Maggie Gallagher on the Pope: I Would Love ‘Nothing More Than to Be Wrong’ on Gay Marriage

The Huffington Post spoke to former NOM President Maggie Gallagher about Pope Francis' statement on gays this week.

Maggie_gallagherPope Francis said that the Catholic Church had become too obsessed with gay marriage and abortion, and said it is wrong to "interfere spiritually in the life of a person" in reference to using religion against homosexuality.

Gallagher uses the Pope's statements to emphasize the persecution she says she has undergone as a "traditional marriage" crusader:

What I find most exhilarating about Pope Francis, is the possibility that we can reach out to those with whom we disagree without surrendering principle. I will say I have not found that true generally. I have found the gay rights community — the activists anyway, not the ordinary folk — is mostly asking for one thing: Agree, or be judged a hateful bigot.

But when you are in the fray of battle, it is easy to become fragile and to lose sight of possibilities. Maybe the pope can do things I cannot imagine. Imagine that!

Gallagher also says that if religious leaders move away from actively opposing same-sex marriage there will still be a case against it:

My case against same-sex marriage was always entirely secular. I believe we need a social institution that is about directing the passions of men and women attracted to the opposite sex — 98 percent of people — so that our sexual acts do not hurt the children our bodies create in passion. To me, that's the heart of "civil marriage" and the explanation for why the government is involved.

I don't see that changing. I hope I am wrong that gay marriage will change that as the public idea of marriage, but the evidence is pretty strong that I am right: It is very hard to see two men as a marriage, and still see marriage as integrally involved in procreation and family structure.

Would love for you to prove me wrong. I would love nothing more than to be wrong about this.

Full interview here.


  1. Geoff says

    One thing fatso G. will never be accused of is “having an imagination”. She makes luke-warm lard-on-a-stick seem like haute cuisine. Please.

  2. Frank says

    I will never understand this cow. She got knocked up by her “boyfriend” and has hated gay people ever since. WHAT?

  3. says

    @Frank – it’s like with Shirley Phelps: had a bastard* child, and decided the best way to cope with that is to…uh… stop gay couples from marrying. riiiiight.

    see also: Sarah Palin’s two bastard* grandchildren.

    * “bastard” is not my chosen word. i just don’t want to offend any conservatives like Maggie Gallagher by forcing my progressive liberalism on them. i think we should respect that they don’t have “traditional” families 😀

  4. Alex Parrish says

    “I believe we need a social institution that is about directing the passions of men and women attracted to the opposite sex — 98 percent of people…”

    That may be what SHE needs, and she is entitled to her feelings, but she is not entitled to impose her needs on others. She would be well-advised to concern herself with fulfilling her own needs and leave the rest of us out of the equation.

  5. jamal49 says

    Baggie-Maggie says:

    “I believe we need a social institution that is about directing the passions of men and women attracted to the opposite sex — 98 percent of people — so that our sexual acts do not hurt the children our bodies create in passion.”

    Um, anybody got any clue as to what the hell she’s talking about because I sure don’t?

  6. BobN says

    The HuffPo didn’t “speak” with her. They wrote her an email. She wrote back. I doubt she’s willing to sit for an interview.

  7. says

    Maggie is a confused and terribly sad woman.
    traditional this, traditional that.

    and yet…had a kid out of wedlock. is married to a man who never appears with her in public, and she doesn’t use his last name (Srivastev. methinks she finds it too “foreign” sounding, and won’t appeal to her base….)… and her own son won’t ever appear with her either.

    family, my @ss.

    and i don’t know how gay weddings in any way affect straight ones.

    HECK, when my sister got married three years ago she and her husband chose, as their table favors, EQUALITY BRACELETS.

    yes, they used their heterosexual wedding day to make a statement of love and support with the LGBT Communities. shown here :)

  8. Steve Chapman says

    I am following at least 4 male couples on facebook who are married WITH children. Their kids seem to be happy. They seem to be well-adjusted. They don’t appear to be deprived of anything.

    Ms. Gallagher needs to quit using her narrow-minded bigotry and start using facts and data (not massaged by Focus on the Family) either.

    Basically, she is saying my view matters more than the rights of gay couples so that should end the argument.

    Fortunately, it doesn’t end the argument. We must stand up for EQUALITY. My question for Ms. Gallagher is, if she thinks voting on gay marriage is such a good idea, when do I get to vote on her right to marry?

