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:



  1. G.I. Joe says

    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.

  2. Gus says

    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.”

  3. Rowan says

    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.

  4. Brian in Texas says

    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.

  5. Kenton says

    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?

  6. kit says

    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.”

  7. Rowan says


    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…

  8. Scott Rose says

    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?

  9. Kenton says

    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.


    “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:

    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.

  11. bobbyjoe says

    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.

  12. Caliban says

    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!

  13. GogoSF says

    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.

  14. JimmyD says

    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.

  15. Rin says

    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?

  16. Abel says

    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.

  17. Artie says

    @ 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.

  18. Karl says

    How in the world did those people just sit there and ignore her knowing what she has done, and not even to complain about the food munching? Come on, lawsuits or bad publcity be damned, there comes a point where someone has to take a stand. That whole situation should not have been allowed to happen.

  19. Piet says

    Perhaps we should all start sending her care packages of pork rinds for snacking? In my neighborhood, you can get a huge bag of chicharrones for something like 89 cents.

  20. matt says

    Don’t shoot me, but, this is the kind of thing that just irks me…how do we know this is what happened…people with phones can’t take a video? I’m just saying, we are all taking this as fact when it doesn’t seem unreasonable to ask, where’s the video?

  21. walter says

    do you really think a cow can go 90 minutes without grazing? she likes being rude helps call attention to herself. where the hell did she get 400 for the ticket? the catholic or mormon church?

  22. JimmyD says

    Maybe there’s no video because A) it would be rude to shoot video in a theater, and B) I’m guessing most people were there to experience the reading.

  23. says

    Since when do they allow animals into theaters? Unless it’s a “Seeing Eye Pig”, it shouldn’t be allowed in – they’re messy, unpredictable and a lot of people are allergic.

  24. Barry G. Wick says

    Obviously, their story that anti-gay activists are endangered isn’t real since she has just entered the “beast” and come out alive and well. So she has proven that she is safe and wouldn’t be “attacked” by rampaging mobs of anti-Christian gays. Lady, you’ll be safe forever…because you have proven to the world how ridiculous it is to hate, to oppose, to deminish and deny that loving gay and lesbian couples exist, contribute and can be upstanding citizens.

  25. SteveC says

    Maqggie dear. Chewing the cud like a genetically enhanced bovine, on a village-sized bag of chips is not going to do your diabetes any good. Just saying.

  26. BobN says

    I can’t believe the naivete on display here. She went — and she behaved as she did — in order to provoke a response. She probably hoped to be hounded out of there.

    Watch for another one of her “Christians are being persecuted” articles in the next few days.

  27. Regan DuCasse says

    I’m a regular theater attendee and I’m hypoglycemic: I keep grapes or candy close in very quiet wrapping and very discreetly or at intermission.
    Maggie G has NO class. This is the woman who attended the Prop. 8 trial, took off her shoes and put her bare feet up on the gallery rail.
    She talks all over people in any given interview with that harsh voice of hers.

    She’s got NO class.
    And she’s so pathetic I’m sure being a character in a play gave her an ego boost for sure. Of that I have no doubts.

    What HER review of the play will be, I can hardly wait to see.

  28. Mary says

    I’m not suprised that Maggie would attend this play. It’s only natural to want to see any presentation where someone is portraying you. But I am a bit surprised to see her attending alone. Emotions really flare up on this subject, and even though I’ve been treated well here as a “guest from the other side” I’m not sure I’d even attend a convention of Towleroad readers without a bodyguard!

    I suppose the cruelty displayed toward Maggie regarding her weight is to be expected (right-wingers are merciless toward Michael Moore about his weight.)
    But you may want to rethink all this excessive talk about “pig” and “cow.” It may end up creating sympathy for her. An awful lot of Americans are overweight. Just sayin….


  29. Maggie Gallagher says

    Or maybe, I just wanted to see a Broadway play about Prop 8.

    In theory, I could just watch and see!

  30. ophu says

    What a pesky fly (I deal with one myself sometimes :) ) Well as long as she paid for her ticket, I don’t care.

  31. Maggie Gallagher says

    It’s a shame they didn’t provide doughnuts and chocolate ice cream though. In Good Christian Establishments That Fear Jesus, they have real food, not the homosexual perversions of food like rice cakes and hummus that were served as this venue.

  32. FunMe says

    One more thing, for someone who is so into “marriage”, why don’t we ever see her Indian Green Card hubby?

    We should always ask:


  33. Scott says

    Well, she certainly has no fear of all the hostile homosexuals that would destroy their witnesses and donors if they release the tapes or have to disclose the names of their donors – Maggie just killed a lot of their arguments in the various court cases

  34. J H Robbins says

    Bobby Joe has the right idea – we should start a campaign where we all buy a bag of pork rinds and send them to her.

  35. Danny says

    Well, all I can say is that with no assistance from anyone, Maggie proved all the worst things people say about her. Forget that she’s an obese narcissist: she has poorer breeding than a barnyard animal. What a sow.

  36. billyWingart says

    this monster in more ways then one………

    Her moral values supporting marriage include not 1 but two illegitimate children. Her Hubby is never seen, maybe she’s afraid it will hurt her image with the repub evangelicals, its rumored he is black.

    In 2010 someone leaked a copy of her contract – she got 30% off the top of all NOM income.

    thats prob a couple million $ for her. Captialism at its finest.

    NOM is now listed as a hate group by the SPLC. the catholic church of the endlss hidden molestation of children all over the world gave NOM 2.3 mil in 2011 as of about June this year.

    To see what the catholic church , NOMs key sponsor is all about, two things

    1. google [country name] – catholic church molestation

    2. See how they protected life during WWII in Germany – about 40 pictures that explain that the church always has needed someone to demonize and hate.

    And they supported hitler, who threw the Jews, gays, and others in the ovens.


    If there was a god, the vatican would long ago have fallen victim to Vesuvius II – it actually sits very close to the fault line that created the destruction of Vesuvius (I forget the city name)

    The vatican is the perfect example of “the love of money (and power) is the root of all evil.

    Its battles against gays and its BS claim to support life are just sideshows intended to desitract all of us from its horrible crimes from the beginnings of the hcurch

  37. billyWingart says

    Great – we now know she eats like a pig and is diabetic.

    Feed her more candy etc. Be nice to her, open candy bars under her nose, wait till her mouth drools and then let her have most of it

    Diabetes causes myocardial infarctions, kills your kidnes, can wreck your eyes, and cause limbs to be removed because of wreckage of blood vessels

    BTW what she is – I;ll supply the tool to remove that part of her body.

    A portable electric drill with a two inch circle cutter.

    I can think of 3 openings.

  38. Joey says

    Keep feeding her. In fact, next time she shows up somewhere, send her half a dozen pizzas. Let her die of gluttony. As I recall, that’s one of the seven deadly sins, isn’t it?

  39. Nicole A says

    Shouldn’t the headline in the New York Times be “NOM Founder Maggie Gallagher Now Supports Marriage Equality”?