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Maggie’s column retires

A Commentary

Timothy Kincaid

January 3rd, 2013

For seventeen years, Maggie Gallagher has written a bi-weekly column hosted by Universal Uclick on matters of family from a conservative, mostly Catholic perspective. Yesterday was her last.

Gallagher has been a nationally syndicated columnist for over 17 years; Universal Uclick launched her first column in June of 1995. She began publishing a column twice a week, but for the last three years has written a column once a week. Maggie is particularly known for writing about life, sex, babies, marriage, and culture–culture war topics but with a civility and grace that seeks to explain, not denounce.

And, until recently, that’s a fair assessment. When I began blogging at BTB, I understood Maggie to be a gracious person motivated by a firm belief that a culture based on the teachings of her church was to the advantage of all. There were, and are, haters aplenty – but Maggie was not someone I considered in that category.

But she was writing at that time for the team that appeared to be winning. All the points on the scoreboard were on her side and its not so hard to be magnanimous to the folks you just stomped all over.

But political will has shifted. Equality is now the presumed eventual winner. It’s harder to be nice.

And it’s also tough to become the face of the enemy. To be considered Hater-in-Chief when you do not see yourself in those terms at all. Maggie went into the marriage battle believing that she was on good terms with gay people and simply had the opposite side in a civil debate over how best marriage should be constructed. She found herself the most hated woman since Anita Bryant.

And, I believe it got to her. Her speeches picked up tones of bitterness and anger. And as the issue became increasingly personal, Maggie’s activism shifted from supporting the existing exclusions in marriage to opposing gay rights generally and, at times, gay people. She became what her critics said she was.

And that is sad. Not only for her but for us.

As the nation moves on the path to fuller inclusion, we are all best served by opposition that is driven by principle rather than animated by animus. Our arguments are best honed on the rebuttal of those who seek not our destruction but simply want what is best for the nation.

And that is what Maggie was at one important point on our journey.

Yes the end of Maggie’s column is another victory for equality. It is one more indication that the war is won and now we are just fighting the battles that lead to terms of peace.

But it is also – to me anyway – a sad thing. I think our culture was strengthened by her firm voice and it was, indeed, the presentation of our opponents’ best arguments that allowed us this victory. She stated her best case, and spoke with courage and passion, but ultimately the nation heard her clearly and rejected her view.

Maggie will continue writing and speaking. But is is a shadow of her confident period. Now there is defeat in her eyes and desperation in her encouragement. Her time has passed and her voice has been quieted.

Comments

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Neon Genesis
January 3rd, 2013 | LINK

I’ve lived most of my life in the bible belt and grew up in a conservative church that condemns homosexuality yet I always stayed nice and friendly to most of the Christians there and I still support the rights of Christians to practice their religion. Maggie doesn’t get a free pass just because some people were mean to her.

dn
January 3rd, 2013 | LINK

While I agree that Maggie has gotten a little more unhinged the past couple years, I disagree that she was kind to gays before. In a townhall.com article from 2001, she said that being gay is an affliction comparable to impotence, then petitioned the president of the US to find research into ex-gay therapy.

I think what’s happened is that she used to be able to get away with it a lot easier then. In fact, she falsely claimed she had advocated for ex gay therapy funding just last February on msnbc. Obviously she had either forgotten shed written that because it wasn’t so out of place at the time, or she knew she was lying. Either way, by the time the show she was on had come back from commercial, her article had been dug up and she was called out.

Anyway, all I’m saying is, let’s not forget some of the atrocious things she said 12 years ago out of a sense of nostalgia. The record is hers, and it is her responsibility to own it.

Priya Lynn
January 3rd, 2013 | LINK

Dn said “In fact, she falsely claimed she had advocated for ex gay therapy funding just last February on msnbc.”.

Did you mean to say “she falsely claimed she had NOT advocated for exgay therapy”?

Dn
January 3rd, 2013 | LINK

Whoops yeah that’s what I meant. I shouldn’t post from my phone :)

TonyJazz
January 3rd, 2013 | LINK

It’s nice to be gracious much. But in the case, her vitriolic speech towards us is documented for the hatred that it represented.

