CommunityPam's House Blend

Maggie Gallagher’s doublespeak on same-sex couples and children

Remember what Maggie Gallagher (supposedly formerly of the National Organization for Marriage) said last year when confronted by the fact that her organization’s blog links to junk science (i.e. the discredited work of Paul Cameron) and information which portrays gays as harmful to children:

I would like to say personally that nothing in any argument I’ve ever made on gay marriage, rests on the idea that same-sex couples harm their own children at any higher rates than any other family form. (If there is data that shows this, I’ve never seen it.)

Of course those of us who have followed NOM knew that Gallagher was playing damage control and nothing more. And today, Equality Matters proves it:

In a March 3rd blog post, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) promoted a column headlined: “Love Isn’t Enough: 5 Reasons Why Same-Sex Marriage Will Harm Children.” The column – originally published in 2007 –was written by Dr. Trayce Hansen, whom NOM described as “a licensed psychologist with a clinical and forensic practice.”

Hansen’s five reasons are, unsurprisingly, riddled with anti-gay talking points that have been widely discredited by mainstream medical organizations, including the harmful myths that children of same-sex parents face developmental problems and are more likely to identify as gay:
A father teaches a boy how to properly channel his aggressive and sexual drives. A mother can’t show a son how to control his impulses because she’s not a man and doesn’t have the same urges as one. A father also commands a form of respect from a boy that a mother doesn’t––a respect more likely to keep the boy in line. And those are the two primary reasons why boys without fathers are more likely to become delinquent and end up incarcerated.


Fourth, same-sex marriage will increase sexual confusion and sexual experimentation by young people. The implicit and explicit message of same-sex marriage is that all choices are equally acceptable and desirable. So, even children from traditional homes—influenced by the all-sexual-options-are-equal message—will grow up thinking it doesn’t matter whom one relates to sexually or marries. Holding such a belief will lead some—if not many—impressionable young people to consider sexual and marital arrangements they never would have contemplated previously. And children from homosexual families, who are already more likely to experiment sexually, would do so to an even greater extent, because not only was non-traditional sexuality role-modeled by their parents, it was also approved by their society. [emphasis added]

What’s even more annoying is that Hansen provides no citations to prove this theory, which is not surprising.

Equality Matters calls out Hansen as somewhat of a fraud:

She’s a member of the American College of Pediatricians, a right-wing, anti-gay organization notorious for misrepresenting and misusing research to demonize LGBT people. In 2009, she testified in defense of an “ex-lesbian” who was trying to deny her former partner access to their children, but her testimony was roundly dismissed for being unqualified:

Dr. Hansen never had been qualified as an expert witness by any court. Dr. Hansen never had been retained by any party as an expert witness. Dr. Hansen’s psychology practice involved geriatric patients. Dr. Hansen conceded that she currently did not work with children and had fewer than four years of professional experience after earning her Ph.D. She had worked as a research assistant and had published one article in the journal Personality Assessment in a forensic-type situation. [emphasis added]

But here is the thing which really annoys me. If Gallagher claims that she does not believe same-sex couples harm their children at a higher rate than “any other family form,” then why does her organization push the work of people who do make that claim?

My guess is that she will probably say something along the lines of the following:

Some in the gay blogosphere are trying to assert that NOM–or me–endorses the view of every blogger/article NOM links to, by the act of linking to it.

This would lead to the absurd conclusion that NOM endorses the editorial positions of the New York Times, because NOM links to them–or The Advocate for that matter, as we often link to stories in the gay press.

If you want to know what NOM’s message is, there are abundant videos and press stories (including our own press releases) with me, or Brian Brown, or other NOM personnel actually speaking. Fair enough to criticize us for what we actually believe and say.

The standard “a link constitutes an endorsement” would cut off the free flow of ideas at the knees.

That’s all well and good, but NOM doesn’t simply link to Hansen’s post. NOM publishes an abridged version of Hansen’s piece on its blog.

So what does that mean?

It means that Gallagher and NOM are speaking out of both sides of their mouths and are expecting the rest of us to let them do it.

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Alvin McEwen

Alvin McEwen