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.

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  • Aaron

    “Oh Maggie!” *hands on hips*
    That’s what we should call her new sitcom.

  • George

    Seriously, why does she care so much? By the time she dies (at least that is inevitable) she will realize that she wasted her entire life on a petty dispute in which she only managed to spread negativity and fear.

  • InExile

    Maggot promotes hating gays to stuff her own pockets like most bigots.

  • dvlaries

    Can’t we drop this creature somewhere in Uganda…?

  • David Ehrenstein

    She LIVES to promote negativity and fear. It’s Mother’s Milk to her.

  • Jaroslaw

    I love the one about marriage being a symbolic issue (to Gays anyway according to her). If that is what it is then why all the fuss from her?

    Marriage culture passed on to the next generation? Who are we kidding here? Straight people are abandoning marriage in droves by (A) never marrying in the first place/living together and (B) huge divorce rates.

  • Cam

    This woman’s problem, and I’m only half joking, is that either she was a fag hag who’s boy ended up with another man, or she is a really really really pissed off Clay Aiken fan who just can’t deal with the fact that the little Gentleman singer she idolized was really gay and a bit of a tramp.

  • Bill

    I actually feel kind of sorry for Maggie. Well, not Maggie so much as her family.

    Because when the dust settles from all of this, and LGTB citizens no longer have terrorists like Maggie moving about the country trying to destroy their families, it will be Maggie’s children that pay the price for the sins of their mother.

  • Jaroslaw

    One more thought that bears repeating to go along with George #2 comment here: The sky hasn’t fallen in Massachussetts, the Gays/Trans haven’t overrun the bathrooms, boys still primarily date girls etc. WHAAT please is the fuss about? As if there are no more serious problems in this country?

  • naghanenu

    Actually she has a point:

    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?

    Young people are the most absent minded, reckless and undecided folk in the world. They cling to what they assume is cool and trendy at the time. I mean of course they will support marriage jsut like 40 years ago they marched for civil rights and against the Vietnam war. Its controversial and a way to probably say Fuck you to the world. Now i know some will hold their ideologies throughout their lives but the truth is many minds change. I dont know, maybe its maturity, maybe its reality or cowardice..hell i dont know. But our minds always change. It is wrong to depend sooo much on them. Everyone should support you on this not just kids. I say work to get mor minorities on your side, that creates sympathy. I see only white folk when i watch TV(no offense) but it appears you are alienating them.

    As for the rest, well, she’s smug. I tell ya that. But she really believes in herself and her fight. Bu

  • greybat

    Maggie just sent me her long, whiny, craven letter about how the evil Homosexuals are turning children against their parents by labeling them as “bigots”.
    I enjoy getting maggie’s letters, since they always come with a postage-paid donation envelope.
    I return the envelope empty, but they just keep sending them!
    I think my cat might like to get some letters from Maggie.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Adorable, Greybat.

  • Mike in Brooklyn

    @No. 10 Naghanenu:

    WTF? Certainly people evolve their socio-political over their lifetimes; BUT if folks truly regressed to their biases and community supported bigotry, there never would have been the momentum to elect a black president.

    Maggot’s point is illogical. She surmises that 10% of marriage equality voters MIGHT change their minds WHILE completely ignoring that 10 of anti-marriage equality voters would ALSO change their minds.

    Further, Maggot completely ignores that 23% of the voters were over 65 years-old and they voted 67%/33% for Prop. 8. What IS INEVITABLE is that they, as a group, will be dead long before the 18-34 year-olds will reach that age of 65. When todays 18-34 year-olds become the 65+ group, the 65+ will be, 55%/45% in favor of marriage equality; young voters will support equality in even higher numbers.

    Maggot’s entire analysis is simply for trying to remain relevant to her supporters so that she can continue to milk them for donations. Each of her points is illogical and just plain stupid. “Nothing is inevitable.” Really? How about Death & Taxes. Conservatives aren’t wrong about the future? Still looking for those WMDs in Iraq. Change isn’t inevitable? So 14 billion years of universe evolution wasn’t?

    And as for dropping her into Uganda, those sorry gay folk there have enough super major problems plaguing them already. Just send to hell where she belongs.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Maggie’s expression in this photograph is so unforgiving.

  • AndrewW

    Maggie wins the argument because she avoids talking about equality as a basic American principle. We lost CA and Maine for the same reason. The issue is equality, not marriage.

