Gingrich Signs Anti-Gay Marriage Pledge

Friday, 16 Dec 2011 02:27 PM

By Dan Weil

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Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has signed a pledge against same-sex marriage while campaigning in Iowa. He also said homosexuality is a choice in the same way that celibacy is a choice, The Hill reports.

The National Organization for Marriage, which previously criticized Gingrich for his two divorces and extra-marital affairs, said the former Speaker of the House signed its anti-gay-marriage pledge Thursday.

In the pledge, candidates promise to pursue a constitutional amendment forbidding same-sex marriage and to create a presidential commission to investigate "reports of Americans who have been harassed or threatened" for opposing same-sex marriage.

The pledge already has been signed by Gingrich’s opponents, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum.

Separately, The Des Moines Register editorial board asked the former House speaker in an interview if he thought people chose to be gay. It’s probably "a combination of genetics and environment," Gingrich responded.

"I think people have a significant range of choice within a genetic pattern. I don’t believe in genetic determinism, and I don’t think there is any great evidence of genetic determinism. There are propensities. Are you more likely to do this or more likely to do that? But that doesn’t mean it’s definitional."

The board then asked again if someone can choose to be heterosexual. "Look, people choose to be celibate," Gingrich said. "People choose many things in life. You know there is a bias in favor of non-celibacy. It’s part of how the species re-creates. And yet there is a substantial amount of people who choose celibacy as a religious vocation or for other reasons."

Also in his interview with the Register, Gingrich said he would reinstate the “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” program if he became president. Under that policy, overturned by the Obama administration, gays could serve in the military only if they hid their sexuality.

“I think that it would be a career-ending conversation,” Gingrich said. “I don’t think that in the military you would particularly want sexual behavior to be an overt issue.”



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