  9. Bart says

    As a gay man with a partner (not living in a state where we can marry or we would) and raising two children, OUR two children that we both legally adopted, I can say that Maggie must live in a bubble of her own creation. These anti-marriage equality people simply make no sense, their arguments are not just baseless but actually a lie. A lie they know is a lie but when you have nothing, better to lie than to say “We are wrong.”

    The real question is do Brian Brown and Maggie Gallagher even matter in the discussion anymore? The’ve both been proven to be exactly what they are, liars, bigots and sad sacks with issues of their own.

    Also, you don’t have to post the most ridiculous photo of Maggie you can find. She’s not a pretty woman even if you put the best…and that aura of foolishness and pathos that surrounds her is there on her best day.

  10. e.c. says

    Maggie, I can prove you wrong right now. Only a small fraction of the 1400+ rights and privileges afforded legally married couples have anything to do with their potential children. So despite your fantasy view, as it stands right now legal marriage in this country is NOT EVEN CLOSE to being primarily about straight people having kids. Sorry to trouble you with the facts.

  11. yolo says

    I’m one of those regular gay people and she is a bigot.
    Also, why isn’t this sow breeding children with a husband anyway? Government marries old people and heterosexuals that are infertile and those that don’t want children.

  12. m says

    why is her opinion important? who said she knows what’s best for anyone? just because she keeps repeating the same thing? so what?

  13. MFinBH says

    She shows up to sit across from dreamy Chris Hayes looking like that? Damn, she looks like a beast when she shows up for a TV appearance (and MSNBC must offer a touch-up), imagine what that thing looks like at home in her Snuggie!

  14. Mike Ryan says

    Sadly for Maggie America is not a religious state by any means. In fact, American is ruled by Democratic principles. For the religious fanatics of this world who believe America should be run by their rules they just don’t apply and have no real basis to begin with. Religion in this country, especially the Catholic, Mormon and Muslim religions are so discriminatory and bigoted that the majority of American’s want nothing to do with them and would prefer they vacate this country (perhaps for Russia?) the sooner the better.

  15. Michaelandfred says

    You’ve been proven wrong over and over, you just refuse to face reality. Only you can hold yourself captive to ignorance.

  16. says

    Hey,Maggie Gallagher has hateful and bigoted opinions, but let’s not allow our own fury at her to denigrate her based on her appearance. That’s wrong of us, and it displays the kind of generalized meanness we don’t want applied to us. Better to challenge her fiercely on her sad, outdated, and pathetic ideas.

  17. Shawn says

    If being wrong about marriage equality is going to make her happy she’s in for a real treat if she ever gets her head out of her behind.

  18. Maggley Ballager says

    Big girls don’t cry – they get even.

    This woman got burned by a boyfriend who left her for a man.

  19. Rexford says

    “I believe we need a social institution that is about directing the passions of men and women attracted to the opposite sex — 98 percent of people — so that our sexual acts do not hurt the children our bodies create in passion.”

    If that’s how she feels, then why isn’t she out crusading to create laws or at the very least social programs that attempt to diminish the high divorce rate among straight couples with children? After all, according to her, that’s where “98 percent of the people are,” so preventing the measly 2% who are leftover from marrying ain’t gonna do much toward the supposed goal.

    My guess is most straight folks would tell her to get the hell out their bedroom and stop trying to tell them how to run their personal lives.

  20. Rafael says

    I hesitate to read and comment on Ms. Gallagher because I have come to understand the substance of her arguments. But I have to say these statements reveal the irrational nature of the hate behind her cause.

  21. Mary says

    “My case against same-sex marriage was always entirely secular”

    Ironically, so was mine. Maybe it’s not so surprising that several people on Towleroad have accused me of being Maggie under an alias!

    I totally believe that Maggie is sincere when she ways that she hopes she is proved wrong about gay marriage’s effects. Although I am now a marriage equality supporter, I am still not 100% sure that this change will work out for the best. I changed partly because I cared about the gay community, having come to know them through Towleroad. But I mainly changed because it just got too damn hard to keep insisting that everyone else who’s not a social conservative is oblivious to danger. I had worked it out that the gay marriage cause was a by-product of American’s obsession with freedom and equality – a uniquely American disease, as I saw it. Then when I heard that Protestant countries were now legalizing it I switched to the theory that Protestants had become decadent and too liberal. Then when Catholic countries started to legalize it, I was left with the extreme-sounding thesis that the whole Western world was oblivious to danger. Then when Eastern countries started to move toward it I was left with the embarrassing thesis that no one else in the world understood how society operates except American social conservatives.

