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Maggie Gallagher: The Cold Heart Of A Craven, Careless, Professional, Paid Propagandist

by David Badash on February 20, 2011

in Bigotry Watch,Civil Rights,Legislation,Marriage

Post image for Maggie Gallagher: The Cold Heart Of A Craven, Careless, Professional, Paid Propagandist

Editor’s note: This guest post by Scott Wooledge was originally published at Daily Kos and is published here with his permission. Scott Wooledge writes at the Daily Kos under the handle Clarknt67.

Maggie Gallagher, front woman for National Organization for Marriage, trying desperately to spin the disastrous showing marriage equality opponents had at Thursday’s legislative hearing in New Hampshire, posted an interesting talking point she seemed to think had value to her organization’s blog. Praising her compatriot in bigotry, Kevin Smith from Cornerstone Action PAC, who is like her, a professional homophobe that collects a salary to testify against the equal rights of gay people, Maggie says:

My favorite Kevin Smith line: “The sky didn’t fall in 2008 when the voters repealed same-sex marriage. The sky didn’t fall in Maine either the next year in 2009, when the voters repealed gay marriage passed by the legislature.”

Let’s look at what she’s really saying there.

Maggie Gallagher and her crew are saying, “Hey, it’s not such a big deal. Just go ahead and do it. They did it elsewhere.”

She’s suggesting lawmakers ignore the will of the people. Ignore the WMUR/Granite State poll, that show 62% of New Hampshire residents have no desire to see this repealed in favor of the 29% who do. University of New Hampshire pollster Andrew Smith, who directs the UNH Survey Center, called it more than opposition but rather “powerful resistance.”

Let’s look at how the breaks down by intensity:

Clearly not only the numbers, but the passions lie in defending New Hampshire’s marriage equality.

And this was demonstrated very clearly in Thursday’s hearing.

In droves, supporters took time out of their day to discuss the humanity of the people these repeal bills would hurt. They spoke for themselves, their partners, their sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, parents and grandparents. Maggie’s group is imploring legislators to ignore it all, because, well, they’ll get over it.

Ignore Paul Ober (left) who bravely came out of the closet to his friends and his hockey team to testify, because he said, “this is too important.” Ignore Craig Stowell who stood up for his brother, and said, “no one has the right to take away his freedom to marry.” Ignore Linda Maloney who stood up for her daughter saying, “when I found out from Courage Campaign that NOM, the so-called ‘National Organization for Marriage,’ was trying to take that right away from my Cait, I couldn’t stand by and do nothing.”

Maggie’s saying to lawmakers, “Everything you saw Thursday, ignore it.” Ignore these 600+ people who took time out of their day to come and testify, to plead with the lawmakers on behalf of equality, respect and simple common decency. The pictures told an amazing story, I provided many here. For the more empirically inclined, here’s a look at how the turnout for the day breaks down:

“Let’s ignore unprecedentedly lopsided turnout.” If the will to repeal exists in the the Granite State, there was scarce evidence of it Thursday. But hundreds and hundreds of people did take the time out of their day to come and testify, to plead, demand and argue their case before the lawmakers.

“But ignore all that,” says Maggie, because “they’ll all get over it.”

As one poster put it succinctly at Prop 8 Trial Tracker:

Please note that the sky didn’t fall the day that your Jesus was supposedly killed. It didn’t fall the day Eve got a craving for fruit. The sky has NEVER fallen down, no matter what horrendous or marvelous things have been done underneath it.

What DID happen on the days you mention is that hearts were broken, families were punished, children were harmed, love was judged unimportant, people were relegated to second class citizenship…

But the broken hearts of gay people and their families are of no consequence to Mrs. Gallagher. If you can stomach it, here’s Maggie’s testimony on video:

Note she says:

“It is not discrimination to treat different things, differently.”

The subject on the table is not the sorting of one “thing” from another. The sorting is that of people. And treating different people differently is a pretty good working description of “discrimination” as we understand it.

There are Freudian slips, and then there are Freudian slips. For Maggie, I consider this a doozy. This is where we see what a cold and heartless person she is at her very core. Maggie views gays not as people, but mere “things.” The dehumanization of gay people is time-honored tactic of the anti-gay crowd that makes up the base of Maggie’s support.

