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



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.

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Lindsey Graham Admonished by Senate Ethics Committee



U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has been formally admonished by the Senate Ethics Committee for violating ethics rules and standards by repeatedly soliciting campaign donations during an interview at the Capitol.

The bipartisan committee issued Graham a Public Letter of Admonition after the South Carolina Republican solicited donations for Georgia GOP Senate nominee Herschel Walker.

“Based upon all available information, the Committee concluded that on November 30, 2022, you conducted a media interview with Fox News in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building and that your interview was slightly over nine minutes, with over four minutes devoted to a discussion of the 2022 senatorial run-off election in Georgia. The Committee further concluded that during your discussion of the senatorial run-off election, you directly solicited campaign contributions on behalf of Mr. Walker’s campaign committee,, five separate times.”

The letter notes that Sen. Graham had previously violated the same standards when he solicited campaign donations in a federal building in October of 2020, but said it was an “unplanned media interview.” When a reporter had asked him about fundraising, Graham “directly solicited campaign contributions” for his re-election campaign.

READ MORE: Watch: GOP Lawmaker Orders Grieving Parkland Parents Removed From ‘ATF Overreach’ Hearing

The Committee noted “mitigating” circumstances and did not cite him for that violation.

“The public must feel confident that Members use public resources only for official actions in the best interests of the United States, not for partisan political activity,” the letter concludes. “Your actions failed to uphold that standard, resulting in harm to the public trust and confidence in the United States Senate. You are hereby admonished.”

CNN’s Manu Raju posted the letter to social media.

You can read the letter below or at this link.

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Watch: GOP Lawmaker Orders Grieving Parkland Parents Removed From ‘ATF Overreach’ Hearing



U.S. Rep. Pat Fallon (R-TX) is being criticized for having the parents of a victim of the Parkland school massacre removed from a GOP-led House committee hearing on “ATF Overreach” after he deemed them “out of order” for remarks they made while a Member was speaking. Minutes later, Capital Police pinned the father to the ground in the hallway and arrested him.

“See this is, exactly what we have to avoid!” Rep. Fallon, chairing the joint hearing, angrily declared as he pointed his finger after the father, Manuel Oliver, made a remark that was inaudible. “Which is some minority of folks trying to silence dissent. Dissent shouldn’t be kryptonite.”

“There’s a decorum that should be adhered to,” Fallon, who recently refused to sign a statement denouncing white supremacy, said as he chastising Oliver.

After another, louder outburst, Fallon mockingly asked, “Is this an insurrection? So will they be held to the same — I don’t want another January 6.”

READ MORE: ‘Unlawful Incursion’: Manhattan DA Schools Jim Jordan for Demanding He Testify in Ongoing Trump Investigation

Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) responded, “If they’re trying to overthrow the government, they oughta be held to the same standard, but I think they’re trying to express their frustrations.”

Angrily again, Rep. Fallon interjected.

“Whoa whoa whoa whoa,” he shouted as he banged the gavel.

“Member’s out of line,” Fallon said (incorrectly. The term is “out of order.”)

Shortly thereafter, Rep. Fallon had both Manuel and Patricia Oliver removed.

ABC News reporter Will Steakin, who was in the hearing, tweeted video and said bot Manuel and Patricia Oliver “appear to leave without resistance… moments later there was a loud thud outside the hearing room and I found Manuel being pinned to the ground by multiple officers.”

“Manuel Oliver, the father of a 17-year-old Parkland shooting victim, was arrested Thursday on Capitol Hill after he appeared to shout at a Republican lawmaker who was speaking during a hearing on gun regulations,” NBC News reports. Patricia Oliver, his wife and the mother of their 17-year old son, Joaquin Oliver, who was one of 17 people who died in the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre, was not arrested.

READ MORE: ‘National Security Implications’: Former DOJ Official Speculates on Ruling Ordering Trump Attorney to Hand Over Docs

On social media critics expressed anger at Fallon.

“Rep. Pat Fallon (R) thinks parents of slaughtered children should just sit down & shut up as Republicans maintain outrageously dangerous gun laws. He had this parent expelled rather than just giving a warning, which is the usual,” wrote one Twitter user.

“Texas Rep. Pat Fallon: You are the EXACT problem with the gun violence and why it keeps being the leading cause of death in children today,” wrote another.

According to the NIH, gun violence is the leading cause of childhood death.

Still another Twitter user blasted Fallon: “What disgraceful & despicable behavior by Representative Pat Fallon. Exercising your right to free speech is being an insurrectionist? The man lost his son. Have you no compassion? I think he has more than earned the right to be heard by Congress. Such an abuse of power.”

And one called Fallon “feckless.”

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‘Repercussions’: Biden White House Warns Uganda ‘Kill the Gays’ Bill Could Force US to Cancel $950 Million in Annual Aid



The Biden administration may cancel the $950 million in annual assistance the U.S. provides to Uganda if President Yoweri Museveni signs into law its latest “Kill the Gays” bill, which calls for the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” and between ten and 20 years in prison for other LGBTQ “acts.”

National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby on Wednesday made clear if Uganda further criminalizes homosexuality and the LGBTQ community there could be “repercussions that we would have to take.”

“That would be really unfortunate because so much of the economic assistance that we provide Uganda is health assistance,” Admiral Kirby said at a White House press briefing.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also told reporters Wednesday the Biden administration has “grave concerns” over the Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA), and “increasing violence targeting LGBTQIA+ persons.”

READ MORE: Florida GOP Lawmaker Who Wrote ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Facing Up to 35 Years After Pleading Guilty in COVID Fraud Case

“If the AHA is signed into law and enacted, it would impinge upon universal human rights, jeopardize progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS, deter tourism and invest in Uganda and damage Uganda’s international reputation,” Jean-Pierre warned. “The bill is one of the most extreme anti-LGBTQI+ laws in the world.”

Kirby and Jean-Pierre’s remarks came on the same day as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken denounced Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” legislation, saying it “would undermine fundamental human rights of all Ugandans and could reverse gains in the fight against HIV/AIDS.”

“The United States provides more than $950 million in aid to Uganda each year, according to the State Department. The money supports development and health care measures, such as combating HIV/AIDS,” Courthouse News reported Wednesday. “Uganda is already among 30 African countries that ban same-sex relations. The new proposal would broaden penalties and appears to be the first to outlaw identifying as LGBTQ+, according to Human Rights Watch.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

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