During a debate Tuesday at George
Washington University, former House Speaker and presidential hopeful
Newt Gingrich argued he doesn't support gay marriage because he
believes in tradition.
The debate, sponsored by the school's
Democrats and Republicans, also featured former Vermont Governor
One student broached the subject of gay
“The Republican Party has long stood
in opposition to gay rights, specifically gay marriage,” the female
student said. “You were speaker of the House when the Defense of
Marriage Act (DOMA) was passed. And if you truly believe that LGBT
individuals here at GW should not have the right to marry who they
love, I ask that you tell all of us – all of my friends who happen
to be gay – why you believe that right now.”
“Look, I'm quite happy to say I come
out of a tradition, which is several thousand years old, that says
marriage is between a man and a woman,” Gingrich answered wryly.
“And I'm prepared to defend that tradition. And I happen to
believe it. And I think I have as much right to my belief as you
have to yours.”
Last year, Gingrich
renewed a call for placing a gay marriage ban in the U.S.
Constitution after a federal judge ruled Proposition 8, California's
gay marriage ban, to be unconstitutional.