National Organization for Marriage co-founder says equality does not require benefits for gay couples
A major theme at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., was that the Republican Party should once and for all erase the line between social and fiscal issues and further the argument that conservative social policies benefit the economy.
Same-sex marriage opponents participating in a Saturday panel took that message to heart, arguing that their opposition has everything to do with the country’s fiscal health and with helping straight couples and their families, while dismissing same-sex equality arguments as irrelevant.
But just minutes after moderating the panel, the National Organization for Marriage’s co-founder Maggie Gallagher told The American Independent she does not believe that same-sex couples have the right to the same marital benefits as straight couples, even if they form civil unions and don’t use the word “marriage.”
“I don’t think it’s required,” Gallagher said, referring to civil unions. “But if we won the marriage debate, I could understand why – this is a small group of the population; marriage doesn’t fit it very well – then maybe you need to step in and do something extra for these people. … It would depend how you do it and how you structure it. But no, I don’t think that we’re required to, that equality requires us to. But I would understand why, out of respect and concern for our fellow citizens, that we might want to do that.”
Gallagher also told TAI that her life’s work to preserve the heterosexual standard of marriage is based on ideas and ideals, that “I don’t disconnect those from people.” (Audio from our conversation is embedded below.)
Gallagher’s panel – titled “The Phony Divide Between Fiscal & Social Conservatives: Protecting Marriage as a Case Study” included Eagle Forum founder and conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly, Focus on the Family Vice President of External Relations Tim Goeglein, NOM board chair and Chapman University professor John Eastman, and former U.S. Rep. David McIntosh (R-Ind.), who is again running for Congress, to represent Indiana’s 5th District.
Schlafly and Goeglein talked about how important opposite-sex marriage is to America’s fiscal health, because single-parent-run households receive welfare benefits at higher rates than two-parent-run households. Eastman, who has done some work for the defense team in the Proposition 8 lawsuit, spoke of trial evidence in that case, which he says proves why same-sex marriage should never be legal.
“Marriage is and always has been an institution core to civil society, grounded in the nature of human beings: Men and women are necessary to make babies,” Eastman said, quoting 18th Century English jurist William Blackstone.
Gallagher also veered the conversation away from fiscal policy, arguing that same-sex marriage goes against the biblical teachings from Genesis.
After the talk, TAI asked Gallagher to address the negative reputation the NOM has among most same-sex-marriage supporters. Recently, TAI’s Andy Birkey reported that NOM hired a lobbyist who instructed the group on how to use a campaign-finance loophole in Minnesota to avoid disclosing donors in the campaign to pass a constitutional gay-marriage ban. And NOM is currently fighting charges in Maine that it violated the state’s campaign finance disclosure law. An appeals court ruled against the organization last month, but NOM is planning to take the fight to the Supreme Court to keep its donor list secret.
“The Human Rights Campaign doesn’t release its donors either, you know?” Gallagher said. “The National Organization for Marriage obeys all laws, and we don’t voluntarily reveal our donors’ names so people can go out and harass them. And that makes some people mad, but it’s what is typically done at nonprofit organizations, whether it’s gay rights organizations or our side of the debate.”
“It is not normal to release the names of your donors,” she continued. “People give you money; they don’t necessarily want to be solicited by 100,000 other groups. So that’s the first reason we don’t do it. I’m just saying the push for us to do it, I believe, is that people would like to go out and harass and make it hard for us to raise money. Of course, we’re not volunteering for that. … We have some major donors, you know who certainly help up the total, but I believe we have close to 30 or 40,000 donors at this point. Most of them give much smaller amounts of money, so that they’re not the big chunk of what we raise.”
Gallagher on whether gay couples should have partner benefits:
Gallagher on NOM’s reputation:
Banner photo: Maggie Gallagher speaking at CPAC 2012, Feb. 11, 2012 (AMERICAN INDEPENDENT/Sofia Resnick)
Does anyone remember in the 80s when right wingers rallied behind the motto, “Equal Rights Yes, Special Privileges No!” when they opposed non-discrimination laws aimed to protect gays and lesbians in housing and employment? Funny but now they wouldn’t dare use that motto because their hypocrisy would show they would have to support equal rights in marriage for gay and lesbian citizens.
