QUEER VOICES
01/27/2012 12:01 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Candace Gingrich-Jones On Half-Brother Newt's 'Open Marriage' Allegations And 2012 Presidential Campaign

Newt Gingrich's openly lesbian half-sister, Candace Gingrich-Jones, says that though she has "no personal knowledge to be able to confirm or deny" her brother's ex-wife's accusations that he asked for an "open marriage," she understands from her own personal experience why Marianne Gingrich would come forward. Gingrich-Jones has publicly taken on her brother's political positions for years -- even as they remain cordial and respectful at family gatherings -- and she endorsed President Obama's re-election several months ago.

"I read [a story where] she said she knew it would come out sooner or later and she wanted to be in control of it," Gingrich-Jones said in an interview on my radio program on SiriusXM OutQ, discussing Marianne Gingrich, whom Newt left for his current wife Callista. "People who are adjacent to those people in the spotlight have decisions to make every single day about coming forward, speaking up, not speaking up."

"I'm sure there are folks who have said or will say things that are not dissimilar to what I heard people say about myself," Gingrich-Jones explained, thinking back to her own decision to go public about her brother, after an AP reporter called her in 1994 when Newt became Speaker of the House, and asked her if she is gay. "[People are saying] that she’s doing it to get the spotlight, somehow benefit from it -- I'm sure people are wondering if she's writing a book. You know, I can only speak to my personal decision. There is that decision to speak up or not. I don't think I I would able to live with myself if I wasn’t very publicly pointing out the flaws in my brother's campaign, particularly when it comes to LGBT issues."

Back in early December Gingrich-Jones described how her brother treats her wife just as he treats her sister’s husband at holiday gatherings, and even bought the couple a shower gift and wedding gift, leading her to question whether he really believes his antigay rhetoric.

This past Christmas, however, the holiday gathering was postponed.

"We typically would have a [holiday] family gathering of the Gingrich side of my family, our sisters and their families and Newt and Callista," she said, adding with a chuckle, "but because of um, all of this presidential campaigning thing, his schedule's been a little bit too busy."

"So we keep kind of talking about it," she continued. "Maybe in February, not quite sure when that will take place. But we have our Secret Santa gifts to give each other."

Listen to the full Candace Gingrich-Jones interview here:

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