Maggie Gallagher rebuts Maggie Gallagher

I found a delightful article by Maggie Gallagher today.

Wait. That can’t be — let me check…

Nope, that’s right: I found a delightful article by Maggie Gallagher today.

Maggie and her anti-marriage colleagues like to say the essential public purpose of marriage is regulation of procreation for the benefit of society; so if gay people can’t procreate, why should the government promote such relationships at all, much less grant them marital status?

Oh, I hear this all the time. I hear less enthusiasm for listening to an answer though. The question is usually offered up as an ultimate rock-em-sock-em debate clincher. But perhaps people like Maggie Gallagher should pay more attention to…people like Maggie Gallagher.

Twelve years ago, before the marriage equality fight was essential to her income her primary cause, Maggie wrote an article whose whole point, chief thesis, and entire raison d’être was to convince people that protecting children is not the only societal benefit of marriage. Maggie wrote:

Yes, marriage protects children. And yes, marriage therefore protects taxpayers and society from a broad and deep set of costs, personal and communal. But there is another case for marriage, equally significant, that you probably haven’t heard. Marriage is a powerful creator and sustainer of human and social capital for adults as well as children, about as important as education when it comes to promoting the health, wealth, and well-being of adults and communities. [emphasis added]

She then list “TOP TEN REASONS WHY MARRIAGE IS GOOD FOR YOU”:

IT’S SAFER.

IT CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE.

IT CAN SAVE YOUR KID’S LIFE.

YOU WILL EARN MORE MONEY.

DID I MENTION YOU’LL GET MUCH RICHER?

YOU’LL TAME HIS CHEATIN’ HEART (HERS, TOO).

YOU WON’T GO BONKERS.

IT WILL MAKE YOU HAPPY.

YOUR KIDS WILL LOVE YOU MORE.

YOU’LL HAVE BETTER SEX, MORE OFTEN.

Only 2 of those reasons are tied to procreation, and none of her arguments for them depend on mixed-gender relationships. It’s hard to say for certain that such benefits will extend to same-sex couples, but there’s the fact that, you know, we’re human beings too. In any case, there’s only one way to find out!

If you find yourself in these sorts of debates often, then bookmark Maggie’s article and have it ready when your opponent asks why the government should grant marriage to same-sex couples. And then come back here and let me know how it went.

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8 comments to Maggie Gallagher rebuts Maggie Gallagher

  • 1
    Scot Colford says:

    Awesome find, Rob! Oh, that really gives me a huge feeling of relief. It would be pretty hard for her to sustain her central thesis when presented with that.

  • 2
    Christopher says:

    As much as I appreciate Gallagher contradicting herself, and doing it with a laughable list of “reasons”, her belief that marriage is solely about procreation has already been contradicted by the law itself. There’s no legal obligation that married couples produce children, or even adopt children. I’ve had this debate several times, and that’s a fact I always have handy whenever someone tries the “marriage is for the purpose of procreation” canard.
    And I can tell you how it always goes: the counter-response I get is “well a man and a woman is how nature intended”, to which I reply that marriage is a legal creation, not a “natural” one. Or the response is, “it’s how God intended it to be”, which I point out is a religious argument, and therefore not valid in a country with a secular government.
    Of course we’re also talking about someone who not only admits to repeating herself in her list of reasons marriage is good for you, and whose list includes “YOU WON’T GO BONKERS”.
    With arguments like that I really wish she’d been put on the witness stand in the Prop 8 trial. It would have made Olson’s and Boies’s case even easier.

  • 3
    Dana Pille says:

    Has anyone ever thought that maybe some people turning out Gay, might just be natures way of thinning the herd? so to speak.

  • 4
    Regan DuCasse says:

       The NOM mob argue so repetitively and reductively in ways that make mating sound like a lofty spiritual calling, rather than something the dumbest monkeys can do too. That literally, the ultimate sum of our worth is our sexual and reproductive organs. Thanks a lot.
       And the idealization of the ‘natural’ compatibility of men and women is belied by the feminization of violence, poverty and illiteracy in the world.
       You remind them of THESE irrefutable facts, they won’t even acknowledge them. Nor the insult that human beings ARE more than their reproductive ability and non parent adults and couples make tremendouns contributions that the anti gay don’t appreciate either.
    Their idealization of the nuclear, biological family is another form of barbaric Biblical tribalism. The NOM mob doesn’t care about ALL children and who is raising them, but only that the nuclear family and the children raised by their bio parents receive the needed marital and protected status.
      So their concern for the ‘raising of the next generation’ is a phony as it gets’.
     The gov’t has never been nor can be in the position of ensuring or enforcing that a child will have a mother and father.
      Let alone by discriminating against gay people to do it.
      And further, heterosexuals can marry someone who shares their same sexual orientation, it’s only APPROPRIATE that gay people marry someone who shares THEIR same orientation. Under the same terms and requirements that hetero couples do.
    These terms are met and AGREED on, by gay couples.
    Therefore, marriage isn’t redefined at all. Only the COUPLE is.
    But the NOM mob protests as if they are not.
    Lying liars…as per usual.
    As far as the cases before SCOTUS are concerned. I hope they aren’t the ones that have more to do with being able to bring the cases in the first place, rather than the cases themselves. At least one of the arguments regarding 8 was like that. That was the one about standing.

  • 5

    [...] Vogt would surely disagree with the judge over what “responsible” means, but they’re both working from the same error: that society’s stake in marriage is entirely about procreation and not at all about what it brings to the adults getting married — a theory so strange even our opponents don’t really believe it. [...]

  • 6

    [...] Vogt would surely disagree with the judge over what “responsible” means, but they’re both working from the same error: that society’s stake in marriage is entirely about procreation and not at all about what it brings to the adults getting married — a theory so strange even our opponents don’t really believe it. [...]

  • 7

    [...] The second statement might rule out such marriages (and if so, then all such marriages), but no one actually believes it — not even Maggie Gallagher. [...]

  • 8

    [...] The second statement might rule out such marriages (and if so, then all such marriages), but no one actually believes it — not even Maggie Gallagher. [...]

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