She is evil and immoral.

markanthony
January 3rd, 2013 | LINK

Nice obituary. I am still hoping to read to read your piece on what changed your mind regarding Maggie. Listening to her sit and debate with John Corvino or watching her speak before clearly liberal audiences, I just don’t hear the disgust or anger that I hear in other leaders of the anti-SSM movement.

I don’t want to be seen as a Maggie defender. For whatever reason, she thought the her ant-SSM movement would lead to some type of wider revival. Turns out her movement was all based on disgust and hatred of gays and it was a fight that wasted 2 decades of her life.

I’m probably stupidly optimistic, but she still the only uncynical social conservative leader I see out there.

StraightGrandmother
January 4th, 2013 | LINK

What would really help those of us on mobile devices is to have the author finish the piece by signing their name. On mobile device sew can’t see the author. If the writer would simply close out their article with their name in the text of the story, that would work.

BTW will someone kindly tell me who wrote this story?

TwirlyGirly
January 4th, 2013 | LINK

SG -
It was written by Tim Kincaid.

Timothy Kincaid
January 4th, 2013 | LINK

SG – it was me.

It’s not a bad idea to sign at the bottom. I’m not always sure who wrote what and I have the advantage of eliminating myself from the start.

Hunter
January 4th, 2013 | LINK

“When I began blogging at BTB, I understood Maggie to be a gracious person motivated by a firm belief that a culture based on the teachings of her church was to the advantage of all.”

That killed your whole argument for me, and I think you might want to consider carefully what you’ve written: to insist on the imposition of the teachings of her church on the society at large is not to the advantage of all, particularly when those teachings diminish the humanity of a minority.

I suspect that what’s happened with Gallagher is more on the order of the mask being stripped away.

Steve
January 4th, 2013 | LINK

@Hunter
Timothy is a theocrat himself, so in his reality I guess that line made sense to him.

And yeah, she was never nice, except on the very surface. She was “nice” in the sense that Southerners are polite to people to their face, but treat them like shit behind their back and when it becomes to politics.

Sandhorse
January 4th, 2013 | LINK

SG – If an author does not post their name, (and you don’t feel like having to ask) most mobile devices can change to a desktop mode. If you go/scroll to the bottom the screen of your phone or mobile device, there is usually a link labeled ‘Desktop’. If you click on it the screen will look like the BTB you would see on a computer. Mind you, it is not easy to navigate in this mode, but you will be able to see the author’s name. I only know this from dealing with the same issue. ;-)

Apologies if you already knew this.

***

PS @ Timothy

I guess the views of ‘theocrats’ like us do not engender anything more then contempt and mockery from the ‘enlightened ones’.

I guess in the brave new world of ‘equality’ and ‘open-mindedness’ we’re being ushered into, we are going to have to learn our place.

And with tolerance like that, who’ll need bigotry?

Oy vey!

Rowan Bristol
January 4th, 2013 | LINK

First: I disagree with the notion that having someone declare me as ‘less than’ is an inherent good, regardless of how kind they are.

Second, Timothy said:

“She stated her best case, and spoke with courage and passion, but ultimately the nation heard her clearly and rejected her view.”

At what point did she testify under oath? Wasn’t one of the problems with Maggie that she lacked the courage of her convictions when it came down to presenting honest cross-examined testimony?

And wouldn’t presenting her best case also include revealing the organizations who funded the presentation of that case, rather than keeping it secret?

I’m failing to see the courage here. She’s always seemed to me like an opportunist who could write sugary words for incredibly ugly sentiments.

Priya Lynn
January 4th, 2013 | LINK

Maggie called being gay an afliction, argued for “exgay” “therapy” and regularly characterized gays as less than. She wasn’t motivated by what she thought was best for society, she was motivated by the same thing virtually all antigays are – men are sexually icky and its icky enough when men have sex with women but its doubly icky when they have sex with each other.

If there were no gay men there would never have been much of an attempt to ban marriage for lesbians. Anti-gay bigots oppose lesbianism not out of any real oposition but simply because they realize they need to do so to appear consistent with their opposition to gayness.

