Sign Up to Receive Email Action Alerts From Issa Exposed

Historical trends in public opinion and whether Maggie and Justice Scalia care about them


By Adam Bink

In yesterday’s NYTimes, Maggie and Justice Scalia whine about those damn propeller-heads being ahead of the American public on same-sex marriage:

“There is a big gap between elites and everyone else” over same-sex marriage, said Maggie Gallagher, the president of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, which supports traditional marriage. The polls and political science literature support her: What may be orthodoxy in faculty lounges remains an open question among the public at large.


Ms. Gallagher sounded bitter and besieged as she described how the nature if not the substance of the debate had shifted. “Either you’re with them or you’re a hater,” she said of gay rights advocates. “They’re trying to exclude you from the public square.”


Nathaniel Persily, who teaches law and political science at Columbia, says that today, a person’s education level is powerfully predictive of views about same-sex marriage. “Sometimes the norm of equality penetrates the elite levels first,” he said. In fact, the change of attitudes has moved farthest in the legal community, which has long embraced gay rights with a particular fervor, a point Justice Antonin Scalia complained about in a 2003 dissent that in a way predicted King & Spalding’s decision.

The “law-professional culture,” Justice Scalia wrote, “has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda, by which I mean the agenda promoted by some homosexual activists directed at eliminating the moral opprobrium that has traditionally attached to homosexual conduct.”

I’m not sure how people who went and got a high school degree or GED or bachelor’s or graduate degree got to be grouped into a negative term like “elites”, nor am I sure why people who claim to be for higher education then turn around and whine about those damn “elites”, a term which I usually find uttered by conservative individuals as a euphanism for “people smarter than you and you should resent it”, but whatever.

I’d take a wild guess that same-sex marriage was not and will not be the only issue on which the legal community was/is ahead of the American public, historically speaking. In fact, I’d wager segregation in schools might be another, and interracial marriage. It would be fascinating to look at historical data on touchstone civil rights and social issues and see where “elites”, or whatever, are.

Of course, if it turns out the legal community is batting a perfect 1.000 in terms of being right on such issues around which there is now public consensus, no doubt 20 years from now the next Maggie and Justice Scalia will be whining about those damn propeller head elites being of a different opinion than the American public… they must be stupid pointy-headed Ivy liberals! Don’t listen to them!

I will say one thing — I have traveled to most states in this union and met a lot of people, from people who left high school to work on their family farm to people teaching at the nation’s top universities. Maggie and Justice Scalia will find that support for equality knows no educational bounds.


  • 1. Sagesse  |  April 30, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    I found that whole article a little 'off''. To call slightly over 50% of Americans who favour marriage equality (58% in New York and 60% in Rhode Island) an 'elite' is an odd use of the term, to say the least.

    Plus the Scalia quote is eight years old.

    Just bringing out more variations on the 'language of fear'.

  • 2. atty79  |  April 30, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    I agree with you. This notion that academia fosters acceptance is inaccurate. It's experience, not formal education, that leads a person to recognize that we are just the same as everyone else and should be treated equally.

    Experience is what people like Maggie fear. The less people think we're the bogeyman, the more likely they are to give us the time to get to know us.

  • 3. Paul in Minneapolis  |  April 30, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    “They’re trying to exclude you from the public square,” whines Maggie.

    As usual, Maggie's dead wrong.

    Just two days ago, "Dr." Jennifer Roback Morse of the NOM-affiliated Ruth Institute testified before the state senate here in Minnesota in favor of a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

    "Dr. J" (as NOM amusingly likes to call her) is not a Minnesota resident, yet she was welcomed to speak, about an issue that will affect only Minnesota residents, before my state's senate — perhaps not the most public of squares, but still one of the most important and visible "people's houses."

    Furthermore, we have been waiting for years for someone to tell us exactly how same-sex marriage will degrade the institution of marriage and harm "traditionally" married couples. Rather than excluding from the public square someone who could actually give a cogent answer backed by evidence and proof, I image we would all listen in stunned silence as Maggie's side convinced us that discrimination against us is justified, right and necessary.

    No, Maggie, we're not trying to shut you up. We support your first amendment right to freedom of speech even while despising the distortions and outright lies you spew. But you must realize that we will counter your lies with a strong and loud defense. Do not confuse that with a desire to exclude you — and certainly don't expect to fool anyone when you claim to be the victim. If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

  • 4. Joel  |  May 1, 2011 at 12:25 am

    I can think of few other good reasons for ole Mags to stay out of the kitchen!

  • 5. Straight for Equalit  |  May 1, 2011 at 1:07 am

    Subscribing to read later.

  • 6. Alan E  |  May 1, 2011 at 1:23 am

    Yeah, > 50% is not elite, just a majority.

  • 7. Kathleen  |  May 1, 2011 at 1:24 am

    Well said, Paul and nice to see you here. It's been a while. :)

  • 8. Alan E  |  May 1, 2011 at 1:27 am

    I can't stand when people talk about the "elites" in politics. Especially for the presidency, I would want someone who is an elite, meaning among the best, to fill that role instead of an average guy you could have a beer with. There are very difficult decisions to be made on top of being the face of the country to the rest of the world.

  • 9. JonT  |  May 1, 2011 at 1:32 am

    Yes, that seems to be a common confusion with Maggie and her 'kind'.

    They always confuse the right to free speech with some imagined right to be free of criticism and opposition.

    Oh and Maggie? As someone who has dedicated her life to keeping gay people in the closet (out of the public square) or dead, you *are* a hater. Embrace it. Own it.

  • 10. JonT  |  May 1, 2011 at 1:33 am

    Me too.

  • 11. truthspew  |  May 1, 2011 at 1:36 am

    Indeed, polling bears out what we all know already. More than half the folks in the U.S. now support full marriage equality.

    And if you zero in on the younger population (Those 18 to 29 years of age) support zooms up into the 80% or more range.

    And the bigots like NOM and Scalia know this. That's why they're being so vocal about it to try and deny us our civil rights.

  • 12. Paul in Minneapolis  |  May 1, 2011 at 1:39 am

    Thanks, Kathleen — it has been a while, hasn't it?

    I've been able to lurk here a bit from work, where I can't post, but my schedule has prevented me from participating from home lately. My April performance schedule was unbelievably busy, but May will be slower. Just a few gigs to go until I can take a (short) break from the clarinet!

    I have tried to keep up with all of the articles (and most of the comments) from work. I haven't always been successful, but I really appreciate the community here. Even when I can't participate as actively as I'd like, it's comforting to know all of you are here and that we're all in this together. It's an island of sanity in a crazy world.

    And I'll need that sanity during the next year and a half as we fight the constitutional amendment the republicans are putting before the voters here in 2012. It's going to be a wild ride I'd rather not have to endure — as everyone here is painfully aware. But if we must fight, we'll fight hard. I am hopeful we will defeat this amendment.

  • 13. Kathleen  |  May 1, 2011 at 1:45 am

    Please keep us posted and let us know if there is anything that out-of-staters can do to help.

  • 14. Bob  |  May 1, 2011 at 1:49 am

    I think their
    use of the word "elite" to refer to "the educated",,,

    sends a clear mesage to the masses of religious right, who do not value higher education for the very reason that it leads one to question religious teachings,,,,, the use of the word is to put a negative light on and devalue,, higher education,,,,

    it follows their desire to control what is taught in schools, and especially the republicans present efforts at raiding the public funds devoted to education,, and redirect it to other places…. (i.e. corporations)

    imagine if you will that education can accomplish the task of informing people of the real meaning of the constituion, the declaration of independence,,, and the fact that it wasn't designed to promote Catholiscism,,,, the reason why majority rule is a tyranny when it comes to dealing with minorities rights,,, those reasons support the U.S. as a republic instead of a democracy,,,,

    imagine the people who NOM wants to influence, and the way they go about that,,,, education, especially higher education is a direct threat to their ability to control peoples thoughts,,, and continue the lies

    there main goal by defining "educated people" as elitists is to make them the enemy,,,,,

  • 15. Sagesse  |  May 1, 2011 at 1:54 am

    I posted this on the previous thread. It is a poll from the Providence Journal. Just one example, with good comments.

    The results are:

    Support marriage equality – 565

    Support civil unions -173

    Marriage is one man one woman – 346

  • 16. Sagesse  |  May 1, 2011 at 2:07 am

    Veterans Battle to Regain ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Losses

    The work is not done yet. Robert Gates is set to retire June 30 if Panetta is confirmed in time. It really should be Gates and Mullen that certify DADT repeal with Obama this year.

  • 17. fern  |  May 1, 2011 at 2:09 am

    The legal community with the lawmakers are always after the fact, DOMA was created by lawmakers with a legal background long before gay existed. right?
    As for "elite"… should I say more?

  • 18. Bob Barnes  |  May 1, 2011 at 2:26 am


    Dr. Morse is an economics teacher by training and trade. Her expertise on marriage only comes to her by her religious beliefs and her opinions.

    As I point out several times on her blogs (, she would never qualify as an expert witness at trial. But I agree whole-heartedly with you, please take the mic and explain to me how your accusations are true?

  • 19. Leo  |  May 1, 2011 at 2:44 am

    <cite>What may be orthodoxy in faculty lounges remains an open question among the public at large.</cite>

    That's also true about the theory of evolution…

  • 20. Sagesse  |  May 1, 2011 at 2:46 am

    Just found this. Sorry to ruin your Sunday brunch, but really…

    "The truth is, the triumph over racism is the triumph of the simultaneous use of law and culture to repress, stigmatize and marginalize, within limits of the liberal state, people who disagree with the state religion of equality."

    Anyone else wondering whether she thinks that's a good thing or a bad thing?

  • 21. Linda  |  May 1, 2011 at 2:48 am

    'Ms. Gallagher sounded bitter and besieged as she described how the nature if not the substance of the debate had shifted. “Either you’re with them or you’re a hater,” she said of gay rights advocates. “They’re trying to exclude you from the public square.”'

    Does this make anyone else laugh? It's classic bully behavior. You know, that kid that spends every recess tormenting the other kids, and then goes crying to the teacher when one of those tormented kids dares to fight back.

    Maggie, we're not 'trying to exclude you from the public square.' We're simply demanding that we have as much access to it as you do.

    Get over it.

  • 22. Linda  |  May 1, 2011 at 3:02 am

    Oh good grief. Does anyone really understand her? Does she even know what she says? So in other words, now that we have shunned racism we have repressed bigots…? And that's unfair? We're imposing the 'state religion of equality' on those who would otherwise choose prejudice?

    I am as baffled as the man sitting next to her!

  • 23. Sagesse  |  May 1, 2011 at 3:03 am

    Prop. 8: Hearing set on videotape issue (UPDATE)

    What this article from SCOTUSblog misses is that Judge Ware has scheduled both hearings (proponent's motions to seal the video recordings, and the motion to vacate) for 9 am on June 13 (presumably to be heard sequentially, not simultaneously). Judge Walker has been asked to appear for the motion on sealing the video recordings.

    So does Judge Walker just get to hang around the courtroom and make Chuck Cooper impugn his objectivity to his face? What is the etiquette in a situation like this?

    Anonygrl, do you feel a script coming on :)?

  • 24. Skemono  |  May 1, 2011 at 3:28 am

    It would be fascinating to look at historical data on touchstone civil rights and social issues and see where “elites”, or whatever, are.

    Well, I happen to have some of that historical data. It wasn't until 1991 that the first Gallup poll showed more Americans approving of interracial marriages than disapproving (and even then it wasn't a majority–it was 48% to 42%). If you take a look at the breakdown by "Education", well, you get an enormous discrepancy.

    70% of college graduates approved of interracial marriages in 1991, and only 20% disapproved.

    Of people who didn't graduate high school, only 26% approved of interracial marriages, and 66% disapproved.

    But no doubt those filthy "elites" were just–what was it, Maggie?–"stigmatiz[ing] and marginaliz[ing] … people who disagree with the state religion of equality".

  • 25. Ann S.  |  May 1, 2011 at 3:39 am

    Dittohead here.

  • 26. Ann S.  |  May 1, 2011 at 3:39 am

    Hear, hear!

  • 27. Sagesse  |  May 1, 2011 at 3:40 am

    You hit on it in your response to the video above. When she says her voice will be silenced in the public square, she means that equality under the law will be equality. It will become politically incorrect to voice a religious or personal opinion that gays should be treated as second class citizens, or second class parents, or invisible in the classroom, let alone that they should be' reparated' or resign themselves to a life of celibacy. The bigots will be 'silenced' by public opinion.

    Can't hardly wait.

  • 28. BK  |  May 1, 2011 at 3:42 am

    My guess is that the more education one has, the greater chance they would have experienced what would make them support "liberal" ideas. If that makes sense.

  • 29. BK  |  May 1, 2011 at 3:51 am

    The more I read about Scalia, the more I think he's a poo. >:(

  • 30. Kathleen  |  May 1, 2011 at 3:57 am

    His dissent in Lawrence (which is what the above quote is taken from) is really ugly – just baldfaced bigotry.

  • 31. Joe  |  May 1, 2011 at 4:15 am

    You're right, they will be saying the same thing in 20 years, hopefully about polyamory.

  • 32. Linda  |  May 1, 2011 at 4:18 am

    And the sad/scary thing is, she considers this a valid reason to not allow equality.

    "If they're allowed equality, then we can't pick on them anymore!!!"


  • 33. Kathleen  |  May 1, 2011 at 4:33 am

    I see that David Boies is one of the participants. The entire debate can be seen here:

    Note that this took place in Oct, '09 – after the Perry case had been filed, but before the trial took place.

