Gingrich on homosexuality: It's both nature and nurture
December 15th, 2011
06:49 PM ET
2 years ago

Gingrich on homosexuality: It's both nature and nurture

(CNN) - GOP presidential frontrunner Newt Gingrich on Thursday said he believes homosexuality stems from a "combination of genetics and environment."

"I don't believe in genetic determinism, and I don't believe there's any great evidence of genetic determinism," Gingrich said before The Des Moines Register's editorial board. "There are propensities. Are you more likely to do this, or are you more likely to do that? But that doesn't mean it's definitional."

Calling himself a "traditional, classic conservative," Gingrich said he believed marriage should be between a man and a woman and insisted he would not have repealed the controversial "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in the military.

But the former House speaker was careful to draw the distinction that he believes homosexuality is both genetic and a lifestyle, stopping short of agreeing with some who believe it is entirely a choice.

"I believe it's a combination of genetics and environment," Gingrich said. "I think both are involved, and I think people have many ranges of choices."

Asked if he thought a person could choose to be straight or gay, Gingrich again said, "People have many choices within a genetic pattern. It is not a pre-determined, either or."

He also pointedly noted an acceptance of homosexuality, saying he doesn't believe people should be mistreated based on their personal lives.

"I'm against discrimination of people based on their private behavior," Gingrich said.


Filed under: 2012 • Gay rights • Iowa • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Former Republican, now an Independent

    This is textbook Gingrich, walk the line without taking a stand and possibly lose votes. The country will never know exactly where this politician stands.

    December 15, 2011 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  2. Jeff C in Chicago

    Also, if you think gay people "choose" to be gay, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you...

    December 15, 2011 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  3. jamesKs

    That whole response is evasive, and leaves room for flip flopping.

    December 15, 2011 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  4. Namejkane

    Who ever said this guy
    was smart besides the Gop, really!!!!!!

    December 15, 2011 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  5. justin

    Some will like this some will not. Next.

    December 15, 2011 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  6. cb

    We are closing schools, laying people off. Families are being foreclosed on and being put out in the streets. And all the Republicans running for President can talk about is who is Gay. We need to start looking at what is best for the country. We are not in high school any more. Hello!!! It is a good way to raise money. I think the Republicans have a “gay agenda”, more than the gay community has. They have nothing to say, so they go for the gay!

    December 15, 2011 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  7. Dixie AZ

    What a bunch of double talk. Newt is a champion talker, but says nothing.

    December 15, 2011 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |