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This Thursday, we'll give thanks that we don't think like Maggie Gallagher

by Jeremy Hooper

In her new column for TownHall, professional anti-gay personality Maggie Gallagher once again trots out all of the agreed-upon post-Prop 8 talking points.

"Gays are the intolerant ones" -- check

"It's unfair to target religion" -- check

"livelihoods threatened, artists blacklisted, property defaced, worship services blocked, and even some physical attacks directed at ordinary people simply because they say marriage means a man and a woman" -- a direct check

 Good As You Images 200810280951It's of course no surprise that she would say such predictable things. The spokesfolk for the anti-gay movement have, as per usual, sacrificed their own right to hold an independent thought, instead handing their grey matter over to the deceitful, talking point-laden movement towards which they've dedicated their lives. In this post-Prop 8 discussion, Maggie Gallagher has been among the worst of offenders.

But just for the sake of focus, we want to look at one particular quip from Maggie's latest. Towards the end of her piece (and what a piece it is), Maggie opines the following:

If any political movement had aired ads attacking Jews for taking over the government because Jewish citizens donated "too much" money to a cause they believed in --everyone right and left would recognize that something very wrong was happening.

But right now, judging from their unwillingless
[sic] to speak out, leaders of the gay marriage movement (including powerful politicians like Mayor Newsom) apparently believe that the new politics of payback works for them

But here's the thing: No other religious group DID use their muscle, to the tune of 20+ million dollars, to influence civil government. And at no time in history will you see any religious group acting in such a way. And if they had? If they did? If they do? Well guess what? We, lovers of both equality and church/state separation, will be just as ticked off at that particular group for foisting their personal faith views in such a forceful, deceptive way!!!!!!

Also, this isn't a simple matter of a group donating to a cause they believe in. On the surface it is. But on a deeper level, this is a group who has donated to a DISCRIMINATORY cause that they MIGHT believe in, but that flies in the face of constitutional freedoms. The anti-gay side, unprovoked, decided that in terms of deciding civil matters like this one, majority mob rule is more intellectually sound than are the reasoned findings of an independent judiciary.

Lastly, pro-gay leaders haven't spoken out against criticism of the Mormon church because (a) many of them are just as upset with this religiously-motivated bastardization of freedom, and (b) because even if they personally would direct their anger at other targets, they understand that in America people have the freedom to criticize and peacefully protest groups of their own determination. And we say "peacefully" quite intentionally, because that;s what these post-Prop 8 protests have largely been. At this point, literally millions of people have assembled nationwide to voice their displeasure. And yet the anti-gay side points to a tiny handful of questionable incidents and tries to paint them as exemplary of everyone who is hurt/pissed/frustrated/scared?! I'm sorry, but this is complete and utter crapballs! And judging by some the extreme supporters who are undeniably on their side of the marriage issue (which includes several of this country's known hate groups), we'd bet a sizable amount of money on the possibility that if the situation were reversed and they were protesting in such large numbers, the out-of-line incidents would be both more frequent and more frightening!

So no, Mags -- you will not be hearing apologies. You won't see pro-equality folks backing down on the "radical" idea that they deserve fair and equal treatment. You will not learn of many, if any, true civil rights advocates who think minority rights should be left to the whims of popular opinion. And you won't get away with the idea that religious freedom gives religions the right to delve into politics in such a major way, only to then wash their hands clean of the gut-wrenching pain they've caused for so many. Oh, and if you want to know that pain, come to my house. Come look at the boxes of invitations that this writer now has to toss. Come talk to the California vendors whose services I've had to cancel (and read the emails and hear all the "nice" things these mostly heterosexual people have to say about the mindsets of folks like yourself). Come talk to my relatives over Thanksgiving dinner, since many of them are as saddened by this vote as my partner fiancé and I. And speaking of my dude-love: Come talk to the man I love more than life itself, and you be the one to provide him a warm shoulder for when the realities of this cold world bring him to tears.

The truth is that you have hurt us DEEPLY -- DEEPLY!!!! -- Magster. And you and your ilk will NOT flip the tables and make it sound like we are the "haters" here. Your life's work on this issue is, intrinsically, an act of nasty, venomous, inhumane hate! Your refusal to admit it doesn't make it any less so.

Above the Hate [TownHall]

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Your thoughts

I think I will keel over and die on the spot if the anti-marriage folks like Maggie Gallagher were to ever acknowledge that their actions actually HURT a group of people. It is deeply ingrained in their talking points that their actions have no negative consequences.

The best analogy in my mind would be to argue that opposition to integrated schools was to "protect" our schools for "traditional", i.e., white children. If you don't know that black children exist, or had to attend poor schools, it sounds like a worthy goal to protect the white kids' interests.

I think that is why these bigots continue to win in the popular vote and why the "No on Prop 8" strategy was a loser. People need to see us to understand (1) that we exist, (2) that we exist, and (3) that we exist.

Oh, and also (4) that we have families of our own, and (5) that our families need protection.