Author, “Diary From the Dome, Reflections on Fear and Privilege During Katrina”
I have never had to resort to this but to anewsr your question of when would it be good to do that Answer- Anytime you feel as though the lines of communication have closed between the two of you. Which can happen often, but anything worth keeping is worth working at. Being happy afterwards is just a perk of the success of the actual counseling.~good luck
You folks are really fighting a losing battle. Even while the legislation of several states allowing gay marriage will be overturned by “will of the people” initiatives, that won’t last. Young people especially, and even those not so young are increasingly recognizing that love between human beings of any sexual orientation need not be defined by antiquated social values, biblical dictum, or tradition. Within less than a few decades, anyone in America (and indeed in most of the rest of the world) who wants to marry a person of the same sex will be able to do so. My suggestion is that you stop trying to push against the tide of the decent and humanistic instincts that millions of Americans are rapidly coming to recognize—and get on the winning side. Sincerely, Dan – hetrosexual male in favor of gay rights.
Its a shame that liberal minded Thomas Jefferson stepped in and helped end the practice or religious bigotry amongst the early settlers. If he had just not got involved, maybe they could of just killed each other off. Actually, its more a shame that some liberal-minded hippies in Rome were responsible for getting the rulers to stop tossing Christians into lion pits, for entertainment for the whole community to watch. If this was allowed to continue, we wouldn’t be having the problems of conservative Christians trying to take over the world. Just think, Hitler would have been able to get “the church” to back him, the “witch trials” would never have happened, maybe even the Spanish Inquisition, the genocide of Native Americans, and so much more that religion has been used to motivate war, oppression, and murder of innocent people and whole cultures.
Conservative Christians, from the Puritans to today’s “Religious Right” (aka “American Taliban”), have NEVER done anything good for mankind.They have ALWAYS been been on the wrong side of history. They have ALWAYS been AGAINST minorities. This will NEVER change. Here are a few examples where they were against making changes that would better the lives of Americans: Civil Rights, Woman’s Suffrage, Abortion Rights, Evolution, Separation of Church and State, Public Education, Immigration Reform, and Racial Integration. The conservative Christian ideology was able to be spread world-wide by the sword, not by the ‘Sermon On The Mount’.
“Religions are all alike — founded upon fables and mythologies.” ~ Thomas Jefferson.”
“The United States of America should have a foundation free from the influence of clergy.” ~ George Washington
“Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.” – James Madison
“Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites.” ~ Thomas Jefferson
“The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.” ~ Thomas Jefferson wrote, in a letter to John Adams (April 11, 1823)
“The Christian god is a three-headed monster, cruel, vengeful and capricious. If one wishes to know more of this raging, three-headed beast-like god, one only needs to look at the caliber of people who say they serve him. They are always of two classes: fools and hypocrites.” ~ Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
“It is from the bible that man has learned cruelty, rapine, and murder, for the belief in a cruel god makes a cruel man, and the bible is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind” ~ Thomas Paine (1737-1809)
“All national institutions of churches whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit. … My own mind is my own church.” ~ Thomas Paine ‘The Age of Reason’ (1794)
“As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”
~ Tripoli of Barbary. Art. 11. – Authored by American diplomat Joel Barlow in 1796, the following treaty was sent to the floor of the Senate, June 7, 1797, where it was read aloud in its entirety and unanimously approved. John Adams, having seen the treaty, signed it and proudly proclaimed it to the Nation.
“The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion”. ~ Thomas Paine
“The number, the industry, and the morality of the Priesthood and the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the Church and the State.” ~ James Madison a.k.a. ‘The Father of the Constitution of the United States of America
“Those who would renegotiate the boundaries between church and state must therefore answer a difficult question: Why would we trade a system that has served us so well for one that has served others so poorly?” ~ Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Conner on the Ten Commandments ruling, June 27, 2005)