NOM’s Maggie Gallagher Says She Feels Personally Liberated After Losing Marriage Battle


In an exchange that really crystallizes the tremendous progress gay rights has made, National Organization for Marriage founder Maggie Gallagher shared her thoughts with The Huffington Post about losing the marriage battle, writing "I have a lot more freedom now to figure out what I want to do with the next 20 years of my life." 

Said Gallagher: 

I went into this fight, in good conscience, because I believed it mattered and that I had something to contribute. I did not promise myself I would win. I promised myself I would do everything I could see, to do this good, to fight for marriage as a universal human institution with certain goods and goals. I feel a great deal of contentment about that. I can see some things I might have done differently, but basically I was at post. One cannot do anything better with one's life than stand up for what you deeply believe in, i.e, to speak truth, whether in power or to power.

Gallagher acknowledged that nationwide marriage equality is on the horizon and said social conservatives will ultimately need to reformulate the role they play in society: 

As I said last summer, it was clear to me from reading Windsor [the U.S. Supreme Court decision in United States v. Windsor], gay marriage advocates now have five votes for inserting a right to gay marriage in our Constitution. We are now in the 'gay marriage in all 50 states' phase whether we like it or not. What's next? In my view people who believe in the traditional understanding of marriage, and believe that it matters, have to become a creative minority, finding way to both express these sexual views, culturally, artistically and intellectually and to engage with the newly dominant cultural view of marriage respectfully but not submissively.

She went on to share her thoughts on religious exemption legislation like the failed proposal in Arizona and why she thinks there has been a such a dramatic shift in public opinion among religious groups regarding LGBT rights. 

You can check out the full, fascinating interview HERE


  1. says

    Poor Maggie. What’s truly depressing is that when she finally kicks the bucket it’ll be a bittersweet day for her own child. Sad to see the only mother he’s ever known pass on, and aware that from that day forward he can live his life as he pleases, without a need for his authentic life to go against his mother’s life work. If you know what I mean….

  2. Leroy Laflamme says

    That’s right, dear. You are are now in the ‘gay marriage in all 50 states’ phase whether you like it or not. Come on America, keep this puppy moving!

  3. UFFDA says

    What in the hell is KIWI talking about? More of his pretentious pose as either clairvoyant or omniscient.
    He thinks he knows that Galleghar’s son is gay. Gufaw.

    Apart from such foolishness, I think that Ms G. has given up rather gracefully which is a good sign of character, however mistaken I believe she has been.

    Now go home dear and be quiet…in fact that’s what she has told us she wants to do.

  4. JJ says

    “One cannot do anything better with one’s life than stand up for what you deeply believe in”

    No, simply following strong beliefs isn’t noble. Is it noble to fly planes into skyscrapers? Why you believe what you believe matters. How you arrive at your beliefs matters. What your beliefs say about how you treat others is key. Whether what you believe is justified, is true or likely to be true, is essential to the question of whether it’s moral to act on those beliefs.

    Alas, alleged divine revelation and faith are not reliable ways to discover truths, and that certainly applies to moral truths.

  5. woody says

    finally, not to see maggie and her short skirts anymore.
    she’ll join the annals of media history, along with jabba the hut and jessica simpson.

  6. jexer says

    I was going to commend her on being gracious about admitting defeat… but reading her thoughts in the linked interview show she’s just as full of herself and oblivious to the injustice people with her viewpoint inflict on others.

    I’ve no idea why she even bothered surfacing again, she apparently saw the writing on the wall and gave up, leaving NOM in the fumbling butterfingers of B-Bro.

  7. Jimmy Palmieri says

    This is an evil woman who has lost and is now backtracking . She will never be a friend, always an enemy as she has harmed and hurt to many GLBT members, for no other reason that bigotry. Shame on her now and always.

  8. Tyler says

    Lol, of course Uffda the troll would think Maggie has character and decency. He (and by he, I mean Rick, since we all know Uffda is just one of his usernames) hates gays just as much as Mz. Gallagher does.

