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UPDATED: Why Maggie Gallagher’s Argument Against Same-Sex Marriage Is Wrong

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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.)

Here’s why.

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 benefit government and society as a whole.

Maggie agrees.

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,  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 – and 1.6 million American children are homeless. 2.9 million is almost 1 percent of the entire U.S. population – and that figure is five years old. 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 Bachelor’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, “Marriage 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 — and certainly long for — a father as well as a mother in their lives.”

Um, not exactly.

Take, “those children do better with — and certainly long for — a father as well as a mother in their lives.”

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,  a twenty-five year-long and vigorously peer-reviewed study published in the journal Pediatrics, found that adopted children raised by lesbian parents are better-adjusted and do better in school than their opposite-parented peers.

And there’s another, a study of gay dads that finds they are more likely than straight ones to focus on parenting over career, at least when their children are young.

In summary, I’ll leave you with a thought from a piece I wrote last year, that this “zero-sum” argument, that we can choose families headed by same-sex couples, or not, is beyond the hypothetical — 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 marriage is legalized, opposite-sex couples will stop getting married and stop having children. It’s a ridiculously fallacious argument, and it’s the typical argument that conservatives always seem to make, because they see the world as a zero-sum game.

It’s not.

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.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=wv7gbjaWLLo%3Ffs%3D1%26hl%3Den_US

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‘Poisonous’: Former Advisor Says Republicans Have ‘Just Switched Trump Off in Their Brain’

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In an interview with The Guardian, one of Donald Trump’s former senior advisers stated that the word he is getting from people he has spoken to is that they want the former president to be put out to pasture after the poor midterm election results for Republicans weeks ago.

According to John Bolton, who served as Trump’s national security adviser, it’s time for the GOP to move on from the former president if the party wants to reclaim the Oval Office in 2024.

Bolton, whose tenure serving under Trump ended acrimoniously, told the Guardian’s David Smith that there are a multitude of reasons to put Trump in the rearview mirror, but the impact that the former president had on GOP fortunes in the midterms seems to be the final straw with many conservatives.

“There are a lot of reasons to be against Trump being the nominee but the one I’m hearing now as I call around the country, talking to my supporters and others about what happened on 8 November, is the number of people who have just switched Trump off in their brain,” Bolton explained.

ALSO IN THE NEWS: Trump’s new Mar-a-Lago scandal proves why aides want him to stick to a teleprompter

Elaborating, he continued, “Even if they loved his style, loved his approach, loved his policies, loved everything about him, they don’t want to lose and the fear is, given the results on 8 November, that if he got the nomination, not only would he lose the general election, but he would take an awful lot of Republican candidates down with him.”

“There’s no doubt Trump’s endorsement in the primary can be very valuable to a candidate in the Republican party. But relying on that endorsement or trumpeting yourself as the Trump-endorsed candidate is poisonous in the general election. So if you actually want to win elections, Trump is not the answer,” Bolton continued. “William F Buckley [the conservative author] once had a rule that in Republican primaries he supported the most conservative candidate capable of winning the general election and, under that theory, Trump loses.”

The Guardian’s Smith notes that Bolton “… joins Trump’s vice-president Mike Pence, secretary of state Mike Pompeo, attorney general William Barr, UN ambassador Nikki Haley, chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and onetime ally Chris Christie in a growing rebellion among alumni making the case – overtly or subtly – that Trump has become an electoral liability.”

You can read more here.

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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Trump’s Dinner With Kanye Also Included a Former Aide Accused in Pay-for-Pardon Play, and White Supremacist Fuentes

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Donald Trump‘s dinner earlier this week with antisemite Kanye West and holocaust denier and white supremacist Nick Fuentes may also have included two other right-wingers, hinted at by the former president himself.

After Axios‘ reporting confirmed that Fuentes had in fact had dinner with Trump, Trump issued a statement saying, “Our dinner meeting was intended to be Kanye and me only, but he arrived with a guest whom I had never met and knew nothing about.”

But later, on Friday afternoon via his Truth Social platform, Trump wrote a defense of the dinner with an expanded guest list.

