Newt Gingrich is making no secret of his anti-gay views in the race for the Republican nomination for U.S. president as next month's Iowa Caucuses and other early primaries draw near.
In an interview with the Des Moines Register Thursday, the former Speaker of the House said that if elected president next year, he would approve the reinstatement of Don't Ask Don't Tell, believes some people choose to be gay, and says that comparing same-sex marriage to interracial marriage is 'ludicrous.'
Gingrich was reminded that in the 60s, there people in the south who objected to blacks and white being married and yet that became legal and that gays see their situation as similar.
'I don't accept that parallel,' Gingrich said. 'I think that it is fairly ludicrous. Nobody is suggesting that we have legal segregation of gays, nobody is suggesting they not be allowed to use the bathroom, they not be allowed to drink at the water fountain. ... I think that it is frankly offensive to have this whole effort to draw the contrast and to say that if you feel strongly about marriage being between a man and a woman, gee, is that parallel to being a racist? The answer is no. I am defending a 3,000-year tradition. It's very deep in our culture for very profound reasons.'
Gingrich was also asked if he thinks people choose to be gay.
'I believe it’s a combination of genetics and environment,' he said. 'I think that both are involved. I think people have many ranges of choices. ... 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.'
On Don't Ask Don't Tell, the military policy the ended earlier this year that did not allow gays and lesbians to serve their country openly, Gingrich said: 'I would encourage the Congress to pass reinstatement, and I suspect the next Congress will pass reinstatement.'