Maggie Gallagher stepped down as the chairwoman at the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage, the group announced on Thursday. She will be replaced by John Eastman, a former dean of Chapman University Law School in California, who gained notoriety for his strong support for Proposition 8. NOM is rumored to have ties to the Mormon Church.
Eastman went so far as to criticize the backers of Prop 8 for being too conciliatory in the trial and argued that gay couples do not deserve any rights at all.
“Marriage has quite correctly been described as a bedrock of civilization. Protecting the institution of marriage is a critically important issue, and I’m honored to join such distinguished company on the board of such a phenomenally effective organization as the National Organization for Marriage,” Eastman said in a statement.
Gallagher will continue to serve on the board of NOM and participate in a new branch of the group called the Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance. It will support those who feel they have been attacked because of their opposition to marriage equality.
“My original intention in co-founding the National Organization for Marriage was to launch a politically sophisticated national activist organization to fight for the views of millions of Americans who believe that marriage is and should remain the union of husband and wife,” she said in a statement. “I think it’s fair to say that NOM has been launched, and is now far more successful than even I dreamed (and I dreamed big!).”
Recently NOM convinced major Republican presidential candidates to sign a pledge to ban same-sex marriage. Gallagher also led the organization through many ballot initiatives including in New York, Maine, California and Massachusetts.