Last week, the Maryland legislature passed a bill that would legalize gay marriage in the state. Democrat Governor Martin O’Malley is expected to sign the law into effect. Earlier this month, the Washington legislature passed a gay marriage law that goes into affect on June 7th, unless opponents gather enough signatures to force a voter referendum on the legislation.
Campaigning in Washington on Friday, Newt Gingrich said that while he opposes same-sex marriage, he commended Washington and Maryland for legalizing gay marriage “the right way.” He told the Associated Press, “I think at least they’re doing it the right way, which is going through voters, giving them a chance to vote and not having a handful of judges arbitrarily impose their will.“
Gingrich has been an aggressive critic of court ordered gay marriage legalization that has happened in states like Iowa. However, the position that Gingrich has stated in recent days is not what he advocated while he was campaigning in Iowa.
Even though Gingrich would not sign The FAMiLY Leader’s “Marriage Vow” unless changes were made to the oath, he did provide the Iowa pro-family group with a written statement in December in whichhe clearly detailed his positions on a number of social issues like gay marriage and abortion.
In his December 12th letter to The FAMiLY Leader, Gingrich wrote:
As President, I will vigorously enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, which was enacted under my leadership as Speaker of the House, and ensure compliance with its provisions, especially in the military. I will also aggressively defend the constitutionality of DOMA in federal and state courts. I will support sending a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the states for ratification. I will also oppose any judicial, bureaucratic, or legislative effort to define marriage in any manner other than as between one man and one woman. I will support all efforts to reform promptly any uneconomic or anti-marriage aspects of welfare and tax policy. I also pledge to uphold the institution of marriage through personal fidelity to my spouse and respect for the marital bonds of others.
Gingrich’s statement that states like Maryland and Washington are doing it “the right way” by making changes through the legislative process contradicts his statement that he will, “oppose any judicial, bureaucratic, or legislative effort to define marriage in any manner other than as between one man and one woman.”
Gingrich’s new position on gay marriage may not set well with many social conservatives who view gay marriage as a violation of God’s law, which is superior to man made law. Bob Vander Plaats, The FAMiLY Leader’s President and CEO, has routinely said that gay marriage violates, “the law of nature and of nature’s God.” Vander Plaats endorsed Rick Santorum, but he has also been very complimentary of Gingrich. Gingrich’s most vocal Iowa endorser, nationally syndicated radio host Steve Deace, shares the same position as Vander Plaats when it comes to gay marriage. Deace has been oddly silent on Gingrich’s statement.
Gingrich needs a strong showing on Super Tuesday if he’s going to mount a serious comeback to win the Republican nomination. To do that, he needs to win outside of his home state of Georgia in states like Tennessee and Oklahoma. Gingrich’s evolving position on gay marriage could become problematic. Last summer, Rick Santorum blasted Texas Governor Rick Perry to great effect for having the same position as Gingrich does today. Perry’s comments were made at the time the state of New Yoke legalized gay marriage.
- Gingrich Provides Written Response to The FAMiLY LEADER’s Marriage Pledge (theiowarepublican.com)
- Struggling to Understand the Deace/Newt Dynamic (theiowarepublican.com)
- Gingrich says Washington state enacting gay marriage ‘the right way’ (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- Maryland Senate Passes Gay Marriage Bill (washington.cbslocal.com)
- Gingrich Suggests There’s a ‘Right Way’ to Legalize Gay Marriage (blogs.wsj.com)
Photo by Dave Davidson – Prezography.com
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