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04/11/2010

Maggie at Franciscan: All is shared except for a roadmap to easy, obtainable, inevitable peace

by Jeremy Hooper

We've all heard Maggie Gallagher's fallacious talking points a billion times. But to hear her true motivations, you have to get her in a venue of likeminded Catholics where she'll pour her heart out in ways that prove she has a genuine emotional core, even if she misdirects its innate abilities and consequence-generating power when dealing with gay and lesbian couples and the loving families who support/depend on them.

MAggie-at-FrancsicanLast week at Franciscan University, Maggie told all about why she has "made her career for the last seven years fighting same-sex marriage," addressing her non-religious upbringing, her out-of-wedlock birth and the subsequent abandonment of the associated relationship, and how her dual experience as both an unwed mother and person of renewed Catholic faith led her to believe that she had been granted the concrete reasons why and concrete ways how a society of diverse people should forcibly squeeze its population through one narrowly defined relational sieve. It's a complete overshare that is decidedly meant to humanize America's number one marriage equality foe, but one that, in this writer's opinion, actually makes her work sound more calculating, self-aggrandizing, and, frankly, crueler and more personally targeted than it has ever sounded before.

Oh, and there's also a part where she says (at 22:52) that she had thought same-sex marriage was one of those ideas that's "just so dumb that you just don't have to talk about them." Listen in:

(click to play audio clip)
*Source: Maggie at Franciscan [Franciscan.edu]

Around the 30:00 mark, Maggie says that "hardly any gay marriage advocate" stops and asks why marriage has been fundamentally male/female through most of time. But I'm not scared of that question. At all! The answer to why marriage, despite its permeations in other areas, has been mostly opposite-gendered is easy: It's because we have yet to foster foster societies, writ large, that include LGBT citizens as benign parts of the fabric. LGBT people have always existed, right alongside everyone else. But attitudes have always been hetero-normative, at best, and downright homo-hostile, at most typical. Gay and lesbian couples have not been folded into coexistence, because there have always been self-appointed "culture warriors" like Maggie who have fomented old biases rather than fomented peaceful inclusion. Therefore, parity in terms of unions has been paltry in terms of history.

Maggie's fundamental problem, which makes all discussion with her stop on this issue, is the fact that she insists on painting same-sex couples as unfit for such peaceful inclusion. She makes gay and lesbian couples sound like missiles out to destroy religious people's supposed freedoms. Rather than see same-sex couples as her neighbors whose love will enhance what she sees as a marriage culture in peril, she has cultivated a script that oddly, anecdotally, and fallaciously preconceives a desire for legally-recognized same-sex unions as a detriment, and then works to throw everything but the kitchen sink in the mix to reach the desired outcome (and she'll throw in the kitchen sink, too, if a gay-centric threat to indoor plumbing starts polling well). She could look at all of the places where gay and lesbian couples are enjoying marriage equality and be thankful that there is a population who is so happy to pick up the slack from the straight couples who we all hear about in the tabloids on a daily basis (TEAM BULLOCK!). But instead, she fights that bad fight against a very sweet idea.

Her first and second acts may have been filled with events that led her to this day. But this, her most prominent and hurtful third act, is what will go down in Maggie Gallagher's bio, telling the tale of one more person who chose to isolate a minority share of love in order to allow the majority to hold sole ownership to a certain civil custom. That's sad for all involved.

***

*SEE ALSO: One of our earlier responses to Maggie's constant "we will be considered bigots" campaign of false victimization: Audio: Yes, Mags, your views surely will fall out of favor. Now ask yourself why. [G-A-Y]

*ALSO, ALSO: At 1:06:00, Maggie again lies about a Gallup poll, saying that is shows that 48% think same-sex marriage will have a negative affect on society, which she says is a "4 to 1" margin against the 13% who said it would be a positive. Well, yes, a 2009 poll did show that 48% number that she mentions. But what she doesn't tell you? That 13% said it would be positive, 2% had no opinion, and 36% said it would have no effect! "No effect" is the answer that even many pro-equality people would give, so you have to combine the 13 and the 36 to get an accurate number. That would give you 49% in the no effect or better camp, 48% in the negative camp. That is not 4 to 1 on your side, Magster!

**ALSO, ALSO, ALSO: Maggie really needs to stop lying about the way her Fall '09 Maine radio appearance played out. At 49:37, she again says that this particualr host "turned on a dime" and accused her of bigotry for saying nothing more than that marriage is not discrimination. But her take, which she and Brian Brown literally started using on the ay the appearance was made, is a complete and utter crock! In actuality, the left-leaning cohost sat patiently and listened to Maggie say all kinds of things about all of the supposed harms that gays are doing to religious people, about why marriage is good for some but not for all, etc, etc. He made his feelings clear throughout the piece in an intensely respectful way, even when Maggie tried to reduce the conversation to "two dudes" who "don't really want to get married." And then when he did finally chime in and push back, he came back, in the most good-natured of ways, and said, through Maggie's constant crosstalk: "Maggie, how do you just let these things roll off your tongue? I'm sitting here biting my tongue as you say such remarkable things, I can't even fathom that you actually believe them -- maybe they're poll tested -- but I sit here Maggie and I say to myself, Maggie, I mean, are you kidding? What world do you live in that's so different? Let me just try to come back to one point that you said, because I would like to understand the difference. If you are talking about, this is not bigotry, which you've said over and over agin, how is this different? Because the language you are using is very, very similar to the language that was used -- hold on, let me finish -- very similar to the questions that were raised when we were trying to make it clear that blacks and whites could marry. The same language was being used to stop that from happening that you are using today." Then the other host (who was a right-leaning marriage supporter, by the way) let Maggie answer. Listen to the full thing here.

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