Anti-gay leader comes to Utah

The Utah conservative think-tank The Sutherland Institute hosted Maggie Gallagher at a fundraising dinner on Tuesday night. Gallagher is the founder and chairman of the board for the National Organization for Marriage, a conservative group that battles against marriage equality throughout the nation.

The Sutherland Institute hosted a dinner with Gallagher as the keynote speaker where she updated the group on NOM’s efforts to stop the repeal of Proposition 8 in California. Individual tickets were $1,200 each. Proceeds to the event went to the Sutherland Institute.

The Deseret News reported that Gallagher spoke about the history of marriage, and that society must continue to support only marriage between a man and a woman.

“Newsflash: Relationships between men and women create babies,” the paper reported Gallagher as saying.

She went on to explain that marriage between a man and a woman is the only way to keep families together and that a biological tie to children is not enough to keep heterosexual parents together as a family unit.

“If we want fathers to be there for their children and the mothers of their children, biology alone won’t do it. We need a cultural mechanism to attach fathers to the mother, child bond,” the paper reported her saying.

She criticized the gay-rights movement, saying the drive for marriage equality will not stop until all 50 states recognize gay marriages and homophobia is treated like racism. She said this was a negative outcome and something society should avoid.

The Sutherland Institute routinely opposes gay-rights legislation throughout Utah and has come out in opposition to non-discrimination laws. The group was one of the lead proponents of Amendment 3, which placed language in the Utah constitution saying only a marriage between a man and a woman would be recognized by the state.

NOM has led a variety of anti-marriage equality campaigns, most notably helping to overturn marriage equality in Maine and California. The group has also been involved in recent court decisions because the group challenges campaign laws that require that political groups disclose their private donors. NOM wants to keep all the donors to campaigns confidential, but it has lost several court cases on this issue in Maine, New York, Rhode Island and other states.

Seth Bracken

Seth Bracken is the editor of QSaltLake

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One Comment

  1. As a Mainer, I watched the State Legislature pass a same-sex marriage (SSM) law and watched it be signed into law by the Governor of our State. Shortly thereafter, NOM came in and riled up the social conservatives and forced the law to go to ballot. Despite it being an off-year election with nothing but referendum questions, the vote was 53/47 in favor of repealing the law. To no surprise, the vote in the cities and college towns was overwhelmingly positive for SSM. The rural areas were not so much in favor. It also was an oddly worded question where one had to vote NO on the repeal of SSM in order for SSM to stand. All these factors led to the defeat.

    The Tea Party Express people claim to be only fiscally motivated but apparently not. It is estimated that SSM would have brought into the state an estimated $20M annually in tourism. So, if they were so fiscally motivated, they would not have shot themselves in the foot on this issue.

    As far as Maggie and Brian Brown go, I cannot determine what motivates them other than their riding this anti-SSM milk train until the Supreme Court legalizes SSM nationwide. They pull down reasonable 6-figure salaries. I cannot fathom that they are this out-of-touch with today’s reality and truly believe all the statements they issue. There are court cases in Maine where NOM is being forced to reveal its donor list. We all know which large religious groups are pumping in the cash. The hypocrisy of one of these groups knows no bounds. And, the last time I checked, religion does not own the word “marriage.” It is used by the State to denote the culmination of a secular marriage license backed contract. If the church has a problem with the word being used, they might want to come up with another word. In reality, when it comes to state-sponsored same-sex marriages performed by a Justice of the Peace, the churches just do not have a dog in this fight. They just do not.

    The Prop-8 facts remain the facts and gay couples with kids are not going away. It would be nice if we could have all the legal protections afforded straight couples without having to spend a fortune with out attorney. Regardless of the outcome, my soon to be 11 year old daughter and my partner of 13 years are not going away. Not having legal SSM is a hassle and and inconvenience and does not allow us to easily protect our daughter. And, all because of the objections of churches to which we do not belong and nothing to do with. I find their intrusion into our lives just offensive (but, hardly surprising) and the antithesis of what they claim is the reason for their existence.

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