Looking very closely at the underbelly of Maggie’s supporters is, in fact, recommended. Maryland State Senator James Brochin, who previously opposed marriage equality took in Maggie and her supporter’s testimony and said:

“What I witnessed from the opponents of the bill was appalling. Witness after witness demonized homosexuals, vilified the gay community, and described gays and lesbians as pedophiles. I believe that sexual orientation is not a choice, but rather people are born one way or another. The proponents of the bill were straightforward in wanting to be simply treated as everyone else, and wanted to stop being treated as second-class citizens.

This is more than a tactic to this mob–without whom NOM would cease to exist–it is a firmly held world view. Gays are not humans, but monsters, who molest children and live lives of depravity and disease, and we’d all be better off if they were jailed, or executed. Proudly held by one of the few souls that turned out for a National Organization for Marriage rally held this summer:

The expression of these world views have been documented extensively by the Southern Poverty Law Center. And NOM’s gleeful distribution of lies and slander about LGBT Americans earned them a spot on SPLC’s list of 18 Anti-Gay Groups and Their Propaganda.

Legislators would be wise to understand whose counsel they are considering, what their history is and the dangerous and potentially expensive consequences of listening to them.

This fall, NOM meddled in Iowa’s Supreme Court elections with feckless disregard for the collateral damage to the judiciary there, ousting the three Justices for affirming LGBT rights. The effect for every Iowan when National Organization for Marriage selects their Justices for them may well be disastrous for years to come on a host of rulings.

Maggie herself has a very sordid past as a unethical propagandist, having shamelessly collected a paycheck from the Bush administration to write allegedly “objective” journalism pieces in her syndicated newspaper column on Bush policies. Her conscience apparently felt there was no conflict of interest there or cause to disclose the sources of her dual incomes.

Now, Maggie draws a good paycheck from National Organization for Marriage’s multi-million dollar war chest, swooping from state to state testifying against the equal protection of LGBT Americans. She can never provide a compelling reason why this is such an imperative, beyond “it’s always been this way.” Which at one point, was a pretty compelling argument to deny women voting rights, or African Americans their basic freedom. Or, ironically, her right to marry her Hindu-practicing East Indian husband.

But, even as she can find time in her schedule to attend hearings to lobby lawmakers in New Hampshire, Maryland and Rhode Island, when it was time to swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, to present hard evidence, not slurs, propaganda, innuendo and dog whistles, Maggie took a pass. She was one of the many, many marriage equality opponents that didn’t have the courage of their convictions to testify in a court of law in Perry vs. Schwarzenegger, the Federal Constitutional challenge to Prop 8. She worked tirelessly to pass Prop 8. She had the time, she attended the trial, watching from the bench. So why not step up and defend it?

Plaintiff attorney David Boies has a theory. As he said on Face The Nation:

“a witness stand is a lonely place to lie. And when you come into court you can’t do that.”

Rather than a witness stand, Maggie is much more comfortable in the bully pulpit, free of the rules of evidence or threat of perjury.

It’s well-documented that Maggie and her crew can’t or won’t follow the law. They steal music and art work with impunity and they have been dogged by legal and ethical investigations in every state they’ve operated, in California, Iowa, Rhode Island, Washington, Maine and others.

They are accused of violating campaign finance law in the state of Maine, by not disclosing their donor list as compelled by law. In defense, they filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law. Yesterday, they lost.

The ruling, handed down late today, is being praised by supporters of Maine’s campaign spending disclosure laws. “This is an important decision for Maine voters, because they need to know who is influencing them on ballot questions,” says Jonathan Wayne, executive director of the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election practices.


The challenge was brought by the National Organization for Marriage, which spent $1.9 million dollars in a successful campaign to overturn Maine’s same-sex marriage law in 2009. The Ethics Commission had determined that NOM was required to disclose the identities of its donors, but the group refused, and filed suit on grounds that Maine’s requirements were unconstitutional on a number of fronts.

Such a pity that the taxpayers of Maine are burdened with the cost of defending a law against a legal challenge from a group that has consistently shown no respect for the truth, the law or other human beings.

