Queerty’s Open Letter To Maggie Gallagher, Brian Brown, And All Of NOM’s Supporters

This weekend the so-called “National Organization For Marriage” reposted our article entitled “Can We Please Just Start Admitting That We Do Actually Want To Indoctrinate Kids?” And while some Queerty readers expressed anger about our using the word “indoctrinate” so freely, we stand by the article and apparently so does NOM.

After all, they didn’t even bother refuting any of our well-supported claims that marriage equality reduces teen suicide and that same-sex marriage bans screw over committed, hard-working Americans. So seeing as we agree on some things, we’d like to begin a dialogue with NOM and their followers. Will they take the time to respond to our open letter?


Dear NOM,

First off, let me just say that I love reading your blog. It’s one of the best for keeping up with international queer activism, Catholic anti-adoption measures, and the slow shift towards gay marriage equality nationwide—thanks for keeping everyone informed!

It takes guts to stand up for what you believe in and I respect NOM for boldly defending their beliefs in the face of increasingly vociferous opposition. I actually think NOM and I agree on many issues, especially when it comes to protecting children and religious freedom. So I’d love your thoughts on a few questions—and not just Maggie Gallagher and Brian Brown’s thoughts, but the thoughts of all your followers so we can really begin building bridges and understanding one another.

I know you and your supporters are all very busy, so you’ll be happy to know that all my questions are short and can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” Take a look:

1) Does NOM agree with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ finding that gay-straight student alliances and anti-bullying programs in schools reduce teen suicides?

2) Does NOM continue to support ex-gay programs, even though the largest psychological organization in the United States has said such programs do more harm than good?

3) Since NOM opposes gay adoption for the thousands of orphans still needing adoptive parents, does NOM think taxpayers should pay to keep these children in foster homes? Does NOM also think taxpayers should pay for the higher rates of mental problems, unemployment and homelessness that occur when these unadopted children age out of state care?

4) Does NOM reject the finding of the over 7,500 child and adolescent psychiatrists, physicians, and researchers in the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology who say that kids raised by LGBT couples “do not differ from children with heterosexual parents in their emotional development or in their relationships with peers and adults”?

5) Considering the thousands of orphans needing parents and NOM’s opposition to states requiring religious adoption agencies let gays adpot, does NOM support the numerous non-religious adoption agencies that place children with gay couples?

6) Since NOM considers state-sanctioned “civil unions” “a Trojan Horse that will usher in same-sex marriage sooner rather than later,” does it also oppose bestowing any of the 1,138 federal rights afforded married heterosexual couples to gay couples, such as the right to visit a loved one in the hospital or the right to dispose of a partner’s remains?

7) Since NOM considers marriage “a public and legal institution is oriented towards protecting children by increasing the likelihood they have a mother and father,” does NOM consider any marriage that occurs outside of a church or without the intention of raising children invalid, or less deserving of federal rights and protections?

8) Is NOM currently organizing mass protests, petitions, and media actions against the courts and lawyers that threaten traditional marriage and institutions of faith by making divorce an accepted mainstream practice, despite the many religious people who disagree with divorce on moral and religious grounds? Can we expect to see NOM supporting legislation that will ban divorce?

9) Does NOM oppose Britney Spears’ one-day marriage? Does NOM feel that Newt Gingrich’s three adulterous marriages are more legitimate and deserving of rights than those of these legally-married, committed gay couples?

10) Does NOM support the numerous Christian, Mormon, Jewish, and Muslim faith centers that practice their freedom of religion by marrying gay couples?

NOM, I have no doubt that deep down in your hearts you are a bunch of loving people deeply committed to the well-being of children, married couples, religious institutions, and communities across the nation. And as such, I trust that everyone in your organization will make the time not just to engage these questions to the best of their ability, but to read the full blog post which accompanies my letter so you may know how I arrived at these specific inquiries.

Despite my cordialness, make no mistake NOM — I oppose your rhetoric, and shudder at the unintended consequences that our nation reaps from your “well-intentioned” insistence that LGBT couples aren’t fit for marriage, religious acceptance, or raising kids. Although I’ve never once heard your official spokespeople call for violence against LGBT people, these very attacks happen almost every day, and it’s my opinion that you have a hand in them.

Let’s do you the favor of assuming that NOM opposes any violence against Americans regardless of their sexual orientation. After all, you’re only against gay marriage, gay adoption, and anti-bullying programs, not actual gay people themselves, right? But considering how much time you spend persuading the American public that LGBTs seek to corrupt children’s minds, outlaw religion, and force everyone to accept a way of life that should offend them, I must ask: Does NOM see no connection between its rhetoric and the verbal, physical, and psychological violence perpetuated against LGBT Americans?