    At this point I had to consider that maybe I was exaggerating the threat that gay marriage posed to heterosexual marriage. Surely all foresight doesn’t rest with me personally or only American Christian conservatives. My original objection to legalizing gay marriage still strikes me as sound philosophically. But only time will tell what the final effects of this change will be. What “evidence” does Maggie have that gay marriage leads to fewer people choosing hetero marriage? It would take about 30-50 years to see the effect. We’d need at least two generations brought up with legalized gay unions (civil or marriage) before we could come to a conclusion.

  22. UGH says

    You guys don’t GET it. THIS is a big deal.

    Set aside, for a moment, your revenge fantasies and your own hate and anger. I know it’s difficult to actually attempt, but really, what are YOU getting out of being immersed in it ?

    Do we really need to emulate the bile and vindictiveness that we perceive from the opposition to motivate us to act ?

    Is the creation of hostility and fear and revenge on either side a positive attribute ?

    Is creating enemies that are not there out of people who are neutral, really a good tactic ?

    What I’m saying is this – the progress that has been made has not been by being angry and expressing rage and indignity. The progress that has been made has been by being visible – our families are the living examples that contradict their positions, and people SEEING those happy families living and existing no differently than theirs is what has caused public perception to change radically in so many places.

    Us stepping-up the anger is not going to win many further defectors from their side and from the neutral parties. The Pope knows this, too, that’s why he’s telling his side to tone it down.

    The huge mistake that we could potentially be making is to ramp-up the negative attitudes and expressions, particularly if their side is perceive as having toned it down some.

    This is why strategy is more important than sitting around hollering and being immersed in (righteous) anger. We need to tone-down the bile, and ramp-up the positive and the visible.

    Let them embarrass themselves from here on out, we can practically rely on that. Are we going to turn a potential easy win into an ongoing battle tilting at windmills we create, or are we going to aggressively adapt and win over more public support ? THAT is the questions at this point in the game.

    Public support is what counts most. Waiting around for the legal system to adapt when you don’t have public support – well, we all know how well THAT’S worked out for other minorities – legal protections that on the surface look good, but in practice have not fulfilled their promise. Is that the model we want to work with, or do we do something a little less insane, and go for the real prize, which is changing the hearts and minds of the current neutral parties and even some of the opposition ?

  23. Maggley Ballager Jr. says


    Um, only homosexual or bisexual people want same-sex marriage. And we’re always born in every generation. We’re also always in the minority.
    I like to view gay marriage in this way : It promotes and fosters monogamy and commitment for some gay people, if not most. It’s wonderful that society can be empathetic and validate gay unions. I’m so glad I didn’t come of age in the twentieth century.

  24. mvecera says

    And yet, the infallible Pope has already told her that she IS wrong. This lady wouldn’t listen to a burning bush if she was standing right in front of it.

  25. Bernie says

    I can’t think of a better picture of Ms. Gallagher with her shifty looking eyes and her tongue sticking out like a rabid animal……..and by the way, Ms. Gallagher is on the wrong side of life.

  26. Piet says

    Maggie resists invitations for live interviews because writing questions and answers back and forth gives her time to choose her words more carefully than she could if she were put on the spot “live”. She still can’t respond without lying, though, because her arguments against same-sex marriage have always used Catholic doctrine and terminology to buttress her sense of self-righteousness. She doesn’t have to hate us because she so thoroughly enjoys feeling vastly superior to us — it’s the huge amounts of condescension in her life that make her such a blowsy, bloviating cow, not the amount of unnecessary food she eats.

  27. todd says

    Dude, some gay must have come out to her in the middle of sex. If she wants to help the kids she needs to get off her fat ass and help all the great kids who have yet to be adopted as well as the ones sleeping on the streets. Instead she wastes her time trying to out right hurt loving LGBT couples and then feigns offense that these same people she targets fight back in the name of self respect. Hmmm….self respect…she needs to take a few notes on that.

  28. Steve says

    Maggie is very rich. NOM paid her hundreds of thousands of dollars for her work.

    She also received tens of thousands from the Bush administration to shill for abstinence-only “education”.

  29. says

    How is gay marriage the problem for families and children? If that were her real concern she’d be talking about poverty and divorce. This is what happens when you decide you’re for or against something and then have to make up rationalizations to justify what you have already decided is true.

  30. Bob says


    SHE IS BLEATING in hopes that her few remainin donors will keep paying her salary

    She will be gone soon

  31. Bill says

    To change her mind (if she is honest) all Maggie has to do is to ask herself why nothing bad has happened due to the state allowing an 85 year old guy who can’t get it up to marry an 85 year old woman who had a hysterectomy, making procreation impossible for two reasons.

