Gingrich on board with same sex marriage?

Same sex marriage has been a hot button issue for a while, but proponents of it have been gaining ground lately.  The latest conquest?  Well, it’s not exactly a huge win, but it’s significant in that it looks to be none other than Newt “Moon Base” Gingrich is starting to come around:

WASHINGTON — Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said he can accept the “reality” of marriage between same-sex couples as a “legal document issued by the state” — as strong a sign as any that the landscape for marriage equality has changed dramatically in the past year.

“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,” Gingrich told The Huffington Post in a story published on Thursday.

Gingrich “continued to profess a belief that marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman,” Sam Stein and Jon Ward report, but “suggested that the party (and he himself) could accept a distinction between a ‘marriage in a church from a legal document issued by the state’ — the latter being acceptable.”

Basically, Gingrich is saying he’s fine with civil unions between same sex couples, which is a significant step forward.

I’ve proposed before that we call anything performed by a member of the clergy a “marriage” and anything performed by the state a “civil union”, regardless of whether the participants are the same gender or not.  It looks like Gingrich might just be on board with that.

What makes this so significant is that Gingrich was one of the ringleaders for the Defense of Marriage Act when it was passed.  He is saying that he’s not backing off of how he sees marriage defined, but is apparently giving ground on the idea of civil unions.  It’s not where same sex marriage proponents want to be, but it’s a move in the right direction.

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