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Maggie Gallagher’s gays

Timothy Kincaid

March 4th, 2010

In Maggie Gallagher’s recent debate with Andrew Sullivan at the Cato Institute over whether there is a place for gay people in conservatism and conservative politics, the following exchange took place:

Sullivan: Can you name a single gay person who agrees with you?

Gallagher: Yes… I told you, I have them. They work for me.

Sullivan: Name them.

Gallager: Well no, I’m not going to name them. Because I’m not going to out them.

Sullivan: Why not? Earlier you said you don’t want to out an openly gay person?

Gallagher: As being anti-gay marriage, I’ll let them do it. I’m not outing them as being gay, I’m outing them as being on my side.

Not very many, but I do know them…

She goes on for a while giving illustrations of secret confessions of support and emails.

But setting aside Maggie’s flustered blunder and momentary honesty (she never admits to being “anti gay marriage”, only in favor of retaining blah blah blah), the important point that Andrew identified is that even considering the large number of conservative gay men and women, and even considering that our community is very diverse in age, culture, attitudes, religion, and perspective, no one is willing to publicly support Maggie Gallagher and her campaign against their rights.

So who, then, are these hand full of gay people who are secretly “anti-gay marriage”, in Maggie’s words. And why is it so important that she “know them.”

I’ll answer the second part first.

I believe that Maggie thinks of herself as a good person. She doesn’t want to acknowledge that she is engaging in deliberately hurtful, unjust, and discriminatory behavior. She doesn’t want to think of her motivations as being based in bias, animus, and religious supremacy.

Behind all of her “don’t call us haters” mantra is a real fear that she, truly, might be acting out of less than admirable instincts. She doesn’t want to even consider that possiblity, so it is the one thing that she finds most objectionable.

So it is extremely important that Maggie know people who can confirm to her that she isn’t hurting them. If I read her correctly, in order that she not see herself as being homophobic, she needs to believe that some gays – the ones who truly value the country and not their own selfish interests – agree with her. So, like every politician who doesn’t want to be seen as evil, she now “has gay friends”.

But who are these mythical gay friends that we never ever seem to meet?

Well, we do now have an answer in part. From none other than the National Organization for Marriage, of whom Maggie is the voice and face.

This comes from the amicus brief that NOM filed to support Proposition 8 in Perry v. Schwarzenegger:

benkofnes

Even at least a few gay people oppose gay marriage (see, e.g., “Gays Defend Marriage,” at http://www.gaysdefendmarriage.com), and we welcome their participation as fellow citizens in our shared mission.

Oh, yes, I kid you not. Maggie’s “gays that agree with her” are epitomized by David Benkof. Yes, a celibate convert to Orthodox Judaism who spent a brief period trying to convince the world that he was just an ordinary gay guy who was concerned about marriage. Yep, the same one who is “gay” or “bisexual” or “not gay” or anything else he thinks will be convincing at the moment.

Yes, Maggie’s gays – or at least the one she presents – are sad, sad creatures indeed.

(hat tip to reader Mel, with whom I incorrectly argued about whether this exchange took place)

Comments

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GreenEyedLilo
March 4th, 2010 | LINK

I always wonder about these “gay friends”. Should they exist, they probably have the word “Welcome” tattooed on their backs and sleep on their stomachs. Explains some of the personal ads I’ve seen in LGBT papers, anyway.

Timothy, you are more generous to this woman than I can ever be.

AJD
March 4th, 2010 | LINK

Let’s remember that this was the woman who, as a columnist, accepted $40,000 from the Bush Administration to promote its marriage policies and didn’t bother telling anyone until the Washington Post revealed it, adding to her already long track record of dishonesty.

She probably does think she’s a good person; most people think they’re good. But I think she’s a Machiavellian with some serious issues, along with the rest of the religious right.

As for gays against marriage, Benkof is probably exactly the person she’s talking about (it is just me, or does he look a bit worse for wear in that picture?). But let’s not forget people like Jasmyne Cannick and anti-marriage “queers” like some of the people who write for Bilerico. They probably would want nothing to do with Maggie, but they could probably warm up to her.

Evan Hurst
March 4th, 2010 | LINK

Oh.

Lord.

daftpunkydavid
March 4th, 2010 | LINK

thank you for such thorough work again! i just read the original post you wrote about mr benkof… i mean: when are you going to write a book?! and if you already have, please share. i find your writing so compelling, so substantive, and yet so respectful!

David
March 4th, 2010 | LINK

I’m glad to see those briefs are being put to good use.

Mel
March 4th, 2010 | LINK

There are indeed gay men (no women) who work at NOM and support anti-gay causes. This is not surprising in the least. If you are following the case of the recently outed California State Senator Roy Ashburn – the Bakersfield newspaper ‘The Californian’ knew Ashburn was gay years ago but chose to protect his closet. They just published some exchanges they had with him last summer. He was essentially admitting to being gay but defending his right to be Conservative.

This is exactly the spin groups like GOProud are taking (claiming along with Andrew Sullivan that hate crimes laws are unnecessary). The gay Right is gradually carving out this extremist niche where they are actually claiming that it is not hypocritical to feast orally and anally on other men, but simultaneously think both they and you are a threat to the military, unfit to adopt children, and incapable of the mature love needed in a marriage.

Mel
March 4th, 2010 | LINK

When anti-gay Prop 22 was being debated in California back in 2000, gay men (led by Tom Beddingfield) joined in Pete Stark in demanding gays be excluded from the right to marry. Beddingfield created a group called ‘Gays for 22′. This stuff is real! http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2245&dat=20000211&id=1MY0AAAAIBAJ&sjid=NSEGAAAAIBAJ&pg=3627,4670740

Lindoro Almaviva
March 4th, 2010 | LINK

Behind all of her “don’t call us haters” mantra is a real fear that she, truly, might be acting out of less than admirable instincts. She doesn’t want to even consider that possibility, so it is the one thing that she finds most objectionable.

I know exactly how this goes. I know someone in my inner circle who is just like that. This person can be selfish and self centered, some times irritatingly so, some times shockingly so; yet, this person cringes and defends him/herself vigorously every time his/her intentions are being questioned (or discovered) to be less that admirable.

I kid you not, this person will twist and turn every stone trying to appear to be noble because (s)he believes to be a noble, warm hearted person who never did anything with malice. This is just not a consideration for this person.

Now, we know of ONE person; how about we make a call for the rest of the gays to come out and defend her. I understand Maggie-Moo’s reluctance to “out” anyone, so let’s call on them to out themselves and let us see them. Surely Maggie-moo would not object to people who come out on their own accord…

Lindoro Almaviva
March 4th, 2010 | LINK

The gay Right is gradually carving out this extremist niche where they are actually claiming that it is not hypocritical to feast orally and anally on other men, but simultaneously think both they and you are a threat to the military, unfit to adopt children, and incapable of the mature love needed in a marriage.

and this is the exact definition of self-hatred.

Bearchewtoy75
March 4th, 2010 | LINK

i actually sat down at watched the Cato Institute video, and I can say with confidence that Maggie is full of sh!t.

I am liberal as the day is long and just don’t see eye to eye on most of Sullivan’s views, but the man know how to call out hypocrisy when he see it!

Emily K
March 5th, 2010 | LINK

I should have made the connection. When Bianco closed his blog, after he was spurned by Christian organizations for being Jewish, he mentioned that Maggie Gallagher was one of the few people he still respected and felt comfortable allying himself with. He’s still out there writing and such, though people aren’t really paying attention anymore.

Well, at least Maggie can claim she has bisexual friends – bisexual friends determined to cut out the same-sex attracted part of themselves.

rusty
March 5th, 2010 | LINK

Right Blames GOP for D.C. Marriage Equality
by Kilian Melloy
http://www.edgeboston.com/index.php?ch=news&sc=&sc2=news&sc3=&id=103054

While families in Washington, D.C. celebrated their newly gained legal right to marry, anti-gay conservatives looked at the District’s new family parity law as something that should have been derailed by Republicans in Congress, which had 30 business days to take action against the law before it took effect this week.

The Washington Times sought comment from various conservatives who oppose GLBT equality. Among them were the executive director of anti-gay group the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which lunched a multi-state advertising campaign last year to warn that marriage equality would lead to an erosion of the rights of religious Americans. NOM has also been credited with major roles in repealing marriage rights in California and Maine.

“I’ll be straight with you: I think they could have done more,” NOM’ Brian Brown told the Washington Times. “We needed a vote, and we didn’t get one.”

Brian Brown, Maggie’s sandbox playmate.

penguinsaur
March 5th, 2010 | LINK

Do Maggie Gallagher’s gay friends hang out with David Duke’s black friends?

Ben in Oakland
March 5th, 2010 | LINK

I can’t quite figure out why it is, but there is something about Naggie and Ashburn that invites a parallel comparison. Something that say they are two sideso f the same coin.

I just can’t figure out what it is.

John Ozed
March 5th, 2010 | LINK

Is David Benkof Jonah Falcon?

John
March 5th, 2010 | LINK

Mel,

Pete Stark is one of the most liberal members of Congress. He has been pro-gay rights all my life, and I grew up in his district (Oakland/Alameda/Fremont, CA). I have to wonder if you weren’t confusing him with someone else.

Shannon Spencer Fox
March 5th, 2010 | LINK

‘Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.’ -— C. S. Lewis

VapoRob
March 5th, 2010 | LINK

I’m surprised that she didn’t mention Steve Yuhas, a gay jewish republican radio personality here in San Diego on KOGO who is everything anti-gay. He is everything anti-gay, even once saying that the government should be able to make gay sex illegal. He is anti equality and anti marriage. He says he puts his jewish faith above his sexuality. Though he thinks that gays should be able to serve in the military since he was in the armed forces and had gotten wounded in war and became impotent. Now if he’s impotent that would make him the bottom in his relationship, but if he thinks the government can outlaw sodomy, then how is he ever to get laid? I HATE YOU STEVE YUHAS, YOU ARE A THREAT TO GAY EQUALITY!

Dan
March 5th, 2010 | LINK

Maggie Gallagher and I had an email exchange many years ago. I did not know her to be the anti-gay person that she turned out to be. She had a website called marriagedebate.com or something like that and she actually invited participation by gay men. Apparently that way simply a way to try to get into our minds so she’ll be able to have a better attack plan.

David
March 5th, 2010 | LINK

I’m curious why Maggie’s alleged handful of gay friends who agree that she is not a spiteful and malicious monster supercede the millions of GLBTQ people who have been convinced by her behavior that she IS a spiteful and malicious monster. The GLBTQ people, her victims, have spoken and the majority opinion, that elusive god of maggie’s, is that her actions are evil.

Maggie, on the near 100% possibility that you are reading another ego-massaging blog post about you, you, you

your actions on same-sex marriage are evil, and make you an enemy of humanity.

Regan DuCasse
March 5th, 2010 | LINK

So, Maggie won’t name her anti marriage equality gay friends?
Well, let’s see, David Benkoff isn’t exactly a PRIVATE person who has never availed himself of the media and very public criticisms of gay people and gay marriage. Why should HE care, or the others if she names them?

In fact, we can believe that for Mag to open that door in the first place, then shut it when asked for elaboration, begs questioning her credibility. She’s so proud of herself, and feels very confident in what she’s doing and who she knows, this isn’t the time to suddenly be concerned with the privacy of people who have been quite public about what they do.
She’s mentioning it for the effect, but not the substance of her case.

Indeed, perhaps people like David Benkoff have simply renounced being gay altogether and don’t consider themselves gay, and can’t be qualified AS gay, let alone speak for ALL gay people on the issue.
But she uses the beliefs of those few to qualify what ALL gay people SHOULD be about?

But for someone like Mags, who likes to throw it in front of us just how OVERWHELMING the majority was of people who don’t support marriage equality, she’s flipping the script as if to say the tiny minority of gay people who don’t support marriage equality qualifies as validating HER side of things.

I know we could find a large percentage of heterosexuals who don’t believe in marriage for themselves either. There are certainly enough straight couples who don’t bother to marry, even if they have children.
And we also know of married straights who divorce and don’t want to experience marriage ever again.

But she doesn’t consider THIS the reason to ban marriage for heteros, whether it’s for the first time or next.

One can always find a member of the discriminated group who will agree with it, but in ways spun in direct opposition to their opinion.
Even during Jim Crow, there was a black man (newspaper editor Jackson Greene) who didn’t agree with integration.
However, it wasn’t because he thought white people were in fact superior or society would degrade from it, but because he didn’t believe in the sincerity of desegregation, nor saw any benefit to blacks if integration was brought about SO grudgingly and by force of government.

Of course, the segregationists wouldn’t report THAT part.

And Mags and many other anti gay individuals are committing a similar omission. There are gay people who see the patterns of laws and decisions on their lives, and don’t want to be churned up in it. They don’t trust that whatever gains will stick and there certainly is no reason TO trust that they will. Prop. 8 and the outcome of that certainly validates this feeling.
And for some gay people, they are the sort of people who don’t like to offend, challenge or confront the issue and would rather stay private and silent on it.
But just as there are heteros who don’t support marriage either, they aren’t confronted or criticized by the likes of Maggie because of it.

Yes, we see this a lot, anti gay people who claim gay friends.

Racist segregationists made such claims too, and with a straight face would say how well they ‘got along with nigras’ and were good to them.

I’m sure Maggie thinks she could get along with gay people too, as long as they know their place and don’t interfere with marriage between men and women. Eunuchs like David Benkoff, for example.

And I think of her and her patronizing ways the same way I do about racists doing it.

Maybe she can fool a lot of people with this act she’s got going, but not the smartest, the bravest and the most intellectually honest.

Everett
March 5th, 2010 | LINK

Freud would have a field day with this Maggie Gallagher. She apparently had a couple of kids out of wedlock (according to Wikipedia) and now promotes traditional marriage and rails against gay men raising children without a mother present in the household. How come it is always the hetersexuals who have led the most imperfect lives that have the most to say about how others (including how glbt folks) should live their lives? I’m sorry if you couldn’t live up to your own ideal, Ms. Gallagher, but get off your high horse already.

Tommy
March 6th, 2010 | LINK

Everett, this is a product of the personal crisis industry the religious right runs on.

When someone has a personal crisis most people deal with it in two ways: one is to work through is, calmly and patiently dealing with the emotions and repercussions. This is the was psychology works. The other is to repress the crisis. Specifically with the religious right they tell people to pray really hard and God will swoop down and take care of everything for them. This is quick and offers a fuzzy feeling of happiness, rather than the pain and misery of having to work through an issue.

Hence you have someone like Star Parker who had four abortions and lived on welfare her whole life find Christ and become an anti-abortion, anti-welfare activist. Or Maggie Gallagher who can’t see her own shambles of family life and ethics, focusing only on the dreaded gays.

Thomas Kraemer
March 6th, 2010 | LINK

I am sure you can find a few gay people today who are still against marriage because back in the 1970s most gay people thought marriage was contrary to the goals of sexual and gay liberation. (The 1970s gay marriage activists Jack Baker and Rev. Troy Perry were called lunatics, even by many gay people.)

However, so what? I also know a few straight single men who do not believe in marriage either. Just because a few people are against marriage is not grounds for denying the right to all of the people who want to get married.

Jason D
March 6th, 2010 | LINK

Everett said: Freud would have a field day with this Maggie Gallagher. She apparently had a couple of kids out of wedlock (according to Wikipedia) and now promotes traditional marriage and rails against gay men raising children without a mother present in the household. How come it is always the hetersexuals who have led the most imperfect lives that have the most to say about how others (including how glbt folks) should live their lives? I’m sorry if you couldn’t live up to your own ideal, Ms. Gallagher, but get off your high horse already.

There’s no zealot like a convert.

None so obsessed with the morality of others than those who have learned nothing from their own shortcomings.

If Maggie can “save” us, then maybe it means she didn’t screw up.

Ben in Oakland
March 7th, 2010 | LINK

Jason– as i once phrased it:

purchasing redemption with the easy coin of other people’s lives.

Withers: NOM has gay support but refuses to talk about it | Gay News Blog | Blog Post on 365gay.com
March 10th, 2010 | LINK

[…] the deep ties NOM has with LGBT peoples, but no need to take it there. Last week the folk over at Box Turtle pointed to at least one gay guy who agrees with the group.  His name is David Benkof, a/k/a David […]

Withers: NOM has gay support but refuses to talk about it | Gay News Blog | Blog Post on 365gay.com
March 10th, 2010 | LINK

[…] the deep ties NOM has with LGBT peoples, but no need to take it there. Last week the folk over at Box Turtle pointed to at least one gay guy who agrees with the group.  His name is David Benkof, a/k/a David […]

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