Maggie Gallagher’s Final Syndicated Column

NOM's Maggie Gallagher says good-bye to her syndicated column.

Maggie_gallagherHere are a couple excerpts:

Men and women are different. A society that pretends otherwise is not going to raise boys to be loving, reliable family men. Marriage is about settling for less but raising up an ideal much bigger and more important even than the most urgent whispered promises of romantic love.

Sex makes babies. Society needs babies. Babies need their mother and their father. Men and women need each other. We all need a strong marriage culture, whether we choose to marry or not. If it is true that sex makes babies, then that is clearly the most important thing about sex, the thing around which a decent person or society will organize sexual values, behavior and norms.

If they saw clearly. If they were only told the truth. For of all the ways adult society can abandon the young, one of the worst is to ignore the key adult task of creating and sustaining a larger meaning for sex and sexual desire for young people.

And more:

Without a powerful ideal of masculinity that points men toward marriage and fatherhood, more and more young men are deciding the hard work of becoming marriageable is not worth it: Porn, beer, video games with the guys, freedom and fleeting sexual encounters are good enough. The most urgent overlooked need is the deep need of boys for masculine ideals.


  1. johnny says

    The basis of her entire messed-up treatise is that society wants to treat men and women the same. In a way, she’s right, but only as far as women’s equal rights go.

    What she’s failing to see is that gay people realize men and women are different, that’s what makes us gay. And it doesn’t mean that we’re incapable of romantic love.

    Sex makes babies. Right Maggie, but heteros have sex all the time with zero babies being the intended result. I guess that’s OK in her world view, but NO sex allowed for us gays (which also results in zero babies).

    Then she argues that we need a culture of marriage. Well, that’s exactly what gay people want too, Mags. And it’s not “settling for less”, it’s settling for the best. There must be some sad marriage issues for Mags since she views marriage in that narrow construct.

    Agree with everything in the last paragraph except that love, marriage and fatherhood are available for gay men, too, if only Mags could open her pea-sized, religion-drenched mind for a split second.

  2. Brian Renaud says

    I don’t understand how she could have sustained a weekly column with her very limited message, which boils down to a baby needs a father and a mother. I hear her say the same thing again and again, but that’s in a stump speech or a debate. But a weekly column, read by the same people week after week?

    You can just imagine the conversations it inspires at the breakfast table: “well, lookie here, Mabel, Maggie’s coming out strongly in favor of family values this week!”.

  3. Dastius Krazitauc says

    What planet does she live on that she thinks we need more and more and more babies?

    And this? “Marriage is about settling for less”. She’s a real advocate for marriage, that Maggie.

  4. Mawm says

    It is interesting that she feels “Marriage is about settling for less”. I never did settle for less. Real love didn’t come for me until I was 37, but my husband and I have been together for 7 years now, and far from settling, my life has been enhanced in every way.
    I think she has some very deep issues, and the NOM thing is the way she is working them out. Although, I don’t understand why she can’t just go to a psychiatrist instead of inflicting her BS on our community.

  5. jleo71 says

    So sorry she had to settle for less. My partner and I have been together for over 35 years. I don’t think either of us could say we settled for less. We are so much more together than we could each have ever been by ourselves. That is what love means Maggie.

  6. voet says

    If her last column is an example of her writting style, it amazes me that she lasted as long as she did. Whether one agrees or disagrees with her message, this is just a poorly written string of nonsense. I guess they quit teaching rhetoric before she got to school.

  7. voet says

    If her last column is an example of her writting style, it amazes me that she lasted as long as she did. Whether one agrees or disagrees with her message, this is just a poorly written string of nonsense. I guess they quit teaching rhetoric before she got to school.

  8. Chadd says

    Rarely do you find people so obsessed with sex. Her and others like her seem to spend almost every waking hour thinking about, talking about or writing about other people’s sex lives.

  9. Dastius Krazitauc says

    “We never hear about her well balanced, husband/wife, Father/Mother life.”

    Maybe that’s what she means by “settling for less”. Her husband is so “less”, he’s not even there.

