UPDATED: Now with video from today’s “Washington Journal.”
Maggie Gallagher, the Chairman of the Board for the National Organization for Marriage, appeared this morning on C-SPAN to discuss President Obama’s decision to no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA.) But the conversation, with her foil Brian Moulton of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) really turned into an argument about the institution of marriage itself. And Maggie Gallagher’s argument was clearly wrong. (You can watch it here.)
Gallagher argues that marriage should be between only one and and one woman, and (only?) for the the purposes of procreation and raising the children born of that one man and one woman.
Therefore, according to Gallagher, other marriages, such as those between a same-sex couple, are not truly marriages and the state (i.e., the state and federal government) has no business conferring the title of “marriage” upon those unions.
(She also at one point says civil unions and some benefits are acceptable to her for same-sex couples, but recoils at the thought of civil unions for opposite-sex couples. And of course doesn’t touch the possibility of opposite-sex couples who can’t or don’t want to have children getting married, because it doesn’t fit into her neat little argument box.)
Civil marriage, from a government perspective, exists to benefit the state. That’s a fact that any legal scholar should be able to support. The state confers the title of marriage upon a couple because it believes that a legal recognition of their relationship will benefitÂ governmentÂ and society as a whole.
But Maggie continues to go down the path that children of same-sex couples do not deserve the same protections as children of opposite-sex couples. Further, she never accounts for where all these children come from.
Hold onto that thought for a moment and consider this, too.
Why is it that conservatives are so desperately concerned with protecting life in the womb, but the moment the child is born, all bets are off?
Back to Maggie.
Maggie seems to think that same-sex couples will deny the children of opposite-sex couples the right to their own parents. It’s as if she believes that if same-sex couples are allowed to legally marry and enjoy all the federal benefits and societal recognition that is afforded opposite-sex couples in marriage, that opposite-sex couples will (a) stop wanting to get married, and (b) stop wanting to have children.
This makes no sense. And it goes along with the zero-sum game mentality to which many conservatives subscribe.
But I can assure you, there are an unlimited number of marriage licenses at every city hall.
So here’s my question to you, Maggie:
Please, explain how conferring the status of marriage upon my relationship will weaken the institution of marriage. And don’t go down the hypothetical route that you’ve created that claims that “future couples” will not get married because they will think that marriage is not a valuable institution. If, according to you, marriage has been around forever, because of procreation and the result thereof, then future couples will want to marry as well. Perhaps, also, Maggie, for love.
Additionally, Maggie, Â I wish you would please account for the fact that in states that have banned same-sex marriage, the incidence of divorce is higher?
Further, please, tell us, why it is OK that in the United States, (as I wrote in a 2009 piece commemorating Father’s Day,) “[t]here are 2.9 million children in America living with no parents â€“ and 1.6 million American children are homeless. 2.9 million is almost 1 percent of the entire U.S. population â€“ and that figure is five years old.Â Half a million U.S. children live with foster parents.”
“Those half a million foster kids? Only half will graduate high school, only 2% will earn a Bachelorâ€™s degree. The day they turn 18, 30% will have no health insurance and will be on public assistance.”
Please, tell me how society does not benefit by allowing loving same-sex couples to marry, adopt, and raise some of these children.
Maggie, in may respects, I believe you and I are fighting for the same thing. We’re fighting to strengthen the institution of marriage. And we’re fighting for children to be raised in loving homes. We merely differ oin who should be “allowed” to participate.
But I promise you, same-sex couples, upon marrying, will not steal the children away from any opposite-sex family. That’s not what we do.
In a panel discussion at Brown University a few weeks ago, Maggie Gallagher said, â€œMarriage emerges again and again in a variety of completely separated societies because every human society has to figure out how to deal with the fact that sex between men and women makes babies, that societies need babies and that those children do better with â€” and certainly long for â€” a father as well as a mother in their lives.â€
Um, not exactly.
Take, “those children do better with â€” and certainly long for â€” a father as well as a mother in their lives.â€
I can all but guarantee there is no credible study that proves that a majority of children in same-sex parented households “long for” a father as well as a mother in their lives, if they did not know their father and their mother before. (And I can also guarantee that many children “long for” things like a pony.)
