In 2004, the campaign to prevent gay marriage was in its heyday. The Bush administration had seeded an initiative banning gay marriage in Ohio to mobilize activists and peel off traditionalist Democratic voters. Democrats nationally were running for cover, and even Howard Dean’s pro-civil-unions stance appeared risky.
Now the movement is in a state of total collapse, with every day seeming to bring new converts to the gay-marriage cause and the opposition losing all of its courage. There is no more telling sign of the opposition’s surrender than the public demoralization of Maggie Gallagher, the leading anti-gay-marriage activist and writer.
The unusual thing about the campaign to ban gay marriage is that it was dying from the moment it was born. Even at its peak, at the very outset, the portents of doom were visible on the horizon — polls showed that young voters strongly supported gay marriage. The best case for Gallagher and her allies appeared to be holding on for years, or even decades, but eventually gay-marriage opponents would age out of the electorate.
Gallagher understood from the beginning that she had to fight that sense of eventual inevitability. Here she is writing a column for National Review in December 2004 whose thesis is captured in its headline, “Not Inevitable.” In the face of clear evidence, Gallagher seized on whatever tiny glimmers of demographic hope she could find. One poll found that while young adults favored gay marriage, teens did not. Was this a statistical blip due to a tiny sample size? Not to Gallagher, who saw it as evidence that “most likely, as more adults voice firm objections to gay marriage, they appear to be having an impact on their children’s attitudes and values.”
Five years later, Gallagher continued to rage against the dying of the light, but less forcefully. A 2009 column phrased her stance as a question rather than an answer (“Is Gay Marriage Inevitable?”).
Gallagher was no longer insisting that the youngest voters opposed gay marriage, but was merely hoping that the generation of voters younger than them one day would in a fit of rebellion. “Right now, it’s ‘cool’ to be pro-gay marriage. In ten years, it will be what the old folks think,” she offered hopefully.
Today, the movement has advanced far more rapidly than expected, and it is hard to find much hope at all in Gallagher. She increasingly casts those on her own side as victims. Gallagher insists, in an interview with National Review — she has given up her column — the cause is about “the core civil rights of 7 million Californians to vote on the marriage question.” The rights of a gay couple to marry cannot be allowed to trample on the rights of heterosexuals to vote to ban them from getting married.
The surest sign of resignation is that Gallagher has redirected her focus from stopping gay marriage to preserving the dignity of her reputation and those of her fellow believers. She now presents her cause as a kind of civil rights movement to protect her fellow believers from the stigma of advocating bigotry and discrimination. “I worry when I get an email from a woman who's a nurse in a hospital,” she told NPR, “who wrote a letter to the editor opposing gay marriage, and finds that she fears her job is in jeopardy.”
The pathos is fully captured in this exchange with NR, when she is asked how she will be judged in the future:
What future commentators write about me (if they write about me at all which I doubt) when I am dead won’t matter much. I will by then be in the hands of a Judge both just and (thankfully) merciful, a world where truth counts. I’m not triumphal about that fact, I suspect we will all be surprised to discover first-hand how dark the sins we justified in this world really are — when our self-imposed veils of ignorance are removed. We’ll see how much we all require mercy. In the meantime let’s love each other as best we can, but always, always in truth.
It is almost poignant that her thoughts of the future turn not to some imagined political victory but the afterlife. There is no last-minute generational twist, no reversal of the tide, lying in store to save Gallagher and the gay-marriage opponents, and she knows it full well. Regardless of any Supreme Court ruling, her movement is lying on its death bed, and she is making her peace with it.
Just remember, this is Maggie Gallagher's job. This is her livelihood, and she won't go quietly into the night. The girl's gotta eat.
[quote]The girl's gotta eat.
Does she ever! That size 46 waist won't maintain itself!
"This is her livelihood, and she won't go quietly into the night."
And that goes for every other Evangelical and Catholic, right wing hate monger. The issue of gay marriage has been their meal ticket for decades. Don't expect them to sit idly by while the gravy train passes without stopping for them.
