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11/16/2012

Maggie Gallagher understands pitfalls of civil marriage denial (which makes her work *that much* worse)

by Jeremy Hooper

Responding to fellow conservative George Weigel, who suggested Catholics move away from the civil marriage component altogether, Maggie Gallagher highlights the real world harms that would come from confining marriage to just the religious ceremony. Which is to say, Maggie shows how truly uncaring her policy work is when it comes to the welfare of same-gender couples and our families:

If [George Weigel] supports an actual withdrawal of Catholics from the public and civil institution of marriage, it’s not a gesture; it’s a huge endeavor that would require the creation of alternative means of enforcing the civil aspects of the marriage commitment (or leaving women and children unprotected).

Abandoning that legal framework could cost us a lot of money potentially, too: Our widows would not get the inheritance exemption, it would take additional money to secure legal parenthood, etc.

We would see quickly what gay people are complaining about in being denied the civil benefits of marriage, but in this case, the people being denied these benefits would be the single most vulnerable people in marriage and the ones whom civil marriage was originally designed to protect: women with large families and their children.
Marriage after Election 2012: A Response to Weigel [NRO]

So in this case, civil marriage denial would be bad because it would affect the one kind of American human who Maggie has determined to be the most vulnerable?! What kind of nonsense is that? Are we not one country with equal protection? Are Screen Shot 2012-11-16 At 9.14.28 Am people's life and marital accomplishments dependent on the number of times the couple reproduces? Are we going to have to start vowing to follow Maggie Gallagher's personally-held, Catholic-shaped view of acceptable marriage practices before our civil government will grant a license to two intended partners?

This is really shocking commentary on Maggie's part. She's admitting that gay people have a valid complaint; she, the marriage movement's top public thinker, is just excusing it by acting as if mothers with large families are the only ones who need inheritance rights, parenthood protections, etc. And of course she's excusing all of it because she wants to have it both ways: her desire to use her own personal Catholicism to deny same-gender couples in the civil realm and her privilege as a heterosexual American to retain all of the civil rights and benefits that are her birthright.

This is cruel, faith-based heterosexism, even if it's spun through the more nuanced prose afforded to Maggie by her elite education and years of political access.

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