The US vice president has put gay rights at the heart of this years World Economic Forum in Davos.
Joe Biden urged chief executives to drive change in countries where lesbian,
gay, bisexual and transgender people face repression.
The issue is on the official agenda for the first time at the World Economic Forum, where political leaders from countries that discriminate against gay people, such as Nigeria and Russia, schmooze business leaders and billionaire investors.
Biden told U.S. executives to push for change.
“You can change the terms of debate,” he said. “You actually put governments on notice.”
He said he and President Barack Obama privately raise the issue of repression of the LGBT community when they meet political leaders.
“I have had some run-ins with at least four heads of state already on this,” said Biden.
Banging his fist on the table, Biden said there was no national cultural justification to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
“People used to be cannibals as part of their culture, people used to do terrible things as part of their culture,” he said.
VP</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/JoeBiden">JoeBiden speaks passionately in support of #LGBT rights at World Economic Forum roundtable https://t.co/YdcW8yn42F
WashBlade</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WEF16?src=hash">#WEF16</a></p>— Michael K. Lavers (mklavers81) January 20, 2016
Invest in communities, not tax havens, says Biden
Biden also suggested business leaders should look after their workers as well as their shareholders.
“You may not like hearing it, but keeping billions of dollars in offshore tax havens might be good for your shareholders, but it robs your home country,” said Biden. “So bring it back. Invest it in the communities in which you live. The enterprises. The communities allow your enterprise to thrive.”
Many of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful have gathered in the Swiss ski resort to discuss business and the state of the world.