Joe Biden joked about coming out as gay and reminisced about when gay culture in San Francisco meant bath houses and ‘around-the-clock sex’ during an LGBTQ town hall event Thursday night.
The former vice president joined other Democratic candidates to take questions on LGBTQ issues during an event in Los Angeles sponsored by CNN and the Human Rights Campaign.
Biden was describing how he made his first public statement supporting same sex marriage in 2012 when he said he came out – an accidental play on words that had the audience laughing.
‘For example, when I came out and – I came out – when I publicly stated,’ he said.
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper stepped in: ‘That would be news, if you…’
‘I’ve got something to tell you,’ Biden joked in his reply.
‘I kind of figured it out a while ago,’ Cooper responded.
That led to a the former vice president reminiscing about how gay rights and acceptance of LGBTQ people has changed since he took first was elected to the Senate in the 1970s.
‘Think about Los Angeles here. If you had a business lunch 8, 10 years ago, and there were six or seven people at the lunch, and a gay waiter came up and said something that identified himself being gay, in fact, if one of the people made fun of that waiter, the vast majority of people wouldn’t have said anything at the table. Today you’d all look at him and say, if you’re straight as can be, look at him and say, what the hell is the matter with you? And he’d never be invited back,’ Biden pointed out.
He then brought up a reference to the infamous bath house culture in San Francisco, which became a subject of national attention during the AIDS crisis in the 1980s.
‘Back 15, 20 years ago, we talked about this in San Francisco was all about, well, you know, gay bath houses. And everybody – it’s all about around-the-clock sex. Come on, man. Gay couples are more likely to say together longer than heterosexual couples,’ he added.
The former vice president also talked about how he publicly supported gay marriage before President Barack Obama.
He expressed his support during an interview on the ‘Meet the Press’ in May 2012, jumping the gun on an administration announcement about the subject. Obama had not – at that time – taken a public stance on gay marriage.
Biden claimed Obama gave him a kiss for his move.
‘I answered the question honestly, and everybody thought that I had jumped the gun on the president,’ Biden said of his interview.
But Biden said when he went into the White House the next day, President Obama supported him.
‘I went in on Monday, and all the national press is saying Biden is really going to get nailed when he walks in and sees the president every morning. He got up, and he walked over to me and he said well, you told me. He gave me a kiss. I swear to god,’ Biden said.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Emily Goodin