Just as many people dishonestly claim their opposition to gayness is due to religious beliefs Maggie dishonestly claimed she was motivated by a genuine concern for what was best for society. Both groups know arguing against gays on the basis of aesthetics isn’t a particularly strong argument and reflects negatively on them so they have to pretend they have a loftier justication to both absolve themselves of hate and falsely assert there are valid reasons for their oppressive actions.

Maggie’s claims about being concerned for the good of society were both a facade to disguise her disgust motivation and an attempt to maximize support for her efforts to oppress gays.

Hunter
January 4th, 2013 | LINK

@Sandhorse:

Your comments on “contempt and mockery” I find somewhat puzzling — where did you find that here, or are you projecting?

Timothy Kincaid
January 4th, 2013 | LINK

Hunter, if you’re looking for contempt and mockery, you might start with “Timothy is a theocrat himself, so in his reality I guess that line made sense to him.”

Victor
January 4th, 2013 | LINK

The problem I have with this view of Maggie is that she and her creation (NOM) have done too much obfuscating and did too many underhanded things for me to consider them honest or benevolent in any serious way.

I remember quite well how Maggie was using the AZ photographer story to argue against marriage equality. Or later, the New Jersey Methodist-associated tax exemption story. Neither of the states had marriage equality, but that didn’t stop Maggie or NOM.

I think what was happening is that Maggie presented different faces to different audiences. Just as NOM did. A good example, I think, is what they did in RI. First, pretend you just oppose marriage, if marriage is off the table to begin with – oppose as much as you can of civil unions rights, if it’s something else – oppose that too.

And why not have a project that you fund that goes even further – I’m talking of the Ruth Institute and Jennifer Roebuck Morse? The org that openly questions adoptions by LGBT couples and individuals and opposes even same-sex intimacy.

These are all the deeds and ideas and the effects of Maggie Gallagher’s articles, appearances, and other contributions to the contemporary American society. And with all of that, it is hard for me to believe of her as either “gracious” or well-intentioned.

Priya Lynn
January 4th, 2013 | LINK

Right Victor. If Maggie had been truly motivated by what she thought was best for society she would have been indifferent to gayness and solely focussed on supposed impacts to heterosexual marriage by gay marriage. But she was not indifferent to gayness, gayness was something she opposed apart from any supposed concerns about heterosexual marriage. First and foremost she was about opposing gayness and claiming she was concerned about heterosexal marriage was just one way to promote that oppression.

Soren456
January 4th, 2013 | LINK

There’s a fable or adage or something that ends: “You knew I was a snake when you picked me up.”

That doesn’t exactly fit here, but it came to mind as I read. Gallagher hasn’t changed, not at all. She has merely revealed herself–who she is now and who she was when she began.

Hunter
January 4th, 2013 | LINK

Timothy Kincaid:

That’s pretty much as I suspected, but I tend to react badly when people start throwing around general terms in scare/snark quotes: if someone’s going to object to someone’s comments, then they should have the balls to call them out by name.

Otherwise, it starts to sound too much like Brian Brown or Peter LaBarbera.

Timothy Kincaid
January 4th, 2013 | LINK

Hunter,

that’s fair.

But I think Sandhorse is speaking of a bigger picture. And for that reason they may not have wished to engage in direct warfare, choosing instead to address their comment to me and to commiserate rather than pick someone out for rebuttal.

As a defensive move, that’s not a bad one.

This may not be your perception, but it does appear to me that it is common on gay blog sites – though much less so here – to subject those who do have or express any measure of faith to contempt and derision. On many gay themed sites anti-religion and, more particularly, anti-Christian slurs are common and very seldom does anyone even hint that full on abuse is a less than admirable trait.

Of course, this isn’t to suggest that people of faith or Christians don’t do the same to gay people on their sites. Many do.

But it can be doubly troubling to those who are gay and who also are religious. There are very few safe spaces to go where there isn’t a general and accepted presumption that they are fair game and not only liable to derision and scorn, but worthy of it.

We try not to let that take hold too strongly here, but it still is a regular occurrence. So long as the target is me personally, I tend to let it go. But I very much dislike readers/visitors/commenters being abused because they don’t share the views of others about the nature or existence of the divine.