READ MORE: Trump Claims He ‘Knew Nothing About’ the White Supremacist Antisemite Who He and Kanye West Dined With at Mar-a-Lago

“This past week, Kanye West called me to have dinner at Mar-a-Lago,” Trump wrote. “Shortly thereafter, he unexpectedly showed up with three of his friends, whom I knew nothing about. We had dinner on Tuesday evening with many members present on the back patio. The dinner was quick and uneventful. They then left for the airport.”

As The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman noted, Trump did not denounce his guest’s extremist beliefs.

“Three of his friends,” according to the far-right wing website Breitbart, apparently includes Fuentes, far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, and former Trump 2016 aide Karen Giorno.

Breitbart states, “two people who say they were at the dinner on Tuesday evening–Yiannopoulos and onetime Trump aide Karen Giorno–have publicly stated that Fuentes was in fact at the dinner with West and Trump.”

“’Nick attended the dinner and sat across from the president. I sat to the president’s right and Ye to his left,’ Giorno said in a statement to podcaster Tim Poole’s website Timcast,” Breitbart reports. “‘The president was by himself for dinner but invited Ye to meet some people on the patio.'”

Politico reports Giorno “confirmed to Politico that she was also at the dinner with Trump, West and Fuentes,” but does not mention Yiannopoulos as a dinner guest.

READ MORE: Watch: Chasten Buttigieg Says Tucker Carlson Is Focusing on ‘Hate’ After Host’s Latest Anti-Gay Attack on His Husband

Referring to Kanye West by his new name, VICE News adds: “Ye, who has been been on an antisemitic spiral in recent months, announced he is going to be running for president in 2024, and Yiannopoulos is his campaign manager. He claimed that he asked the former president to run with him as his vice-president. According to Ye, the dinner involving the billionaire, the rapper, and the white nationalist devolved into screaming and derogatory epithets.”

Yiannopoulos is the former Breitbart editor who became disgraced after saying, “I think in the gay world some of the most important, enriching and incredibly life-affirming, important shaping relationships very often between younger boys and older men.” Earlier this year U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene came under fire for hiring, as an intern, Yiannopoulos, even after he appeared to support sexual “relationships” between boys as young as 13 and older men.

Karen Giorno, The New York Times reported early last year, “had access to people around the president, having run Mr. Trump’s campaign in Florida during the 2016 primary and remaining on board as a senior political adviser during the general election.”

“In July 2018, Ms. Giorno signed an agreement with Mr. Kiriakou, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, ‘to seek a full pardon from President Donald Trump of his conviction’ for $50,000 and promised another $50,000 as a bonus if she secured a pardon,” The Times reports.

Kiriakou is John Kiriakou, who The Times identifies as “a former C.I.A. officer convicted of illegally disclosing classified information.”

On what appears to be her Instagram page, Giorno has photos of herself with numerous Republicans, including Marjorie Taylor Greene, Mike Flynn, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida attorney general Ashley Moody and several other top Florida elected officials, U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, and Sarah Palin, among others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Trump Claims He ‘Knew Nothing About’ the White Supremacist Antisemite Who He and Kanye West Dined With at Mar-a-Lago

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Donald Trump and Kanye West had dinner at Mar-a-Lago Tuesday night and the disgraced artist who goes by “Ye” brought a guest, the white supremacist, antisemite and “America First” and “Big Lie” purveyor Nick Fuentes. Now the former president is claiming Fuentes was a guest of West, and he knows “nothing” about him.

“Trump’s direct engagement with a man labeled a ‘white supremacist’ by the Justice Department, one week after declaring his 2024 candidacy, is likely to draw renewed outrage over the former president’s embrace of extremists,” Axios’ Jonathan Swan and Zachary Basu report.

Axios notes that in a video West posted to his recently restored Twitter account, he says, “Trump was ‘really impressed’ with Fuentes because ‘unlike so many of the lawyers and so many people that he was left with on his 2020 campaign, he’s actually a loyalist.'”

“Ye, who has lost major sponsorships over his anti-Semitism and recent far-right associations, has said he wants to run for president in 2024,” Axios adds. “The rapper claims Trump started ‘screaming’ at him at the dinner and told him he would lose — ‘most perturbed’ by Ye asking Trump to be his running mate.”

READ MORE: Watch: Chasten Buttigieg Says Tucker Carlson Is Focusing on ‘Hate’ After Host’s Latest Anti-Gay Attack on His Husband

Swan says Trump issued a statement in response to his reporting, claiming he does not know Fuentes.

