion pre-requisites as a “litmus test” for nominating judges. And he pledged recently that if the Roe v. Wade decision is overturned judicially, he would send a bill to Congress to codify it legislatively. Last week, Biden also advocated for funding abortion internationally as a population-control measure.
Though the two are in lockstep on abortion now, that has not always been the case.
While Sanders has never deviated from his strictly pro-abortion voting record throughout his political career, Biden has changed somewhat. Even as he supported abortion rights, he had always opposed public funding of abortions. He announced a change, however, shortly after he entered the race for the presidency last year. As noted above, he now not only supports domestic funding of abortion, but international funding as well.
Biden and Bernie on LGBT Issues
It’s hard to tell who is more extreme on LGBT-related issues. At an LGBT town hall last October, Biden summed up his views with this statement: “We allow homophobes to control the agenda” – emphasizing that if he were President, he would lead the way on LGBT causes. But on issue after issue, it is impossible to find any daylight between the two.
Both strongly support the LGBT lobby’s top priority, the so-called Equality Act. Similar laws in some states have been the doorway through which the Left has targeted wedding vendors and pushed their aggressive transgender policies. The federal version would go even further – imposing transgenderism on the military, among other things. Biden has called the Equality Act his “top legislative priority,” while Sanders trumpets his role as a “proud cosponsor.”
Sanders supported same-sex marriage before Biden, even voting against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. But as Vice President, Joe Biden preceded President Obama in supporting same-sex marriage in 2012.
And, in addition to the Equality Act, both support additional legislation that would specifically foist pro-transgender policies on all of America.
Biden and Bernie on Religious Freedom
While both naturally claim to support religious freedom, the best way to gauge their commitment is to look at their response where religious freedom is currently being threatened.
Right now, the biggest threat to religious liberty is related to the LGBT agenda, and both oppose religious freedom in that context. Biden has stated: “Religion should not be used as license to discriminate, and as president I will oppose legislation to deny LGBTQ equal treatment in public places.” Meanwhile, Sanders has pledged to “oppose any and all religious freedom claims used to deny equal treatment to LGBTQ+ people.”
Specifically, for example, both Biden and Sanders have stated their intention to force faith-based adoption agencies (that receive any taxpayer funding) to violate their conscience with regard to biblical sexuality. If they are successful, then faith-based adoption and foster-care agencies throughout the nation will face the same dark choice as others in places like Boston and San Francisco have already faced – violate their conscience or abandon the children and families that they serve.