GINGRICH’S ANTI-GAY GENEROSITY…. The American Family Association, a leading anti-gay hate group, was one of the driving forces behind a campaign to remove Iowa Supreme Court justices who ruled in support of marriage equality last year. At the time, the AFA boasted quite a bit about all the money they were receiving to “defend traditional marriage.”

What we didn’t know at the time was that a big chunk of that money was coming from one man who doesn’t seem to appreciate “traditional marriage” much at all.

Last year, former Speaker Newt Gingrich offered his vocal support for the ultimately successful campaign to oust three of the nine Iowa Supreme Court justices who had unanimously ruled in favor of marriage equality. As Gingrich courts social conservatives while exploring a possible presidential bid, new disclosures from his camp indicate that he and his associates bankrolled more than one-third of the $850,000 campaign to remove the Iowa justices.

ThinkProgress previously reported on $200,000 that Gingrich funneled from an anonymous donor to the anti-marriage equality group Iowa for Freedom, which was also being funded by AFA Action, the political arm of the virulently anti-gay American Family Association. The Associated Press revealed yesterday that one of the cogs in Gingrich’s vast network of business enterprises and front groups, ReAL Action, provided $125,000 to AFA Action. The Des Moines Register reported this morning that ReAL Action also contributed $25,000 to yet another Iowa anti-LGBT group, the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition.

Gingrich did all of this “quietly.” If I had multiple wives and mistresses, including two divorces under cruel and ugly circumstances, I might want to be “quiet” about this, too.

Regardless, the fact that the disgraced former House Speaker went to all of this trouble suggests (a) Gingrich really is running for president, and this won’t be another false start, and (b) he intends to run as a favorite candidate for the religious right, the irony of that notwithstanding.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.