  10. says

    “Marriage is about settling for less…..but raising up the ideal.”

    Huh ?
    Less what ? Less love ? Less security? Less happiness ? Less money ? Less sex ?
    Why on earth should marriage be “settling for less”…….what a dreadful view of marriage.
    And then she says the reason for “settling for less” is to hold up the ideal .

    How absurd……to hold up an ideal which in her view doesn’t exist because we are all settling for less.
    Her marriage may have settled for less but I fail to see why that should be extrapolated into a General Theory of Marriage.
    PS/ esperit d’escalier:
    But looking at her photograph I am beginning to understand why she settled for less…..or is that mean spirited of me ?

  11. Mary says

    As a social conservative, I can tell you what Maggie meant by marriage making us “settle for less,” She meant that marriage is about more than romantic love and sex, and about more than just having a good time. What people who marry give up (whether a straight marriage or a gay marriage) is immediate gratification since they now share a household with someone and are a “couple.” That is, they can’t do whatever they want every minute. Also, children, who we exepct to result from a marriage, are a huge responsibility. Single childless people have the advantage of having more personal freedom and being able to spend more of their money directly on themselves.

    At least I THINK this is what she meant.

  12. says

    So that’s why we’re resented; we can spend more money on ourselves !

    So this whole “settling for less” is some kind of baloney self sacrifice elevated to the status of “the ideal”.
    The “settling for less” is really a formulation of resentment that because we, generally, don’t have children we have all that money and free time to spend on our selves……and straight marriage is so superior because it is so self sacrificing.

    BTW even single people cannot do everything they want every minute every day !
    I may not be allowed to marry but my BF and I have never “settled for less”… contraire, being together has given each much more expansive lives not lesser ones.
    This whole straight way of looking at relationships seems stewed in embitterment and resentment and in “settling for less”….

  13. JonB says

    It’s sort of sad. You can tell it all goes back to her son, and the guy who left them. It doesn’t make what she does better, but it’s still sad. She’s a really hurt and angry woman.

  14. Alex Parrish says

    Yes, this is a hurt and angry woman, but also a stupid one. Her writing fails even the slightest application of logic. Someone (above) suggested that she should be a greeter at WalMart — but I think her anger disqualifies her even for that job. She is to be pitied.

  15. the sooner the better says

    They want to colonize Mars. She could go there. Put her in charge of truffle gardening! Dark, moist places that don’t get much sunlight.

  16. arrant says

    My born-again sister in law has these same ideas–she thinks she’s the de facto head of our extended family because she’s had so many kids and goes to church in a basement somewhere. She can’t comprehend that my divorced sister and I–who are far more widely traveled, better read, more cultured, better informed (we don’t watch Fox) and better educated–don’t automatically accept her “stewardship” on family matters. I’m sure she resents us for our freedoms while she secretly revels in her marriage martyrdom.

    Meanwhile, we’re a great Aunt and Uncle to her kids, who desperately need reality-based adults in their lives. It’s sad, really.

  17. FancyPants says

    The reality is, married people rarely settle for less. That is why the divorce rate is 60%. Granted, she would argue that is why divorce should be illegal. She’s conceded they lost that battle and this is the last one left to fight. I’ve hard her speak publicly several times. She’s oddly interesting to talk to. And for people here who have mentioned religion, she never once makes a religious argument regarding marriage. So that point is unfounded. She simply (incorrectly) believes that actions have consequences and that in this case, those consequences are x, y, and z. She fails however to offer any empirical evidence to support her arguments. She admits that logic fails. It’s almost like she just has a gut feeling that gay marriage will doom marriage as an institution and society will crumble because people will stop caring about it.

    And she is married, though her husband does not join her publicly and is not involved in her crusade. Her son is still fairly young I believe, so I am not sure he is actually gay.

