President Joe Biden is claiming that he supported gay marriage as far back as the late ’50s–a claim that is contradicted by his vocal support of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act which defined marriage as between a man and a woman. During a recent interview with actor Kal Penn, Biden claims he changed his mind on the issue after watching two men kiss in front of his high school in 1959.
Watch Biden make his claim below:
“I can remember exactly when my epiphany [on supporting gay marriage] was,” Biden told Penn. “I was a senior in high school. And my dad was dropping me off and I remember I was about to get out of the car and I looked to my right and two well-dressed men in suits kissed each other.”
While Joe’s wistful story about watching a lip-lock between two men while in high school might be amusing, the idea that it led to an epiphany on the topic of gay marriage is contradicted by the facts.
In 1996, for example, then-Senator Biden voted in support of the Defense of Marriage Act, which legally defined marriage as between a man and a woman.
Biden is also on record opposing gay marriage as late as 2008. During a vice presidential debate that year, then-vice president Biden said unequivocally that he opposed gay marriage, going as far as to say he and Republican opponent Sarah Palin “really don’t have a difference” when it came to the issue.