Gingrich's Lesbian Sister Decries Bill on Same-Sex Marriages

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On the eve of a House hearing on a bill to deny federal recognition of same-sex marriages, the lesbian sister of Speaker Newt Gingrich urged her brother Tuesday "to stop this congressional gay bashing."

"The raising of this issue now, at the national level, is nothing more than election-year scapegoating of one group of Americans," said Candace Gingrich, standing on the Capitol grounds.

The House Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution will consider today the Defense of Marriage Act, which guarantees states the power to ban same-sex marriages within their borders. For federal purposes such as taxes and entitlements, the legislation also defines marriage as "a legal union between one man and one woman."

"The bill does not outlaw anything," said Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga., the author. "We expect this summer that Hawaii's courts will validate same-sex marriage in Hawaii. Once that happens, other states, including Georgia, may be required to give legal standing to such marriages under the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution."

Barr said his bill would give every state the power to deny recognition to same-sex marriages that might be allowed in another state. His bill and similar legislation introduced in the Senate by Don Nickles, R-Okla., have thrust same-sex marriages into the presidential race. …