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Anti-Gay NOM Activist Maggie Gallagher Attends Staged Broadway Benefit for Team Challenging Proposition 8


So, I attended last night's wonderful staged reading to a packed house of Dustin Lance Black's '8', the dramatization of the federal case in California against Proposition 8, which took marriage rights from gay and lesbian Americans.

The play featured all the major characters from the courtroom drama. John Lithgow as Ted Olson, Morgan Freeman as David Boies, Bradley Whitford as Prop 8 proponents' attorney Charles Cooper, and the wonderful Jayne Houdyshell as Maggie Gallagher.

Gallagher2Yet the real Gallagher sat up in the balcony (above), apparently having bought a ticket to the benefit. She sat and watched as the drama of the trial played out (she had seen it before, she had participated in it) — and it became clear that Prop 8 proponents had not a shred of evidence to back their claims that same-sex marriage would in some way harm the institution of marriage. The script, brilliantly delivered by the actors, is no fiction. It's all there, in the original transcript of the trial.

So what could Gallagher have hoped to glean from her perch in the balcony? Perhaps she was finally enlightened last night, that her mission is flawed and hateful, that it is futile, that what she has been working for for years destroys families, hurts children, and is ultimately un-American?

I fear that she did not. I fear that what was behind her motivation to sit there and watch her words come out of Houdyshell's mouth was some sort of ego stroke, a pat on the back, a motivational fuel for her anti-gay engine.

Afterward, she certainly seemed to enjoy the attention she was getting just outside the theatre, even though much of it was negative. In the right hand photo she's smiling, even as activist Corey Johnson gives her a piece of his mind.

And she obviously knew she was coming for a show. My friends Phil and Ronald sat directly in front of her. You can see Ronald in the top photo. They had a hard time listening to the show because along with her nerve, Ms. Gallagher brought a large plastic bag of loud food, which she rustled and munched throughout the production (she's still got it on the way out). Perhaps she thought it was a popcorn flick she was going to. In any case, someone should have told her that it's rude, perhaps even against the rules, to eat in the theatre. But we already know what Gallagher and her organization think of rules.

The one bright spot is that Gallagher, who presumably purchased her ticket, is now officially a supporter of the American Foundation for Equal Rights.

(top photo by josh meltzer, photos middle, and below by andy towle)


In any case, most didn't know about Maggie's presence in the balcony until after the show, if at all.

Much of the production itself was taken directly from trial transcripts, and was delivered handily by a talented, generous cast, as I've reported before:

Emmy and Tony Award winner and two-time Golden Globe Award nominee Ellen Barkin; Tony Award nominee Jayne Houdyshell; Broadway star Kate Shindle; and two-time Tony Award winner Stephen Spinella will appear in the world premiere of “8” on Broadway, joining the previously announced Bob Balaban, Matt Bomer, Campbell Brown, Anthony Edwards, Morgan Freeman, Cheyenne Jackson, Larry Kramer, Christine Lahti, John Lithgow, Rory O’Malley, Rob Reiner, Yeardley Smith and Bradley Whitford. The cast of “8” will also feature Tony Award nominee K. Todd Freeman, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Ken Leung and Ben Rosenfield.

Here's the AP's write-up of the show.

Nothing plays like reality, except when reality is delivered by a bunch of acclaimed Tony, Emmy, and Oscar winners. Dustin Lance Black did a brilliant job of adapting the transcript, interspersing it with screenings of the awful (and often laughable) "Yes on 8" ads from the campaign.

I have not heard how much was raised. A lot, I hope. There's more work to be done.

Here's a cast photo from AFER, by Diane Walker:


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  1. I think her goal was obvious enough, especially with the precision of the loud food:

    She was hoping to get barred from entering the theatre / told to get out. Which then would have been a great opportunity for her to sue them.

    Unfortunately for her, gay people are much more open than her kind, so she had to sit throughout the whole thing.