  • 34. Sagesse  |  May 1, 2011 at 5:04 am

    But what was truly obnoxious about the way she said it in the video, it sounded like she thought it was a darned shame she couldn't pick on ethnic minorities any more. I don't think she personally believes that, but her tone was very offensive.

  • 35. Sagesse  |  May 1, 2011 at 5:06 am

    Thanks. I thought there was a fee to watch the whole thing. This will be interesting.

  • 36. Michelle Evans  |  May 1, 2011 at 5:18 am

    Maggie proves herself absolutely correct when she said, "Either you're with them, or you're a hater."

    I can see George Wallace making that exact sort of comment when he was being told he would have to allow African-Americans into his racially segregated schools.

    They talk of us as somehow being the elite, yet it is their side that wants to remain elite. They want to keep all their supposedly sacred institutions, such as marriage, to themselves. Heaven forbid if a LGBT person would want to have the same thing they have. We must–according to their thinking–be kept in "our place."

  • 37. Elizabeth Oakes  |  May 1, 2011 at 6:24 am

    Supposedly sociological surveys over the years show that the more educated you are the more politically liberal you are. This would explain why Republicans have made it one of their primary policies (despite "Leave No Child Behind" etc. propaganda campaigns) to systematically defund education over the last several decades. The term "elite" is code for "rich snotty people," a class warfare trigger ala TeaParty rhetoric, upon which it seems they're trying to piggyback.

    I agree with atty79 however: this meme will fail, because large numbers of people are now recognizing that they have family members, neighbors, and coworkers who are gay, and they are learning to be more accepting regardless of education or economic status. Getting to know gay folks is a huge factor in favor of our cause, and that's happening all over the social map.

    OT, I can't wait until Scalia gets caught at some airport in a "wide stance." Seems to me he's got all the benchmarks (as it were) of one of those rabid-public-homophobe-closet-cases.

  • 38. Justin  |  May 1, 2011 at 6:33 am


    The word is "euphemism," not "euphanism."

    A second suggestion: your writing is too self-referential. "I this" and "I that." We aren't here to read about you. We're here to read about marriage equality.

  • 39. Elizabeth Oakes  |  May 1, 2011 at 6:35 am

    It's a conservative trope, the "either you're this or that", with both options being extremism but the "us" option made to sound like the only reasonable position. Remember "you're either with us or the terrorists"?

  • 40. Michelle Evans  |  May 1, 2011 at 6:49 am

    And yet he remains on the court. Scary for people who wish equality.

  • 41. John B.  |  May 1, 2011 at 6:52 am

    Ah yes, "Ms. Gallagher", legally Margaret Gallagher Srivastav, the self-appointed and self-righteous "protector" of "traditional marriage" who goes by her maiden name rather than using her husband's name, never refers to her own marriage or her husband, is never seen in public with him, and doesn't even wear a wedding ring. Where is Mr. Srivastav? Does he really exist? Is she even really married? I say we start demanding to see Mrs. Srivastav's marriage license. Hey Maggie, if you're going to prejudge our relationships without even knowing us, why shouldn't we judge yours? Show us your papers, Maggie!!!

  • 42. Michelle Evans  |  May 1, 2011 at 6:53 am

    An occasional typo will always slip through, especially in a forum like this.

    As for being self-referential, I've personally never seen a problem with that as this entire fight for marriage equality is a personal one. Each and every person, and each and every couple, who is harmed each and every day we remain as second class (or worse) citizens, we need to continue to tell our stories, putting a human face on what people like Maggie and Brian don't want to hear.

  • 43. John B.  |  May 1, 2011 at 7:00 am

    BTW I visited the Jefferson Memorial a couple of weeks ago and I was struck by the wisdom and prescience of one of the inscriptions there:

    "I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors."

  • 44. Linda  |  May 1, 2011 at 7:01 am

    @Michelle–I agree; well said.

  • 45. Rhie  |  May 1, 2011 at 7:05 am

    Yup. I also think Adam is spot on with what Conservatives mean when they say elite. It's no secret Republicans are anti-education and anti-intellectual. That's why I take it as compliment when someone tries to use 'elite' as an insult. Same with Liberal or Progressive.

    The West Wing tv show on why Liberal is a badge of honor:

    Santos: It's true, Republicans have tried to turn 'liberal' into a bad word. Well, liberals ended slavery in this country.
    Vinick: A Republican president ended slavery.
    Santos: Yes, a liberal Republican. What happened to them? They got run out of your party. What did liberals do that was so offensive to the Republican party? I'll tell you what they did. Liberals got women the right to vote. Liberals got African-Americans the right to vote. Liberals created social security and lifted millions of elderly people out of poverty. Liberals ended segregation. Liberals passed the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, Liberals created Medicare. Liberals passed the Clean Air Act, and the Clean Water Act. What did Conservatives do? They opposed every one of those programs. Every one. So when you try to hurl the word 'liberal' at my feet, as if it were dirty, something to run away from, something that I should be ashamed of, it won't work, Senator, because I will pick up that label and wear it as a badge of honor.