“Kanye West very much wanted to visit Mar-a-Lago,” Trump’s statement says, an apparent attempt to minimize his dining with two racists and antisemites. “Our dinner meeting was intended to be Kanye and me only, but he arrived with a guest whom I had never met and knew nothing about.”

The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman observes that Trump’s “statement does nothing to denounce that background, including Holocaust denialism, or even acknowledge it.”

Trump first claiming West just wanted to see Mar-a-Lago, but immediately after calling it a “meeting” is notable, given that West has since suggested he is running for president.

Axios importantly adds that “Fuentes first gained notoriety after attending the white supremacist ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville in 2017,” and, “Trump was heavily criticized at the time for his response to the racist violence.”

Journalist Jeff Sharlet is the executive producer of Netflix’s “The Family,” based on his books that exposed the secretive Christian right organization of the same name. The Family, also called The Fellowship, hosts the annual National Prayer Breakfast. Its members were involved in Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” bill.

Sharlet warns this is an “inflection point.”

“Trump dinner with Ye, at this point, is a major story,” Sharlet tweeted. “But with Nick Fuentes? That’s an inflection point even for a former president already committed to fascism.”

Journalist and activist Elad Nehorai tweeted: “Never let a single right winger or Republican claim they care about Jews after this. Fuentes openly praises Hitler. He is a Holocaust denier. He is one of the US’s most dangerous white nationalists. Trump hosted him & not one Republican had said a word.”

Attorney and former Republican Ron Filipkowski, who tracks and reports on right wing extremism, says Trump’s statement “reminds me of the time when Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio was in the WH in Dec 2020 and said he was just there to check out the Christmas decorations.”

Tarrio told ABC News last year he “got invited to the White House Christmas decorations tour through ‘Latinos For Trump.'”

READ MORE: ‘Standard Bearer of Trumpism’ Marjorie Taylor Greene Bridges White Nationalism and the GOP

Top national security attorney Brad Moss mocked Trump’s claim about the Mar-a-Lago dinner.

“Trump legal team: MAL is a totally secure place where we can be trusted to store classified records,” he tweeted. “Trump PR team: Security at MAL is so lax that a raving white supremacist can just crash Trump’s dinner party with Ye.”

Indeed, The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman commented, “It’s not the central issue with meeting with Fuentes, but the fact that people can show up unvetted and meet with Trump at his club is part of what alarmed the DOJ about his retention of government records, including classified material, when he left office.”

She also posted a screenshot from her book, relevant to Trump’s embrace of the two racists and antisemites. She quotes him saying, “A lot of these people vote,” in relation to “Trump’s refusal to condemn David Duke’s support forcefully in early 2016.”

The AntiDefamation League (ADL) in a 2021 report wrote, “Nicholas Fuentes is a white supremacist leader and organizer and podcaster who seeks to forge a white nationalist alternative to the mainstream GOP.”

Some of Fuentes’ antisemitism has been documented by ADL.

READ MORE: House GOP Whip Denies ‘Knowing Anything About’ Republican Congressman Fundraising With Antisemitic White Nationalist

“Fuentes has made a number of racist and antisemitic comments under the guise of being provocative and ironic,” ADLs report states. “For example, he has referred to Daily Wire columnist Matt Walsh as ‘shabbos goy race traitor’ because he works for Jews (Ben Shapiro, a Jewish conservative, runs the Daily Wire). On a livestream episode, Fuentes ‘jokingly’ denied the Holocaust and compared Jews burnt in concentration camps to cookies in an oven. On May 24, 2021, Fuentes participated in a debate on right-wing conspiracist Alex Jones’ InfoWars with Robert Barnes, a man described as a ‘constitutional lawyer’ who has legally defended both Jones and Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse. During the debate, Fuentes made numerous antisemitic remarks, including, ‘I don’t see Jews as Europeans and I don’t see them as part of Western civilization, particularly because they are not Christians.'”

Fuentes is strongly pro-Trump, as West alluded to.

“Fuentes promoted election fraud narratives and encouraged his adherents to participate in nationwide ‘Stop the Steal’ protests,” according to ADL.

 

This article has been updated to include Jeff Sharlet’s remarks.

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