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Maggie vs. Magnanimous treatment of gay people

by Jeremy Hooper

Mags Oh, Maggie Gallagher.  Her latest marriage ad is a total joke.  Seriously, go see for yourself -- just go check out the National Organization for Marriage YouTube page where it's proudly posted.  The comments are 95%+ against them, with even the more moderate viewers realizing its obvious flaws. 

On the contrary, our response to the ad is only growing in attention and favor.  But even though we have directly and aggressively challenged NOM on multiple fronts, Maggie has failed to respond to any of our outreach efforts.  In fact, rather than take on any of the online critics who have presented reasoned opposition to NOM's fibbery, Maggie has instead issued the following statement, directed solely at HRC:

"HRC's record of truth and honesty about their intentions is not that impressive.  They once said marriage amendments weren't necessary because there were no federal court cases.   Now there is one."

"They called us liars when we said public schools will teach about gay marriage if its the law--but they do in Massachusetts.  Serious religious liberty scholars from Eugene Volokh to Doug Laycock to Robin Wilson acknowledge the central driving idea behind gay marriage--there is no difference between same-sex and opposite sex unions and supporters of marriage are engaging in discrimination if they think differently--will have consequences for the freedoms of traditional faith communities. To pretend otherwise is to be profoundly unserious--if not deceptive--about what gay marriage means."
NOM Responds to HRC Attack! [NOM]

Wait, so first she's criticizing HRC for one particular way they've denounced marriage amendments?  Puh-leeze.  The most complete reason why any of us denounce marriage amendments is because they are discriminatory, un-American pockmarks that will someday bee seen in the same way as so many of our country's other past missteps.  Federal court cases or no, marriage amendments are unnecessary because they are DISTURBINGLY, OFFENSIVELY WRONG.  So if HRC pointed out a technical reality about the federal courts, then it was a minor point of their larger stance.  To haul it out as some sorta "gotcha" is both silly and weak.

But looking beyond that -- It's quite interesting what Maggie has addressed here.  She's acting as if "gay marriage" is taught on a daily basis, right alongside reading, writing, and aromatherapy (we never cared for arithmetic).  She's completely stripped away the nuance, drawing no distinction between (a) actively "promoting" same-sex marriage in specific and (b) simply acknowledging the familial realities that make up Massachusetts public schools.  And if the latter, complete unacknowledgement of gay-headed families, truly is what Maggie's seeking, then she and her ilk deserve nothing less than staunch condemnation.  Our families deserve a piece of this world too!    

And lastly, she's keeping herself in that comfy chair of victimization, the convenient throne on which she's been resting since Prop 8.  She's framing all of her arguments around the narrative of faith communities being denied.  No mention of LGBT people's welfare.  No regard for civil realities.  No concern for what is truly right and fair under the law.  It's all about religious freedom trumping all other liberties -- period, end of story.  Bull-headed positions like that are convenient for those who think "the way it's always been" is irrefutably right.  But for those of us who've long been denied by the "good ol' days" mentality, reasoned reassment of the world's treatment of LGBT people is a reevalutation for which we'll never proffer an apology.

**Note: Be sure to check back tomorrow, when we will highlight the dozens of perfectly nice, perfectly respectful comments that NOM has shut out from their blog (as screen capped by our lovely readers).  So much for open dialogue.

**SEE ALSO: On tonight's "Hardball," HRC's Joe Solmonese took Maggie head on:

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Your thoughts

That was classic.

Maggie claims that Joe's explanation of the Ocean Grove New Jersey situation was incorrect, and then she basically gives the exact same explanation (special tax exemption for property open to public use), except with extra emphasis on the fact that the church *really* didn't want to rent the pavilion to those scary lesbians.

Posted by: zortnac | Apr 8, 2009 9:59:46 PM

They haven't been framing it as general religious freedom. They've been framing it as THEIR religious freedom. Who cares if there are religions that are truly accepting. THEIR religious freedom trumps everything else. We've let them hijack the idea of religios freedom for too long.