    At this point, if a person is anti-gay they are at least ignorant of the facts if not outright bigoted.

  • 46. Linda  |  May 1, 2011 at 7:10 am

    @Sagesse–her tone is always offensive, arrogant and sarcastic. And it takes her 10 minutes to say about 30 seconds worth of thought. Listening to her ramble her way through an argument is exhausting. She takes so many detours that by the time she finishes her answer nobody remembers what the question was; and further more, they no longer care. I even find myself thinking, "Fine, fine! Sure, whatever! Just shut up!" When I listen to her speak.

  • 47. Linda  |  May 1, 2011 at 7:12 am

    Where's the "Like" button!?

  • 48. Chrys  |  May 1, 2011 at 7:23 am

    I am proud to be a member of the elite group that believes in equality.

    Elite shouldn't be a bad word, really, it should be something people strive to be, yes? When did it become a bad thing?

    Oh, that's right. When those who are among the educated elite think for themselves instead of following along like the sheeple they are "supposed" to be.

  • 49. Straight Ally #3008  |  May 1, 2011 at 7:28 am

    It speaks volumes that Justice Scalia was one of the two dissenting votes in Edwards v. Aguillard, i.e., he voted for the teaching of creationism. Don't expect him to get with the times.

  • 50. Straight Ally #3008  |  May 1, 2011 at 7:29 am

    Also, love the anti-intellectualism that has been embraced by the anti-equality folks. So, so many similarities to creationists.

  • 51. Elizabeth Oakes  |  May 1, 2011 at 7:31 am

    Talk about inability to be impartial, and not let personal beliefs interfere with rulings. *eye roll* Too bad we can't impeach Scalia.

  • 52. Sheryl, Mormon Mothe  |  May 1, 2011 at 7:33 am

    I, too, was wondering just what she meant. Her statement makes no sense to me. But then that is nothing new.

  • 53. Paul in Minneapolis  |  May 1, 2011 at 7:40 am

    Please allow me to summarize the situation here in Minnesota.

    In 2010, after eight years with Democratic majorities in both state houses of congress serving side-by-side with far-right Republican governor Tim Pawlenty, Minnesotans, swept up in the national anti-Democrat frenzy, elected Republican majorities to both state houses of congress. Those same voters narrowly elected Democrat Mark Dayton governor over Tom Emmer (the very Tom Emmer that Target supported indirectly, leading to national boycotts of Target).

    In every legislative session over the last eight years (if not longer), Republicans have tried to pass legislation that would put before voters a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and all legal equivalents in Minnesota. Every time, the Democratic majority has stopped them.

    In Minnesota, constitutional amendments are put before voters if a simple majority of each state house of congress votes for the amendment. The governor is not involved. Since Republicans now control both Minnesota houses of congress, there is nothing to stop them from putting this amendment on the November, 2012 ballot. If a majority of voters casting ballots votes "yes," the amendment becomes part of the constitution. If a voter casts a ballot but does not vote on the amendment (leaves that question blank), it counts as a "no" vote. So there must be more "yes" votes than combined "no" and "didn't vote" votes for the amendment to pass.

    Republicans here were elected largely on a platform of jobs and the economy. They made promises to focus on balancing the budget (we're facing a $5 billion deficit which must constitutionally be eliminated) and creating jobs; one even said something like "we want to go in and balance the budget, fix the economy, and get out of the way."

    But Republicans aren't having the easy a time they would have had had Tom Emmer been elected. The legislature and governor do not agree on where to cut spending and where (or even if) to raise taxes. The impasse is largely viewed as a Republican problem, for they must craft legislation for the governor to sign.

    Facing an uphill battle, Republicans have decided to focus on social issues in an attempt to distract Minnesotans from Republican failures. And because they do not wish to compromise with the governor, Republicans are trying bypass him and govern via constitutional amendment; in addition to the marriage amendment, they have proposed amendments requiring voter ID and requiring supermajority support (60%) for raising taxes. They have also crafted legislation restricting abortion, granting "shoot first" rights to homeowners, banning cloning and rolling back gender pay equity, among other issues.

