Refuting Each of Maggie Gallagher’s Flimsy 8 Points Why Gay Marriage Isn’t Inevitable


Piggybacking off her earlier quote, NOM chief Maggie Gallagher has a whole listicle entitled “Is Gay Marriage Inevitable?,” with predictable answers. You see, in the interview she gave to Poitico‘s Ben Smith, none of her awesome reasons about how gay marriage isn’t in our destiny were included in the list. So she typed them all up and published ’em for ya! They are all terribly transparent, and so easy to shoot down, a blogger could do it. So we did.

She’s got eight bullet points why marriage is not inevitable. Allow us to share.

1. Nothing is inevitable.

We are talking about the future here. It’s weird to have “reporting” that something that has not yet happened will certainly happen. The future is never inevitable.

Actually, “the future” is inevitable. It will happen. In the half-second that passed between typing that last sentence, the future happened. Let’s not get into Physics 101, okay? But Maggie is right: Nothing is for certain. Unless you’re a history professor in twenty years, in which case Maggie’s appearance under “hate leaders” is, in fact, inevitable.

2. Young people are not as unanimous as most people think.

In California, the young-adults vote split 55 percent to 45 percent. Is it so hard to imagine 5 percent of those young people changing their minds as they move through the life cycle?

Of course not. But they’ll be replaced by even more progressive younger people each and every year. Watch as they grow, successively, more progressive — and more accepting of LGBTs.

3. The argument from despair is bait and switch.

They are trying push the idea that gay marriage is inevitable, because they are losing the argument that gay marriage is a good idea.

Or you’re just more effective in pushing a fearmongering campaign that elicits terror, while gay marriage advocates — foolishly? — have been focusing on things like equality and love.

4. Progressives are often wrong about the future.

Here’s my personal litany: Progressives told me abortion would be a dead issue by today, because young people in 1975 were so pro-choice. They told me there would be no more homemakers at all by the year 2000, because of the attitudes and values of young women in 1975. Some even told me the Soviet Union was the wave of the future. I mean, really, fool me once shame on you. Fool me over and over again . . . I must be a Republican!

Sure, but conservatives and Republicans are at least as equally misguided about their own ability to predict the future. Wasn’t is just in 2004 that Weekly Standard editor Fred Barnes was predicting the rise, and prosperity, of conservatism, and that GOP power couldn’t be taken away any time soon? Oh, right.

5. Demography could be destiny.

If there is one force that directly contradicts the inevitability argument, it is that traditionalists have more children. Preventing schools and media from corrupting those children is a problem, but not necessarily an insoluable one. Religous groups are increasingly focused on the problem of how to transmit a marriage culture to the next generation (see the USCCB’s recent initiatives).

No, preventing schools and media from learning about acceptance and tolerance is the problem. And while “traditionalists” may be popping out more kids (source, please?), ya know who’s a fast-growing segment of child rearers? Homosexuals!

6. Change is inevitable.

Generational arguments tend to work only for one generation: Right now, it’s “cool” to be pro-gay marriage. In ten years, it will be what the old folks think. Even gay people may decide, as they get used to living in a tolerant and free America, they don’t want to waste all that time and energy on a symbolic social issue, anyway. (I know gay people who think that right now). I am not saying it will happen, only that it could. The future is not going to look like the present (see point one above). Inevitability is a manufactured narrative, not a fundamental truth.

We’ve never know the gay community to be, especially in the last half century, among those who get tired pushing for “symbolic social issues.” In fact, we’re a pretty resilient bunch, and the past year’s societal missteps are only giving us more reason to continue fighting. Harder. Louder. Longer. Meanwhile, as Maggie herself says, “the future is not going to look like the present” — effectively contradicting her own statement, that change is, in fact, inevitable. And change means marriage equality.

7. Newsflash: 18-year-olds can be wrong.

Should we really say “Hmm, whatever the 18-year-olds think, that must be inevitable,” and go do that? I mean, would we reason like that on any other issue?

Know who else can be wrong? 49-year-olds.

8. New York’s highest court was right.

From Hernandez v. Robles:

The dissenters assert confidently that “future generations” will agree with their view of this case (dissenting op at 396). We do not predict what people will think generations from now, but we believe the present generation should have a chance to decide the issue through its elected representatives. We therefore express our hope that the participants in the controversy over same-sex marriage will address their arguments to the Legislature; that the Legislature will listen and decide as wisely as it can; and that those unhappy with the result — as many undoubtedly will be — will respect it as people in a democratic state should respect choices democratically made.

Speaking of deciding issues through elected representatives, may we bring your attention to something elected representatives did in 1868.

Sit down, Mags. You’re not convincing anyone.