I also challenge — no, DARE — you to post these 10 questions on NOM’s blog, so that you and all your followers can join in on the discussion and help us all understand your efforts to create a nation where everyone values and protects the institution of marriage; religions freely practice their beliefs without persecution; and children grow up with loving families.

In return, I promise to answer any questions you pose to myself and our readers.

Thanks again so much for sharing our blog with your readers and taking the time to consider these very important questions. I very much look forward to your response so we may continue discussion on these important social issues.

Daniel Villarreal
Day Editor of Queerty.com

After the jump: lots more nitty-gritty detail about why it’s so important to respond to NOM’s bullying.

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  • a.mcewen

    Oh this is good, Daniel. I love it! I’ve emailed Maggie Gallagher a link

  • Hyhybt


  • David Gervais

    To Daniel Villarreal, and Matt Baume. Previously, comments were posted on this site that appeared to come from individual readers, but actually came from an IP located in a building connected to Maggie Gallagher. When responses come in, please watch out for astroturfing.

  • Mark

    You left out an important important question for Maggie..

    11) Maggie where is your husband Raman Svrivastav and why has no one ever seen him?

  • dazzer

    Cool. Very cool. Thank you.

  • Red

    Excellent questions. Just don’t expect any strait answers. Or at best, a lot of circle-jerking.

  • Flex

    Waste of time. NOM, Brian Brown, Maggie Gallagher and their supporters, are a bunch of assholes. Fuck them. May the U.S. Federal Court system crush their phony, good for nothing careers.

  • Jeffree

    Great job Daniel V.
    You posed NOM fair questions which require only 1 word answers. My hunch is they will probably do one of two things:
    1) Result in counterattacks behind y/our backs, using only selected portions of the letter & the article which preceded it, to drag out a call for followers to inundate our humble cyber-abode here on Qrty.

    2) Lead to direct allegations of “harassment” and a feeble Gallagheresque or Brownian harangue that repeats their old, factually-challenged talky points [sic].

    Either way, it’s a distraction from their usual daily agenda of HATE WHITE HATE EAT, and a sign that they’re realizing you /we out-debate them with better logic & facts.

    I hope this letter ripples out through the wider blogosphere or — gasp — gets picked up the MSM.

  • Hyhybt

    @Flex: It’s not a waste of time. The main point of open letters isn’t to communicate with those they’re addressed to, but to get questions out there that they *ought* to be answering. Any of their supporters who read this might well get to wondering and asking questions themselves, and THAT’S worthwhile.

  • Flex

    @Hyhybt: I strongly disagree. “Any of their supporters who read this…” They’re absolutists, and do not listen. Wait and see. You cannot change the stripes on a zebra, and you cannot change their raging sexism, or homophobia. They need to be strong armed in a federal court of law. That is where the power is.

  • Hyhybt

    @Flex: There are still those undecided; and anyway, change happens at the margins. Surely *some* of their supporters are less hard-core than others.

    Anyway, it can’t hoit.

  • Disgusted Gay American

    stop calling her Maggie Gallgher – thats NOT her MARRIED Name..I say we start referring to her as that…..right now..everyone sees her as FAT Maggie Gallagher…thats not her last name.

  • Hyhybt

    @Disgusted Gay American: There are plenty of rebuttals against her claims. No need to go after her appearance; that just makes you look childish.

  • David Gervais

    D. G. A.
    If you subtract the personal attack, which does not add to your point at all, you have a point.
    As I have said before, when you let them control the language, you let them control the terms of the debate.

    Ever time we refer to her, it should be as “Mrs. Svrivastav (a.k.a. Maggie Gallagher) the “traditional marriage supportress”.”

    Use as you see fit, within the rules of creative commons.

  • Shannon1981

    Brilliant Daniel! I am totes loving the new Queerty.

  • Steven Harker

    This is a waste of time. They aren’t interested in a dialogue. Their task is to defeat gay marriage. To that end, they make use of whatever idiotic and incendiary statements they can find from among their opponents, no matter the source and no matter the context.

