Candace Gingrich-Jones, the lesbian half-sister of former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich, has welcomed his call for the Republican Party to accept the idea of same-sex civil marriages.

In an article for the Huffington Post, which is the same publication that had conducted an interview prior with the veteran politician, Candace Gingrich-Jones wrote:

For pretty much my whole adult life there have been very few political issues on which my brother and I agree. But in an interview that The Huffington Post did with my brother, there were actually multiple items that had me nodding my head when usually it would be shaking in exasperation. He stated that the Republicans could no longer ignore the shift in public opinion on marriage equality.

Agreed! The percentage of Americans who support marriage equality is the highest it has ever been; in fact, support for marriage equality has increased by 21% in just the last eight years, and Gallup’s recent poll showed 53% of Americans supporting marriage equality.

Candace Gingrich-Jones, who also works as a youth director at the LGBT Human Rights Campaign, said she disagreed with Newt Gingrich’s comments that both he and the Republican Party could accept a distinction between a “marriage in a church from a legal document issued by the state,” – effectively ruling out the approval of religious same-sex marriages.

However, she went on to praise his wider shift in position, saying:

“On a personal level, reading the interview made me proud of my brother. The time that my wife Rebecca and I have spent with Newt has had an effect, and he has evolved on marriage”.

In December 2011, Candace criticised her brother’s stance on gay rights, described him as egotistical, and announced her firm support for President’s Obama’s re-election campaign.

The former speaker previously said the movement towards marriage equality was a “temporary aberration that will dissipate” and compared same-sex relationships to “pagan behaviours.”

Yet Candace concluded her Huffington Post article in a festive spirit, she said of her sibling:

“Thanks for the early solstice present, brother. I look forward to your and the GOP’s continued evolution on issues of LGBT equality.”