    Back to the marriage amendment — the Republicans know that public sentiment is turning against them. Whereas in the past their proposed amendment would have also prohibited civil unions, this year's amendment deals only with "marriage." They took out the language prohibiting civil unions in hopes that the amendment would have a better chance of passage; they were worried that also banning civil unions would sway enough voters to vote against it that it wouldn't pass.

    Our job is twofold. First, we must educate the public about marriage equality. Minnesotans are generally a well-educated lot, and I have found it encouraging that news comments boards show a clear majority against this amendment and in favor of marriage equality. Of course the only vote that matters will be the one in November, 2010 and that brings us to our second job — to outnumber, at the polls, voters who favor this amendment. Since divisive issues generally result in greater Democratic voter turnout in Minnesota, outnumbering Republicans is a real possibility.

    For now, all we can do is wait and watch the Republicans pass putting this amendment before the voters. Once its presence on the ballot is assured, we must go to work and counter the lies and distortions with which equality opponents will inevitably saturate the media. We must counter those lies forcefully. We must also tell our stories; we must show people how the lack of inequality unfairly compromises our families. We must educate people about the difference between civil and religious marriage and remind them that we're asking secular City Hall, not their house of worship, to marry us.

    I would imagine that OutFront Minnesota ( will be one of the local leaders fighting this amendment, partnering with national organizations. It will be a costly, ugly and divisive fight. But it's a fight we can win. This issue has a very real potential to backfire in the Republicans' faces here; I really hope that happens!

  • 54. Bob  |  May 1, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Chrys, I agree, elite shouldn't be a bad word,,,, and I think the trick is to not let Maggie do that,,,,, in her world it's easier to battle the "elite" ,,, than to battle the educated,,,,, educated it the word she's trying to steer away from,,,,

    imagine her arguments if she had to say educated people think differently than her,,,,,,,

  • 55. Paul in Minneapolis  |  May 1, 2011 at 7:43 am

    Not to mention the constitutional contortions he must go through to justify his opinions!

  • 56. Sagesse  |  May 1, 2011 at 7:59 am


    It hurts to listen to any of them, because they use rhetorical devices and logical fallacies to twist every sentence. Only when she gets to the end do you realize she either answered a question that wasn't asked, or changed the subject.

  • 57. Linda  |  May 1, 2011 at 8:21 am

    Yes, they're probably not unlike the contortions Maggie goes through to justify her bigotry.

    The crux is this: their personal beliefs trump the Constitution.

  • 58. Linda  |  May 1, 2011 at 8:29 am

    @Sagesse–Yes! Exactly! And what's really frustrating is they are rarely called on it.

    Another tactic they use–they will make a statement right off the bat that they present as fact, when it isn't, and then they use that 'fact' as the premise of their whole argument. But by the time they finish their rant, their opponent has forgotten that eroneous fact at the beginning and proceeds to argue the points that followed. BS Brown is a master at this.

  • 59. Michelle Evans  |  May 1, 2011 at 8:32 am

    And this is why they keep winning, when it comes to voting. They are so very darn good about twisting everything around into such a pretzel that for many people it sounds so logical.

    The marriage equality debate had nothing to do with teaching children in school that being LGBT was some weird lifestyle choice, but the hater side certainly confused and confounded the majority of people into thinking that was true.

    Until we can properly counter this idiocy, we will never win, except in some courts.

  • 60. Sheryl Carver  |  May 1, 2011 at 8:36 am

    Excellent reply, Michelle.

    Equal rights are important for the community as a whole AND for each individual member. Also, when Adam uses "I," it is clear that he's expressing his opinion or personal experience, vs writing in "reporter" mode, something I personally appreciate.

  • 61. adambink  |  May 1, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Sorry, you should get used to it. I'm not a reporter; I am a person who reports and shares personal experiences. One of the things that makes blogging and, I think, better.

    If you're looking for pure reporting on marriage equality devoid of personal experience and opinion, try Google Alerts.

  • 62. JPM  |  May 1, 2011 at 9:04 am

    Link doesn't work.

  • 63. Rhie  |  May 1, 2011 at 9:12 am

    yup, Michelle. That's why straw man arguments like that are so very popular. They except the person to engage the conclusions and not the faulty premise. I've just stopped listening after they bring the straw man. I will let them finish talking and then say something like "I am not going to address your conclusions because the premise is faulty and here's why." I will continue to say this until they give up and go home or change the subject.

    I much prefer these kinds are arguments in writing because then I don't have to remember what their original point was. I can just copy and paste their words and respond with links to valid sources proving them wrong.

  • 64. Rhie  |  May 1, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Actually, Google Alerts links EVERYthing up to and including this site.

    I don't think there is a way to make a personal issue like this impersonal. Civil rights are everyone's problem. I also think it is pretty clear when you are reporting on facts and reporting your opinion.

