Maggie: The Harms of Same-Sex Marriage (part 1)

Andrew Sullivan has another video in the Ask Maggie Gallagher Anything series. In this one, she is asked:

In states where same-sex couples have been allowed to marry, what harm has been brought to individuals or society at large?

Maggie names a few issues, but for now I want to focus on this one:

You see the idea and the ideal that children need a mother and father beginning to be redefined as the equivalent of a racist or mean or hateful idea. That’s on top of the problem of the silencing or the — which I’ve already talked about — the way religious institutions and religious people who in good conscience can’t treat same-sex unions as marriages begin to be treated as pariahs.

This is Maggie’s persecution theme, one that our opponents are pushing like crazy, one that I think they’ll use in their next strategy:  Overturn marriage equality in the courts as a violation of their religious freedom. But I want to tell Maggie this:

If people are calling you a bigot and equating you with racists, the problem may not be with same-sex marriage, but with the quality of your crusade against it.

So here, Maggie: these tips may help you and the National Organization for Marriage and the rest of your allies in your quest for gentle and civil treatment.

  • Don’t denigrate same-sex parenting with studies that didn’t examine same-sex parents.

Maggie, when your conduct is cruel, insulting, irrational, and downright dishonest, people may start to wonder about your character. What else are they to do? This is not an ad hominem attack. That’s when people criticize the speaker instead of examining their arguments. No, this is opposite: people are criticizing you because they’ve examined your arguments.  The problem is not inherent to the issue. It’s not us, Maggie, it’s you.

And Maggie, if we are sometimes too quick to paint our opponents as hateful and bigoted when they don’t deserve it — well, that’s wrong, but you have to share in the responsibility. You’ve made yourself the most vocal and famous warrior against same-sex marriage. That makes it hard to distinguish you from those of our opponents with kinder, gentler, and truer hearts.

Okay. Take a breath. I have more to say on that video, but I wanted to give this a blog post all its own.

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6 comments to Maggie: The Harms of Same-Sex Marriage (part 1)

  • 1
    Spunky says:

    I watched the whole video. The problem with her answer is that one could say that about anything.
    You could ask me, “Spunky, what are the conqesuences of enacting Policy A?”
    Regardless of whatever Policy A actually was, I could answer, “People who support the absence of Policy A are being treated as though their ideas are wrong and unfair. Furthermore, more and more people are moving away from believing Idea B, which suports Policy A.”
    Here, Policy A = same-sex marriage, Idea B = kids need a mother and father.
    You address the absurdity of the first part of the answer (beautifully; one of your best posts ever by the way). But even if what she said were true, the problem isn’t with what she said, but with what she didn’t say. If “treating anti-gay people like racists” is the worst short-term consequence of gay marriage, then Maggie Gallagher should be ecstatic. This must mean there has been zero harm to children, the family, or married heterosexual couples.

  • 2
    ol&p says:

    I’ve always thought someone should just say to her, “If you don’t like being called a bigot, perhaps you should stops saying and doing bigoted things.”
    Would that be such a difficult thing to do?

  • 3
    Neil says:

    Enacting same-sex marriage will harm people opposed to same-sex marriage because it will make people opposed to same-sex marriage look bad. It’s not fair to people against same-sex marriage to allow same-sex marriage because it will make it harder to be against it.
    The reasoning is so tightly circular it doesn’t admit daylight. Talk about whistling in the dark.

  • 4

    […] already knocked apart a portion of her answer here. Now I’d like to deal with this bit: I think we’re in the early stages of seeing my primary […]

  • 5

    […] already knocked apart a portion of her answer here. Now I’d like to deal with this bit: I think we’re in the early stages of seeing my primary […]

  • 6

    […] accounted for less than half of those in the US? ALEC tilts at windmills. Maggie Gallagher plays the persecution card. The Heartland Institute implodes in its own absurdity. The Conservative Caucus carps that Pizza […]

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