  • AndrewW

    Mike in Brooklyn is correct about a persons age defining their acceptance of LGBT issues. (I have reviewed numerous polls and the minds change consistently in our favor at an average of 44 years old.)

    The other reality is the older you are, the more serious you are about religion. Religion has created the belief that we are wrong. Younger people are not very religious. That has been changing as far back as the data goes. Each year we become “less religious,” at least to the extent we make religion “important.”

    Mike is also correct that she says what she says to “raise money.” It is Politics 101. She is their advocate. We have HRC. HRC talks the same way – to raise money, not to win.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Dear Greybat, I appreciate the email addresses, but it would be too embarrassing to have NOM-skull stuff mailed to our house! She grosses me out. This picture, of Maggie, just gets under my skin for some reason. Sarcastic, cruel, Catholic, austere, Irish orphanage, schoolmarm, disciplinarian are just a few words that come to mind.

  • Caleb

    Wait, she thinks we should listen to our elected representatives? Why did the people of Maine do that when the Maine legislature passed marriage equality?

  • onefish

    Queerty, there is no intellectual honesty in your responses to Maggie. You have not engaged with her reasons at all.

    She is absolutely right. The myth of progress is the biggest problem the gay rights movement has, much bigger than any law, much bigger than Maggie. It is just historically illiterate people who believe in the myth of progress. We are our very worst enemies.

    Gay equality will never happen while progressives believe they automatically have history on their side. Wake up!

  • Jaroslaw

    Onefish – NO intellectual honesty? You’re not being honest. Jump back in the pool and get off your keyboard.

  • onefish

    If you can’t accept my first paragraph, at least read my next two paragraphs. Putting trust in impersonal forces like progress doesn’t lead to anything good. Its just a kind of superstition and false hope Only human beings struggling to determine an undetermined future ever get things done. There is real hope, but not in the myth of progress, it is in the power of self-sacrificing human effort.

  • George

    To second Jaroslaw: Onefish, get back in the pool with your keyboard so that way you electrocute yourself and die. We good?

  • onefish

    George, it would be remarkable if you’ve done more for gay rights than I have. But who cares what I have done? You have progress on your side, you don’t need to activists.

  • onefish

    I sincerely regret the tone of my first message, but I do want people to know that the belief that history develops towards greater and greater equality and freedom can only be justified by a very selective reading of very recent history. There is no property in history that guarantees progress. If you look at history you see that progress is only ever localized in time and space and that the overall shape of history is complicated and very bumpy. Actually looking at some of the recent surprise defeats for gay marriage should be enough to reveal what you see in history from the beginning, that regress is as common as progress.

    There is hope, but in hard work, not in automatic progress.

  • Mike in Brooklyn

    @No. 20, 22, 24, 25 Onefish

    You said anything about just sitting back and letting Maggot and her wingnut friends tramp us down? You say you have been active in gay rights, so, now you suddenly plan sit on your hands?

    NOM and their ilk certainly have had their successes; but not nearly the successes that we have had. I certainly do not regret sending $5k to the Hawaii marriage equity cause back in 1994 as they started this process in the US. We won that lawsuit. And, sure, the powers that be were able to derail the advance; BUT THEY DID NOT DERAIL THE CAUSE, THEY DID NOT DERAIL THE JUSTICE EVOKED IN THE COURT OPINION, AND THEY DID NOT DERAIL EFFORTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

    When my BY and I met 24 years ago, marriage wasn’t even an idea, it was foreign to all. Now there is marriage equality throughout Western Europe, Canada, and important inroads in South America; Civil Unions in other parts of Europe, being talked about in parts of Asia. And now you can get married in Massachusetts, Conn, NH, Iowa, Vermont and soon in DC. If you live in New York, you can marry and return with marriage rights there.

    So, Onefish, sure, if the gay community immediately ceases all efforts for marriage equality, the movement will fail. But that is a ridiculous notion. Just look at the efforts, even in losing cases.

    Roe v Wade was a century in the making; women’s suffrage was half a century. Stonewall was 40 years ago when acting out on same-sex love was illegal throughout the country. Civil rights, including marriage equality, is a good cause and the good cause, inevitably do succeed.

    To you Onefish, sink if you want; me, and I believe most of the LGBT community, are going to swim.

  • onefish

    I don’t sit on my hands, and please read again what I wrote if you think I was suggesting defeatism. That we have made immense progress is obvious. That progress is inevitable (which is the real topic of this discussion) is far from obvious.

