It’d be nice to pass off his blustery rhetoric as just that–anti-gay flame-throwing to convince a skeptical conservative base of his creds. But it’s more than that. It’s so bad even his lesbian half-sister is over it.
Gingrich has been anti-gay for years, so much so that it surprised his half-sister Candace Gingrich-Jones before she became an apologist for him and later gave up trying. With his recent upward trajectory in the GOP presidential horse race, though, Gingrich has gone out of his way to say he’s anti-gay.
The most recent trip on his anti-gay express came in an interview with the Des Moines Register. Next week, Iowa holds the first-in-the nation presidential caucus. So Gingrich made it clear: no gay marriage and no gays in the military. That didn’t go far enough for Gingrich, who followed up by dismissing any comparison of the LGBT equality movement to the Civil Rights era and implying that gays choose their sexual orientation and can instead choose to be celibate. He praised Rick Santorum, too.
I think there is a big difference between saying that you are going to have an acceptance of people’s lifestyle and saying you now are going to normalize that as the standard for the whole country. The fact is I am a traditional classic conservative. And I am defending a value system which has a several-thousand-year history behind it, which is pretty clear. And I think that almost nobody who studies that value system has any doubts about that clarity.
Gingrich also recently signed an anti-gay marriage pledge from the National Organization for Marriage, the group that is pretty good at preaching against marriage equality but pretty bad at rallying against it in cities including Atlanta. It was just earlier this year that Gingrich sorta kinda endorsed gay marriage before he disavowed it.
The NOM pledge means Gingrich commits to a U.S. constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage and defending the Defense of Marriage Act in court.
The irony of Gingrich attempting to define marriage in his anti-gay way despite his own three nuptials aside, all of this anti-gay bluster has proven too much for his half-sister. Unless it’s family reunion time and the former speaker and his younger sister sit down together and knock back a Guinness or two.
He can be a lot of fun. I don’t know that any candidate gets to really show that when they’re engaged in running a campaign. He can be silly. We share a love of Guinness—not that we sit around and talk about beer, but he likes a good pint of Guinness. He’s been really supportive of our niece, Susan, who has gone to other countries to work on child trafficking issues.
But Gingrich did get one thing correct this month when it comes to gays. Just vote for Obama.