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Biden Talks 'Round the Clock' Gay Sex During LGBTQ+ Town Hall

Joe Biden Says Being Gay Isn’t About ‘Round the Clock Sex’ Anymore

In one of the more bizarre exchanges during CNN’s LGBTQ+ Town Hall, Joe Biden pivoted to talking about “round the clock” gay sex when asked about combating the HIV crisis among Black queer men in the south.

Christopher Hucks-Ortiz, the director of social services for Dignity Health at St. Mary Medical Center in Los Angeles, asked the former vice president about the vast “health disparities across this country [which] have resulted in higher rates of HIV acquisition among Black people than any other group.”

“What would you do as president to help change this narrative, especially in the South, where 50 percent of all new diagnoses occur?” he asked.

Biden began to answer the question but quickly began to lose his point. He started off by calling for LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination protections in health care, in order to ensure that hospitals and health care providers do not have the ability to “discriminate based upon whether or not you have HIV or whether or not you are gay or lesbian or transgender.”

“That is a violation of the law,” he said. “That should not be allowed under any circumstances, number one.”

But then Biden began to quickly veer off track. He discussed the need to “educate people” about the problems facing LGBTQ+ people across the United States and then discussed his relatively early support for marriage equality in May 2012, before former President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. According to Biden, “57 percent of all Americans supported gay marriage” at the time.

Polling actually showed that 50 percent of U.S. citizens were in favor of same-sex marriage when Biden voiced his support for the issue, but he admitted those statistics were not the point.

What was the point, you ask?

“The generic point I'm making here is, folks, the vast majority of people in America are not homophobic,” he said. “They're just afraid. They don't understand. They don't know. They don't know what to do or say.”  

That’s when things got weird. After discussing a hypothetical thought experiment about a gay waiter that no one would have stood up for if he were laughed at or harassed “eight or 10 years” ago, Biden claimed same-sex relationships are now “normal,” “normalized,” “not anything strange,” and “not strange” (and yes, all of those descriptors were used).

To underline his point about how things have changes for LGBTQ+ couples — which has nothing to do with the HIV rate in the South — Biden talked about gay orgies.

“Back 15, 20 years agoin San Francisco was all about gay, gay bath houses,” he said. “It's all about around-the-clock sex. It's all — come on, man. Gay couples are more likely to stay together longer than heterosexual couples.”

On that latter note, at least, Biden was partially correct: In a study of 500 Vermont couples, UCLA’s The Williams Institute found that gay men were the least likely to break up. However, its study showed lesbian couples were actually more likely to split than heterosexual couples.

Whether that anecdote was going to end in Biden relocating his point remains unclear. CNN moderator Anderson Cooper cut him off before he could finish.

“We're going to leave it there, Mr. Vice President,” he said.

To help out the Democratic frontrunner — who remains locked in a dead heat with Elizabeth Warren in poll averages — Black men who have sex with men remain the group most likely to be impacted by HIV/AIDS in the U.S., accounting for 26 percent of all new HIV diagnoses in 2017.

RELATED | The Great Reckoning of Vice President Joe Biden

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