    Unfortunately, Queerty has shown itself to be an excellent source of such idiotic and incendiary statements. The people to whom your open letter is directed think nothing of using a satirical essay from an anonymous individual written 25 years ago and a “platform” supposedly written up by unknown persons in 1972, to “expose” the nefarious gay agenda. Are you so obtuse as to not think that they would make use of your headline? Whatever your intent, you should not have used the headline that you did. It is inaccurate, presumptuous (in that it purports to speak for all of us) and offensive.

    You bear full responsibility for whatever harm comes to gay families as a result of your recklessness.

  • bluedavid

    hands down best post i’ve ever read on queerty. must say though– the title of the original story was needlessly inflammatory…

  • declanto

    @bluedavid: Agreed, but it certainly got their attention. Loving Queerty. Brill, David.

  • ~PR~

    @Flex: There already has been a major player of NOM that defected so your anti-change rant is proven false. If one can change, others can too!

  • John

    THIS is the kind of Queerty work I LIKE! It’s rational & persuasive and therefore USEFUL in advancing LGBT rights to parity.

    Now if you can keep clothes on the rest of your coverage…

  • greenluv1322

    You guys are on fire. Love it!

  • Hyhybt

    When’s the last time you saw anyone with no clothes on here? Underwear is clothes. :D

  • CPT_Doom

    Hyhybt is right, we shouldn’t harp on Ms. Gallagher’s gluttony, but rather on her non-traditional family structure. As others have pointed out, she often does not wear a wedding ring and did not take her alleged husband’s name, nor has she ever produced a marriage certificate indicating there is actuallly a legal union in place, so referring to her by her Hindu lover’s name is premature. We simply don’t know if they are actually married.

    What we do know is that Ms. Gallagher failed utterly at upholding the very sexual mores she demands the rest of us follow, and then deliberately raised a bastard child in a fatherless home, the very “crime” she of which she accuses lesbian couples. Eventually she hooked up with her non-Christian sex partner, and produced at least one additional child. Does this family really meet the ideal of “a mom and a dad with their children” that NOM espouses? Even if they are actually married, we still have different baby daddies, half-siblings and stepparents – not exactly Ozzie and Harriet, is it?

    So which civil rights did Ms. Gallagher give up when she opted to flout Christian morality and cobble together a family that many of her religious friends find distasteful? More importantly, does she really think she could get 51% of her neighbors to agree that her sexual and religious lifestyle choices should be protected like a real family? I mean, let’s have a referendum on that. I am sure if a majority of her neighbors disagree with her lifestyle choices, she won’t mind her relationship being downgraded to a civil union or domestic partnership, right? The people, after all, would have spoken.

  • John

    Gosh. I tried to post a link to this piece on NOM’s site and they’ve blocked me. Why is it that those who claim God as an ally have to resort to censorship and um.. ‘creative commentary’?

    For the benefit of any lurkers out there who are unfamiliar with the history, motivation, and tactics of the anti-LGBT indu$try – and that’$ EXACTLY what it i$ – here’s a well-written essay by Heidi Beirich courtesy of the folks at the Southern Poverty Law Center:

    Essay: The Anti-Gay Movement | Southern Poverty Law Center:

    It seems that in the early ’70’s nothing filled football stadiums in small towns quite like brandishing a Bible while bellowing ABOMINATION!!!

  • Outlandish NOM supporter

    Most of the “simple yes/no questions” create false dichotomies (which is a logical fallacy). One example

    Same-sex couples are in all cases sterile couples – no way they can get progeny with each other or with another partner. But to make from this situation conclusions about opposite-sex couples does not take into account the reality.

    Opposite-sex couples are in most cases not sterile – normally one of the partners is not able to get kids , but the other partner could (most frequent such situation is the elderly couple which, BTW in most cases already has children and grandchildren) – their being married prevents the husband to sire kids with a younger woman he is not married to, so their now sterile marriage helps that children do not have to grow up outside of marriage – or get orphans with 10 years, because dad married with 75 a woman of 25.

    And the couples who “decide not to have kids”, i.e. do take precautions to get no children: well, most methods to prevent pregnancy do have at best a 90% success rate with people who have regular sex, which means heterosexual couples using prevention will statistically get a pregnancy every ten years even – and many of them will accept the unplanned baby.

    There is no way to make sure that a single coitus will create a baby, but there is also no guarantee that coitus with a woman before menopause will not create a baby – no such couple can be defined as sterile (I know several couples who had kids well after fourty without any medical assistance – some of them after having been married and wishing for a baby for ten or fifteen years.

    Pregnancy is not something a heterosexual couple can create or prevent at will – except if they do not have any sex at all, which is not very common.