But I can guarantee that there are studies, as Gallagher hinted at today on C-SPAN, that prove that children raised by same-sex couples are actually better-adjusted and perform better in school that their opposite-sex-parented peers.
In fact, two long-term studies published last year found prove this. In fact, one of them,Â Â a twenty-five year-long and vigorously peer-reviewed study published in the journalÂ Pediatrics, found that adopted children raised by lesbian parents are better-adjusted and do better in school than their opposite-parented peers.
In summary, I’ll leave you with a thought from a piece I wrote last year, thatÂ this â€œzero-sumâ€ argument, that we can choose families headed by same-sex couples,Â or not, is beyond the hypothetical â€” and the absurd. It assumes that if same-sex marriage is not legalized, that there will be no families headed by same-sex parents. Conversely, it assumes that if same-sex marriageÂ is legalized, opposite-sex couples will stop getting married and stop having children. Itâ€™s a ridiculously fallacious argument, and itâ€™s the typical argument that conservatives always seem to make, because they see the world as a zero-sum game.
Yes, marriage is a valuable institution for society and for the state. We should all be working together to strengthen it, by allowing same-sex couples the right to fully and equally participate.
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‘They’re Coming After Our Children’: Watch Casey DeSantis’ Dystopian Fear-Mongering Ad
The imagery is dark. The words are defiant. The message is dystopian. An ad for Republican Governor Ron DeSantis‘s presidential campaign, currently “in turmoil,” features the First Lady of Florida, Casey DeSantis, issuing a warning: “They’re coming after our children.”
The ad never quite says who is coming after the kids, but the video (below) includes clips of President Joe Biden and former Dr. Anthony Fauci, the face of the war on COVID and the now-retired Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
While it was first released over the summer, it received little attention. Casey DeSantis on Friday reposted her “Mamas for DeSantis” ad. It comes in the wake of the alleged ménage à trois sex scandal involving an unnamed woman who has accused Christian Ziegler, the head of the Florida Republican Party of rape. His wife, Moms for Liberty co-founder Bridget Ziegler, who reportedly confirmed the consensual three-way sexual relationship, is Casey DeSantis’ “best friend,” according to Florida Politics publisher Peter Schorsch.
“In America, we’ve witnessed a lot and put up with enough,” Casey DeSantis says in a voiceover at the start of the two-and-a-half minute video.
“We’ve been forced into silence,” she charges, amid a baby crying and a COVID mask being put over a child’s face. “Into compliance.”
“Told that we must ‘trust the science,'” DeSantis continues, in a direct attack on Dr. Fauci, showing him speaking during the height of COVID in the Trump administration.
And in an attack on LGBTQ children and adults, she says: “We’ve been told that we must deny truth. Back down. And look the other way.”
“Enough is enough. When you come after our kids, we fight back. Because there’s nothing we won’t do to protect our children,” she says.
Seconds later, the video shows President Joe Biden declaring, “Our nation’s children are all our children.”
“We will not allow you to exploit their innocence to advance your agenda. We are no longer silent,” Casey DeSantis declares. “We are united. We have finally found our fighter.”
Casey DeSantis praises her husband, saying he will do for America what he did for Florida: “Schools: opened. Parents’ rights: defended. School choice: universal. Critical race theory: prohibited. DEI: stopped. Child mutilation: illegal. Girls’ sports: saved. Communities: protected. Our economy: growing. And freedom: guaranteed.”
In the section where President Biden says, “Our nation’s children are all our children,” Casey DeSantis doesn’t explain that those words came from a White House celebration honoring Teachers of The Year from across the country. The President was praising an Oklahoma Teacher of the Year whose district includes students who speak 62 different languages, so she had to work hard to ensure everyone felt included. She had said, “There’s no such thing as someone else’s child.”
Nor did DeSantis acknowledge that Governor DeSantis’ performance for children has been poor.
The Florida Policy Institute, which says it is “an independent, non-partisan, and non-profit organization,” in September warned “368,728 youth aged 20 and younger” have been cut from Medicaid. “Because Florida has not expanded Medicaid, the vast majority of those losing insurance during this time have been children, parents, young adults, and new mothers.”
Some critics on social media blasted Casey DeSantis’ remarks.
