In the wake of a string of victories for same-sex marriage, former Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich has reportedly called on the Republican Party to accept the “reality” of marriage equality.
In an interview with The Huffington Post, the former U.S. House speaker maintained he still believes marriage is one man, one woman, but said he could accept a distinction between a ”marriage in a church from a legal document issued by the state”:
On gay marriage, meanwhile, Gingrich argued that Republicans could no longer close their eyes to the course of public opinion. While he continued to profess a belief that marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman, he suggested that the party (and he himself) could accept a distinction between a “marriage in a church from a legal document issued by the state” — the latter being acceptable.
“I think that this will be much more difficult than immigration for conservatism to come to grips with,” he said, noting that the debate’s dynamics had changed after state referenda began resulting in the legalization of same-sex marriage. “It is in every family. It is in every community. The momentum is clearly now in the direction in finding some way to … accommodate and deal with reality. And the reality is going to be that in a number of American states — and it will be more after 2014 — gay relationships will be legal, period.”
The remarks come of the heels of victories for marriage equality on Election Day, when same-sex marriage was legalized at the ballot in Maine, Minnesota and Washington state and Minnesota voters rejected a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Gingrich also makes the remarks just weeks after the Supreme Court announced it’ll consider the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act.
Gingrich, who supported DOMA’s passage at the time he served as U.S. House speaker in 1996, reportedly said during the interview he didn’t imagine when the law was passed there would be the growth of the legalization of same-sex marriage seen now.