Anti-Gay Activist Maggie Gallagher Defends El Coyote’s Margie Christoffersen
December 12th, 2008
Maggie Gallagher, President of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, is one of the leaders in the effort to deny gay citizens equal access to marriage laws. Her statements in the past have shown that Maggie finds efforts to sway public opinion to be more important than telling the truth. In an National Review Online article this week she continues that trend.
Gallagher seeks to demonize the gay community and uses the example of Margie Christoffersen and the response by El Coyote patrons as an example of the “McCarthyite” spirit of supporters of marriage equality. And facts certainly weren’t going to stand in her way.
Take her initial claim:
Marjorie is just one of 89 people who work for El Coyote.
Is she? Really?
There are absolutely zero regular customers, restaurant critics, or local color writers who would have described Margie in this manner – prior to the Prop 8 situation. Marjorie is just one of 89 people who work for El Coyote in the same way that the Pope is just one of a billion Catholics.
Yet to make her case about the evil of the pro-marriage crowd, Maggie said it anyway. Because that lie supports the point she really wants:
This is a totally new tactic by the way. Boycotts against businesses who donate to a cause or mistreat their customers have long been an accepted part of the American democratic practice. But targeting an entire business because one person associated with it made (in their personal capacity) a donation to a cause is brand new. It’s essentially McCarthyite in spirit. Gay-marriage activists hope to make you unemployable if you publicly disagree with them.
But there is no truth in Maggie’s assertion that individual-related boycotts are somehow “new” or outside the “accepted part of the American democratic practice”.
Yes, some successful boycotts, such as that against the Mongomery Bus system, were due to institutional policies. But there certain have been many boycotts over history because of the actions of one person, often outside of their capacity as an “employee”. For example here are two that have been conducted by the community:
- In the late ’70’s, gays led a boycott against Florida Orange Juice because of their spokesman, Anita Bryant, and her anti-gay activism. Bryant was dropped in 1979.
- Also in the late 70’s and through the 80’s Coors Beer was boycotted by gay bars because of the political contributions of some members of the Coors Family. The Coors Brewing Company is now one of the companies most supportive of their gay and lesbian employees and the gay community at large (though some family members remain politically conservative).
And gays are not alone in individual-based boycotts. There have been wallet-voting efforts made against a whole host of other companies ranging from Carl’s Jr. to Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream because various subsets of the population did not like the political views of individuals associated with the company.
Conservatives even went so far as to talk about boycotting Starbucks because of a gay individual was quoted on a cup. And it is not uncommon for viewers of various stripes to refuse to see movies which feature actors with whom they disagree politically; I’m willing to bet that even Maggie Gallagher watches her expenditures in just that manner.
Maggie Gallagher has absolutely no basis for claiming that targeting El Coyote and Marjorie Christoffersen is something new. She just thinks that saying so will stir ill will towards gay people and others who support marriage equality. She wants to accuse us of trying to make those who disagree with us unemployable. She wants to demonize us and continue feeding Proposition 8’s campaign of fear.
Those who read Maggie casually may not see immediate evidences of her contempt and disdain for those to whom she wants dictate. Maggie loves to wrap her calls for discrimination in cloaks labeled generous, kind, and ordinary. But at the basis of every self-righteous and indignant statement lies a willingness to say anything – no matter how far divorced from the truth – to advance her moral crusade. And that she writes skillfully does not make her articles any more benign or less dishonest.
She would never say it; she’s far too clever. But her writing makes clear: Maggie Gallagher wants her readers to hate you. And she’s willing to lie to acheive that goal.