  9. JJ says

    “gay marriage advocates now have five votes for inserting a right to gay marriage in our Constitution”

    It’s not a new right. It’s just the same old right to marry the one you love that everyone else has. As Judge Robert Shelby explained in the Utah marriage case, if the right to same-sex marriage were a separate right, then people would be able to exercise that right independently of the right to marry someone of the opposite sex. In places that recognize the so-called additional right to same-sex marriage, people would be able to have two spouses simultaneously: one of the opposite sex–by exercising their right to traditional marriage–and one of the same sex–by exercising their right to same-sex marriage. A person’s spouses could then each have a second spouse, and so on.

    The case we’ve made to courts, and the principle they’re endorsing, is that when someone exercises the right to marry that our society has always recognized, the ONE person they choose to marry cannot be deemed ineligible on account of sex.

  10. JackFknTwist says

    calm down dear.

    It’s not a ‘right to gay marriage’ that is in issue.

    It is simply that the universal right to marriage should not be the in the possession solely of straight people.
    Never once have the straights given an example of one of “their” marriages which has come to grief because gays could marry too.
    But Maggie Gallagher’s name will live in infamy and derision just like Anita Bryant’s name; these people were told over and over that history will sweep them away.
    And so Maggie begone !
    Just apologise and go.
    silence from you would be more dignified than the publicity you crave.

    (PS : Lose the helmet hair.)

  11. bernard says

    I look forward to the day, and I think this day will someday come, when the goals of the National Organization for Marriage will be to protect ALL marriages, whether they are of the opposite or same sex.

  12. james st. james says

    HuffPo probably had to throw the old truffle snuffler a truffle before each question to get her to come out.

    “It makes me very sad, and hungry, now that gay people will be able to marry, mocking my belief system, snuffle, snuffle, oink, another truffle please.” “Western civilization is doomed, snuffle, snuffle, truffle please.” (Excerpted from interview transcript)

    I hope she busted HuffPo’s truffle budget.

  13. UFFDA says

    OK JEXER – you’re more right that I…I didn’t read the link, therefore missed her continuance of prejudice and stupidity. Too bad, I thought she had a chance at some degree of repentance. She doesn’t.

    As for me being Rick, a whole lot of people here apparently can’t face that way more than one person
    has a different, or modified, point of view from the legion lock-step clones that close rank around their Politically Chic opinions hereon.

  14. anon says

    Is she still getting paid? She was getting paid to put forth certain PR arguments and raise money. Would she have done it without getting paid? I doubt it.

  15. RD says

    What is so fascinating is that her viewpoint, “We are born male and female, our bodies contain a call to come together in love to make and raise the next generation as their mothers and fathers,” is totally compatible with legalization of same-sex marriage. In fact, it actually embraces it. What a strange woman.

  16. says

    She is realistic–and reasonably articulate, as she has always been–about the state of marriage in the U.S. but wrong about the Constitution (there is no “inserting a right to marriage”) and delusional about herself and “this good” she has done. (Or simply lying.)

    “This good” will be viewed by history no differently than the “good” done by opponents of equal rights in other eras. In other words, other than successfully collecting a paycheck for being on the wrong side of history, she has accomplished nothing lasting or useful.

  17. ozu says

    This was always a gay hate thing with her no matter how much she claims otherwise. Her sole mission was to deny marriage equality to gays. She never lifted one finger to try and make it harder to divorce which really would strengthen the institution of marriage.

    She never questioned John McCain’s morality or strength of character even though he dumped the wife who waited for while he was a POW for a rich, younger hottie who could satisfy him sexually and financially. And of course she was quiet during Newt Gingrich’s campaign about how he dumped his wife while she was fighting cancer. He later dumped the that tart for the current Mrs Gringrich. Just two examples among thousands that the “defender of the sanctity of marriage” that are conveniently overlooked by the likes Maggie.

  18. woody says

    maggie is a professional debater/argurer.
    yale debate club.
    this was her dream gig: high paying and relatively long.

    time is running out for grossly overpaid brian brown…

    they’re both unethical opportunists.

  19. Miguel R says

    I know that we all like to demonize Maggie Gallagher, but I find her to be a very thoughtful person. She is NOT Fred Phelps, Catholic League, etc. She fought for what she believes in, and she did so with intellectual honesty. I strongly disagree with her, but unlike a lot of right wing nutcases, she is willing to back down. She has some integrity. Lots of right wingers become MORE delusional when faced with facts. Gallagher isn’t one of them. So, even if you strongly disagree with her, like I do, let’s not demonize her.

