Huffpost Politics

Newt Gingrich Compares Choice Of Being Gay To Celibacy

Posted: Updated:

Newt Gingrich believes people can choose to be straight, just like they can "choose to be celibate."

During an interview with the Des Moines Register's editorial board Thursday morning, Gingrich said he believes "people have many ranges of choices" when it comes to sexual orientation. When asked if he thinks people choose to be gay, the Republican presidential hopeful claimed "it's a combination of genetics and environment."

When asked if a person could choose to be straight, Gingrich compared the supposed choice of being gay to a priest making the decision to give up sex.

"Look, people choose to be celibate. People choose many things in life," he said. "You know, there is a bias in favor of non-celibacy. It's part of how the species recreates. And yet there is a substantial amount of people who choose celibacy as a religious vocation or for other reasons."

Gingrich -- who has a gay half-sister -- has signed pledges from both the Family Leader and the National Organization of Marriage, both vowing his support for a gay marriage ban.

The former House Speaker isn't the only candidate who has recently caused a stir over gay rights. In an interview with the Boston Herald this week, Romney said he'd support an amendment that would create a complex system of marriage.

Romney told reporters he would support a three-tier system that maintained marriage rights for straight couples and allowed gay couples who have already wed to remain married. He ruled out future same-sex marriages.

"I think it would keep intact those marriages which had occurred under the law but maintain future plans based on marriage being between a man and a woman," Romney said.

Around the Web

Newt Gingrich on Gay Marriage, Abortion and Other Social Issues ...

Newt Gingrich's half-sister, Candace Gingrich- Jones rips sibling on ...

Newt Gingrich's gay sister backs Obama for 2012 | World news ...

Newt Gingrich Vows to Defend the Defense of Marriage Act | Care2 ...

Newt Gingrich's Gay Half-Sister Vows to Vote for Obama in 2012 ...

Michael J. Hunt: Same Sex Marriage=Big Business for Iowa ...

Newt Gingrich's gay half sister says she will 'work really, really hard ...

On Immigration, Polls Show Most GOP Voters Share Gingrich Stance

Good luck, Newt Gingrich. You'll need it

Candace Gingrich-Jones Questions Whether Brother Newt Gingrich Really Believes ...

After Two Divorces, Gingrich Takes a New Vow: No to Infidelity, No to Gay Marriage

News roundup: 'Zany' Newt, a Huntsman surge and Romney compared to the KKK

Newt Gingrich, please meet Elio di Rupo

Newt's lesbian half-sister supporting Obama; Romney's heated exchange with gay ...

HUFFPOST HILL - A Nomination Tom Clancy Can Be Proud Of

GOP rivals agree on one point: Cut taxes

The 40 Nicest Things About Newt

  Obama Romney
Obama Romney
332 206
Obama leading
Obama won
Romney leading
Romney won
Popular Vote
33 out of 100 seats are up for election. 51 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats* Republicans
Current Senate 53 47
Seats gained or lost +2 -2
New Total 55 45
* Includes two independent senators expected to caucus with the Democrats: Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
All 435 seats are up for election. 218 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats Republicans
Seats won 201 234
Click for Full Results
Register To Vote