    Posted by: G.I. Joe | Sep 20, 2011 8:01:29 AM

  2. She positioning herself to be reasonable, "See, I even went to "their" little play. Too bad it won't, as the say, play in Peoria with Real Americans like you and me.”

    Posted by: Gus | Sep 20, 2011 8:05:17 AM

  3. Yeah, no shock here. Once you start to finally understand how the enemy plays, hopefully the right will stop making a mockery of the left.

    Posted by: Rowan | Sep 20, 2011 8:14:33 AM

  4. Your friend's account of Maggie's "large plastic bag of loud food" is hilarious. As are the subsequent pictures. Some people just have no class or shame.

    Posted by: Brian in Texas | Sep 20, 2011 8:16:25 AM

  5. Evil cow...

    That is all.

    Posted by: Rich F. | Sep 20, 2011 8:23:50 AM

  6. I love Yeardley Smith.

    As for Maggie, it is so ghetto sneaking food into the theater and eating it loudly while people try to focus on the play. This woman has no class.

    Why didn't anyone say anything to her? Are gays that docile?

    Posted by: Kenton | Sep 20, 2011 8:24:41 AM

  7. This seemed so inexplicable to me until I read G.I. Joe's comment. I think he must be right -- Maggie was hoping to turn the evening into something that was all about HER. That's what narcissists do -- and the right wing is full of them. "Oh, you and your partner want to get married? Well, it's not about you and your partner -- it's all about ME and MY marriage and MY feelings and MY beliefs and MY big plastic bag of food."

    Posted by: kit | Sep 20, 2011 8:35:55 AM


    So they can play right into her hands? Yeah right.

    Also a review of the play would be cool?

    Where you at the after party Andy? Saw on twitter that Chace Crawford, Matt Bomer, Bradley Whitford and the 8play organizers were partying until lights were up! Oh to be a fly on the wall...

    Posted by: Rowan | Sep 20, 2011 8:40:12 AM

  9. Post your brilliant article right here in Maggot's face https://twitter.com/maggiemarriage & https://twitter.com/nomtweets & of course let her partner in gay bashing Brian Brownshirt see what Eva Braun was up to https://twitter.com/briansbrown

    Posted by: Demand Equality | Sep 20, 2011 8:45:12 AM

  10. The blood of gay bashing victims is dripping off of Maggie Gallagher's fingers. At a NOM-sponsored anti-gay hate rally in the Bronx in May, a preacher yelled through a megaphone to a mob of anti-gay bigots that homosexuals are "worthy to death." NOM then toured Iowa all summer, spreading anti-gay hatred, getting Bachmann to sign the maliciously anti-gay NOM pledge, and then in Bachmann's hometown, Waterloo, Iowa, the 19-year-old Marcellus Andrews was beaten to death by anti-gay bigots yelling "Faggot!" at him. Do you get the connection between Maggie Gallagher sponsoring a preacher to yell that homosexuals are "worthy to death" to a mob of anti-gay bigots, and anti-gay bigots beating Marcellus Andrews to death while yelling "Faggot!" at him? Marcellus Andrews' blood is dripping off of Maggie Gallagher's fingers. She should be arrested for inciting to violence with lies-filled hate speech propaganda. And, how does that hippopotamus feel when she looks at herself in the mirror in the morning. And where was her husband for this theatrical event? If you were her husband, wouldn't you be proud to be seen in public with her? A famous scale-busting gay basher?

    Posted by: Scott Rose | Sep 20, 2011 8:59:12 AM

    So if a Klansman attend A Raisin in The Sun in the early 1960's smacking on "loud food" nobody would speak up.

    It is disrespectful to munch on illegal smelly food during a fundraising event. At the very least someone could have told her to put that stuff away.

    Posted by: Kenton | Sep 20, 2011 9:10:27 AM

  12. Lol. She's got some nerve...

    Posted by: Ljc | Sep 20, 2011 9:18:50 AM

  13. "In any case, most didn't know about Maggie's presence in the balcony until after the show, if at all."