Fenris Wolf
January 4th, 2013 | LINK

Oh, sweet Jesus. Kincaid’s on his editorial “we” high horse again.

StraightGrandmother
January 4th, 2013 | LINK

Can we please not make this about Timothy, but instead focus on what he said in the article?

A Miracle today! When BTB loaded today I got the regular website, yeah! I can understand how on a phone ppl might prefer the slimmed down Mobil version but on an iPad I prefer the regular websites, especially because I can use my fingers to make it zoom and at my age my eyes really like things zoomed.

When using my iPad I would most of the time not come to this website because it would not zoom. Thankfully I mainly use a computer so I am a regular reader. Now I am happy at BTB on both, yeah!

Sand horse, thanks for the tip.

StraightGrandmother
January 4th, 2013 | LINK

I concure that Maggie is deeply anti-gay. She tries to cover it up, but her Catholic beliefs are at the root of her activism. The proof is in the pudding. If it REAALY was about preserving Marriage she would have supported Civil Unions, which she fought against in Rhode Island, Illinois, Colorado and there are probably others I have forgotten.

She campaigned AGAINST Civil Unions because she IS anti-gay. Additionally just as Victor pointed out, she routinely lied about how Christians are being oppressed because gays can marry in some States. Her lying proves she is evil.

Smith
January 4th, 2013 | LINK

Where is the evidence that she was ever in support of or neutral towards gay rights? If she had been, she would have been at odds with the position of the Roman Catholic Church, as best laid out in the October 1986 statement by Cardinal Ratzinger, now the Pope. That statement posits that gay rights laws provoke anti-gay violence.

I highly doubt that she was ever in favor of gay rights. The best you could say about Maggie in the 90s is that she rarely wrote about gay people or gay issues. If I am wrong, Timothy, then produce something she wrote to suggest that she was once in favor.

One other interesting question mark about her and NOM: in 2010, during the debate over the repeal of DADT, there was a tweet from NOM’s account supporting the repeal. This was genuinely surprising, and it was unclear as to whether it represented NOM’s position or the view of the tweeter. (The tweeter turned out to be Lou Marinelli, who later defected from NOM, but the tweet went out from NOM’s account.) Exactly what was going on with that tweet remains a mystery.

Andrew
January 5th, 2013 | LINK

As the nation moves on the path to fuller inclusion, we are all best served by opposition that is driven by principle rather than animated by animus.

I take offense to that. When it comes to being treated as a full citizen – with respect to marriage, to avoiding discrimination at work or in my personal life, and to being treated equally by my government… I’m not “best served” by opposition at all. I’m damaged, personally and materially by opposition. And it’s always been rooted in animus.

Perhaps genteel conversations about the unsuitability of women and blacks at the ballot boxes – for their own good, and the good of our nation, of course, would have been perfectly acceptable? Folks like George Wallace didn’t burn crosses. They just made it possible to cling to the same ugly bigotry without donning a white hood… if you can reason it out all nice and pretty.

WTF are you even talking about?

Perhaps this reflects a membership in the “professional advocacy” class – where people start to identify with their opponents because they’re all entirely too familiar with each other, so that they lose sight of the fact that it’s not a friendly contest, it’s one group of people making their living by trying to destroy other people’s lives. Or maybe the quote just reflects self-loathing. Above my paygrade, and I don’t much care.

Sorry, Grandmother – I’d like to agree with your wise request… but although I agree that Maggie is a problem, we have to consider that passivity, willful blindness, and aw-shucks-ism in our own community has only fed the anti-gay message that we aren’t all interested in having full rights (especially re: marriage equality), that those who do fully advocate for us are “strident” or “aggressively gay” (as opposed to reasonable, house-trained gays who don’t ask for too much or make you uncomfortable), and that we don’t even support ourselves, so why should anyone take us seriously?

As to Maggie’s gerbil wheel… IMHO, Maggie and her supporters were “nice” only as a tactic – the ease with which they engaged in subterfuge and blatant dishonesty when it suited them suggests strongly that “reasonableness” was never anything more than marketing to the straight majority whose support they needed, and as long as they didn’t sound hateful, the folks they hoodwinked could sleep better at night. Sure kept the donations rolling in. Another example of so-called morally principled prohibitionists who should better be categorized as sociopathic and delusional.

