National Organization for Marriage’s Maggie Gallagher: ‘Do I Have Blood on My Hands?’

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Photo: MarriageDebate.com

That's what the country's leading anti-gay activist asks today in an editorial in the New York Post. "Apparently, either we all agree that gay marriage is good or gay children will die," she writes, eye roll visible through the text. Gallagher uses classic loose logic to relieve herself of responsibility in any LGBT suicides: Because gay teens are more at risk for a variety of traumas (depression, pregnancy, sexual abuse, drug use), Gallagher wanting the government to tell them that they will grow up to be unequal to straight kids couldn't possibly be the only reason they're killing themselves. In this she's right: Gay teens are more prone to mental-health issues and as a result are more vulnerable to other hardships. But just because there are a variety of factors, does that mean a person is really off the hook for creating one of them? It's like saying, "Just because I told you it was cool to smoke doesn't mean it was my fault you died of lung cancer." If that makes you feel better, fine.

It still doesn't change the fact that when Maggie Gallagher put out ads comparing gay marriage to a terrifying oncoming storm as part of a campaign to maintain legal inequality, it provides more evidence to young, confused gay kids that what they are is not as good as what other kids are. (Incidentally, it provides bullies with the same justification.) She's not just opposed to gay marriage. She's working as hard as she can to create an environment that delegitimizes the gay lifestyle, claiming that it "takes away freedom" from other people and threatens America's very way of life. Institutionalized discrimination reinforces personal prejudice, that's just a fact. And that's what Maggie Gallagher is using her best scare tactics to uphold. If she actually cared about these at-risk children's well-being, as she claims to in this piece, she'd focus on helping them, rather than devoting her life to keeping them from attaining equal rights when they grow up.

Don't blame me for gay teen suicides [NYP]
Earlier: Tyler Clementi’s Suicide: More Than Cyber-Bullying
Related: The Season of Gay Whiplash [NYM]