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Maggie 'always-the-victim' Gallagher did nothing to earn her anti-gay reputation

by Jeremy Hooper

Maggie Gallagher has admitted she sees homosexuality as "an unfortunate thing" and advises gay people that "you can always control your behavior." She also once described homosexuality as "...like infertility. It is a sexual disability, preventing certain individuals from participating in the normal reproductive patterns of the human species." And when it comes to her morality, she has confessed that she 6A00D8341C503453Ef014E88832970970D-1believes both gay activists and our straight supporters are "committing several kinds of very serious sins." To name just a few of her slights over the years; there are many more.

And then, of course, is her role within the fight itself. She championed efforts that literally took tangible, desired, crucial rights away from tax-paying citizens. In doing so, she worked with and actively courted the whole of anti-LGBT America, from moderate thinker to radical opponent of all things gay. Maggie has proudly sidled up to groups like the Family Research Council (she'll again appear at their Values Voters Summit next month), has spoken out in favor of "ex-gay" groups like JONAH, and has rallied alongside undeniably animus-driven activists. And let's not forget those brutally honest strategy documents, cobbled together during her time as NOM chair, that vowed to "drive a wedge" between minority populations.

But forget all of that. Maggie is yet again the innocent whose "opponents" attempted to make a "caricature" out of her:

During my years leading the fight against gay marriage, there were so many efforts to paint a picture of me as motivated by anti-gay hatred, and there were so many people hoping I would respond in kind. Some who opposed gay marriage even criticized me for refusing to strike back. They saw my gestures of respect for gay-marriage advocates as a desperate attempt to placate, rather than as a refusal to become the caricature my opponents hoped to make me.

I love how these anti-equality activists think we're just out to get them or something. It's such a weak sidestep to sidestep their own wrongdoings. It's also quite egotistical to think that think you are important enough, separate from your own actions, to merit such attention.

Look, there are few people who have written more about Maggie Gallagher's work than I have. But two key things about that:

  1. I have *always* focused on her work and not her personal characteristics. I've never even called her "a bigot." That's not my style.
  2. Everything I know about her, I know from her own words and deeds. That's all I have to go on.

If my coverage of Maggie came across like an attempt to caricaturize, then it's likely because her work as a straight woman who dedicated a large swath of her life and a lion's share of her political legacy toward fighting a minority population's equal civil rights struck more than a few people as a wacky endeavor. Let's be honest: That cause is a very parody-able one. Oh, and when you create ads like the NOM "Gathering Storm" piece that came out at the height of Maggie's time with the organization she co-founded, you don't do yourself any favors. A lot of people find the over-the-top fear mongering unintentionally funny.

Maggie might see herself as the height of respect for not responding her critics. The better path, however, would've been to not do the very real and very hurtful things that she did—she did them—to earn her reputation. I actually think doing crappy things toward gay people and then feeling like you don't have a responsibility to respond to those same gay people is actually an act of disrespect.

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