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08/26/2009

Maggie Gallagher: What's in a name?

by Jeremy Hooper

Those who oppose marriage equality for gay couples love to cite majority opinion to justify their resistance. In most every one of their public appearances, you'll find these "marriage protectors" quoting whatever polling data they can to supposedly "prove" that the American people are on their side in terms of nuptial convictions. The public knows best, they tell us.

So that being the case, one would probably expect them to also agree with polls like this one:

About 70% of Americans agree, either somewhat or strongly, that it's beneficial for women to take her husband's last name when they marry, while 29% say it's better for women to keep their own names, finds a study being presented today at the American Sociological Association's annual meeting in San Francisco.
70% say brides should take husband's name [USA Today]

After all, if majority opinion is the be all, end all of accurate marital assessment, wouldn't we expect the "traditional marriage" set to see this name-taking business as being in hands of "the people"?

Gallagher-SrivastavWell, you might want to ask that very question of the National Organization For Marriage's Maggie Gallagher. Or should we say: Maggie Srivastav (the married name that you will never hear her use in public). Because while she may desperately watch the polls to ensure that there is a 50%+1 majority who oppose marriage equality for gays and lesbians, she apparently sees no need to watch polls that tell her to waste a day on line waiting to change her passport.

Now, most of us on the pro-equality side obviously have no problem with Maggie using her maiden name. In fact, many of us are likely to prefer that choice. But we can't help but notice the irony of someone who claims to be so "for traditional marriage" making a marital choice that is apparently out of step with 70% of Americans.

And if Maggie doesn't want to use her married name (which again, we 100% support), then perhaps she needs to admit that maybe, just maybe, every Americans life should not be guided by majority opinion!!


(*Note: Thanks to G-A-Y commenters "Jane" and "GreenEyedLilo" for putting this in our heads)

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Your thoughts

Great observation. Had no idea.

Posted by: lindalisa severo | Aug 26, 2009 11:55:49 AM

good effort, but no. this means nothing to the effort.

Posted by: eh | Aug 26, 2009 11:59:09 AM

Well "eh," i don't mean to suggest that this is some big game changer. Only that it's interesting food for thought -- one tiny part of our overall effort.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Aug 26, 2009 12:20:35 PM

Majority opinion has not necessarily been a good indicator for the truth of anything, whether we are talking about fact-based matters or issues affecting the quality of human lives. After all, majorities once believed that:

Women should not have the right to vote.
It was correct to ban interracial marriage.
Women should be considered property of their husbands.
Marriages should be arranged by parents.
Slavery was acceptable.
Women should not speak in church.
Disease and storms were caused by evil spirits.
The earth was flat.
The sun revolved around the earth.
Marriage should be banned between two people of the same sex. Oh, wait, I got ahead of myself.

The list could go on and on. And of course, in some cultures, majorities still do believe some of these things. So when Maggie cites majority opinion, she is standing on quicksand.

Posted by: Richard Rush | Aug 26, 2009 12:40:16 PM

Oddly enough, there IS a Maggie Srivastav of New York, NY on Facebook. She's a friend of Brian Brown AND a fan of NOM, even.

What are the odds?

http://www.facebook.com/people/Maggie-Srivastav/501569931

Posted by: Matt Algren | Aug 26, 2009 3:01:55 PM

Oh yea, that's def. her F'book, Matt. She goes by her married name privately, just not, bizarrely, in her marriage advocacy.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Aug 26, 2009 3:03:13 PM

I'm just wondering what she might be hiding with that name. I'm not one for conspiracies, Occam's Razor and all that, but with NOM still hiding their financials, one has to wonder.

Posted by: Matt Algren | Aug 26, 2009 3:15:30 PM

She probably knows that the people she preaches to on a daily basis are a little too apathetic to try and pronounce "Srivastav," so she goes by Gallagher, which everyone knows to be a famous comedian who looks like David Crosby.

Posted by: Bruno | Aug 26, 2009 4:18:19 PM

"I'm just wondering what she might be hiding with that name."

I'm with you Matt! Earlier today I emailed Fred Karger, and until then, he was not aware that her married name was different than her Gaggie-name. I don't know that it will matter, since the IRS didn't have ANY filings from NOM. But maybe if they look under the right name, all of her illicit activities will all become apparent.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Aug 26, 2009 11:49:11 PM

Who is this guy? Has anyone ever seen him?

Posted by: Donna | Sep 21, 2009 4:17:36 PM

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