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Vice President Joe Biden cancels speech at Human Rights Campaign's annual dinner amid shutdown

BY JOSH LEDERMAN, ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON -- Vice President Joe Biden is canceling a speech to an influential gay rights group because of the government shutdown.

Biden was scheduled to deliver the keynote address to about 3,400 people at the Human Rights Campaign's annual dinner on Saturday. It's the nation's biggest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights group, and gay and lesbian activists were among President Barack Obama's most loyal supporters during his re-election campaign.

But the partial shutdown of the federal government has led Obama and now Biden to cancel a number of events. Obama canceled an appearance at a glitzy Congressional Hispanic Caucus event Wednesday and has scaled back his upcoming trip to Asia.

The shutdown has forced hundreds of thousands of federal workers on furlough.

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