Sorry, Maggie, you don’t get to be famous on my back anymore. No one’s listening to you.

Priya Lynn
January 5th, 2013 | LINK

Timothy said

As the nation moves on the path to fuller inclusion, we are all best served by opposition that is driven by principle rather than animated by animus.

Andrew replied

I take offense to that. When it comes to being treated as a full citizen – with respect to marriage, to avoiding discrimination at work or in my personal life, and to being treated equally by my government… I’m not “best served” by opposition at all. I’m damaged, personally and materially by opposition.

Now that you mention it Andrew, that was a strange statement by Timothy and I agree with you.

Timothy, in what way do you think the LGBT community is served by principled opposition?

Andrew
January 5th, 2013 | LINK

** note – in my comment to “grandmother” i used the pronoun “you”; the intended pronoun was “one” or “people” — that paragraph was directed at people (opponents) who use phrases like “aggressively gay” (that means you, chuck hagel) to dismiss gays and pro-gays, but as constructed syntactically, it seemed to redirect back to grandmother. mea culpa.

Timothy Kincaid
January 6th, 2013 | LINK

I highly doubt that she was ever in favor of gay rights. The best you could say about Maggie in the 90s is that she rarely wrote about gay people or gay issues.

As to gay rights, I agree.

Timothy Kincaid
January 6th, 2013 | LINK

Timothy, in what way do you think the LGBT community is served by principled opposition?

Being a minority, we are dependand on the good will of the majority. So it is in our best interest that all legitimate concerns be addressed and any rational arguments be countered and the matter resolved. It is in our best interest to be on the other side of the debate, and that there not be principled rational arguments that can have a “I never thought of that” effect on the populace.

Andrew
January 6th, 2013 | LINK

So, we get our rights when everyone runs out of possible arguments against? That seems to sell our rights as a human very cheaply, and it misses the point.

My rights are not dependent on the good will of the majority, my rights are intrinsic.

There should not be opposition to my – or your – rights as an equal citizen, and all opposition to our equality are harmful. No opposition to those rights are legitimate.

Priya Lynn
January 6th, 2013 | LINK

Yes, Andrew, I’m not buying that either. We are not better off having opposition we overcome than we wold be having no opposition at all – justice delayed is justice denied. I think we’re seeing Timothy’s conflicting loyalties, to a large degree he identifies with people who resist change for the sake of avoiding change regardless of how harmful that may be.

Priya Lynn
January 6th, 2013 | LINK

That’s really just circular logic to say the LGBT community is served by opposition because that way we can convince them to stop opposing us.

Nathaniel
January 6th, 2013 | LINK

Yes, but if we are to have opposition (which is how I would phrase the argument) would it not be better of they were reasonable and principled, free of the blinding passions of bigotry? Hence, as Mr. Kincaid suggests, we would be able to reason with them to gain the rights we deserve, rather than having to fight for decades to ‘earn’ them. No minority gains rights without opposition; change is not welcomed but fought. If, however, we picked up reason rather than arms, change would come at a much quicker, and healthier pace.

I clearly didn’t read Mr. Kincaid’s comment on ‘theocracy’ the way others have. Like the statement regarding opposition, I felt it read better as a vote of confidence in her good will for society. No matter how poorly placed the opinions that guided her actions, Ms. Ghallagher genuinely believed she was trying to save society. I know many religious people that believe that if their religious beliefs were followed earnestly by everybody, the world would be a better place. Quite a few of my atheist friends fit this bill. I happen to agree. But unless we are actually willing to codify and enforce those beliefs (which actually would defeat the purpose in most cases), the term ‘theocrat’ hardly seems to apply.

And when condemning this woman (I have little love for her myself) let us not confuse her words and actions with those of her organization. I don’t know how fine a line this would actually tread, but I don’t think NOM’s recent actions, since she stepped down as its leader, can be directly laid at her feet. Many hands guide an organization, and the strength of her hand in them is difficult to tell. My hope and prayer is that she live long enough to understand the pain she has caused.