    Would you like to know what gives me hope? It is not a naive optimism in history. History constantly disappoints people. What gives me hope is that we have the truth and our opponents don’t. Every lie will perish but the truth is eternal. And you know what? If our opponents say a single true thing for every hundred lies, though I will reject every lie, I will not reject the truth.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    #19–Caleb, good point!

  • AndrewW

    OneFish said: “There is real hope, but not in the myth of progress, it is in the power of self-sacrificing human effort.”

    I agree with OneFish to the extent that WE need to create our equality and not defer to the “idea” of progress or our false hope of a “political solution.” We don’t have anywhere near as much “human effort” as Maggie’s misfits.

  • onefish

    No, we don’t have the quantity of human effort, but we have the truth. And one person laboring for the truth is worth ten people laboring for a lie.

  • schlukitz

    @ 14 & 18 – 1EqualityUSA

    It’s a face that needs to be bitch-slapped with a big, thick, Italian sauzeech! ;P

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Well, Schlukitz, that’s a bit much. What did the sauzeech ever do to deserve that.

  • schlukitz

    @ no. 32 – 1Equality

    Upon reflection, you are absolutely right.

    That would be cruel and unusual punishment for the sauzeech!

    What was I thinking? LOL

  • Mike in Brooklyn

    @ No. 31 and No. 32 —

    How about an eternity in hell with Rush Limbaugh?

  • Mike in Brooklyn

    @ No. 31 and No. 32 —

    How about an eternity in hell with Rush Limbaugh for Maggot?

  • 1EqualityUSA

    #35 Both are filled with such pain. The Hell they are experiencing is here and now. “Signs and symptoms.” Nicknames for the two.

  • terrwill

    Maggie Gallagher is a cunt

  • Lymis

    I think people miss the point about “inevitable.” In this context, it isn’t that we think it is automatic, or that it is guaranteed to be soon.

    It is because gay people won’t and can’t go away. The basic underlying premise behind all the anti-gay legislation and anti-gay propaganda boils down to the idea that if they can convince enough people that being gay is icky, we’ll give it up like polyester leisure suits or hoop skirts – that it is some social trend that will go away once enough people declare it a failed experiment.

    We won’t go away because we can’t. The most they can do in reality is try to drive us all back into the closet. I won’t say that is impossible – look at Uganda – but even that, at its worst, just pushes all this further into the future, at which point another generation will make it happen. I don’t think that you CAN drive us back into the closet any more. There is too much support for our very basic rights, and too much social agreement on it.

    No, we aren’t near equality. But we’ve gotten to the point where Civil Unions are the moderate compromise position.

    Equality is inevitable, because we won’t give up until we have it, and they just aren’t going to be able to maintain the level of social panic it takes to keep us from getting it. People don’t care. Right now, that means they don’t care enough to give us equality. But soon, they just won’t care enough to keep it from us.

  • schlukitz

    No. 38 · Lymis

    But soon, they just won’t care enough to keep it from us.

    That’s powerful.

  • onefish

    I think what is powerful in Lymis’s statement is “Equality is inevitable, because we won’t give up until we have it.”

    Not giving up matters. Our opponents are as committed as we are, but they won’t be able to sustain their commitment because it is based on ideas that are untrue and this will become more and more obvious as we consistently refute their arguments. In other words, truth will win.

    This won’t happen, though, if we don’t care enough about the truth. There is a certain amount of truth-policing that needs to happen inside the gay rights movement as well as outside of it. There are plenty of things that pro-gay people say that make me cringe because they are not true, and so they are not helpful.
    For example, I have never heard a response to the sanctity of marriage argument that wasn’t a reference to Britney Spears’s annulled marriage, or some variation. This is an example of indirection and it is not a valid way of arguing because it doesn’t take our opponents’ arguments seriously.

  • ACritic

    I am young. I am 25.

    I used to be for same sex marriage, even voted for it a few times, but now I’m opposed.

    It started when a college friend, also my age, told me he was against gay marriage. I tried to argue with the same arguments my gay activist friends throw around all the time. He shot them down and I realized I could not come up with a valid reason to support same sex marriage. I became indifferent.

