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Newt Gingrich: GOP must accept ‘reality’ of marriage equality

CHRIS JOHNSON | Washington Blade
Thursday, December 20, 2012

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.

Newt Gingrich
File photo by Michael Key, Washington Blade

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.

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15 more reader comments:

  1. …wow. I’m sure he isn’t happy about it but wow.

    Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 4:37pm
  2. I’m hoping by the time the next generation comes along, people will look back on today and really wonder what all the fuss was about, the way we do with mixed-race marriages, women driving and voting, and a whole bunch of other stuff that today falls under the general heading of “normal”.

    Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 4:37pm
  3. Reality said bye bye to the GOP ages ago.

    Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 4:37pm
  4. I’m impressed, Newt.

    Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 4:39pm
  5. Maybe he isn’t as stupid as i though he was

    Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 4:41pm
  6. “And his heart grew three sizes that day.”

    Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 4:43pm
  7. i said i was straight for years… didnt make it true…

    Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 4:45pm
  8. Interesting, albeit likely the farthest the GOP will ever go on the subject. I can see a distinct difference emerging in Newt’s stance, however…”So, did you have a ‘church’ marriage, or a ‘state’ one?”

    Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 4:47pm
  9. I like that he mentioned “a legal document” vs “a religous ceremony” because when it comes down to it, its the legal right we’re fighting for and as far as religon goes, its up to each individual and their church

    Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 4:48pm
  10. they must except the reality of marriage equality!!!

    Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 4:59pm
  11. The .man is a waste of sperm.

    Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 5:11pm
  12. Way to go Newt!!

    Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 5:17pm
  13. Alot of my heterosexual relatives had courthouse marriages, but not church weddings. Does that mean they are not really married?

    Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 5:21pm
  14. I’m not sure we really need support from this serial adulterer. . .

    Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 6:16pm
  15. My wife and I were married by the United Church of Christ, but my government won’t recognize it.

    Posted on Friday, December 21, 2012 at 6:06am