John Pisello
January 6th, 2013 | LINK

Nathaniel wrote: “Hence, as Mr. Kincaid suggests, we would be able to reason with them to gain the rights we deserve, rather than having to fight for decades to ‘earn’ them.”

Unfortunately, NOM’s (and Maggie’s own) history gives the lie to the idea that they (and she) were ever open to reasoned persuasion on this issue. As others have noted already, neither NOM nor Maggie has ever restricted their advocacy purely to opposing SSM; rather, they have repeatedly made many documented statements, and advocated politically, against non-heterosexual people themselves, as well as their legal and political rights, in many spheres other than marriage.

Andrew
January 7th, 2013 | LINK

Nathaniel, ultimately it doesn’t matter necessarily. What matters is whether or not you are perceived as standing up for yourself and strong enough to do something about it.

Think about it – every time the “god hates fags” group starts foaming at the mouth, we win support. Their behavior strips bare the animus that truly underlies dedicated and directed opposition to gay rights by those who embark on these campaigns unasked (why gays, why not jews or lithuanians or zoroastrians?).

On the other hand, every time someone makes a reasonable, sympathetic argument that ends with “I’d like to agree with you, and I respect you, but that’s just a bridge too far for me”, average people think “well, that sounds reasonable – what is this gay person getting so upset about? what will ever be enough for them? can’t we just put this conflict to rest and move on?” (and with that, they vote against us).

When the second group is actually the first group using sweet words, carefully fudged arguments, and made up “facts” to sway the general public, what you have is a debacle – dedicated animus masked as reasonableness and “compassionate conservatism”… and it sells. What you have, in that latter group, in fact is Old Maggie. It’s only when folks stopped buying it that she dropped the act and reverted (New Maggie) to true animus, scare tactics, and other fire-breathing efforts to get attention and spark a reaction by the base (which turns out disproportionately to off-year elections and primaries).

Andrew
January 7th, 2013 | LINK

by the way, john, the list of people who believe(d) and have done despicable things “trying to save society” (or their version of it) is age-old.

Pro-segregationists, terrorists, anti-abortionists who kill doctors, murderous religious leaders, Nazis… these people all believed they were “saving” society.

The problem was… for whom?

Andrew
January 7th, 2013 | LINK

By the way – get a red marker and a calendar out… Priya and I agree on something… are we sure the world didn’t really end last December?

Andrew
January 7th, 2013 | LINK

By the way – I’ve been thinking. Why did Timothy’s commentary get me so riled? I’ve certainly made arguments on many occasions both for civility in arguments, and the importance of winning arguments with the general public by dropping the strident tone.

Priya and I have clashed on a number of occasions because she tends to be fairly strong minded (I might sometimes argue intransigent), and more than a little black and white on many issues. So, I did indeed find it gave me pause that we were agreeing on something – it’s not the normal order of things.

So I did some thinking.

I think it was the bizarre ennui, the sadness in the tone of TK’s commentary, the sound that he’s going to miss Maggie. I started thinking “who’s side is this guy on, anyways?, and how did this mode of thinking come to pass?”. My first thought – especially based on past conversations about what I perceived to be a fixation by certain BTB authors with Maggie that was entirely disproportionate to her actual relevance – was some kind of a personal relationship (or one rooted in professional advocacy). In fact, it sounded very much like a personal problem.

Then again, past conversations with TK have allowed me an understanding of his underlying conservatism, especially in his sympathies to the rights of employers to terminate workers (for whatever reason they see fit), and with respect to religion, most of which, IMHO is relatively free of logic. And so this felt very much like TK putting his conservative values – and a lot of what I perceive to be delusional wish fulfillment ahead of, frankly, my right to be a full and equal citizen.

My natural mode is contrarianism. Tell me it’s cold out, and I’ll tell you where it’s colder. Tell me “TGIF”, and I’ll tell you Friday’s just another week I didn’t get everything done. That plays no small role here as well (sounds like a personal problem).

But I’m still pretty adamant when it comes to someone speaking on my behalf about how I’m “best served”.