If NOM, an out-of-state special interest group, prevails in New Hampshire, it will clearly be an expensive proposition for the taxpayers there, as well. One wonders how many Colorado state taxpayer dollars were wasted in the failed defense of Colorado’s discriminatory law, in the Romer v. Evans case?

If repeal goes through, it is a near certainty that it will only be a matter of time before an advocacy group steps up and challenges the law, in State or Federal court, or both. Just a few organizations that are sure to look into taking it on might be the Americans for Equal Rights (who funded the Prop 8 challenge), American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal and Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (all of whom are currently challenging the Federal Defense of Marriage Act).

The NH Attorney General will then be tasked to defend a law that few people wanted passed in the first place. It will be a long, divisive and expensive and wholly unnecessary battle.

And don’t expect Maggie to swing back to New Hampshire and defend these laws if they pass. She’ll be MIA, just like she was to California. I am reminded of a one of my favorite literary quotes:

“They were careless people, Tom and Daisy–they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money of their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”—F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

So, while taxpayer dollars are wasted paying the Attorney General’s office to defend it, Maggie and her friends will be laughing all the way to the bank, collecting money to “protect marriage” even as they run roughshod over it.

How much does Maggie herself hate gays? Who know? At the end of the day she’s happy to collect a paycheck feeding off the crowd that does. She doesn’t care a bit about the devastation and chaos she and her organization leave in their wake in states across the country. They devastate families, state budgets, the political, electoral and judicial systems without a care in the world and just move on to the next state.

In November, voters had the good sense to stop NOM in their tracks, rejecting their call for the scalp of Governor Lynch on the issue of marriage equality. Let’s hope lawmakers also have the good sense to stop an out-of-state special interest group from dictating the policies of the Granite State.

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FlexSF February 20, 2011 at 4:45 pm

Fuck you, Maggie Gallagher, and all of your professional, anti-gay, Christian bigots. Get the fuck out of my bedroom, you disgusting, intrusive bitch!

StanJames July 22, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Maggie thoughtt that she could get the law realed in NH, because the legislature had enough votes to over-ride a veto from the good governor, a catholic – Lynch, who supported marriage equality

The vote in both houses was 2 to 1 to keep marriage equality WHY


Someone should put on her one of those metal things – like iron panties that soldiers put on their wives before they went to war. The vag area has a set of metal teeth on it

Not just to get even with this pice of crap, but to make sure she doesnt create more children to turn them into clones of the Westboro baptist churhc nut jobs

Guest February 20, 2011 at 5:53 pm

NOM's few rich donors must be exposed. IRS filings show that only a few donors supply 75% of their budget. Who are these multimillionaire ideologues, and how can they be publicly called out on their destructive goals. Elsa Prince, the mother of Betsy DeVos and Blackwater founder Erik Prince, as well as Emilie Weirda is frequently named as a likely large donor.

Michael February 20, 2011 at 5:54 pm

As a gay person of faith, I pray for Maggie's angry, ice cold heart. I urge her to repent and walk away from homphobia. Thousands and thousands have left homophobia; she can, too, if she just lets go of the money. And we should remind her that one can choose money OR God…not both.

Michael February 20, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Oh and this article is magnificent. It should be sent to each radical conservative Republican member of NH's congress.

Fr. John Joseph Reid February 20, 2011 at 10:40 pm

She is not going to rip my heart out me or my husbands. We are 78 and 75 and have been married for 5 years in Boston. Before being married we hid for many years we have been together now for 39. We are also Catholic priests (not the kind of catholic that the pope talks about) more open and accepting of all people strait and gay. We will go down spilling our blood if we have to to stop this kind of hate murdering the souls of those who are coming behind us, those who we fought long time to show that gay men and women are loving creatures of God and are meant to live in love with Him, their mates and their neighbors. Its time we went out onto the streets dont you think?????

stevemd2 February 20, 2011 at 11:34 pm

Maggie is obviously catholic, and the hierarchy has an axe over her head.

She didn't support marriage when she had not 1 but 2 illegitimate children.

Just another rotten bigot. Here's hoping the good catholic people return to the churches social justice msision and insure that NH doesnt go backwards. And they should also insure that marriage equality is established in MD, RI< NY etc.

And they can tell the hierarchy where to go by simply leaving "no marriage no money" slips in the collection plate.

