Newt Gingrich's openly lesbian half-sister, Candace Gingrich-Jones, says her brother is stuck in a '90s time warp. And she's not sure if he even believes all the anti-gay rhetoric or not.
"I really don't see someone who, on a lot of issues, is very much different than the person who was Speaker of the House in the '90s," she told me in an interview on my radio program on SiriusXM OutQ
about the man now surging in the GOP presidential polls
. "In a time when we see the majority of Americans supporting marriage equality, let alone almost 80% who were opposed to 'don't ask don't tell'… his positions haven't changed. The world has moved on."
Gingrich-Jones, an activist with the Human Rights Campaign Foundation
who has clashed with her brother since the '90s and is backing President Obama for re-election, slammed the caustic remarks Gingrich has made about gays, including his comments earlier in the year that gay marriage is a "temporary aberration."
"An interesting choice of words -- 'temporary aberration' -- I don't think I consider my own marriage an aberration, or that anyone who is in a relationship considers their families to be an aberration," she said. "It might be wishful thinking on his part. Certainly he's seen how the country has moved on the issue. Maybe what really is an aberration is people's opposition to marriage equality."
She's also not sure if Gingrich is faking it all, pandering to the evangelical base in the Republican Party, or if he really believes the claims he makes on homosexuality and LGBT rights.
"He does not treat [my wife] Rebecca and myself any differently from my sister and her husband [at family gatherings]," Gingrich-Jones explained, also noting that, though Gingrich didn't attend her wedding in Boston in 2009 -- he was out of the country -- he did send a gift.
"We got a shower gift as well," she said. "For someone who has publicly and financially opposed marriage equality, he has not so far treated us any differently than a married couple...That's the question that I ask myself, and many have asked me, 'Does he believe the things he says or is he saying them as part of his political stands?' Really, the bottom line is: I don’t like either of the possibilities there, and I don't know what the actual answer is."
Listen to the interview: