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Maggie’s Strategy: Denying Reality

Rob Tisinai

January 27th, 2012

I got a fundraising email from Maggie Gallagher the other day. It’s unbelievably long (as in, I can’t believe she expects people to read this whole thing). One sentence jumped out at me before I gave up on the piece.

Are two men pledged in a sexual union really a marriage?

Personally I’d answer, No.

Actually, I’d blink twice, tilt my head, squint quizzically, and then answer, No. Mostly because I don’t know many men who have pledged to each other in a merely sexual relationship.

On the other hand, suppose Maggie had asked:

Are two men in romantic relationship — who have pledged to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, from this day forward until death does them part — in a marriage?

I’d answer, Of course.

But of course, Maggie didn’t write that. She knows it would devastate her argument. She knows the only way she can win is to deny that such a commitment is even possible between two men. That’s why NOM’s website contains this false and dehumanizing assertion:

Love is a great thing. But marriage isn’t just any kind of love; it’s the special love of husband and wife for each other and their children.

‘Cause you see, two men can’t feel that kind of love. Not for each other. Not for their kids.

Maggie’s key strategy here is denial of reality. We see the same thing in different words from NOM’s resident intellectual (God help them) Jennifer Roback Morse, who claims marriage equality will reduce the institution to nothing more than a “registry of friendships.”

Again: denial of reality. And it truly is offensive. Compare it to statements like these:

  • But marriage isn’t just any kind of love; it’s the special love of two white people for each other and their children.
  • But marriage isn’t just any kind of love; it’s the special love of two non-Jews for each other and their children.
  • But marriage isn’t just any kind of love; it’s the special love of Gringich and his woman-of-the-moment for each other and their children.

Well, perhaps that last item doesn’t belong. But those first two statements are no less offensive than what NOM wrote about gay and lesbian relationships.

Okay, that last bit was kind of a tangent. My real point here is that our opponents resort to this rhetorical strategy all the time. We need to point out that it’s not just false, but self-defeating. Not just wrong, but devastating to their own argument. We need to Gingrich ourselves up (rhetorically, not maritally), stop playing defense, and turn their words against them. We need to say:

No. It’s not just a sexual union. It’s not just a friendship. And if you can’t make your case by calling things what they are, then you don’t have a case at all.

Comments

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MattNYC
January 27th, 2012 | LINK

I forget the organization that did it–possibly the FRC–but one of my favorite comments ever was an identification of Liz Birch and her SEX PARTNER, Hilary Rosen. (Obviously, they have that on the brain and also probably never heard of Lesbian Bed Death ;)

MattNYC
January 27th, 2012 | LINK

P.S. Regarding your last bullet, Jon Stewart wins the point:

“…the Earth is very sick–and now he [Gingrich] wants to leave it for a younger planet!”

JFE
January 27th, 2012 | LINK

Actually Rob, I think your last point is the strongest. Maggie prefers the three marriages Newt has had to any one long-term, long-lasting, committed relationship between a same-sex couple. Newt has had all the rights of marriage with his first wife as much as his third.

Your first two are not as strong. Maggie simply says, “Marriage is good and racism is bad!” so comparing the two constantly is not in our best interest.

Tony P
January 27th, 2012 | LINK

Notice too the change in terminology. In the first part she calls it a sexual union, and then asks if it is a marriage. Nice red herring there Maggie.

homer
January 27th, 2012 | LINK

Of course one of the reasons she brings up sex is because she knows that many of her followers are obsessed with gay sex.

Ray Harwick
January 27th, 2012 | LINK

Newt uses the same formula: Put words into the mouth of your opponents then claim the moral high ground:

Part 1: Are two men pledged in a sexual union really a marriage?

Part 2: Well, if that’s what gays want, you can call me old fashioned and out of touch.

Get it? She puts words into the opposition’s mouth.

Richard Rush
January 27th, 2012 | LINK

Is a Catholic and a Hindu pledged in a sexual union really a marriage? It’s a fair question, isn’t it? And I think we know the answer. After all, there must be a good reason why Maggie makes sure that Raman stays hidden away in the attic . . . just waiting for her to return home every night lusting for some hot interfaith action after a long tough day at NOM.

