Gallagher: We are winning the gay marriage war, but we must continue to fight for our families, our religions and our culture

Friday, April 17, 2009

From an extraordinary interview Maggie Gallagher did with Dallas Morning News columnist Rod Dreher:

Rod Dreher: Maggie, you and I are on the same side of the gay marriage issue, but I am pessimistic about our chances for success. You, however, are optimistic. What am I missing?

Maggie Gallagher: Vaclav Havel mostly. "Truth and love will prevail over lies and hate." On that basis Havel took on the Soviet empire. Where is that invincible empire now?

Same-sex marriage is founded on a lie about human nature: "there is no difference between same-sex and opposite-sex unions and you are a bigot if you disagree."

Political movements can--sometimes at great human cost and with great output of energy--sustain a lie but eventually political regimes founded on lies collapse in on themselves.

I don't think of myself as optimistic: just realistic. What does losing marriage mean? First the rejection of the idea that children need a mom and dad as a cultural norm--or probably even as a respectable opinion. That's become very clear for people who have the eyes to see it. (See e.g. footnote 26 of the Iowa decision.)

Second: the redefinition of traditional religious faiths as the moral and legal equivalent of racists. The proposition on the table right now is that our faith itself is a form of bigotry.

Despair is gay marriage advocates' prime message point. All warfare, including culture war, is ultimately psychological warfare. You win a war when you convince the other side to give up.

So now you want to decide we've lost on an issue where, in the March 12 CBS News poll two-thirds of Americans agree with us. I mean, does this make sense?

...People are flocking to the National Organization for Marriage (, not because we try to scare them about how bad things are going to be--but because we offer them a chance to come together with other people of all races, creeds and colors to stand up for a core and timeless good.

Here's what I know that maybe you can't see: There are enormous untapped energies out their waiting for someone to organize them effectively.

RD: It's my view that our side has lost this battle, at least in the long run, because we've lost the culture. Bottom line: I believe we should retreat to a strategically defensible position while there's still time. You disagree. What's wrong with my analysis?

MG: Rod, you are bargaining with yourself by saying "give up marriage and focus on religious liberty protections." The proposition on the table is your faith is a form of bigotry and Americans don't grant religious liberty protections to bigots.

Conceding the main point--that our marriage tradition is a good and honorable thing that deserves respect--is not going to help you win any religious liberty protection.

We need to build effective grassroots organizations in blue states. Or we are going to lose marriage. And religious liberty.

Abandoning the 60 percent or so of Americans who agree with you on marriage isn't going to help you win any fight at all.

We need to do a lot of things but one of the key ones is: we have to find the people who care about marriage and organize them into an effective force. Especially in blue states.

We don't do that, the churches are going to get rolled.

I don't have time for pessimism. The stakes are too high.


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