    After considering NOMs arguments, I am now opposed to SSM and will vote it down if I get an opportunity to. Gay activists don’t do a good job of supporting their position. They only make false comparisons to the civil rights movements and emotionally manipulative appeals(ie. “if you don’t support gay marriage, gay kids across the country will commit suicide). However, NOM has shown me that traditional marriage is desirable to a stable society. They have also shown me weaknesses in the arguments of gay rights activists and unintended consequences that could stem from legalizing gay marriage.

    Even as a non religious person, I find NOM’s reasoning to be appealing.

    So yeah, change of heart on this issue can happen. Since I’ve changed my mind, I’ve met even more young people who are with me on this. I think the reason it seems few young people oppose SSM is because those of us who do are afraid to speak up for the fear of being attacked by liberals.

  • onefish


    I can tell you from experience that 25 is about the age when people’s intellectual development freezes. What you believe at 25 is very likely what you will believe when you are 55. You’ve listened to some arguments that you found convincing and you changed your mind. That’s actually a beautiful thing. I just hope you can continue to do that next year and the year after.

    People’s intellectual development comes to an end when they are 25 not because they have attained Truth, but because they have stopped looking for it. So my advice, is keep an open mind, don’t be satisfied with your current understanding of things. There is more truth out there than you have now.

    You can’t just say that an argument is emotionally manipulative. That doesn’t refute the argument, it doesn’t prove that the argument is false, it just describes the experience you have when you are confronted with it. Every political argument has an emotional side to it, but that should not prevent you from considering it rationally. The question is, does opposition to gay marriage lead to suicide?

    This is how I think about it. Suicide is caused by a feeling of alienation from society. Sometimes this alienation is a kind of delusion that people have, but often it is very real. Society likes to exclude people, to scapegoat people, to see certain people as not counting. You may think this is a good thing, or you may think this is an unchangeable thing, but I see it as both bad and changeable. Gay people have been excluded from society for a very long time, and the only way for a gay person to be part of society was to pretend to be something they were not. This is actually very destructive, not only to the gay person, but to his or her family. And if gay people were honest, of course there lives were destroyed. Alienation is fact of life. It is something that societies deliberately engage in for various reasons, very few of them rational, though sometimes the reasons are coldly rational and utilitarian. If you are against society alienating people, you have to embrace the only other option, which is accommodating people, giving them a place in society, not pushing them out. So I think you have to think about whether you want to accommodate gay people into society and if so, what you think is a reasonable way to do that.

    You say that NOM has shown you that traditional marriage is desirable to a stable society. That’s a very bad way to put something that is obvious to everyone. A much better way is to say that straight married couples make society more stable. Everyone knows this is true. What you need to explain is why this is not true of gay married couples too. Of course, committed gay married couples bring as much stability to society as straight married couples. I could tell you my story and you would see how my marriage brought stability to a very bad situation that straight people had gotten themselves into.

    What are the unintended consequences of legalizing gay marriage? You need to say what they are and how it is that you are in a position to predict them. Whenever laws are changed, there may be unintended consequences, but we still have an obligation to make laws more just. We can’t stop passing laws because of the fear (and that’s what it is) of unintended consequences.

    I am, I suppose, a liberal (a Christian liberal), not that I am very liberal. I am not attacking you, I am inviting you to continue to think more and more clearly about this, and not hunker down with your existing opinions as if you have attained the truth or as if your opinions did not have consequences on millions of people.

  • schlukitz

    No. 41 · ACritic

    Gay activists don’t do a good job of supporting their position. They only make false comparisons to the civil rights movements and emotionally manipulative appeals

    If that is all you hear, then you are not listening at all.

    And what of the arguments by LGBT people for ENDA, and the abolition of DADT and DOMA?

    And what of the some 1100 federal benefits, which we of the LGBT community pay taxes for, but are denied?

    And what of the some 34,000 same-sex couples and their families who are in bi-national relationships who may not sponsor their partners to immigrate to the USA?

    And what of the partners who are not allowed to adopt children like Florida?

    And what of the current escalation of violence perpetrated on members of the LGBT community, fostered by an evil religious system that preaches that we are evil, sinful, and likened to pedophiles, alcoholics and practitioners of incest?

    The list goes on, but if you have done any research at all…and if not, perhaps you should do some, are you prepared to live your second-class citizenship, accept your lot in life and view the world from the back seat of the bus?

    And, if this country, God forbid, ever sees legislation put up to an electoral vote that would call for the death sentence for homosexuals, like the one currently being considered in Uganda, will you be opposed to voting it down too?

    Think, child. Think. If for no other reason, for your very survival.

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