To me the sign they were done was the shift in their rhetoric. Not that long ago it was okay for them to say blatantly homophobic things and express complete open disapproval of gays. Now every point is followed up with "but that doesn't make me a bigot." It's now at the point where doing anything vaguely homophobic is considered unacceptable in the same way making racist comments in public is unacceptable. Once that happened they were done.
"It's now at the point where doing anything vaguely homophobic is considered unacceptable in the same way making racist comments in public is unacceptable."
Really? In what magical land do you live?
r5 is right, r6. This has changed quickly in america.
The land where people freaked the fuck out on Chil Fil A when they found out they were quietly making donations to anti gay groups and the company had to stop.
Maggie has now qualified to be on Dancing With the Stars next season. Look for her to be paired with Tristan.
Hatemonger Maggie Gallagher, founder of the National Organization for Marriage (NoM) raised her son as a single mother because the father would not marry her. One night stand?
[quote]This has changed quickly in america
Why is that? Is it greater awareness/exposure to gays through TV, movies and other media (internet)? Is it because more and more everyday people are coming out and living openly? Maybe it's due, in part, to anger and sorrow over all the highly publicized teen suicides. What has accounted for such rapid change?
[quote] In 1933, the morbidly obese Maggie Gallagher finally married at age 33
Damn, bitch is oooold!
There is a majority of states in the U.S. that have constitional bans on same-sex marriage, and 19 of them ban ANY kind of legal recognition of gay relationships.
To that the Anti-Gay-Marriage movement is dying is an exaggeration I think based on some polling data and some successes we had back in November. A dangerous exaggeration that results in people like John Roberts making statements about the powerful lobby for same-sex marriage, a lobby whose power is limited to certain states.
When some people start trying to repeal the constitutional amendments in those states that have them, we'll find out just how dead the Anti-Gay-Marriage movement ISN'T.
The large # of socially conservative politians and lobbyists will fight back like pit bulls. Let's not kid ourselves.
Meant to type, "Stating that the Anti-Gay-Marriage movement is dying..."
R15, aka butterfingers
Oops! The bitch got married in 1993, not 1933.
There has been a slow death of the anti-gay marriage movement and that reflects well on the American population. I know I am going to be blasted for this, but I believe we should have let it die a bit more slowly. By moving towards assisted suicide instead of natural death, we are igniting a subset of the population. The next Senate, House and likely president are not going to be Democrat. If DOMA is struck down now, I fear there is an amendment in the future regarding marriage.
I'd like to beat the shit out of that fat bitch.
R18 -- a Federal Marriage Amendment needs 67 Senate votes. They have brought it up twice before, in far more favorable circumstances for passage, and couldn't even get 50 for it.
Moreover, in November 2016 it'll be Republicans playing massive defense in seats they won only in a year discouraged Dems stayed home in large numbers.
As for Prez, even if Hillary doesn't run, so the nominee ends up being a relative unknown like, say, Gov. O'Malley, I don't see the R's being able to move to the center enough; their "base" will want red meat during the primaries.
I'm aware of that. Unfortunately, current politics are polarizing enough I think you could see that level of majority - especially if some senators are up for re-election in a state that supported an amendment. Dems are going to have to come up with someone far more fresh, dynamic and motivating than Hillary to secure the presidency and provide long enough coat tails to attain majority in House and Senate.
Regardless of what happens in the next few years, it's unlikely that antigay elements in Congress could get a 2/3 majority vote in both houses AND approval in 38 of 50 states.
In the end, it is really going to be which position will get each politician the most votes. Voters are a fickle lot.
With so many Pubbies already promoting the end of DOMA, there's no way the leftovers will get any anti-gay amendment.
[quote]In 1933, the morbidly obese Maggie Gallagher finally married at age 33
Love the typo! : )
[quote] Dems are going to have to come up with someone far more fresh, dynamic and motivating than Hillary
Sure. I see why you are worried (NOT!). Hillary is all those things, and slated to win conservative states such as Texas. Do you not WANT the Democrats to win or something? One might even suspect you are engaging in psy-ops trollery.
[quote]One might even suspect you are engaging in psy-ops trollery.
Suspect?!?!?! I'm pretty damn certain that's what they are doing. The prediction about the next election results is the give-away. Conservatives are famous for making predictions in their favor. The good news is, they are almost always wrong with their forecasts.
