Gingrich claims religious rights are being ‘outlawed’ by marriage equality

Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich

Former U.S. House Speaker, and failed GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich, appearing Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” falsely claimed that Catholic adoption agencies are being “outlawed” in some states where marriage equality laws take effect.

Newt Gingrich

“What I’m struck with is the one-sidedness of the desire for rights. There are no rights for Catholics to have adoption services in Massachusetts. They’re outlawed. There are no rights in DC for Catholics to have adoption service. They’re outlawed,” said Gingrich, who also asserted that states are telling the Church that they “could not follow Catholic doctrine.”

MSNBC contributor Joy-Ann Reid pointed out that it was the Church’s decision to withdraw its services, rather than allow married gay and lesbian couples to adopt.

Reid corrected Gingrich: “I think the point is, is that you don’t have the state attempting to tell religions what to believe. People, if they oppose the idea of gay marriage within their religion, have the absolute right to do so. The question is whether or not religious institutions can make public policy.”


In Massachusetts and the District of Columbia, and in other states (such as Illinois), Catholic Charities voluntarily ended their adoption services rather than comply with those jurisdiction’s anti-discrimination laws, not the marriage equality laws.

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