Maggie Gallagher rebuts Maggie Gallagher

Rob Tisinai

January 17th, 2013

I found a delightful article by Maggie Gallagher today.

Wait. That can’t be — let me check…

Nope, that’s right: I found a delightful article by Maggie Gallagher today.

Maggie and her anti-marriage colleagues like to say the essential public purpose of marriage is regulation of procreation for the benefit of society; so if gay people can’t procreate, why should the government promote such relationships at all, much less grant them marital status?

Oh, I hear this all the time. I hear less enthusiasm for listening to an answer though. The question is usually offered up as an ultimate rock-em-sock-em debate clincher. But perhaps people like Maggie Gallagher should pay more attention to…people like Maggie Gallagher.

Twelve years ago, before the marriage equality fight was essential to her income her primary cause, Maggie wrote an article whose whole point, chief thesis, and entire raison d’être was to convince people that protecting children is not the only societal benefit of marriage. Maggie wrote:

Yes, marriage protects children. And yes, marriage therefore protects taxpayers and society from a broad and deep set of costs, personal and communal. But there is another case for marriage, equally significant, that you probably haven’t heard. Marriage is a powerful creator and sustainer of human and social capital for adults as well as children, about as important as education when it comes to promoting the health, wealth, and well-being of adults and communities. [emphasis added]












Only 2 of those reasons are tied to procreation, and none of her arguments for them depend on mixed-gender relationships. It’s hard to say for certain that such benefits will extend to same-sex couples, but there’s the fact that, you know, we’re human beings too. In any case, there’s only one way to find out!

If you find yourself in these sorts of debates often, then bookmark Maggie’s article and have it ready when your opponent asks why the government should grant marriage to same-sex couples. And then come back here and let me know how it went.


January 17th, 2013

That article is as much full of shit as anything else she has ever written.

The only way to become rich through marriage is to marry someone who is rich. Two poor people marrying each other won’t magically have more money. And the sex doesn’t get magically better either. The “live saving” stuff is pure crap too.


January 17th, 2013

Steve, I kind of have to disagree.

Consider for instance the gender pay gap -> similar biases exist that preference those people who are married. Marriage is a form of costly signalling that lets other people know you 1) share their values, 2) are worth cooperating with, and 3) probably need money to support your family. That is what cultural and social capital is about – that cultural performances return in capital at a later date.


January 17th, 2013

Here’s some current material… although it does partly contradict her.


January 18th, 2013

I recall reading a similar article (and shooting off a letter to the editor in response) years ago by Tony Perkins that made the same argument, something about how beneficial marriage is to society and how it needs protection. His arguments didn’t really distinguish between opposite-sex or same-sex couples in marriage; he just assumed his audience would understand his meaning. Wish I could locate it, too.


January 18th, 2013

Is this when she was surreptitiously employed by the Bush administration to write ‘spontaneous’ op-eds extolling the benefits of marriage?

Good find.

Priya Lynn

January 18th, 2013

“Maggie and her anti-marriage colleagues like to say the essential public purpose of marriage is regulation of procreation for the benefit of society”.

I hope its not just me, but I find the idea of regulating procreation to be absolutely horrifying.


January 18th, 2013

Rob, this is an awesome find. It completely undermines what NOM has been saying for the past 5 years. Great work!

Simon Alipio

January 18th, 2013

What Maggie means by equality is that marriage is 50% a man and 50% a woman. For children, marriage is 50% a Dad and 50% of Mom.

It provides equality for children.

Homoparenting does not provide equality for children

Here is an adopted child who spoke clearly about this recently

Priya Lynn

January 18th, 2013

Simon, it makes no difference to children what gender their parents are. The children of same sex couples do just as well, if not better than the children of heterosexuals. There is nothing unequal about having same sex parents rather than opposite sex parents. What is unequal is telling Ted he can marry Jane and telling Alice she cannot marry Jane.

Simon Alipio

January 19th, 2013

Prya, I listen to children instead of speaking for them.
What children need is much more important than what adults want.
I dream of the day where adults and government officials are sued for depriving children of their right to a father and a mother.

It will come and the world will cry hearing their stories.

This video is very clear. Only a cold and selfish heart will not hear the message.

Marriage has never and will never be about civil union or domestic partnership. Stealing children is not a way to bypass natural law

Priya Lynn

January 19th, 2013

Simon said (hee hee) “Prya, I listen to children instead of speaking for them.”.

You’re full of sh*t, you haven’t the slightest idea what any but an infintestimal amount of children have to say. The scientific research on the other hand has actually surveyed large amounst of children and shows children do just as well, if not better, with same sex parents as they do with opposite sex parents. And the children of same sex parents are overwhelmingly happy with their parents.

Simon said “I dream of the day where adults and government officials are sued for depriving children of their right to a father and a mother.”.

No one has a right to choose who their parents are. You can pick your friends but you can’t pick your family. If there was such a right I’d have much rather had two women raise me than my heterosexual parents. Would you support my right to to sue government officials for depriving me of same sex parents? Don’t you believe children have just as much a right to same sex parents as they do to opposite sex parents? No, of course not, because when you talk about equality you’re just a BS’er making absurd statments like “same sex parents don’t provide equality for children because there aren’t an equal number of men and women in the marriage” which is the logical equivalent of “Gays and lesbians have two arms just like heterosexuals so therefore they have already have equality.”.

Priya Lynn

January 19th, 2013

Simon said “Stealing children is not a way to bypass natural law”.

There is no such thing as natural law and gays and lesbians do NOT steal children. If you have any examples of gays and lesbians stealing children post a link or stop spreading your vicious lies intended to provoke violence against innocent people.

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