Oh good lord girls. You think Hillary is fresh and dynamic? You really do believe anything the Democrats tell you.
[quote]You think Hillary is fresh and dynamic?
Compared to the old, out of step and stuck in the past ape shit crazies the GOP offers, she is.
R29. Girl - you really need to look at OLD Hillary again. She can't get up for a drink of water without knocking herself out. I can't stand Obama, but he is young, dynamic and motivating. If the Dems put Hillary up as a candidate, we will win by a landslide. You heard it hear first girls.
I see R30 has dusted off the good old Republican Crystal Ball, just for laughs I'm guessing. Lets look at its track record, shall we? So far, here are the predictions Republicans have made:
* The war in Iraq will be over in less than three months
* We will be greeted as liberators with candy and flowers in Iraq
*We will locate Sadam's WMD
*We will find evidence Sadam was involved in the 9/11 attacks.
*George Bush will bring bin Ladden to justice.
* An autopsy will prove Terri Schivio had a fully functioning brain.
* There is no way anyone will vote for someone like Obama. John McCain will become president.
* Sarah Palin will run for president and beat Obama
* Donald Trump will run for president and beat Obama.
* There is no way anyone will vote for someone like Obama. Mitt Romney will become president. He will win in a landslide.
They are all pretty amusing and there is a valuable lesson here: Regressives cant predict 6 o'clock at 5:30.
[quote]Regardless of what happens in the next few years, it's unlikely that antigay elements in Congress could get a 2/3 majority vote in both houses AND approval in 38 of 50 states.
No if we get our way.
[quote] Girl - you really need to look at OLD Hillary again. She can't get up for a drink of water without knocking herself out. I can't stand Obama, but he is young, dynamic and motivating. If the Dems put Hillary up as a candidate, we will win by a landslide.
Wow, you argue as a concerned "Democrat" upthread, but in this quote you tellingly give yourself away as a Republican. Now tell me again why we should listen to your informed views about how America is turning ever more homophobic?
Is Ken Mehlman posting here again?
Unfortunately, nothing will stop the LDS sect who forced members to donate large sums of money to pass Proposition 8. They are such robots they'll do anything the elders tell them to.
The Mormons have been backing off of this issue lately. They got a lot of flak in the Prop 8 campaign.
r36 is right. Mormons saw Prop 8 as a way to curry favor with mainstream America, especially Protestants and evangelicals. "See? We're not bug-eyed cultist bigamist freaks! We hate the gays, too."
They have to back off now that the tide has turned. It was a PR thing, and the opportunity has passed. Fighting gay rights is no longer good PR. In fact, just the opposite.
[quote]Oops! The bitch got married in 1993, not 1933.
Correct. 1933 was the year she had her "coming out," meaning she was allowed to reveal her ankles in public and welcome gentlemen callers (sadly there were none until sometime in the mid-fifties).
As on other threads, I'm amazed that celebrating how far we have come so fast--and in historical terms, it is extremely fast!--declines into a "let's bitch about the Clintons" discussion, or a "let's beware of a backlash from red states" false worry.
To say nothing about the weird tendency by so many people posting here to ignore the politics involved in how Congress, the Presidency and the Supreme Court actually operate together and apart in our separated-powers system...
The best thing is that the discussion is so wide-spread. The positive voices are drowning out people like hatemonger Rick Santorum and his Opus Dei ilk.
Don't be fooled- these bullies aren't going anywhere. Their white-hot rage against gays knows no end. If and when gay marriage is approved, they'll make a stink about recognizing it as valid. Barring them from hotels, etc.
Who knew they treated marriage so reverently? If so, then why all the cheating and beating and divorce?
Maybe it's the last way breeders can feel "special"?
Santorum is a unique study. He's constantly screeching about gays and abortion. His wife's first lover was an abortion doctor. He put her through college during the years she lived with him and assisted with patients. His hatred for gays reminds one of Ted Haggard.
Death to chinless Ken Mehlman! Death to the Mormons!
It sounds to me like Maggie Gallagher was repeatedly rejected by gay after gay to be their 'hag.