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Biden addresses NYC’s LGBTQ community hours after poor debate performance

Under the dark cloud of a lackluster debate performance and panic among some Democrats, President Joe Biden spoke Friday at the opening of a visitor center for LGBTQ history in New York City.

Biden addressed several hundred LGBTQ attendees and allies, including singer Elton John, actor Neil Patrick Harris, fashion designer Michael Kors and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” star Courtney Act, at the opening of the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center to commemorate Pride Month.

“Today, I’m proud to unveil a new visitor center for Stonewall National Monument, the first ever LGBTQ+ visitor center in the national parks of America,” Biden said. “It matters. We remain in a battle for the soul of America. But I look around at the pride, hope and light that all of you bring, and I know it’s a battle we are going to win and continue to make progress.”

The new center is dedicated to honoring the history of the June 1969 Stonewall riots and is at the site of the uprising in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. The dayslong protest erupted after a police raid on a gay bar, the Stonewall Inn, and is widely considered a turning point in the modern gay and lesbian rights movement. Friday’s ceremony took place on the 55th anniversary of the uprising.

What was supposed to be a day dedicated to the nation’s past, according to some LGBTQ attendees, was clouded by Biden’s poor debate performance Thursday night and fears for the country’s future.

“It would be great if the focus of this would be what happened here, its history and its importance for our ongoing struggle for equal rights,” Robert Denning, a gay philanthropist, said. “But it will likely be overshadowed by that.”

Scott Dewey, an account executive at software company SAP, one of the new

Read more on nbcnews.com