Biden caught telling multiple versions of infamous gay marriage ‘epiphany’ story in fact-check

A Washington Post fact-check found that President Biden has told multiple versions of the infamous gay marriage “epiphany” story he mentioned during an interview with Kal Penn on “The Daily Show.” 

The Post’s Glenn Kessler wrote that there were three reasons to “be skeptical of this story as Biden retells it,” the first being that gay men were “largely closeted at the time.”

The fact-check also notes that Biden told the New York Times a version of the story in which he was the father. 

Biden told the outlet about how one of his children “looked up at him quizzically after seeing two men headed off to work kiss each other goodbye on a busy street corner” and added that he said, ‘They love each other, honey,’ and that was it.” 


“So it was never anything that was a struggle in my mind,” he continued. 

During the interview with Penn, Biden told a similar version where his father was dropping him off when he was a senior in high school.

“I can remember exactly when my epiphany was,” Biden told Penn in response to a question about his evolution same-sex marriage. “I hadn’t thought about it much, to tell you the truth. I was a senior in high school and my dad was dropping me off. I remember about to get out of the car, and I looked to my right and two well-dressed men in suits kissed each other.”

According to Biden, he turned to his father, who said, “Joey, it’s simple. They love each other.”

In another variation of the story, Biden said he was driving with his father as a “junior in high school” and saw two men kissing in the next car while at a red light, according to the fact-check.


The outlet also noted that Biden voted for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996. The law defined “‘marriage’ as only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.” 

Biden came out in support of same-sex marriage in 2012 while he was vice president. 

“I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And quite frankly, I don’t see much of a distinction, beyond that,” he told NBC’s Meet the Press in 2012. 

Biden recently signed The Respect for Marriage Act in December. 

The law requires the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages performed in states where they are legal.

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