I get to decide how I’m best served, thanks. Hmm… maybe it was just that I hate being patronized.

chiMaxx
January 7th, 2013 | LINK

Maggie was always a snake. Her arguments, for all the clothing in discussions of the state’s interest in responsible procreation and binding fathers to their children were always rationalizations growing out of a core conviction that gay relationships (and gay people) were innately inferior to straight relationships (and straight people). And she seemed astonished that everyone who didn’t share that core conviction with her could see through the threadbare fabric of her rhetoric–and that the number of people sharing that core conviction was dwindling.

So it’s no surprise that it was under her watch that NOM started the recruitment on “non-cognitive elites.” She learned increasingly on her college debate tour that there was no hope of winning over smart or educated young people. Their only hope was increase the anti-gay enthusiasm of the dumb, the uneducated and the ignorant by getting some celebrities that demographic pays attention to to reinforce the message that gay people (and those who support them) are not like “us.”

chiMaxx
January 7th, 2013 | LINK

BTW: I was always dumbstruck by the crude cynicism at the heart of the whole “non-cognitive elites” thing. It meant that NOM perceived their base of support as dumb, uneducated, ignorant and easily manipulated by the declarations of beauty queens and pro sports players. It was never about winning the argument. That was just a veneer for the crude manipulation of people they viewed with contempt to oppose another group they viewed with even more contempt. I need a shower.

Priya Lynn
January 7th, 2013 | LINK

Nathaniel said “Yes, but if we are to have opposition (which is how I would phrase the argument) would it not be better of they were reasonable and principled, free of the blinding passions of bigotry? Hence, as Mr. Kincaid suggests, we would be able to reason with them to gain the rights we deserve, rather than having to fight for decades to ‘earn’ them.”.

Assuming for the sake of argument there is principled opposition to marriage equality it is one thing to argue that we are better off, or harmed less, by principled opposition rather than opposition motivated by animus and quite another thing to say we are served by principled opposition. Opposition whether “principled” or based in animus doesn’t benefit us in any way. That’s the point I was trying to make – we are better off without any sort of opposition than we are with it.

Andrew said “But I’m still pretty adamant when it comes to someone speaking on my behalf about how I’m “best served”.”.

Yes, once you pointed out that statement I as well thought “Wow, that’s quite a claim!”.

Nathaniel said “No matter how poorly placed the opinions that guided her actions, Ms. Ghallagher genuinely believed she was trying to save society.”.

I’d find that more plausible if she had been indifferent to gays and gayness and arguing solely on the basis of what’s good for heterosexual marriage but she didn’t. She advocated for “exgay” “therapy” and regularly asserted gay people are dysfunctional and “less than”. Someone who isn’t anti-gay at heart doesn’t do those things.

The anti-gays theoretical connections between gays marrying and heterosexuals deciding not to marry are extremely abstract and tenuous at best. I for one find it very hard to believe anyone honestly believes there’s any real chance one causes the other, particularly when anti-gay sentiments are part and parcel of their “save society” arguments. Maggie’s “I want to protect heterosexual marriage” claims are just the surface manifestation of her “I believe gays are bad” beliefs. To her “protecting” heterosexual marriage and suppressing gayness are one in the same.

Andrew said “Priya and I have clashed on a number of occasions because she tends to be fairly strong minded (I might sometimes argue intransigent), and more than a little black and white on many issues. So, I did indeed find it gave me pause that we were agreeing on something – it’s not the normal order of things.”.

Its not my impression that we disagree all that often, although when we do its usually pretty strongly. I often find myself agreeing with your posts but don’t necessarily comment on them.

Jay
January 7th, 2013 | LINK

Gallagher was never anything more than a hack. She has consistently lied, taken money to support Republican policies, and practiced various levels of hate speech. Nothing to be nostalgic about here.

Andrew
January 7th, 2013 | LINK

Priya, right back at you :) There are times you are hollering and it means I don’t have to because someone else is getting the job done. And there are times when I think you’re dead wrong. But I never wonder what is on your mind, and you’re never boring, and that’s a lot more than I can say for a lot of people. And when I do agree with you, it feels like storming the gates. What a wonderful kiki.

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