After the "protect marriage" movement's most visible face left the National Organization For Marriage, shut down her seventeen-year syndicated column, and began plotting out a new course, I saw many possibilities for where Maggie Gallagher might take her career. Maybe she'd do some consulting work. Write another book. Open a bridal shop with dressing rooms that were specifically sized so they'd accommodate only one woman. The possibilities seemed endless.
I did not, however, expect Ms. Gallagher to go on a de facto promotional tour in which she waved the white flag and told anyone who would listen that the marriage equality movement that she had so viciously fought for so long was going to win the whole thing any day now. Yet over the past year or so, that is exactly what she's done, popping up on radio shows and in print with her admission that the cause to which she attached her legacy (i.e. marriage discrimination) is soon to go down in flames.
The latest came on Catholic radio's "A Closer Look With Sheila Liaugminas," and it goes something like this:
I really cannot figure out why she's doing this. It's just so peculiar. I mean, yes, the other side is all about pushing the idea that our marriage equality will create a hostile culture for which they must gird their loins now, and cultivating that fearful meme is certainly part of Maggie's thinking her. The "protect marriage" movement has always been about fear, and this whole idea that people like Maggie must now prepare for how they will live in a more civilly equal world is certain a bit of wax for that larger ball.
But I still don't get why she has so fully and utterly given up every fiber of fight. At this point, there isn't even a case headed to the Supreme Court, and there will surely be at least a few more state-level fights, be at the ballot box or in front of a judge, before a case makes its way to the high court. The organization that Maggie co-founded, NOM, is certainly still trying its best to stave off inevitability. Why is Maggie going around town making the inevitability argument for us?
Maybe Maggie's trying to psyche out Justice Kennedy in hopes that if she gets this conventional wisdom argument to take hold, the somewhat iconoclastic justice might see standing against 50-state equality as the countercultural thing for him to do? Or perhaps she really has the sort of ill feelings for Brian Brown's NOM leadership that some insider-y people have told me she does and is therefore fine with scuttling NOM's current plans? Or maybe she really is just being honest about the fact that we on the side of equality will, in fact, win this fight—and soon?
I'm not really going to question it too much. Heck, I'll even thank her for the assist.