And I finally founc out why the church has such a chokehold on the many good priests who would be glad to do gay marriage ceremonies for catholic couples.

The priests take a vow of poverty. the churches final lever over them is that it will kick them out o fheir jobs, and with that action also cancel their pensions. Talk about love and social justice for the priests by the church. Yuk.

No wonder 30% of catholics in the USA are "Lapsed" And btw poll after poll shows that 50% of catholics support gay marriage , and about 63% of younger catholics.

if only the church had the guts to realize the hole it is digging for itself. The laity can solve this problem

Jonatan February 21, 2011 at 7:44 am

Great expose! Well done. I'm going to share it with all my friends. Especially like the F. Scott Fitzgerald quote.

adx February 21, 2011 at 8:46 am

I saw yet another editorial from some "doctor" who urged everyone to contact PASTORS in the damn article. The problem, this illustrious "doctor" told us, was that mainstreaming gay relations would lead to the mainstreaming of all other deviations and minorities.

That's because you're grouping homosexuality (which is a minority) with those DEVIATIONS, rather than grouping it with its *sexual and social complement*, heterosexuality.

If you saw homosexuality and heterosexuality as complements, you'd see the recognition of gay relations as a COMPLETION of what is logical and fair. Grouping homosexuality with *deviations*, however, makes it look like a GATEWAY to all sorts of horror.

Why is this perfectly logical?

Because homosexuality is an orientation, not a behavior.

Then again, the anti-gay are good at shooting themselves in the foot.

The Professor February 21, 2011 at 9:18 am

Here's a REAL slip. At about 5:20 into the clip she actually says "It is not discrimination to treat different PEOPLE differently." No one made much of that when she said it. I was shocked she would slip like that. Only time I have ever heard her do it. Check out the clip. I have been sharing this link extensively. Thanks for the reporting.

maggie gallagher February 21, 2011 at 10:08 pm

BTW, we kicked the holder of that sign out of our rallies, and issued press releases denouncing that sentiment. Only pro-gay forces are repsonsible for forwarding that sing.

Meanwhile your own poll says 50 percent of New Hampshire voters would be very or somewhat upset if not repealed compared to 17 percent who would be upset (somewhat or very) if it was repealed.

Kudos for that graph!

David Badash February 22, 2011 at 9:55 am


It appears you've read the graph wrong. The 50% you refer to OPPOSE repeal of the marriage equality law and would be somewhat upset or very upset were it repealed. An additional 18% — for a total of 68% — oppose repeal of the marriage equality law. Yes, 68% are against you and NOM. Despite all the money NOM has spent there, you still can't sway the American people to your way of thinking. Because you are wrong, and history will prove it.

As for the noose sign, you write, "pro-gay forces are responsible for forwarding that sing." [sic] Perhaps, but it is my belief that anti-gay forces — like you and NOM — are responsible for creating an environment where the hate depicted in that sign is nurtured.

Seems the money you're spending is only working to reinforce the thinking of those who believe hate and violence are the answer.

Tom February 22, 2011 at 11:30 am

Maggie Srivastav … learn how to read graphs, mmkay.

You and your fellow Bible-humpers are directly responsible for the sentiments expressed by signs like that.
I call on you to denounce the Leviticus death pronouncements that are proudly trumpeted by you and your allies.

Denounce the Biblical death threats, Mrs. Srivastav, or you're in agreement with them.
(yeh, I know she ain't gonna respond to this even if she does reads it.)

Scott Wooledge February 22, 2011 at 11:51 am

It's commendable to see your exercising some discretion about the company you keep. Have you done any soul searching about why Eliminationists might feel welcomed and comfortable at your events?

Have you asked yourself if your followers are truly motivated by a desire to express God's love for man?

I take it you didn't care to address the fact you've run afoul of ethics rules and laws in all states you've operated, or that you were a paid spokesperson for the Bush administration masquerading as an objective journalist?

You didn't care to clarify that gays are people not "things?" Is that accurate, are gays people or things?

