Right-wing politician-turned pundit Newt Gingrich has claimed Joe Biden is “attacking” homophobes who are “appalled by gay flags flying at embassies”.
On Fox News’ Justice with Judge Jeanine Saturday (24 April), conservative host Jeanine Pirro asked the former speaker of the House for his take on the Biden administration nearing 100 days in.
The Republican, who once urged on queer people to be more, er “tolerant” of homophobes, showed how tolerant he is by raging about a piece of fabric for nearly two minutes.
The 77-year-old took aim at secretary of state Antony Blinken moving to allow US embassies and consulates across the world to fly the LGBT+ Pride flag on the same pole as the American flag.
“If you listed every idiotic thing that the Biden administration has done in the first 100 days, you’d begin to realise whether it’s threatening everybody who believes in the Second Amendment, or it’s attacking everybody who believes in right to life, or it is attacking people of traditional values who are appalled that this administration would fly the gay flag at American embassies all over the world,” he said.
“You just go down item by item and it’s almost like they have a checklist of what can we do that will really truly infuriate traditional Americans.”
Gingrich continued: “Look, I think that the left has decided they’re going to try to push all the regular Americans into a corner where they either have to fight, in which case they’ll be attacked by the news media, or they have to just cave and hide.
He added: “I have never seen anything like it and somebody asked me this afternoon, I told them I couldn’t imagine any administration which has been this deliberately anti-American and this deliberately committed to infuriating the majority of American people.
“Literally, in over 200 years of history, I can’t think of a single administration that has been this radical and this hostile.”
Newt Gingrich says most Americans are anti-LGBT+ rights. They’re not
Yes, he really said this with his whole chest just months after Donald Trump’s turbulent tenure as president came to an end.
Speaking of Trump, Blinken binned a Trump-era ban that saw the senior State Department leadership reject requests from embassies to raise rainbow flags during Pride Month in a directive issued Friday (23 April).
The action authorised envoys to hoist LGBT+ Pride flags before 17 May, which is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
But despite how just seven per cent of Americans are “completely against” LGBT+ rights, according to a Public Religion Research Institute study, Gingrich sought to say that “regular Americans” are being “threatened” by such displays.
Even among seniors, Southerners and members of most religious groups, support for LGBT+ rights, especially non-discrimination laws, in the US has soared between 2015 and 2019, the institute found in a separate study.
“The broad support for laws to protect LGBT people from discrimination represents a rarity in our polarized politics today — an issue that actually brings Americans together across partisan, religious, and geographic lines,” said the institute’s CEO, Robert Jones.