Gingrich implies gay marriage is “inevitable.” He’s okay with it, kinda.

Considering the source, this is rather huge. Gingrich, in spite of his serial infidelity, tried to portray himself as some kind of religious right wonderboy in the last election.  And more generally, he’s always been a severe conservative, to use the Romney vernacular.  So for him to admit that it’s pretty much over, in terms of the battle against gay marriage, is pretty much huge.

From Sam Stein and Jon Ward at the Huffington Post, a rather remarkable interview with Gingrich:

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.”

Gingrich, who famously did not embrace his lesbian half-sister Candice during the 1990s, now mentions Candace as one of the reasons he has a personal stake in the gay marriage debate (it would have been nice to see exactly what Gingrich said):

Stepping back from the political, Gingrich noted that he has a personal stake in the gay marriage debate. His half-sister works at the Human Rights Campaign. He has gay friends who’ve gotten married in Iowa. The man who once compared same-sex marriage to paganism is now worried that the Republican Party could find itself trapped in a bygone era on the matter.

And here’s the part where Gingrich implies that gay marriage is now “inevitable”:

“I didn’t think that was inevitable 10 or 15 years ago, when we passed the Defense of Marriage Act,” he said. “It didn’t seem at the time to be anything like as big a wave of change as we are now seeing.”

On multiple levels, this article elicits a “wow.”

And to reiterate, it doesn’t matter if we don’t like Gingrich.  It doesn’t matter if we think he’d change his tune had he won the presidency (and I doubt he’d have been this “nice” had he won).  What matters if that he’s a huge conservative leader of at least a faction of the GOP, and one of their top “thinkers,” and he’s pretty much concluded that the battle over gay marriage is over, the GOP and the religious right and the bigots lost.

I can’t help but wonder what effect Gingrich’s comments will have on the Supreme  Court.

Scalia is a “flat out” “unreconstructed bigot,” as Barney Frank put it today.  So don’t expect much from him when gay marriage goes before the Supreme Court in March of this year.   But for Justices who might be in the middle, who are weighing just how far society has come on the issue of gay marriage, and who take that into consideration when reaching their decision, Gingrich’s “white flag” is quite a strong signal that “the momentum is clearly now in the direction” of gay marriage advocates, and that we’re a seeing an unexpected “wave of change” on the issue.

Gingrich’s comments signal that ruling in favor of gay marriage is not the earth-shattering, society-splitting decision that Roe v. Wade was 40 years ago.  If Gingrich can accept it, even begrudgingly, then it’s no longer the controversy it once was.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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30 Responses to “Gingrich implies gay marriage is “inevitable.” He’s okay with it, kinda.”

  1. rmthunter says:

    You’d think that anyone with as much experience in being married as Gingrich would catch on that it’s the legal document issued by the state that makes a marriage valid. But then, maybe that’s been his problem.

  2. Butch1 says:

    Since he won’t be president he doesn’t need Calissa anymore. ;-)

  3. Butch1 says:

    I’m so glad we have this three two-time divorcee, cheat and married three times deciding that he may be okay with our marriages. Who gives a fig? His opinion isn’t worth much. My relationship is going on thirty-two years which is something he will never be able to achieve. We are finally getting married today! Washington State made it legal and we will as well.

  4. UncleBucky says:

    If he gets divorced a third time AND at such an age, then he is (and never was) NOT a spokesman for marriage of any kind.

  5. Butch1 says:

    How does his lesbian sister feel about this? I guess it has taken this long for it to finally sink in. Republicans are slow and they need time. Santorum is hopeless. ;-)

  6. Bill Perdue says:

    The pace of these ‘evolutions’ is dizzying. First the bigot who signed DOMA says maybe he made a tiny little error and then the bigot who wrecked our chances of marriage equality in 2008 with his disgusting ‘gawd’s in the mix’ bs that galvanized the bigot vote and now Gingrich.

  7. Stev84 says:

    Read it again. He never thought it was a huge thing then. He admitted that it wasn’t really a threat when DOMA was passed.

    And he isn’t “supportive” in any way. He just grudgingly tolerates the situation.

