Gingrich: Republicans must embrace same sex marriage and immigration reform

By Stephen C. Webster
Thursday, December 20, 2012 13:58 EDT
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Newt Gingrich (Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com)
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Failed presidential candidate and Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) said in an interview published Thursday that the Republican Party should own up to the “big wave of change” that is engulfing the country and embrace same sex marriage equality and a pathway to citizenship for the children of undocumented immigrants.

In a sudden turn of coats, Gingrich sat down for over an hour with The Huffington Post, wherein the former House Speaker, who helped pass the nation’s discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, admitted: “the momentum is clearly now in the direction of 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.”

He reportedly added that conservatives could console themselves by finally accepting that there’s a difference between “marriage in a church” and “a legal document issued by the state.”

On immigration, reporters Sam Stein and Jon Ward also noted that Gingrich threw his support to legislation “similar to the Dream Act.” He called it “a path toward citizenship for young people.”

The remarks seem to reflect what he reportedly called “the big wave of change we are now seeing” brought about by the reelection of President Barack Obama and, perhaps more importantly, by the whole Republican Party’s media complex failing to comprehend what was happening in the country during the campaigns.

The former House Speaker has long said that same sex relationships should be “accommodated,” but had previously only gone so far as to say that partners should get hospital visitation rights. He’s also vigorously opposed adoption by same sex couples, and said that he believes LGBT people who vote are part of the “secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us.”

Gingrich even said as recently as 2011 that he believes the movement for equality “is a temporary aberration that will dissipate.” There was a hint that he may be softening on the issue earlier this year, however: Speaking to a crowd of Washingtonians in February, Gingrich announced that the state was going about legalizing marriage equality “the right way” by letting the voters decide.

Additionally, while Gingrich has never been much for the far right of his party on immigration, he’s also leaned on “illegal immigrants” as a hot-button political issue. During the Republican Party’s primary elections earlier this year, Gingrich told a crowd in Rosemont, Illinois that he’s in favor of using the FedEx and UPS package tracking systems to pinpoint the locations of undocumented immigrant families for future deportation.

He did not, however, go as far as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s so-called “self deportation” plan, which Gingrich called “an Obama-level fantasy.

Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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