    The idea that civil marriage is about procreation is obviously silly given that all states let people who can’t procreate get married.

  32. Andrew says

    I call baloney on her claim that “My case against same-sex marriage was always entirely secular.” In a 1996 column she referred to homosexuality as sin. She also very recently has given her support to a religious organization that seeks to change gay people into straight people. Also, NOM, the organization she founded, and to which she is still tied, has lately been bringing up God all the time.

  33. bear says

    “… I had worked it out that the gay marriage cause was a by-product of American’s obsession with freedom and equality – a uniquely American disease, as I saw it…”

    Freedom and Equality are a Disease????

    Oh, honey, everytime you open your mouth, STOOPID falls out.

    You are an intellectual embarrassment, and a bore!

    Please, don’t come back. LGBT and America doesn’t need, nor wants your ‘insight’ -which is anything but.

  34. greenfuzz says

    Maggie,I never came to you to try and take all the freedom you enjoy and take for granted. You don’t have that right to deny me what is due to me.Just imagine if all of a sudden we could vote on heterosexuals lives and cause the great psychic damage that they have inflicted on the gay community and do everyday.There would be an uprising!

  35. castaway says

    So as I see it, with the end of DOMA and the recent Pope comments, NOM is officially…


    Not that they weren’t just
    “hateful bigots” to begin with.

  36. Mary says

    “Freedom and Equality are a Disease????”

    Bear, My apologies. I did it again. Marys’ famous foot-in-mouth error! By “disease” what I meant was that anything can be taken too far – freedom, equality,…and yes, the famous conservative values like tradition and order. I think each issue should be discussed on its own merits. I wouldn’t support ANYTHING in the name of “freedom” any more than I would support anything in the name of “the family” or “law and order.”

    If all that matters is equality we could let 10 year olds determine how their parents’ income is spent, for example. If all that mattered were “family stability” we could outlaw divorce completely. Yet I’d oppose both of these policies.

    That’s all I meant.

  37. castaway says

    Cash in your chips, Mags. The game is O.V.E.R. You lose but you also won how many Millions $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Your gay son should be so proud.

  38. Martin says

    Mary, allowing two adults of the same sex to marry isn’t in the same sphere of freedom as allowing, by law, a ten year old already under the obligations of parents, to rummage through its parents’ finances. It’s a messy slippery slope arguments to make.

  39. Joe in Ct says

    I agree with David, the comments about her unfortunate physical appearance are out of line and distracting. If she were a lovely woman, her position would still be wrong. Attacking her physical attributes only diminishes the legitimacy of our argument with her ugly way of thinking.

  40. FFS says

    She just wants there to be lots of other unmarryable people in the world so she won’t be the only one.

    Can’t wait to take a dump on her grave.

  41. scott says

    “I believe we need a social institution that is about directing the passions of men and women attracted to the opposite sex — 98 percent of people — so that our sexual acts do not hurt the children our bodies create in passion.”

    MG is sounding pretty disingenuous here. Since there are no accidental pregnancies resulting from same-sex “passions,” there is no danger to children.

    As others have pointed out, if she were *really* concerned about children, she’d focus on poverty, unwanted pregnancy, homelessness and divorce. Instead she focuses on the “2%” who want nothing more than to create a stable union.

    I think this is MG trying to rehabilitate her image. She knows that the tide of history is against her, so she’s trying to reinvent herself as a moderate voice.

  42. Larry says

    Poor Maggie was really caught with her pants down on this one. (Oops, sorry for the imagery.)

    Did I say how wonderful I think the pope is?
    Isn’t the pope magnificent?
    Before I answer your question, can I just say that I think the pope is just super!

    and on and on. Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

    By the way, this pope isn’t bad, is he? He reminds me of C. Everett Koop, who is a hero, in my book. Not sure if he is an ally yet, but sure better than that last one, Pope Adolf the First. or, Second.

  43. Art says

    I fail to understand why we listen to someone that sooooo looks like she has mental problems due to Down’s syndrome. These people need our care and love. But we should not be let by them.

  44. Jerry6 says

    What a wasted life! She has had the opportunity to marry, beget children, and to raise them in accordance with her beliefs and principals. She blew it, and knows it. Therefore she does not want anyone else to enjoy a happy and productive life. How sad!

  45. John says

    The pope can do things you cannot because, though he represents an evil institution, he’s not a C&#!.