  8. “THE JUDAS ” in the community, don’t push it down our throats and dictate to good people all around the US, THE EARTH IS HUGE, and you are a tiny dot in the ocean.

  9. Jim Olson says:


  10. Randy says:

    Exactly. I know he isn’t anywhere near supporting us on this issue, but the fact that he now admits it’s a reality, that implies that he thinks marriage equality will NOT destroy the country. That will carry some influence among those who follow him, and that’s good news for us. I still can’t stand the guy, but we should be happy when even our enemies are coming around.

  11. Randy says:

    I agree with your comments. I would only say that if it’s true that he will say only things to advance his career, then it is mighty good for us that he know thinks that accepting marriage equality will advance his career. Even though I think he is odious, there are still a great many people in the GOP who follow him and will walk on water for him. If he nows drops his opposition, then many others will as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if opposition in the polls from republicans to marriage equality drops a point or two just because of him. I’ll be happy to take that.

  12. mike31c says:

    No one of any importance has really asked you for your minor and insignificant opinion Newt. Go back to whatever slime pool you crawled out of.

  13. karmanot says:

    He took lessons from John McCain.

  14. John Masters says:

    Holy crap, the Mayans may have been right after all!

  15. UncleBucky says:

    He thinks he has proof. He has been married three times, divorced twice and another time soon.

    Yeah, TEH gay did it to him. Meh.

  16. drdick52 says:

    When conservatives have lost Newticles, they have lost the game. Good news for the good guys, since Gingrich is not known for his farsightedness.

    On the other hand, this does raise the troubling question of whether it means another divorce is in the offing.

  17. Papa Bear says:

    I didn’t even know she was sick!

  18. I did not understand the issue in 1992, when a gay couple spoke at my Unitarian congregation in WIlkes-Barre. Matthew Wayne Shepard brought out the reality to me, although it was the reaction to his death and a year later. Therefore, I can at least understand the slow progress. However, this idea should have been accepted about a decade ago.

  19. Stev84 says:

    And yet when that vile POS pushed DOMA through he sold it on the very idea that gay marriage was a dangerous tide that needed to be stopped before it destroyed the country.

  20. Snarki, child of Loki says:

    Not so fast! First Newt plans on hiking the Appalachian Trail.

  21. Naja pallida says:

    That’s what I was thinking. He is just planning his next three gay divorces.

  22. iamlegion says:

    Clearly, this means Newt has just found a guy he likes enough to dump Callista for…

  23. microdot says:

    Gingrich, he’s all for gay marriage as long as it involves some kind of three way thingy that he can get into…..Actually, run far, run fast and don’t look back. Unfortunately, historically speaking, anything Gingrich endorses receives his kiss of death…you would do well to ignore the flabby little flatulent crotte.

  24. nicho says:

    Well Newt has worked his way through a lot of women. Maybe he’s decided to try batting from the other side of the plate.

  25. nicho says:

    Or getting head on Mount Rushmore.

  26. GoBlue says:

    That head shot looks as if the photographer told Newtie to strike a pose as if he were one of the heads on Mount Rushmore.

  27. rsterman says:

    Newt is king of the GOP phony family values crowd, even after three wives and numerous affairs. He suddenly became a converted Catholic for pure self-serving politics; he wanted to distance himself from his Southern Baptist GOPers and secure a million dollar credit line for his aging Barbie wife. Newt made his bones as a bomb thrower; he tells outrageous lies and will do anything to advance his career. Why would anyone still care what the serial adulterer and a big fat lying hypocrite has to say?

  28. Tedlick Badkey says:

    Way to go Newt!!!

    But you’re not really a good voice for marriage in general.

  29. karmanot says:

    Who in the hell gives a damn what this fatuous hypocrite thinks about anything, let alone gay marriage? I imagine he’ll be selling expensive Gingrich integrated award certificates to business’s who are on-board.

  30. caphillprof says:

    Gingrich. I don’t care whether he approves or disapproves. He’s yesterday’s news. I don’t understand why media have to keep reporting on Newt Gingrich or Sarah Palin or Pat Robinson.

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