    That's absolutely pathetic. Here's a suggestion on what to do next time: http://youtu.be/wvQXbmtSmL0

    The freak with blood on her hands shouldn't be thrown out of the theater but to sit there in silence is disgusting. Bitching about her bag of food doesn't cut it, boys.

    Posted by: MARCUS BACHMANN | Sep 20, 2011 9:46:59 AM

  14. Nobody else is shallow enough to say it? Pfft. Okay I will. Your friend Ronald is hot.

    Posted by: sparks | Sep 20, 2011 9:49:59 AM

  15. Why take away her bag of food? The more she eats, the faster her likely already massively clogged arteries and fat-suffocated heart explode. She obviously chooses to be whale-sized, and not fat just from some genetic condition, since she can't even stop stuffing her grotesquely bloated face even in the middle of watching a Broadway show. So eat up, fatso. Here, let me buy you some pork rinds.

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Sep 20, 2011 10:23:35 AM

  16. HELLO?! Isn't it obvious why Maggie showed up and sat in the balcony? She was trying to make it collapse and kill a bunch of pro-gay audience members underneath!

    Posted by: Caliban | Sep 20, 2011 10:34:47 AM

  17. Nothing but an attention-seeking frustrated fat twunt. Nothing more needs to be said.

    Posted by: Vky | Sep 20, 2011 10:35:08 AM

  18. Hee, hee,
    Andy, your friend Ronald is hot !

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Sep 20, 2011 10:38:52 AM

  19. @ Sparks: sorry, i didn't see your comment !
    But yes I'm that shallow too !

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Sep 20, 2011 10:41:04 AM

  20. I sat near her and the food chomping and bag crinkling during the performance was just the beginning. Before the show, she sat in her seat and refused to get up to let people pass to get to their seats. One man literally had to climb over her. She used her program as a handkerchief, emptying the contents of her nose into it repeatedly until it was literally dripping with snot.

    She was slumped in her seat before the performance and nobody realized who she was until after the show, when word spread like wildfire. I interrupted her interview after the show and told her that her behavior during the show was incredibly rude. She asked what I was talking about and looked genuinely baffled as I spelled it out for her. A scrawny older blonde woman who appeared to be her handler told me that Maggie is diabetic which is why she needed to eat during the show.

    Seeing this woman up close and personal was revelatory for me. If this utterly unsophisticated slob is our biggest foe we have nothing to worry about.

    Posted by: GogoSF | Sep 20, 2011 10:45:22 AM

  21. I think she's like Fred Phelps. They both believe in their 'causes,' but more importantly, they believe in media coverage. Good or bad. As long as the camera is on them, they're happy.

    Posted by: JimmyD | Sep 20, 2011 11:43:11 AM

  22. Mad Cow Disease?

    Posted by: M. Scott Hernandez | Sep 20, 2011 11:57:26 AM

  23. She's got a lot of problems. She thinks that men today get no respect and that we women need to show them the proper respect and when we do they will quit cheating, be better fathers and husbands, etc.

    She hates herself...why shouldn't she hate you?

    Posted by: Rin | Sep 20, 2011 12:04:24 PM

  24. As a diabetic, I frequently need to eat a piece or two of candy to get through a show. The rule is, everything must be unwrapped and made easily accessible BEFORE the show starts, so you don't have to go rustling about to put a piece in your mouth. Then, you don't chew it noisily. (Actually, I just carry glucose tablets now, it's easier). Sounds like Maggie is losing it, if she ever had it.

    I hope this play gets done all over the country.

    Posted by: Abel | Sep 20, 2011 12:18:36 PM

  25. @ Caliban,

    Best comment of the day, by far. At some point, Maggie may very well cause the balcony or bleachers to collapse. I can only hope it's at an anti-gay function rather than a pro-gay function.

    Posted by: Artie | Sep 20, 2011 12:31:15 PM

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