“Republicans refused to extend child tax credits that pulled 2 million children out of poverty. They resist the idea of free school lunches. Yet they come up with bullshit about their opponents ‘coming after our children.’ Yes, we’re coming after them, to give them a sandwich,” wrote former Chicago Tribune editor Mark Jacob.
Watch the Casey DeSantis video below or at this link.
The stakes are high. They’re coming after our children.
We need a fighter who will defend the innocence of our children and protect the rights of parents.
He showed it on the debate stage, and he’s the only one with the proven track record to back it up. pic.twitter.com/3Gyezc18L8
— Casey DeSantis (@CaseyDeSantis) December 8, 2023
‘Significant and Imminent Threat’: Trump Gag Order Largely Upheld by Appeals Court
A Washington, D.C. federal appeals court Friday afternoon largely upheld and reinstated U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan’s very narrow and limited gag order on Donald Trump for his trial on charges related to his alleged efforts to subvert the U.S. Constitution and overturn the results of the 2020 election.
“We agree with the district court that some aspects of Mr. Trump’s public statements pose a significant and imminent threat to the fair and orderly adjudication of the ongoing criminal proceeding, warranting a speech-constraining protective order,” reads Judge Patricia Millett unanimous three-judge panel ruling, posted by Lawfare’s Anna Bower. “The district court’s order, however, sweeps in more protected speech than is necessary. For that reason, we affirm the district court’s order in part and vacate it in part.”
The judges upheld the gag order “to the extent it prohibits all parties and their counsel from making or directing others to make public statements about known or reasonably foreseeable witnesses concerning their potential participation in the investigation or in this criminal proceeding.”
They also upheld the gag order “to the extent it prohibits all parties and their counsel from making or directing others to make public statements about (1) counsel in the case other than the Special Counsel, (2) members of the court’s staff and counsel’s staffs, or (3) the family members of any counsel or staff member—if those statements are made with the intent to materially interfere with, or to cause others to materially interfere with, counsel’s or staff’s work in this criminal case, or with the knowledge that such interference is highly likely to result.”
The judges removed from the gag order “speech beyond those specified categories.”
“We do not allow such an order lightly,” the judges added. “But Mr. Trump is also an indicted criminal defendant, and he must stand trial in a courtroom under the same procedures that govern all other criminal defendants.”
Bower explains, “Chutkan’s order would have prohibited statements that refer to special counsel Jack Smith as a ‘thug’ or ‘deranged.’ But the appeals court order does not apply to speech about the special counsel himself.”
CBS News congressional correspondent Scott MacFarlane sums up the ruling: “Much of the gag order in Donald Trump’s 2020 election conspiracy criminal case in DC is *REINSTATED*.”
Peter Doocy Admits No ‘Concrete Evidence Joe Biden Personally Profited’ From Hunter’s Business
In a report focused on House Republicans’ plan to vote on a resolution to open an official impeachment inquiry of President Joe Biden, Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy told viewers there is no evidence of impeachable offenses.
“The House Oversight Committee has been at this for years, and they have so far not been able to provide any concrete evidence that Joe Biden personally profited from his son Hunter’s overseas business but they are going to try again with this impeachment inquiry set to start next week,” Doocy, who often criticizes President Biden in White House press briefings, said Friday on Fox News Business.
Other news outlets this week have also stressed Republicans have come up empty-handed.
The right-leaning news outlet The Hill, reporting on the resolution Thursday, noted Republicans’ current investigation “has struggled to connect President Biden to the activities of his son, and they’ve failed to prove their most salacious allegation — and the one that would be most key for impeachment: that the president accepted a bribe.”
One of the main pillars of Republicans’ allegations against President Biden, the “narrative that President Biden pushed Ukraine to fire its prosecutor to help his son, who served on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burimsa, has largely been refuted,” The Hill also reported.
“Republicans have engaged in wide-ranging inquiry into Mr. Biden for months,” The New York Times reported Tuesday, “hunting for evidence to back up their allegations that he corruptly profited from his family members’ overseas business dealings and accepted bribes. To date, they have failed to deliver compelling evidence to back up their boldest claims.”
Watch Doocy below or at this link.
Peter Doocy: “The House Oversight Committee has been at this for years, and they have so far not been able to provide any concrete evidence that Joe Biden personally profited from his son Hunter’s overseas business.” pic.twitter.com/a5N44hIRrQ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 8, 2023
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