Political Animal

Blog

March 28, 2013 3:50 PM The Afterlife of the Anti-Marriage Equality Movement

By Ed Kilgore

Yesterday I wrote about the whining of Christian Right folk over the terrible indignities they are suffering as their grip on marriage laws is being loosened. At about the same time Jonathan Chait conducted a similar exercise focused on perhaps the country’s most prominent anti-same-sex-marriage agitator, the former National Organization for Marriage president and also founder of the Culture War Victory Fund, Maggie Gallagher.

There is no more telling sign of the opposition’s surrender than the public demoralization of Maggie Gallagher, the leading anti-gay-marriage activist and writer….
Today, the movement has advanced far more rapidly than expected, and it is hard to find much hope at all in Gallagher. She increasingly casts those on her own side as victims. Gallagher insists, in an interview with National Review — she has given up her column — the cause is about “the core civil rights of 7 million Californians to vote on the marriage question.” The rights of a gay couple to marry cannot be allowed to trample on the rights of heterosexuals to vote to ban them from getting married.
The surest sign of resignation is that Gallagher has redirected her focus from stopping gay marriage to preserving the dignity of her reputation and those of her fellow believers. She now presents her cause as a kind of civil rights movement to protect her fellow believers from the stigma of advocating bigotry and discrimination. “I worry when I get an email from a woman who’s a nurse in a hospital,” she told NPR, “who wrote a letter to the editor opposing gay marriage, and finds that she fears her job is in jeopardy.”

Chait cleverly suggests that as leader of a dying political movement, Gallagher is now focused on its “afterlife,” the dignity with which these once self-confident culture warriors are allowed to take away from their defeat.

There is no last-minute generational twist, no reversal of the tide, lying in store to save Gallagher and the gay-marriage opponents, and she knows it full well. Regardless of any Supreme Court ruling, her movement is lying on its death bed, and she is making her peace with it.
Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

Comments

  • Quaker in a Basement on March 28, 2013 3:54 PM:

    How could it possibly be fair to take away MY ability to control YOUR life?

  • Sgt. Gym Bunny on March 28, 2013 4:09 PM:

    Ah, trying to write her own obituary for the certain death of her loathsome cause. How heartening...

    (Wow, we are watching someone's real-time realization that she and her ilk is destined to be remembered for being on the wrong side of history. Me likey!!!)

  • Josef K on March 28, 2013 4:28 PM:

    the country’s most prominent anti-same-sex-marriage agitator, the former National Organization for Marriage president and also founder of the Culture War Victory Fund, Maggie Gallagher

    Every time I hear that woman's name, I have to consciously remind myself "No, its not Maggie Gyllenhaal becoming a bigot."

    Other than that, I really haven't paid the woman much mind.

  • martin on March 28, 2013 5:05 PM:

    Chait cleverly suggests that as leader of a dying political movement, Gallagher is now focused on its “afterlife,” the dignity with which these once self-confident culture warriors are allowed to take away from their defeat.

    Ah, the Noble Cause. Much like the Confederacy, she will have to wait about a decade before rewriting history. That gives her plenty of time to start accumulating random pieces of evidence that, when viewed through the prisim of the Noble Cause, prove that Wednesday, March 27 was the beginning of the end of the United States of America.

  • Citizen Alan on March 28, 2013 6:15 PM:

    [H]er movement is lying on its death bed, and she is making her peace with it.

    You gift this horrible woman with far more dignity than she deserves. My personal hope is that one day, forty or so years from now, Maggie Gallagher's grandchildren will study the history of the gay rights movement, learn to their horror that "Nana Gallagher" was a hateful bigot, and physically recoil from her when she leans in to kiss them on the cheek. I find that mental image strangely comforting.

  • emjayay on March 28, 2013 9:37 PM:

    That cow is unlikely to be kissing anyone on the cheek in 40 years.

  • Rick B on March 29, 2013 1:25 AM:

    Poor Maggie. She has spent much of her life fighting in the media against gay marriage. Reality has sunk in. She's lost - as she should have known she would if she were a practicing Christian.

    But she has spent her life battling in the media. She even has to whine about her loss in the media and magnify the embarrassment. Her nasty stupidity seems to know no bounds of decency.

  • Marc on March 29, 2013 8:39 AM:

    I don't know what she is complaining about, they took my right to vote on slavery away years ago.

  • Anonymous on April 04, 2013 11:50 AM:

    I am still alive, still opposing gay marriage, and not at all concerned about what anyone will write in my obituary, as I will then be dead and in the hands of a supremely fair Judge, who I hope will show me mercy for my sins.

    I launched a successful activist organization and then turned over its leadership to the next generation. I'm used to people making up whatever they want about me, but this claim is ridiculous.

    I do not believe your movement will triumph in the end, incidentally. Creating a society that cannot tell the difference between husband and wife and other kinds of relationship is a society blinding itself to something key and important.

    You can make up anything you want, but you cannot change the reality of what I think, or what I'm doing. You can of course construct your straw men. and then enjoy knocking them down.