  20. Michaelandfred says

    I detest this woman and find her far more reprehensible than Fred Phelps. He was mean and psychotic but people didn’t take him seriously, left or right. Maggie has done far more damage and hurt far more people, lied and humiliated millions of LGBT people while pushing, and sometimes passing, legislation that directly affected our lives.

    Phelps I detested. Gallagher I hate.

  21. ian says

    she touches on something important but being utterly un-selfaware can’t grasp it. she has been trapped in a cycle of oppression. when one group or person oppresses another they are as much trapped in that cycle as the oppressed. oppressors don’t understand until they end the oppression that they are freed too. they are no longer trapped in the role of oppressor, they are free, just as the oppressed have become free. of course she is still a bigot, that hasn’t changed, and she’ll find some other means to try and oppress gay people, and enslave herself to that, but for a second there, freedom was in her grasp.

  22. jimstoic says

    Why not spend the rest of your life actually doing something FOR marriage? Supporting things like family planning, domestic-violence initiatives, childcare funding–things that improve families? You can still redeem yourself.

  23. TomR says

    We could a-l-m-o-s-t feel sorry for her except that we remember too well her days as the official NOM slapjaw dragon woman who dragged out every anti-gay and anti-equality argument she could find against us. Sorry, Maggie, how about just slipping gracefully into total oblivion.

  24. Randy says

    “to fight for marriage as a universal human institution”

    Doesn’t universal means pretty much that everybody gets to do it? Or is she using a more obscure sense of the word universal that I was not previously aware off…

    Also, somebody tell this woman that morbidly obese people with diabetes rarely live to their 70s, so you really don’t have 20 years dharling…

  25. Vera says

    I always thought of her as a less mystifying Julia Gillard, someone who is obviously opposed to gay marriage, but yet someone who is sincere enough to sympathize with. However, coming from South Africa, I know that being articulate in your opinions doesn’t always make right…

  26. Bill says

    What Maggie is really saying is that, if you’ve spent the last umpteen years trying to get up a very marginal scree slope, where for every 3 steps up you slide 4 steps back, it feels really, really good to get off it and do something else.

  27. Lioness says

    Lois McMasters-Bujold has a line about letting your enemy leave the field of battle with their dignity — and nothing else. If Gallager wants to take a dignified leave, I’ll not kick her rear on the way out.

  28. Mary says

    I take a break from Towleroad for a month or so and when I come back what do I see? Little Kiwi and Uffda going at it – just like old times!

    Doesn’t Maggie look nicer? She must have lost some weight. If this keeps up no one will be able to make animal jokes about her anymore. Maybe political defeat does a body good!

    I have to say I’m surprised that she’s actually conceding the fight. Her statements strike me as very gracious. It isn’t easy to lose a cause. Maybe this is what is bothering so many people here. They won’t have ole Maggie Milhaus Gallagher to kick around anymore!

    At any rate, how many states now have marriage equality? It’s happening so quickly I can hardly keep track.

  29. UFFDA says

    Welcome back Mary. I left for a month as well, but it’s so much fun I had t return. KIWI is still slime with a keyboard so I have to hang around in counter balance. I have gobs of things to to, new work, new art shows, cute housemates, but The Tow remains compelling and full of news I would otherwise miss.
    Stay here, and like Ernie, be sensible for us all.

  30. says

    Poor, poor Maggie. She can’t just bow out gracefully – she has to whine that she “went down fighting the good fight”. No, you didn’t Mrs. Gallagher – you wasted a lot of your own time, money and effort on something that had ZERO bearing your life. You lost this battle the minute you picked up your lance and charged at the windmills.

  31. ThomT says

    Gallagher is now lobbying for the position of spokesperson for Weight Watchers following Jennifer Hudson’s recent departure. Says Maggie “I’ve had plenty of experience losing in the past few years so it seems that I would be the perfect candidate. And at least now I would finally be doing something positive with me life”.

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