Candace Gingrich

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Candace Gingrich
Candace Gingrich.jpg
Candace Gingrich in 2008
Born (1966-06-02) June 2, 1966 (age 53)
OccupationLGBT rights activist
RelativesNewt Gingrich (brother)

Candace Gingrich (/ˈɡɪŋɡrɪk/; born June 2, 1966) is an American LGBT rights activist at the Human Rights Campaign. Candace is the half-sibling[1] of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who is more than 20 years Candace's senior.[2]


Candace Gingrich was born to Robert and Kathleen (Daugherty) Gingrich[3] on June 2, 1966. Gingrich attended high school at Central Dauphin East High School in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania,[4] and graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1989.[5]

Professional work[edit]

Although Gingrich's sexual orientation was publicly reported on as early as 1994,[6] they first gained significant press attention in 1995 as a spokesperson for gay rights.[7][8][9] They served as the Human Rights Campaign's National Coming Out Project Spokesperson for 1995 and was named one of Esquire's "Women We Love" and "Women of the Year" for Ms. magazine. They are currently the Senior Manager of the Human Rights Campaign's Youth & Campus Outreach, as well as the Human Rights Campaign's HRC University Internship Program coordinator.[10] Their autobiography, Accidental Activist: A Personal and Political Memoir, was released in 1996.[11]

Public appearances[edit]

Gingrich has guest-starred on the television sitcom Friends in January 1996, in which they officiated over a commitment ceremony for two recurring characters in the episode "The One With the Lesbian Wedding."[12] They also appeared on the debut of Al Franken's TV program Lateline in 1998.[13]

Gingrich endorsed President Barack Obama in 2012, despite their half-brother's running for the Republican nomination.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Gingrich married playwright Rebecca Jones in 2009.[15] The Gingrich-Joneses lived in Hyattsville, Maryland, where Gingrich played rugby with the Washington Furies.[16] In 2013 it was reported the couple were divorcing.[17][18] In 2017, Gingrich married Kelly Cassidy, a member of the Illinois House of Representatives. [19]

See also[edit]

  • Gingrich appears in A Union in Wait, a 2001 documentary film about same-sex marriage, directed by Ryan Butler


  1. ^ "Blog: Candace Gingrich". Human Rights Campaign. Retrieved November 3, 2018.Self-identity: prefers gender-neutral pronouns
  2. ^ Seelye, Katharine. Speaker's Sister Now Speaking Out, The New York Times, March 6, 1995. Retrieved on April 11, 2007.
  3. ^ (September 25, 2003). Kathleen Gingrich: Mother of former house speaker, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  4. ^ (April 20, 1996). Newt and Sister Agree to Disagree, York Daily Record ("The Central Dauphin East High School graduate is fighting to implement what ...")
  5. ^ Foreman, Chris (October 12, 2004). Candace Gingrich argues gay rights are about equality Archived October 22, 2006, at the Wayback Machine, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
  6. ^ (November 24, 1994). Gingrich Opts for Gay Tolerance, Eugene Register Guard (Associated Press story)
  7. ^ May, A.L. (March 6, 1995). Gingrich's lesbian half-sister speaks, Spartanburg Herald-Journal (Cox News Service story)
  8. ^ (March 7, 1995). Gingrich: I don't mix family and politics, Reading Eagle (Associated Press story)
  9. ^ Isikoff, Michael (March 12, 1995). Gingrich: Newt's Gay Sister Gets Out Front, Newsweek
  10. ^ Wynne, Sharon Kennedy (June 23, 2005). A Conversation with Candice Gingrich, St Petersburg Times
  11. ^ Harlan, Megan (September 13, 1996). The Accidental Activist: A Personal and Political Memoir (review), Entertainment Weekly
  12. ^ Stewart, Richard (January 21, 1996). 'Friends' episode preempted due to lesbian wedding, Observer-Reporter (reprint of Houston Chronicle story)
  13. ^ Shales, Tom (March 20, 1998). Test run of 'lateline' sitcom attempts satire about media and politics, The Ledger
  14. ^ Shahid, Aliyah. Gingrich’s sister: I'm voting for Obama!, New York Daily News, December 8, 2011. Retrieved on December 21, 2011.
  15. ^ Benac, Nancy (December 18, 2011). Ex-speaker offers new Newt Gingrich for 2012, The Detroit News ("She says Gingrich and wife Callista sent wedding and shower gifts when she married Rebecca Jones in 2009")
  16. ^ Guy Adams (January 14, 2012). "Why Newt Gingrich's sister says vote Obama". The Independent. UK. Retrieved January 23, 2012.
  17. ^ Abcarian, Robin (November 19, 2013). "Cheney sisters' gay-marriage fight: A Gingrich has some advice". Retrieved May 30, 2017 – via LA Times.
  18. ^ "HRC's Candace Gingrich—Newt's Lesbian Genderqueer Sis—on the Hideous Trump Ticket". July 15, 2016. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  19. ^ Sfondeles, Tina (July 2, 2019). "Kelly Cassidy — 'in the game' to win". Chicago Sun-Times.

External links[edit]