The lesbian half-sister of Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has criticised her brother’s stance on gay rights and said she will support president Barack Obama in next year’s presidential election.

Candace Gingrich-Jones, well known as a gay rights activist, told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that she and her half-brother have a “mutually respectful” relationship but disagree fundamentally on gay rights.

“He is definitely on the wrong side of history when it comes to those issues,” Ms Gingrich-Jones told MSNBC.

She said that she intends to “work really, really hard to make sure that President Obama is re-elected next year no matter who the Republican candidate is.”

In May, Gingrich was covered in glitter by a gay rights campaigner at a book signing.

Mr Gingrich and his wife Callista were in Minnesota for a dinner with the Minnesota Family Council when protester Nick Espinosa struck.
As he emptied the box of rainbow glitter over the couple’s heads, Mr Espinosa said: “Feel the rainbow, Newt. Stop the hate. Stop anti-gay politics. It’s dividing our country and it’s not fixing our economy.”

Mr Gingrich smiled and replied: “Nice to live in a free country.”