BY NATASHA BARSOTTI — Former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich told The Huffington Post that while he still holds to his belief that marriage is between a man and a woman, he offers that he and fellow Republicans could accept a distinction between a "marriage in a church from a legal document issued by the state," with the latter being the acceptable option.
According to the report, Gingrich says Republicans can no longer ignore the course of public opinion on the issue.
"The momentum is clearly now in the direction in 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 told The Post. "I didn't think that was inevitable 10 or 15 years ago, when we passed the Defense of Marriage Act," he added. "It didn't seem at the time to be anything like as big a wave of change as we are now seeing."
As a Republican presidential candidate, Gingrich called gay marriage a "temporary aberration."
Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin told BuzzFeed, "Newt Gingrich has proven that leaders in the Republican Party understand where the country is moving on marriage, but he is also brave enough to say it out loud. It’s remarkable that Gingrich admits he didn’t see the coming power of the LGBT community and our allies back in 1996 but now understands the wave of change that’s sweeping over the nation."
The Huffington Post interview also covered Gingrich's thoughts on Mitt Romney's run for president, the GOP's problems and his bid to contribute to the party's rehabilitation.
Gingrich's comments come in the wake of news that House Speaker John Boehner, who is at the forefront of DOMA's defense before the Supreme Court, along with other House Republicans reportedly raised their budget to defend the act, exceeding a $1.5 million cap that was set for hiring private attorneys to advocate for the law.
A coalition of gay advocacy groups wrote a letter to Boehner demanding that he stop spending taxpayer money to defend the act. "Our country is facing major challenges that we will only solve by standing united. It’s time for us to collectively focus on how we can make our great nation even stronger, and leave behind the archaic laws that exist simply to divide us," the letter says in part.
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