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04/04/2014

Maggie Gallagher: Fortune Teller

by Jeremy Hooper

gallagher-the-magnificentMaggie Gallagher has been virtually absent from the marriage debate for the past six months or so. But now the grande dame of the inequality fight is back to offer up an "I told you so":

"Endorse gay marriage, or lose your job. I predicted this world ten years ago, and people scoffed. Nice."

Maggie Gallagher

A couple of things.

(1) Regardless of your opinion on the Mozilla situation, the fact is that Brendan Eich donated money to a constitutional amendment that ultimately stripped people of court-tested rights. That is not just a lack of endorsement for marriage equality—it's active hostility toward it.

(2) The Mozilla situation is a very specific instance in which a very pro-LGBT tech community spoke up with concerns about a CEO who had made a decidedly hostile donation against LGBT rights. The people who spoke up had concerns and asked Mr. Eich to reconsider his acts and their profound impact. He did speak up, as did his company. They negotiated what this all meant, and apparently came to a decision that the role was an improper fit. Eich resigned. Again, regardless of what you think of that decision, it was not an act of a company firing someone simply because he or she failed to endorse marriage. He stepped down. He chose to do it.

(3) Maggie predicted all kinds of things. She placed her bets on a federal marriage amendment—that bit it hard. She got overconfident about her wins in the states—that changed. She, more than just about anyone else, duped Californians into believing that Prop 8 was a worthwhile action that would hold up under court scrutiny—she was wrong. Did she play the victim card years ago and claim that a pro-equality world was a scary one? Absolutely, as that is the card that her movement has long used to take the burden off the actual discrimination that they are trying to force onto society. But let's not pretend she was some all-knowing soothsayer. Prognostication is a major part of what Maggie Gallagher has done for the past decade—and much of it was wrong. And costly.

(4) People scoffed at Maggie's predictions? Gee, I can't imagine why.

Oh no, wait a minute—I totally, absolutely, in every way can imagine why! For years now, she's been claiming that gay people harm marriage, that we are bad for children, that marriage discrimination is some sort of act of love, that her Catholic-driven view gets to control civil marriage policy, and, yes, that her movement, filled with anti-equality voices ranging from somewhat moderate to Bryan Fischer, is actually just a nice band of loving folks pushing "values." Fear has been her stock and trade from day one of this debate! People scoffed because her claims were both easily and properly scoff-able!

(5) No, people are not losing their jobs over marriage. 9/10 of the situations that people like Maggie point to involve penalties based on sexual orientation nondiscrimination (and associated laws), not marriage itself. The other tiny percentage involves complex matters like the Mozilla one. 99.9% of the population lives, works, believes, feels, associates, prays, donates, and votes in whatever way they want without any kind of reprisal or even scrutiny. A tiny handful of politically-driven, high profile cases does not a national firing squad make.

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