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Yes, Maggie Gallagher, You Have Blood on Your Hands

Rob Tisinai

March 27th, 2012

In late 2010, Maggie Gallagher responded to the epidemic of gay teen suicide by asking:

Do I have blood on my hands?

To no one’s surprise, her answer was No. But now, with the release of NOM’s confidential 2009 report to its Board, we can firmly tell her:

Yes, Maggie, you do have blood on your hands.

One bit of NOM’s strategy is getting special attention. As reported earlier today, in a section called, “Not a Civil Rights Project” NOM’s document states:

The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks…Fanning the hostility raised in the wake of Prop 8 is key to raising the costs of pushing gay marriage to its advocates and persuading the movement’s allies that advocates are unacceptably overreaching on this issue.

You read that right: NOM, while publicly calling for a civil dialog on marriage, privately pinned its hopes on fanning hostility between gays and blacks. Does that make you angry? Never mind; stupid question; of course it does. But don’t forget this:

Gays and blacks are not separate groups.

They overlap. And not just within society, but within families as well. NOM has committed up to $5,000,000 to fanning hostility not just between gay and black constituencies, gay and black neighborhoods, or gay and black churches, but between straight black parents and their young gay teens.

Let’s hope the strategists at NOM aren’t trying to rip families apart. Let’s hope it’s not their primary intention. But hostility is a flame, not a scalpel, and those who fan it can’t control who gets burned. NOM, apparently, must have decided that gay black teens are acceptable collateral damage. Or they were just blind to the concept. But now, let me remind you of this:

Parental acceptance is a major factor in preventing gay teen suicide.

The numbers are scary. And the research has just been reaffirmed. Even worse, the parents’ first reaction is key — not the delayed and considered reaction, once parents have had a chance to take a breath, but the immediate reaction, the one inflamed by NOM’s millions of dollars spent fanning hostility.

When Maggie faced the question of blood on her hands, she claimed she felt a “moral obligation” to find out whether it was true. Her moral obligation led her to detail every possible cause of suicide that directed attention away from NOM. It did not lead her to detail the millions of dollars she’d committed to fanning hostility between minority parents and their gay children.

For Maggie, I guess, that just wasn’t a moral question.



March 27th, 2012 | LINK

Don’t forget the part where they planned to hire someone full-time (to the tune of 60k dollars) to find children willing to publicly condemn their gay parents.

No idea if they actually went through with it, but if they did, they didn’t find any

Paul Mc
March 27th, 2012 | LINK

I so look forward to Brian Brown’s first mainstream TV interview where he tries to defend the charge that looking for the kids of gay parents is not only deeply unethical but also very very creepy and possibly illegal.

Now let’s find their donors and put the same charges to them.

Nathan F
March 27th, 2012 | LINK

This post is WAY more caustic than NOM’s strategy regarding communities of color. Blood on Maggie Gallagher’s hands? Can we please tone down the rhetoric and have a civil discussion of marriage equality?

Personally, I don’t see much difference between NOM’s outreach strategy to the black community and HRC’s outreach strategy to the religious community (or to communities of color or to youth).

The only thing I find really shocking and morally upsetting about the NOM papers (besides their typical disregard for the rights and dignity of LGBT people) is, as Steve pointed out, trying to pay children to condemn their gay parents.

Rob Tisinai
March 27th, 2012 | LINK

Nathan, I did not introduce the rhetoric of blood on Maggie’s hands. That’s the conversation as she set it up.

Your question about having “a civil discussion of marriage equality” is exactly the point. NOM asks for that again and again. It would be a great way to proceed. But when they commit money to “fanning hostility” we have to deal with that head on.

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