Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Maggie Gallagher shucks and jives her way through the DOMA hearing

Equality Matters has listed the top five moments from Friday's DOMA hearing. The moments are very telling in terms of how unnecessary DOMA is and the mindset of those trying to defend it.

But the best moment comes when Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) questions National Organization for Marriage head Maggie Gallagher on the idea of same-sex parenting:

At 2:29 - 2:41 , Gallagher admits that "there are some gay people who are wonderful parents." She also says that she thinks its unfortunate that people misinterpret things she says as a condemnation of "gay people" and their parenting skills."

But as Equality Matters points out:

This “interpretation” might have something to do with Gallagher having called homosexuality “an unfortunate thing” which represents “at a minimum, a sexual dysfunction.” Or perhaps it has to do with her decision to assert that gays and lesbians are “committing several different kinds of very serious sins.”

Also, Gallagher's past other comments and actions haven't been as conciliatory to the idea of same-sex parenting as she tried to make herself seem during the hearing.

In 2004, she wrote the following about same-sex marriage and parenting:

Marriage is our most basic social institution for protecting children. Same-sex marriage amounts to a vast social experiment on children. Rewriting the basic rules of marriage puts all children, not just the children in unisex unions, at risk. 

During this interview with the site Ignatius Insight in October 2005, Gallagher said the following regarding same-sex parenting:

In my opinion, judging by the standards of kinds of evidence that are used in the larger family structure debate, we know almost nothing about how the children fare. There’s been about 35 to 50 studies, but there’s not a single study based on nationally representative data that follows children from birth raised by same sex couples and can tell us how they do in adulthood.

More recently, in January of last year, she distorted a study on child abuse to make the case that children in married biological homes do better to protect children from abuse than children in same-sex households.

The distortion comes because the study in question - the one she cited - didn't even look at children in same-sex households. We know this because Gallagher even admitted at the time that same-sex households wasn't a category in the study:

All the other family structures studied (which does not include same-sex parent families probably because these are such a small part of the population), but does include solo parents, other married parents (remarried primarily), single parents living with a partner, cohabiting parents, and no parents.

I don't think any us lodging criticisms against Gallagher and NOM has misinterpreted any of her words when it comes to marriage equality or "gay parenting skills."

But in sidestepping Rep. Quigley's questions, you simply have to give Gallagher points for chutzpah.

Bear in mind that I said "chutzpah," not integrity or honesty.

By the way, that story she tells about being labeled as a bigot by a radio show host in Maine starting at 3:47. Another complete lie on her part.

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