Posted by: RainbowPhoenix | Apr 8, 2009 10:14:37 PM

That interview was a disgrace, Maggie was given radically more time than Joe and he was never allowed to respond after she cut him off.

Posted by: Sean McQuillan | Apr 8, 2009 10:27:32 PM

I checked out the youtube comments on the ridiculous ad. They are truly inspiring that people are sick and tired of the fear mongering and hatred that fundamentalist Christians spew.
I think my favorites were from the Unitarian claiming that their religious freedom was being denied by NOT allowing same-sex marriage. That and gay marriage killed the dinosaurs.

Posted by: Josh | Apr 8, 2009 10:32:33 PM

AOL has a poll up at 10:31 pm entitled..... Joel Osteen Talks Gay Marriage .......one question asks if you support gay marriage.

Posted by: secretscoundrel | Apr 8, 2009 10:38:20 PM

Did you see Andrew Sullivan's take on this? He has audition outtakes from the ad.

Posted by: Katie | Apr 8, 2009 11:22:52 PM

Katie: Yea, we have them here:


Sean: Good to see ya here, buddy. Hope you'll stick around.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Apr 8, 2009 11:41:56 PM

After the 8 min mark: marriage is not the only thing that brings together the two great halves of humanity, man and woman. One, there's stuff in between and outside of those two genders; two, it's not a yawning cavern, men and women can get together and do other things. This isn't a Victorian sitting room.

Also: do you like how in the end she said children should be raised by "their own" mother and father? Weren't they just talking about adoption? Can people really live in that house of cards?

Posted by: L.A. Fields | Apr 9, 2009 12:53:06 AM

I am a straight Christian who supports gay marriage and equality for GLBT. I believe that Maggie truly believes that what she is doing is right. It reminds me a lot of the Civil Rights Movement of the sixties. It saddens me to see so much anger on both sides. If Maggie and people like her knew someone who was gay-perhaps a family member or a close friend, they would have a deeper understanding of what it is like for GLBT's in society today. Gandhi believed that you have to love your enemy. I believe in this. One must be compassionate, stubborn and persistent to triumph over social injustice. It is much easier to get angry and point fingers but is not a productive way to solve today's inequalities. Love is the way. Please take the time to research my favorite American hero, Bayard Rustin. The film, "Brother Outsider" is a good resource, and there are books too.

Posted by: Joanie G. | Apr 9, 2009 1:25:12 AM

Of course I am biased, but Maggie Gallagher seems kinda biased and hateful and wrongheaded and shrill and rude and douchey.

Jeremy, your blog is awesome.

Posted by: John walsh | Apr 9, 2009 2:47:09 AM

Here's the MagBitches email address: [email protected], have fun!

Posted by: Tony P | Apr 9, 2009 3:06:11 AM

I'm so glad they made this ad. It's so ridiculous, over-the-top, illogical, melodramatic ... AND it includes most of the major lies in one ad! Easy to debunk when they group them all together. Thanks NOM!

Posted by: remix | Apr 9, 2009 3:09:27 AM

I wish he'd given Joe Solmonese equal time, even though it was pretty clear he thought Maggie Gallagher was the one who was wrong.

I think most people will see the ridiculousness of her statements, but there are those whose fears will be galvanized by the things she said.

Joe handled himself very well, I think. I'd have been too pissed to smile through that whole thing.

Posted by: Bonnie_Half-Elven | Apr 9, 2009 6:23:12 AM

Maggot is a vicious liar who hides behind her faith.

Posted by: Frank | Apr 9, 2009 11:42:05 AM

I want to see Maggie's wardrobe. I'm imagining it like a cartoon characters closet, 10 red coats and 10 black shirts, all neatly hanging and ordered.

Posted by: zortnac | Apr 9, 2009 1:42:25 PM

It`s her personal problem, what she wears and how she acts. This interview is realistic.

Posted by: GayPeople | Apr 23, 2009 12:55:32 PM

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