Even though Mitt Romney is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Newt Gingrich officially remains in the race and trying to appeal to the party's socially conversative voters.
Gingrich on Tuesday (24 April) released a video in support of North Carolina's Amendment One, a ballot initiative that seeks add a ban same-sex marriages and civil unions to the North Carolina constitution.
'Marriage between a man and a woman is at the heart of our civilization,' said the three-time married Gingrich. 'It's a belief that is now under attack, yet it's at the very core of defining who we are. That's why I urge you to vote for the initiative right here in North Carolina. The chance to vote for a referendum to declare clearly that marriage is between a man and a woman.'
While gay marriages are already not allowed under North Carolina law, the measure seeks to have them banned under the state constitution. The legislation would ban the state from recognizing civil unions, strip away domestic partner benefits and could eliminate legal protections for all unmarried couples in the state.
Opponents of the measure say children of unmarried couples could lose their health benefits is Amendment One were to pass when it goes before voters on May 8 – the same day as the Republican primary.
Gingrich has made previous anti-gay statements but the Amendment One video is the first campaign ad specifically aimed against LGBT equality.
He framed his support of the anti-gay amendment in a larger context: 'This is part of the same great process this year that is involved with President Obama and that's involved with the whole danger of what's happening to our basic beliefs.'
'There is an effort by radicals at every level to change who we are, to change what America is, and to change for our children into a future that I think will be much worse,' he added. 'This is your chance to turn out and vote and to vote for preserving America, and to vote for preserving a very basic institution.'