March 25th, 2011 | Uncategorized

OPINION | An open letter to Maggie Gallagher ’82

Dear Ms. Gallagher,

Don’t toy with me. I need to know if it was actually you who commented on my recent op-ed for the News. The one in which I gave my assessment of you and the anti-gay marriage group you direct, the National Organization for Marriage. Two online responses were attributed to you, but for all I know it was some other homophobe performing a cruel masquerade to get my hopes up.

Assuming it was you, firstly, thank you. It’s rare when I hear from fans as distinguished as you. Nevertheless, I gather you were none too pleased with my portrayal of your association. In what I can only assume was an act of retaliation, both of your responses displayed an aggressive misunderstanding of how to spell my name.

Please, no more of this. Let’s settle our differences peaceably. I was partially at fault, I’ll admit. Like when I equated you to the “Star Wars” character Jabba the Hutt. That was out of line, and I apologize. Jabba is a fictional character whose predilection for violence can be justified, at least partially, by his economic interests. You, on the other hand, attempt to deny people the right to have families based on the sexual preferences with which they were born.

Jabba, I’m sorry for the comparison.

I feel better now. But moving on, Ms. Gallagher, I owe you some answers. In one of your comments, you expressed confusion as to why you were included in my op-ed. After all, I began by writing about Glenn Stanton, director of Focus on the Family – a separate group that also opposes marriage equality. But I jumped from his group to yours to illustrate a broader point. That is, organizations like yours and Mr. Stanton’s have attempted to co-opt the word “family” for bigoted purposes. Please stop.

In case there’s any confusion out there, NOM is a bigoted organization. You claim that you oppose marriage equality because “society has an interest in bringing together male and female to make and raise the next generation.” But here’s what that translates into: gay people are worse parents, and raise worse children, than straight people.

However you spin it, that’s a bigoted and simply incorrect belief. It deserves no respect from me or anyone else.

(Side observation: You appear to think that, if gays are allowed to marry, children across America will suddenly stop having mothers and fathers. Look, recognizing marriage equality isn’t going to create hordes of new gay people to come raise a generation of somehow-deficient children; it’s just going to mean that more people who want loving families will be able to have them.)

You should be ashamed of yourself and what you’ve chosen to do with your Yale education. We each get one life on earth, and you’re spending yours ruining those of others. You’re part of a movement that keeps people who want families from having them, all because they love someone of the wrong gender. You and people like you are the reason the world can be a scary place for children growing up and wondering if they might be gay, fearful of what the world will think of them and worried whether they will be able to have fulfilling lives.

I wish you luck in whatever you do once homophobia is no longer a viable career option.


River Clegg ‘11