(Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)
Although Candace Gingrich-Jones shares a "mutual respect" with half-brother and presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich, she has vowed to vote for President Barack Obama in the upcoming 2012 presidential elections.
Candace Gingrich-Jones, who is a lesbian, told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Wednesday that although she considers her familial relationship with Gingrich to be important, “the catch is that when we leave the dinner table or leave the Christmas gathering, you know he and [his wife] Callista still have way more rights than my wife, Rebecca, and I do.”
Gingrich-Jones, 45, is an avid LGBT activist at the Human Rights Campaign. In the past, she has not hesitated to speak out against her politician half-brother, especially regarding the topic of gay rights.
She wrote “A Letter to My Brother Newt Gingrich” in November 2008, criticizing Gingrich for speaking against Proposition 8 protestors on Fox News. She told Gingrich that his staunch views on traditional marriage indicate he is living in the past.
“Welcome to the 21st Century, Bro,” she wrote.
As displayed on the "Rachel Maddow Show," Gingrich-Jones continues to disagree with her brother’s views on same-sex marriage, and will “work really, really hard to make sure that President Obama is re-elected next year no matter who the Republican candidate is.”
Newt Gingrich contests same-sex marriage so vehemently that he did not attend his half-sister’s own ceremony with her partner although he was invited.
“Well we still got a gift,” Gingrich-Jones joked to Maddow.
Gingrich previously referred to same-sex marriage as “a temporary aberration that will dissipate. I think that it just fundamentally goes against everything we know.”
Gingrich, a Catholic, believes that the sacred bond of marriage is reserved for a man and a woman, as presented in the Bible. He openly supports the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage.
"I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman," Gingrich said in Fort Dodge, Iowa, in September. "It has been for all of recorded history."
Evidently, activists such as Gingrich’s half-sister, beg to differ.
Gingrich has also been the subject of public ridicule regarding his stance on same-sex marriage. At a May book signing, Gingrich was “glitter bombed” by a gay activist.
“Feel the rainbow, Newt! Stop the hate! Stop anti-gay politics,” the protester told the presidential hopeful.
Gingrich continues to hold strong to his values as he races ahead in approval polls for the 2012 elections.
"I think we are drifting towards a terrible muddle which I think is going to be very, very difficult and painful to work our way out of,” Gingrich said last month in reference to New York's legalization of same-sex marriage.
"I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. I think that’s what marriage ought to be and I would like to find ways to defend that view as legitimately and effectively as possible," he added.
As Gingrich-Jones told Maddow Wednesday, she does not underestimate her brother’s potential to use his stance on LGBT issues to attract religious voters, just as fellow presidential runner Rick Perry recently attempted with a political ad running in the state of Iowa.
“I wouldn’t put it past any of the GOP presidential candidates. Historically it’s been one of the things, a tactic, that’s been used,” Gingrich-Jones told Maddow.
Obama, who recently announced an initiative to promote policies favorable to gays and lesbians abroad, has been called one of the most pro-gay presidents in U.S. history.