By Lucas Grindley
Originally published on Advocate.com December 12 2011 7:58 PM ET
Newt Gingrich did not sign an antigay candidates pledge from the Family Leader when it was first released this summer, but now he's sent a letter to the conservative Christian group affirming some of its list of promises.
To name a few, Gingrich promises to send a federal constitutional ban on same-sex marriage to the states for ratification. And he backs the Defense of Marriage Act — even taking credit for its passage.
"As President, I will vigorously enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, which was enacted under my leadership as Speaker of the House, and ensure compliance with its provisions, especially in the military," Gingrich wrote. "I will also aggressively defend the constitutionality of DOMA in federal and state courts."
By writing a letter instead of signing, Gingrich skips a portion of "The Marriage Vow" that claims same-sex parents are inferior to straight parents. The pledge claims there is "overwhelming statistical evidence that married people enjoy better health, better sex, longer lives, greater financial stability, and that children raised by a mother and a father together experience better learning, less addiction, less legal trouble, and less extramarital pregnancy." There's no indication he skipped it on purpose, but Gingrich makes no mention of LGBT families in his letter.
Gingrich's half-sister, Candace Gingrich-Jones, has said in recent interviews that he did not attend her wedding and that she won't back him for president. Just days ago, Gingrich-Jones said she "wouldn't put it past any of the GOP presidential candidates" to use LGBT issues to get votes.
The Family Leader's president, Bob Vander Plaats, said in a statement that he's "pleased" to have Gingrich on record on a list of his group's priorities. Mitt Romney has so far refused to sign the pledge, calling it "undignified and inappropriate" without explaining what he disliked.