Discuss as:

Gingrich: Legislatures, not judges, 'right way' to pass laws permitting gay marriage


OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Newt Gingrich says he does not object to states passing legislation allowing for same-sex marriage as legislatures are “doing it the right way.”

Asked by a local reporter about legislation passed here in Washington state, as well as Maryland, permitting same-sex marriage, Gingrich responded: "I think at least they're doing it the right way, which is going through voters, giving them a chance to vote -- and not having a handful of judges arbitrarily impose their will."

But the former House speaker added, “I don't agree with it. I would vote no if it were on a referendum where I was. But at least they're doing it the right way."

This stance stems from Gingrich’s belief that the 10th Amendment grants the authority for such decisions to the states, not the federal government.

These remarks come just one day after the Maryland State Senate passed a bill allowing for same-sex marriage; it now awaits the governor’s signature. Washington State’s governor signed similar legislation into law last week.

These two new laws will likely bring the total number of states permitting same-sex couples to marry to eight, plus the District of Columbia.

But will Gingrich’s comments potentially come back to haunt him?

Last summer, Rick Perry was criticized for saying states passing same-sex marriage was “fine with me.”

Perry then clarified his stance during an interview with the Family Research Council in late July before he officially entered the race for president.

"I probably needed to add a few words after that 'it's fine with me,' and that it's fine with me that a state is using their sovereign rights to decide an issue. Obviously, gay marriage is not fine with me. My stance hasn't changed," Perry said.