Newt Gingrich Supports “Reality” Of State-Sanctioned Marriage Equality
A major shift for a key conservative. Gingrich oversaw passage of the Defense of Marriage Act as speaker of the House of Representatives in the 1990s.
WASHINGTON — Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said he can accept the "reality" of marriage between same-sex couples as a "legal document issued by the state" — as strong a sign as any that the landscape for marriage equality has changed dramatically in the past year.
"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," Gingrich told The Huffington Post in a story published on Thursday.
Gingrich "continued to profess a belief that marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman," Sam Stein and Jon Ward report, but "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."
Of the change, though, Gingrich said, "I think that this will be much more difficult than immigration for conservatism to come to grips with."
The move from the former House speaker comes a month after voters in Washington, Maryland and Maine voted in favor of marriage equality ballot measures and after voters elected a record number of out LGBT politicians to Congress, including the first out LGBT senator in Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin.