Newt Gingrich and a Different Kind of Bombshell

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Editor’s Note: At the time of this publishing, Newt has just been declared the winner of the South Carolina primary. – amanda

By Maria Padhila

Thursday, a woman made an announcement that had all kinds of people on the Internets and in conversation buzzing about polyamory.

Here’s what it was: A friend who is a lesbian, polyamorous woman is getting married. To a man.

Poly Paradise at Burning Man. Photo by Eric.

Poly Paradise at Burning Man. Photo by Eric.

It’s not for the health insurance. They just want to get married. She made a typically funny, perceptive, self-deprecating comment about her plight on Facebook, and one of the reassuring comments in a long chain said it all:

“Marriage is ever-evolving. Ask any Republican.”

Her response: “Let’s tell the government: Keep your monogamy out of my marriage!”

My friend’s engagement almost overshadowed the news about Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich: his second wife, Marianne, gave an interview on ABC’s Nightline detailing how, when he had told her about the affair he was having with a young woman, he asked if they could stay married yet see other people. “Callista doesn’t care,” he said about his lover.

His wife did. That isn’t how she defines a marriage, so she said no.

The next day, he gave a talk to a Republican women’s group on “The Demise of American Culture.”

Let’s just say this right up front, so I won’t have to keep repeating it as things get weirder and weirder: I am not making this stuff up.

The request was immediately labeled as Newt Gingrich asking for an “open marriage,” and so it has continued for the past few days. Some writers even began referring to him as “Newt ‘open marriage’ Gingrich,” probably to up their chances on the search engines. (Which might happen here, too, but that’s not my intention.) By evening, bloggers and media were posting frantically about open marriage, non-monogamy, “monogamish,” swinging and polyamory. Sites were digging around for anything they’d done in the past few years on any of these topics, creating updates and links.

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8 Responses to Newt Gingrich and a Different Kind of Bombshell

  1. DanC says:

    The scary part of Newt is that he has spent so much of his energy attacking others from a sanctimonious “family values” agenda. Obviously for anyone to bother spending so much time attacking others, is virtually a sure sign that they are dealing with those same issues within themselves. But the lack of true understanding of himself, and inflicting that lack of understanding on others makes me pity him, and worry for the people he harms through his “intolerance.”

  2. mariapadhila says:

    Another one: writing in clauses on the poly relationship contract that dating newt Gingrich is not allowed. It would certainly violate my boundaries.

  3. Judith Gayle Judith Gayle says:

    … and doncha just love the part where, thanks to Newt, we’re now looking at the possibility of an “open” convention — the GOP bride all a’ tremble but two grooms walking down the aisle? LOL!!

  4. mariapadhila says:

    There are new nonmonagamy commentaries and articles coming out ever hour–and some if it is very funny. You have to be able to laugh about this stuff–what’s the alternative? I.e. see Judith on Jon Stewart bit, referenced in her column. And @Alexander–yep, it’s a start. Like something I read irl at work the other day: “recognize and celebrate incremental changes, no matter how small.”

  5. Alexander De Witte says:

    Great article Maria worth the extended deadline. I was going to proffer analysis but you can get tied it knots!

    Just to say that while I hold out no great hope for the sudden onset of honesty in politics or deeper honesty between people, it seems that MORE honesty may not be the result but LESS dishonesty would constitute a refreshing start!

  6. Fe Bongolan Fe Bongolan says:

    The Most Hysterical Post-South Carolina primary Daily Kos Diary yet:,-maybe-Newt-will-suggest-an-open-Presidency?via=siderecent

    It’s short and sweet, and begins with the most hysterical sentence involving a time machine, Gingrich and the Clinton penis.

    (And I add my apologies to any polyamorous readers out there who may be offended by the title of the diary. For me, its not about Newt’s polyamory. It’s his hypocrisy.-fb)

  7. Fe Bongolan Fe Bongolan says:


    The joke around the intertoobz (Facebook) is that if, heaven forbid Newt Gingrich is elected Pres, Callista would be called the “Third Lady”.

  8. Brendan Brendan says:

    Maria – thank you for the insider’s view. I was wondering what the poly community’s take on the travails of NG would be, and you have given us an excellent view. As you wrote, he’s doing it wrong, but the concept, the idea of polyamory is now out there, and it’s surprising a whole lot of people.

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