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House Speaker’s Lesbian Half-Sister Says Gingrich Spoke Out of Turn

June 3, 1996

WASHINGTON (AP) _ House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s lesbian half-sister said if she ever decides to marry another woman, she will invite her brother to the ceremony even though he said he wouldn’t attend.

In a statement released Monday, Candace Gingrich accused the speaker of political posturing when he announced on national television that he wouldn’t attend the wedding.

``I have not even begun considering having a ceremony and making that kind of commitment in my life, so for him to make a snap decision is just wrong,″ she said. ``But when the day comes, I will invite him and I hope that he will reconsider and attend.″

On NBC’s ``Meet The Press,″ Gingrich, R-Ga., said Sunday that although he hasn’t been offended by his sister’s relationships, unions of two people of the same sex are not the same as heterosexual marriages. He said he wouldn’t attend Ms. Gingrich’s wedding if she married a woman.

``I wouldn’t regard it as a marriage, I think a marriage is between a man and a woman,″ he said.

Gingrich said he expected Congress to pass by a wide margin a pending bill that would define marriage as a union between one man and one woman, making homosexual couples ineligible for a range of federal benefits, including Social Security payments. The bill is a reaction to a Hawaii law that, if upheld in court, could make same sex marriage legal in that state.

President Clinton and congressional Democrats have accused the GOP sponsors of the bill of stirring up an anti-gay issue during this election year, but Clinton has said he would sign the same-sex marriage legislation in its current form.

Candace Gingrich said she was dismayed by her brother’s comment.

``There is no state in the union where I can get married, so for him to make a statement like that is political posturing,″ she said.

She said she hopes that Gingrich ``would value my relationship in the same way that I value his relationship with his wife, Marianne, and that we value the relationship between my mother and father.″

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