If they aired ads showing typical gay couples who have gotten married, and their kids and families, I believe it would start to click with the public. It's almost like the "No on Prop 8" folks thought we were like crazy Aunt Harriet that the family hid in the attic when company came over.

I think people, if they get to know us, will admire our struggle.

Aunt Harriet wants out of the attic!

Posted by: Walt | Nov 25, 2008 9:31:14 PM

You brought up a good point Walt, but this goes farther than the example you gave. They don't just want to pretend that people aren't getting hurt by their actions, they want to pretend that their own families aren't getting hurt by their actions. I could barely believe how many of these people have close gay relatives. I'd love to be a fly on the wall at one of their thanksgivings.

Posted by: RainbowPhoenix | Nov 25, 2008 10:23:38 PM

Right on it, again, JH....and so very sorry it is right on you, too. Do have a good T- day anyway..even if it is just with blessings of good health and love...you are engaged, the marriage will come, somewhere someday.

RainbowPhoenix makes a good point about the real life families and friends of even these virulent haters.. There are wonderful gay people everywhere. Look at all the ones and their allies who have LEFT THE MORMON CHURCH due to this politicization of their faith.
Walt it very correct, too. Gays need to be more OUT, and stay proud.
e.g. MILK's Hope Speech: "Invisible, we remain in limbo - a myth, a person with no parents, no brothers, no sisters, no friends who are straight, no important positions in employment," Milk proclaimed in his famous "Hope" speech in 1978.

Posted by: LOrion | Nov 25, 2008 10:58:23 PM

I think Maggie's confused.

We're not criticizing Mormons because of their religion. We're criticizing them because they donated to the Yes on 8 campaign. It just so happens that they are also Mormons.

It really is that simple.

No need for her to be so histrionic about it.

Posted by: fannie | Nov 26, 2008 12:48:47 PM

Maggie's not confused fannie, she's lying through her considerable ass.

Posted by: RainbowPhoenix | Nov 26, 2008 4:50:34 PM

What we need is a group of people (Dan Savage is my favorite) who can actually go on TV and challenge these people. We need to start using their tactics against them. Start taking back the mantel of family from them. Here's the thing, we come from straight families (generally). So when we are arguing our points, let's talk to mothers and fathers, tell them how these hateful people hurt their children. How if their child is gay (whether they know it or not), he/she is 4 times more likely to commit suicide. How as a result of preachers condemning gays, families are torn apart; that up to 40% of homeless teens are LGBT, may of whom were kicked out of their houses by bigotted parents. Honestly, the suicide rates and homelessness rates are things that everyone can sympathize with. No one ever brings up LGBT teen suicide. Sure it's a tough issue to deal with, but I'd really love to see how Maggie would respond to that. I'd really love to see it.

Posted by: Jon B | Nov 26, 2008 7:02:13 PM

"If any political movement had aired ads attacking Jews for taking over the government"

Which I'm sure is on the "christian" agenda, when they run out of attacks on gay people.

It's not like Maggie can juggle lots of food, the "gay agenda", lots more food, the Jews, lots more food, Desperate Housewives, and lots more food, all at the same time.

Posted by: Scott | Nov 26, 2008 7:36:19 PM

I'm sorry to say that the venom directed at the Mormon Church and other religious institutions that fought for passage of Prop 8 in California and Amendment 2 in Florida is a waste of time. These are religious folk that I expect this kind of stuff from. Our rights will come when we stand up and make demands and use those demands through the courts to gain our equality. But how can we justify those attacks and pretend that the men who we voted for in the Presidential election, namely Barack Obama and Joe Biden stood on The National Stage and declared that they believed marriage is only for a man and a woman. They said it over and over yet we choose to look the other way and pretend that their words and standing did not matter or they didn't really mean it. Obama would not have his picture taken with the mayor of San Francisco because of his support of gay marriage. Obama began his campaign with the gospel tour featuring ex-gays. When do we demand from him the same support we are demanding of religious institutions that have no place in governing.

Posted by: glennmcgahee | Nov 27, 2008 8:32:10 AM

Glenn: Well I think a big problem is to write off all of the criticism as "venom." With the number of affected people being so great, you have to expect that some of the post-Prop 8 reactions would be on the more heated side. However, the majority of the scrutiny has been reasoned, measured, and fairly well-placed.

As for Obama/Biden: Yes, we all wish they would fully support marriage equality. We wish that of all the pragmatic Dems who are unwilling to voice full marriage support (even when we know they personally support equality). But it is unfair to overlook that both have voiced support for full and equal rights, just not the word "marriage." And it's also unfair to paint them as deserving of equal scrutiny on Prop 8, when both came out against it.

But no, we are not looking the other way on their marriage stances. Even in support, we can still push for the right thing. In fact, this site has dedicated several posts to Obama's unacceptable idea that we hand over the word to churches. We (and most every other gay outlet) also gave a strong, unwavering condemnation of the McClurkin incident. It was an unfortunate misstep.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Nov 27, 2008 8:46:28 AM

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