Candace Gingrich-Jones, the sister of the would-be president of the United States, is a lesbian and a longtime activist for equal rights for gay people. The siblings get along, but they also avoid debating some issues.
Gingrich-Jones sat down for a long, interesting interview with The Atlantic's Molly Ball. The conversation revolves around a central question, and a seemingly unresolved tension: How do two people maintain a loving, familial relationship when each is prominently opposed to the other on a divisive moral issue?
Newt Gingrich and his peers in the social conservative wing of the Republican are "behind the times" on a critical moral question, Gingrich-Jones says. And their continued efforts to play to anti-gay voters show how much work remains. See this exchange with Ball:
What did you think of Rick Perry's recent ad, in which he says, "There's something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can't openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school"? Was it encouraging to you that it generated such a backlash?
The fact that he thought it was a good idea means that we're not that far from those times. That was very public, but you look back just 9 months or a year ago, my brother contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the [successful] attempt to unseat the judges who made marriage legal in Iowa. Iowa is important in presidential politics and my brother is a smart guy -- that was a way for him to gain an advantage in Iowa in the primaries.
But at the same time, they don't fight this out at family reunions. Asked if she and Gingrich ever talked about their respective positions on these issues, Gingrich-Jones responded, "No. When we do see each other, it's the time to be family. It is challenging, not just on queer issues, but other political issues too. But when it's family time, it's family time."
Read the whole thing.