    And she does argue that female-female relationships are more stable than male-male ones. Obviously that is drowned in sexist nonsense, but she ultimately believes women are more nurturing parents and that is more important than what a man brings to the equation. I’m sure this opinion (again, lacking any empirical support that would be sufficient to justify banning gay marriage) is based on her own personal experiences with men. And frankly, she is probably right that. Women are likely on the sum more nurturing. But she has to connect the dots. Does nurturing matter? How much does it matter? Does that mean men who ARE nurturing should be denied the ability to marry and raise children together?

    I think people like her just live in fear. They fear the future, they fear change. Marriage may very well change dramatically from what it is now. It has always been changing. And I still have not been shown how a society without marriage is necessarily a worse one than one with marriage. She assumes a lot.

  18. Mary says

    DavidEhrenstein, since I’m a marriage equality supporter now, could you lay off the snark? Or maybe change your name to Little Kiwi II? I was only trying to explain Maggie’s comment about “settling for less,” not validate her anti-equality views.

  19. says

    Poor Mr. Srivasetv, she’s actually doing the same thing as the Westboro’s Shirley Phelps: she had a kid out of wedlock and is “atoning” for it, in her crazy mind, by devoting her life to attacking LGBT people. Specifically, the LGBT people who are making a decision that she was too busy opening her legs to stop to really think about making.

    In another less-progressive generation, she’d have been branded a loose woman for life, and her son Patrick a “bastard” – stamped and sealed be their fates. Luickly, we’re in more progressive time. And this is, of course, lost on her.

    Btw, food is also traditionally to be used to sustain life. Stop abusing it.

  20. jexer says

    What a steaming load of horsecrap from a total hypocrite.

    The human living population has more than DOUBLED in my lifetime… can we please quit with the “Making Babies is Priority #1″ crap?

  21. JR says

    @JonB Yeah her position on marriage is clearly influenced by her story. She has this theory that gay people being allowed to marry will change how we perceive marriage in such a way that men won’t stay married to their wives. It’s absurd, but it’s the kind of tortured nonsense reasoning that comes out of places like the Yale Political Union (where Maggie was an active member) and talking heads in general.

    NOM is dying. Look at their (2) donors, and their blog with its boring copy of the same recycled phrases echoed over and over. Maggie has lost, and it’s almost time for her to move on.

  22. says

    Poor sad Maggie. She can’t accept that many of us know a lot more about marriage than she does, even though our relationships/marriages receive no federal recognition. Her “reasoning” only reveals her own failure of generosity and imagination and her own deep unhappiness. The truth is all the problems she tries to lay on gay couples are in reality the products of broken heterosexual families like her own.

  23. Tom in long beach says

    These people operate on the fear that hetero sexuality needs to be defended. Dah, most people are attracted to the opposite sex. But gays are not. Bisexuals are attracted to both sexes. Organic sexuality is a continuum. Those people that fall in love and can maintain a long term relationship with someone of the same sex need and deserve the ability and protection of marriage.

  24. LeslieDF says

    This is NOT the last word from the zombie.

    In her Huffington Post interview:

    “In my view ‘social conservatives’ need to do two big things much, much better: build actual political organizations instead of religious ministries masquerading as political organizations…”

    and then she says (same interview):

    “I am [now] serving on the board (“Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund”)… The overarching goal is to build legal institutions to protect traditional religious believers from what I believe is going to be increasing efforts to stigmatize and marginalize us from mainstream society…”

    So, her “Defense” of Marriage campaign now morphs into “Defense” of “Conscience” (i.e. religion).

    This is like one of those zombie movies – they never die. Or, one of those dismal political comedies – they always find bigger and easier bucks.

    Strange she could for decades “defend” marriage from “homosexuals who chose their lifestyle” and are said to lack legitimate claims to civil rights, then she ends up now “defending” “conscience” (religion) – most definitely a lifestyle with a claim to rights based on choice. No one is born religious.

    Maggie, sadly, was born a zombie and grew to be a political comedian. Am told, both pay well.

  25. LeslieDF says

    Some boy got her pregnant when she was a girl in college. He had nothing to do with her after, and she forbid the child (a boy) from seeing his father.

    See where her heartfelt campaign comes from?

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