Andrew Caswell February 22, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Why do you hate me? You've never met me. I assure that I am a nice person and I am no threat to you. Can you please just tell what I've done to make you hate me so much?

alexjon February 22, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Yes, use that poll and graph liberally, dear <3

adx February 22, 2011 at 10:14 am

Thanks for the info on the Maryland poll. I knew something was up with that. NOM didn't suddenly and "magically" change its methodology overnight.

I'm surprised, though, that no one royally blasted the statement: "Only pro-gay forces are repsonsible (sic) for forwarding that sing (sic)." Who in blue blazes was responsible for the public votes — and their results — in CALIFORNIA and MAINE? That wasn't the public thinking on its own; by absolutely no stretch whatsoever was that unfettered, objective, unbiased politicking. The public were *deliberately frightened* into presuming the sky would fall if marriage equality came to the states in question. And one group was responsible for those lies, which are laughably being exposed again and again and again for the lies that they are — most recently when an unbiased, objective firm attacked NOM's contentions about SCHOOLCHILDREN IN MASSACHUSETTS.

Skulander February 22, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Maggie: what is your problem with gay people? What is your problem with not being able to present facts accurately and honestly? Why this constant need to hate, to demonize gays and lesbians, their relationships, their families, their friends, their relatives? More and more people don't understand why, like a dog on a bone, you, Brian and NOM feel a deep urge to hurt our community as much as you can, in as many possible ways.
Sure, NOM in a press release did damage control about that sign. But what is worrying is that this man is far from the only one holding such views. I just saw a YouTube video yesterday in which a man called Harris Himes stated, bluntly and plainly, with a smile on his face, that according to the Bible the punishment for homosexual acts is death. When has the Bible become the new constitution? Surely people have the right to vote on that… Why do people like Scott Lively and Lou Engle (Engle, I believe, has been associated in some ways with NOM in the past) feel the need to go to faraway countries (Uganda) and export there their hate and homophobia? The US is not big enough for them and their hateful ideology?

Skulander February 22, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Why do you oppose civil unions if, so you claim, you bear gays and lesbians no grudge, so that we at least can enjoy the same benefits as straight married couples? Oh, but I forgot. You don't think our love has any value whatsoever and your blog is full of comments from individuals who believe we should be "cured" despite the MANY, many studies exposing the harm of the so-called "ex-gay" movement.

Why do our kids, as well as LGBT kids, suffer harm at school and why does NOM oppose ANY measure (and other groups too, as shown by the example fo the Annoka-Hennepin school district) that would try to tackle the homophobia and bullying suffered by these kids? I guess you only care about SOME kids: if you're a gay kid bullied at school, you're out of luck. Why do our houses get burned down (there's been this case in Tennessee last fall, and I've heard of at least one other since)? Why has the repeal of DADT, a law which by a huge consent has been deemed unfair and discriminatory, been so painful and long? Speaking of work: why do so many of us must fear being fired for who we are?

Skulander February 22, 2011 at 1:17 pm

And, perhaps more important, Maggie: WHY can't you just accept that we are living and breathing human beings that deserve respect and consideration? Why do you keep harming us, saying that gay marriage is "redefining marriage" (how? truth is, it's not a redefinition) or "it's not discriminatory to treat different things differently (we're human beings just like you, we're not "different things").

Maggie: I strongly suggest you find another job that does NOT involve taking away other peoples' rights, people who only want to live without fear and harrassement and enjoy the same benefits as everyone else, without being treated as 2nd rate citizens.

Tim February 22, 2011 at 2:01 pm


Sloth, Gluttony and Wrath are three of the deadly sins. It appears that you have been recently involved in all three. Perhaps you should mind your own life and family. It is not too late for you Maggie. I am sure that god can forgive you, if you repent and ask for forgiveness. You are a miserable human being, as much as I would love to call you a "thing". Love and truth can set you free.

David M. Greer February 22, 2011 at 2:26 pm

ummm. you left out PRIDE and greed. that would make poor mags at LEAST 5 for 7.

emma February 26, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Why is it that pretty much whenever I read anything about Mags, the pressure headache begins right behind my eyes, and then just takes over…

Scott Wooledge February 22, 2011 at 11:54 am

Oh Jeremy, you know as well as anyone, Maggie will look at any numbers and see what she wants to see. She's fabricating polls up and down the Eastern Seaboard right now. I appreciate your work deconstructing her lies.

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