  • Hyhybt

    “there is also no guarantee that coitus with a woman before menopause will not create a baby – no such couple can be defined as sterile”—Hardly worth even responding, especially given your user name, but still… THIS, at least, you must know to be false. For example, my mother had a hysterectomy shortly after my youngest brother was born. She didn’t hit menopause for another fifteen years or so. According to you, her having sex anywhere during that time could *still* have gotten her pregnant.

    I suppose it’s *possible*… but only in the realm of miracle, putting her right up there with Sarah, Elisabeth, and Mary :)

  • Outlandish NOM supporter

    Polygamy in the Bible:

    Again a question from uninformed side: People who do take the Bible serious (or even verbally) are fully aware of the difference between something with is *described* by the Bible and something with is *commanded* by the Bible – and moreover can differentiate between commands valid in the Old Testament only and commands valid for Christians as well (which are usually also mentioned in the New Testament).

    Yes, polygamy is often described in the Old Testament – and in most cases this description includes detailed descriptions of the problems arising from it, something which is normally lacking from description of monogame marriages.

    BTW Jesus, who does not preach about homosexuality (which would among pious Jews of the first century be about as sensible as a sermon against pedophilia in any liberal or conservative church today – there is no one in the audience who’d argue this should be permitted) does strongly affirm heterosexuality as will of God – and in every case where he does preach about sexual sins, he is not easygoing but clearly stricter than the Old Testament rules accepted at his time.

  • Daniel Villarreal

    @Outlandish NOM supporter: Way to split hairs over question 7 and biblical marriage (something that isn’t even asked about in my questions). But how about you try answer any of the nine other questions. You can start by just by answering number 1 or number 2, eh?

  • Hyhybt

    “People who do take the Bible serious (or even verbally) are fully aware of the difference between something with is *described* by the Bible and something with is *commanded* by the Bible – and moreover can differentiate between commands valid in the Old Testament only and commands valid for Christians as well (which are usually also mentioned in the New Testament).”

    —Know there is a difference, yes. Which are which is sometimes far from obvious, and often disputed.

  • scrumcap

    Hey, Outlandish NOM Supporter: quick Ancient Studies lesson. Jesus wouldn’t have preached about homosexuality because the concept didn’t exist at that time. (Neither, for that matter, did heterosexuality.) People would rail against ACTIONS (sodomy is condemned in Leviticus….but so is the wearing of clothing made of mixed fibers) but the concept of PEOPLE who base their identities on such actions is a fairly modern concept that emerges from mid-19th century social sciences. The concept of sodomy is a mixed bag in those times: some cultures thought it was fine, some didn’t….especially in the Levant. This is why I suspect the David-Jonathan relationship is so tricky to parse out in a modern way: the ways under which it might have formed and expressed don’t really translate into contemporary terms.

    And, if you’re going to take my argument at its word and point out the problems that arise from explicit references to sodomy in the Old Testament, I could point back to the serious issues that arise from explicit references to “straight” sex. Abraham casting Hagar and Ismael into the desert does not strike me a model of fidelity and/or charity….and don’t get me started on that whole Rebekah/Leah/Jacob trauma. (Remember that Leah prayed to be wed before her sister…?)

    The point I’m trying to make is that trying to map 21st century arguments precisely onto a text that was composed anywhere between the 10th century BCE (oldest parts of the old Testament) and the late first century CE (oldest parts of the New Testament) will lead to disaster and folly….to say nothing of ridicule from queer academics who are avoiding grading freshmen essays.

  • robert in NYC

    Looks as though NOM is headed for yet another victory in New York State. I just learned the bill is doomed to failure because three Democrats aren’t committed and a fourth, Ruben Diaz is voting NO as he did last time. One of the “waivering” Democrats,Joe Addabbo, who voted NO last time and two GOPers said they’d have to get the opinions of their constituents, all of whom live in very conservative districts. So again, chalk one up for the NOM et al. Now I wonder what those gay voters who voted republican in our state last year have to say about that?

  • robert in NYC

    Two very important questions Queerty failed to mention in the questionnaire are the ones I posed to Mrs. Srivastava in an email two years ago to which I received NO response. The questions were as follows:

    “Mrs. Srivastava, do you believe in unconditional love for your child or children? If your child were gay (heaven forbid) and since you oppose same-sex civil marriage, among other things affecting gay people directly, am I to assume that you would support discrimination against your own child, including a ban on him or her having access to a civil marriage later in life? If you do not respond, I will assume your answer is YES.”

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