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A conflicted Maggie Gallagher

Maggie GallagherMaggie Gallagher is the head of National Organization for Marriage. The functional name is the National Fundamentalist-funded Organization to Prevent Gays from Getting Married. Ms. Gallagher has a new column at that explores divorce. It is well written and asks some important questions. Ms Gallagher is a smart person, I wonder if she is sufficiently introspective to realize that she is making a case for same-sex marriage. I am reasonably sure that was not her intent.

As we watch, the world is dividing between people who really do marry, in the core meaning of the word, and people who have weddings to celebrate their good fortune in enjoying a happy and loving relationship. The world is dividing between people who commit and people who merely celebrate commitment.

I would argue that gay people do not marry for many of the reasons that heterosexuals marry. These include societal and family pressures. Quite the contrary. We marry in spite of societal and family pressure not to. If one accepts that premise then it follows that there is a greater potential for same-sex marriages to be based on the “core meaning” of marriage — two human beings who love and honor one another.

The family generates love like no other, and it is the place we therefore celebrate love, but in its deepest conceptual meaning the family is the place of obligation, of duty …

That would certainly seem to apply to same-sex couples. It is important to note that we take our parental obligations very seriously. Since we adopt, 100% of our children are voluntary and planned.

… we live in a divorce culture — only a slight majority of marriages make it “till death do us part.” And 40 percent of American babies are now born to women (and men) who dispense with marriage altogether. Well, that is one way to avoid the trauma of divorce.

We have no idea what same-sex marriage divorce rates are going to look like. Nevertheless, it seems highly unlikely that we could do worse than the heteros. Some of the lunatic fringe of fundamentalism have suggested that the validation of same-sex marriages increases divorce. They do so without any rationale whatsoever. If nothing else, we fought very hard for marriage rights. It seems unlikely that we will squander that with a rush to divorce court.

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