(Sorry if I triggered anyone’s gag reflex.)

WMDKitty
January 28th, 2012 | LINK

I still don’t get why they’re so hung up on sex. It strikes me as juvenile.

Snowman
January 28th, 2012 | LINK

Sorry, but it’s been my experience that a lot of the people who believe this stuff really are pretty juvenile. For example the old “Conservative” guy at work who was making obscene gestures at the TV in the Breakroom when President Obama was giving a televised speech.

When I saw that, I couldn’t help but think…what the hell is the point??

I made my share of ignorant comments when I was a teenager, too, but I think continuing to be motivated by hate and ignorance once you’ve seen a little of the real world takes more energy and mental work than I’m willing to waste on such a thing. It takes WORK to be angry and hateful, and even if it’s just one person (the ex-wife in my case) when that went away it was like a weight was gone from my shoulders.

With that in mind I have to wonder why anybody would WANT to be like that, much less toward an entire group of people.

Coxhere
January 28th, 2012 | LINK

The fat-assed-female-hog cannot imagine that 2 men could ever commit themselves together in a loving, caring, supportive relationship for at least a couple of reasons. #1) The female hog’s perspective of relationships, in general, doesn’t ever have commitment in them. She knows that she could never commit to another human being because of her self-righteousness, self-centeredness, selfishness, and insecurities. And because of this, she can only attract others at her same level of dysfunctioning. Most likely, she’s never even met a human being who has the capacity to commit beyond self. #2) The fat-hog-woman knows how hetro men are, at least as far as her world-view is concerned. She’s never met 2 men who have anything but cut-throat competition in their attitudes, beliefs, and values. It is foreign for her to consider that 2 men can not only be cooperative and caring but also loving, supporting, understanding, being patient, gentle, and kind. To the lard-ass-hog-bitch, no such male, human beings exist. No, the fat-hog-female speaks to the world only in ways that she has understanding and experience in the world. Her words reflect her own reality. She certainly doesn’t speak for Gay men. She speaks only for gutter-human-psychopathology that she has come to know as truth.

Reed Boyer
January 28th, 2012 | LINK

Coxhere, there is no need to call her a “fat-assed-female-hog,” “fat-hog-woman,” “lard-ass-hog-bitch,” etc.

The preferred term is “Hell-Sow.”

Her size, I can only speculate, is from indulgence in a couple of the deadly sins (gluttony and pride), stemming from fear. By insulating herself against the world (and other people) through stuffing her feelings with food (a pretty common element of morbid obesity) she can gain the illusion of control over her environment.

” . . . an apparent protective effect of excess body weight on psychological suffering (Friedman & Brownell, 1995)” as cited by Marzocchi, et al (2008).”

Although, “fatuous fat-ass” is a term dear to my heart. Let’s face it, she’s one sick twist.

John
January 28th, 2012 | LINK

“Love is a great thing. But marriage isn’t just any kind of love; it’s the special love of husband and wife for each other and their children.”

Does that include a nearly 50% divorce rate among heterosexuals? Does that include the apparent increase in spousal abuse? Do these figure into the specialness of straight marriage?

Jim Burroway
January 28th, 2012 | LINK

Okay, I’m going to step in here and call a halt to the so-called fat “jokes.”

Any further comments along those lines will be removed and the commenters placed on moderation.

Timothy (TRiG)
January 28th, 2012 | LINK

Thanks, Jim. Those were disgustingly offensive.

TRiG.

cd
January 28th, 2012 | LINK

I still don’t get why they’re so hung up on sex. It strikes me as juvenile.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intrusive_thoughts

Eric in Oakland
January 28th, 2012 | LINK

“But marriage isn’t just any kind of love; it’s the special love of husband and wife for each other and their children.”

Does anyone else find it disgusting that she included “and their children” in this sentence talking about the definition of commited romantic love? Children are not parties to the marriage. Her phrasing seems to imply praise for incest.

Greg
January 29th, 2012 | LINK

Are a man and a woman pledged in a sexual union really a marriage? No, they’re not… unless they enter into a civil marriage. Maggie thinks she’s being clever but her rhetoric is just illogical, desperate nonsense.

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