    However, I can also see where someone would feel like you were just writing about yourself in a way that is more suited to a personal journal rather than community. No matter what, telling someone to get over it is not a good way to handle any concern, especially since you are the moderator.

  • 65. Joel  |  May 1, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Indeed! The Trump has set the precedent! We should not only demand to see the "long" version of her marriage license, but also the birth certificates of her children and a detailed explanation of why she hasn't taken her husband's name. Hell, maybe we can even get Donald to investigate! "Maggie, you're fired!"

  • 66. Sagesse  |  May 1, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Thought that might happen. It opens for me because I registered. The link to the poll was on the front page this morning.

  • 67. JPM  |  May 1, 2011 at 9:31 am

    I did register. It still doesn't work.

    So it's just a poll of those who made their way to the web page and voted?

  • 68. Ronnie  |  May 1, 2011 at 9:34 am

    four for the road…. ; ) …Ronnie

  • 69. Sagesse  |  May 1, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Yes. Self selecting, non-scientific. The comments are good tho.

  • 70. Nyx  |  May 1, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Adam, were you a push-poller in a prior life? Recounting your experiences along with expressing your opinion (which I have no problem with) is different from overseeing a healthy debate.

  • 71. Ann S.  |  May 1, 2011 at 11:18 am

    This isn't a debate site (although that certainly does happen). It's a site for reporting/blogging about marriage equality.

  • 72. Chrys  |  May 1, 2011 at 11:55 am

    I suspect most educated people do think differently than she does. I'm not sure there's anyone who really thinks the way Maggie Gallagher does, other than herself. At least, I truly hope that's the case.

    What we really need is someone who understands the way she thinks and can translate it to those of us whose brains she hurts every time she opens her mouth. And maybe explain to her that we really aren't after her marriage or her children.

  • 73. Nyx  |  May 1, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Ann, I'm part of the choir… but…. when Adam posts these I/me/we must …. type of intros…. does that not lead to internal debate?

  • 74. adambink  |  May 1, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    It does, but Google Alerts is also one way to find more impartial information, which appears to be what Justin is looking for.

    This is a group blog where frontpagers and commenters will report on their experience and inject opinion, which folks reading can agree or disagree with. If it's not your cup of tea, It's a big internet. If you're looking for straight, no angle, no opinion, approach to marriage equality reporting, this may not be the place for you. The Associated Press or The Advocate may be a better fit. That's fine.

    But on the merits of explaining that, I have different roles here, and one of them is site administrator. I have no problem explaining what the site is and is not, as I've done before. If you're looking for a place to debate whether there is a God or not, this is not the place for you. If you are looking for straight, unbiased reporting with no personal opinion on civil rights, this may not be the place for you. If you're looking for a site with reporting on Prop 8, marriage equality, and LGBT civil rights plus the occasional writer's opinion and healthy community dialogue that lends towards sharing information, this is the place.

  • 75. adambink  |  May 1, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    No, I was a blogger at, and a political consultant, in a previous life. By nature, most bloggers have opinions.

    However, an unopinioned blogger does not an unfair moderator make. You will notice I often engage in healthy debate in the comments. The moderator role only lends to when people make inflammatory attacks that violate regular community guidelines. This happens from people I agree with and people I disagree with. There was a thread last week in which I told people on both sides of whether to use an inflammatory word to disengage.

    The site is primarily for reporting and blogging about marriage equality, Prop 8, and LGBT civil rights. I occasionally lend an opinion. Discuss it if you want or don't discuss it. Debate within movements, when a healthy give and take in good faith, makes movements stronger. There are multiple historical examples of this.

  • 76. Rhie  |  May 1, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    I am not arguing with your view of this site. It makes a lot of sense. I just can see where someone might not think that or might want something different here. I was mostly concerned by your dismissive tone in an answer to a reasonable question.

    I know it must be frustrating to keep saying the same things over and over. What about an "about this site" page that says the above? That way people can be directed there, and talk about what this site is and is not there. I can even write it if you like.

  • 77. adambink  |  May 1, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    @Rhie Sure. On the to-do list.

  • 78. Bob  |  May 1, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    I'm not sure we need to expend effort to try and understand how she thinks,,,, just realize it is discriminatory and wrong,,,,,,

    Breaking news Osama Bin Laden is dead by the order of President Obama,,,,,,,

    dead is a good thing for a terrorist….

  • 79. Rhie  |  May 1, 2011 at 2:28 pm


    I know I have been giving you a hard time lately. I am sorry about coming across as bluntly as I do. I think you can do well with this site. I am honestly glad to know you and respect the work you do.

