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Nobody asked for Joe Biden’s thoughts on “round the clock” gay orgies, but he shared them anyway

There were a few awkward moments during CNN’s Equality Town Hall last night. But perhaps the most awkward was when Joe Biden went on a bizarre tangent about gay men having “round the clock” sex in 2004. The remarks came after he was asked about new HIV infections in communities of color, particularly among gay Black 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 a question about the alarming “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?” Hucks-Ortiz asked.

To which Biden responded by calling for nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people in hospitals so that health care providers can’t “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.”

That part of the answer was fine. But things quickly devolved from there.

The 2020 hopeful went on to once again remind us that he supported same-sex marriage before Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, in case anyone forgot.

According to Biden, he did so because “57 percent of all Americans supported gay marriage” at the time, not because, oh, you know, it was the right thing to do. Also, just for the record, it was closer to 50 percent, but those details, Biden says, don’t really matter.

“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.”

Many people would argue that being “afraid” of LGBTQ people is kind of the definition of homophobia, but we’ll let that one slide. What we’re really confused about is what any of this has to do with gay Black men in the South living with HIV.

Things got weirder still when the former veep began musing over some hypothetical waiter who was bullied “eight or 10 years” ago for being gay. Biden claimed that wouldn’t happen today because same-sex relationships are now “normal,” “normalized,” “not anything strange,” and “not strange.”

Things got legit out of hand shortly after that when Biden began talking about, wait for it, gay orgies.

“Back 15, 20 years ago in San Francisco was all about gay, gay bathhouses,” he rambled on. “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.”

Biden seems to have confused San Francisco “back 15, 20 years ago” with San Francisco back 35, 40 years ago, during the height of the AIDS epidemic, when, in 1984, the San Francisco Health department ordered all gay bathhouses in the city be shuttered.

Thankfully, that’s when Anderson Cooper, who was moderating the event, finally stepped in to say, “We’re going to leave it there, Mr. Vice President.”

Yes, let’s leave it there.

The twitter response to Biden’s “round the clock” gay sex remarks has been about what you’d expect…

Related: Chris Cuomo apologizes for joking about pronouns at Democratic debate