    I am serious about helping you make this space a good one. Ping me at if you want me to help at all.

  • 80. BK  |  May 1, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Thank you, Paul. That really helped me understand the situation. Darn conservatives! They seem to always oppose progress.

  • 81. Meagan  |  May 1, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Comments like these always make me uncomfortable. Is it really so awful not to take your husband's name or not to wear a piece of jewelry?

  • 82. Rhie  |  May 1, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Me too. When I marry my boyfriend I am going to be using a necklace as a symbol of our relationship, and I am changing my last name to my Grandmother's maiden name. They are simply the things that mean the most to me.

    I think in this context it's an attempt to show off her hypocrisy. She's claiming to be a Christian in favor of traditional marriage. Yet, she refuses to participate in the two most obvious symbols of that marriage: wearing a wedding ring, and taking the husband's last name. I get that. However, I think that's about one step up from making fun of her weight and appearance.

    Attack her words, not her person or personal choices. Gods know she says enough stupid things.

  • 83. Xandoz  |  May 1, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    I don't think anyone is saying that it's awful, but in this particular case there is a reason to call her out on it.

    While I know the comments were tongue-in-cheek, there is a valid undercurrent to them. If someone like Maggie G. is hell-bent on promoting "traditional" marriage at the cost of human rights and dignity, there is merit to questioning her own life. Hypocrisy should be called out upon when dealing with these folks.

  • 84. Xandoz  |  May 1, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    What was the whole thing about putting their hand on the bible swearing to uphold the Constitution, and not vice-versa?

    Oh riiiiight, Scalia and his ilk don't think that applies to them.

  • 85. Rhie  |  May 1, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    I am curious now: is it actually required to place one's hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution? I know that is actually not required for a President to do so.

  • 86. Tigger  |  May 1, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Take that strict constructionists… straight from the chief architect himself!!

  • 87. adambink  |  May 1, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    @Rhie Actually, I thought I updated this, and I did. Click on "About" at the top of the page.

  • 88. Linda  |  May 2, 2011 at 12:35 am

    @Rhie–I have no idea what the requirements are–my guess is it is not mandatory–but can you imagine the backlash if someone actually requested to NOT swear on the bible? In many circles Christian belief is still a requirement for American patriotism.

  • 89. Steve  |  May 2, 2011 at 4:17 am

    You can place your hand on another holy book. That's been done. Maybe an atheist should ask to swear on Dawkins's "The God Delusion".

  • 90. Rhie  |  May 2, 2011 at 4:48 am

    Awesome, Adam. My bad for not checking sooner.

  • 91. Rhie  |  May 2, 2011 at 4:54 am

    Oh we saw that in 08 before Obama was sworn in. There was all this upset because, apparently, he's a secret Muslim or something. All that tells me is that we need more people to not swear on the Bible. We also need to get rid of churches for polling places, the Easter Prayer Breakfast etc. This is NOT a Christian country and we better start acting like that.

  • 92. The Gog.  |  May 2, 2011 at 5:34 am

    Attention Adam: Justin totally wants you.

  • 93. fiona64  |  May 2, 2011 at 6:04 am

    One is not required to place one's hand on *anything* in order to swear the oath. One is only to put one's hand in the air and swear it.

    Yes, I have had to take an oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.

    No books involved.


  • 94. Rhie  |  May 2, 2011 at 6:42 am

    Thanks for the information. That makes sense :)

  • 95. Ann S.  |  May 2, 2011 at 6:52 am

    So have I. It's just a tradition for some offices.

  • 96. Linda  |  May 2, 2011 at 7:49 am


  • 97. fern  |  May 2, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Eu in greek means good ph pronounced f could be fanny I read it as Mag C was trying to have a good fanny, Yes I'm devious, so I couldn't help notice Osama's fated was sealed by the seals which in French is translated by phoque(s).

  • 98. Straight for Equalit  |  May 2, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    Exactly! I am all for the elites. That is not an insult but something to aspire to be.

  • 99. the lone ranger  |  May 2, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Quaint idea, but unlikely to be tested… an "out" atheist will likely never be elected to a high office in the U.S. Polls have indicated that atheists are even more disliked in the U.S. than are gays. Once there's marriage equality and job/housing/etc. equality for gays, the likes of Maggie and co. will probably set their sights on denying civil rights to "immoral" atheists and "terrorist" Muslims.

  • 100. Meagan  |  May 5, 2011 at 12:13 am

    I agree with you 100%, Rhie.

    I understand the intent, but I certainly don't like the delivery. You summed it up nicely in two sentences that weren't alienating or belittling.

Having technical problems? Visit our support page to report an issue!