National Organization for Marriage (NOM) spokeswoman Maggie Gallagher (the inaugural recipient of The Anita Bryant Bigotry Award from gay rights group GetEQual.org) said Christians who oppose same-sex marriage are being persecuted as bigots, while speaking to an audience at Salt Lake City's Sutherland Institute, according to Deseret News.
Gallagher made the comment while arguing that there is a fundamental moral difference between same-sex and opposite-sex couples, adding:
"And if you see a difference, there is something wrong with you. You are like a bigot who is opposed to interracial marriage. If you want to know how same-sex marriage is going to affect traditional believers, mainstream Christians and other faith communities, ask yourself, 'how do we treat racists who are opposed to interracial marriage in the public square?' Racists are marginalized, stigmatized, oppressed and made second-class citizens."
That statement turns the tables on same-sex couples, and those who support them, who cry bigotry from the religious right. According to Gallagher, those folks are the real bigots, for "directing a relentless torrent of accusations and hatred against anyone who speaks, no matter how civilly, for [opposite-sex] marriage."
In her speech, Gallagher cited "a California physician who was penalized for refusing to artificially inseminate a lesbian woman." Gallagher was referring to the case of Guadalupe Benitez, who in 2008 was awarded a settlement after eight years of litigation from North Coast Women's Medical Group in Oceanside, following a California Supreme Court ruling that physicians cannot use their religion as a legal excuse for violating the civil rights of a patient. North Coast issued a statement following the settlement saying, "We are sincerely sorry that Ms. Benitez felt this way, and have never meant to treat Ms. Benitez with disrespect. [We] want all patients, including those who are lesbian and gay, to feel welcome and accepted in our medical practice, and are committed to treating all patients with equal dignity and respect in the context of the highest quality of medical care."
Insisting that her sole motive for the protection of so-called "traditional" marriage is for the sake of children, Gallagher also told the crowd, "Children ought to have a father as well as a mother. When a baby is born there is bound to be a mother somewhere closeby. If we want fathers to be there for their children and the mothers of their children, biology alone won't do it."
This, despite years of social science research demonstrating that children raised by single mothers are just as happy as children raised by both parents. Singled Out author Dr. Bella DePaulo cited several studies of nuclear families and single mothers, and noted that children raised by single parents are not only friendlier to their parent than children of married parents, but also spent more time with their extended families than did children of married parents.
"If two-parent households have twice of everything that adults have to offer children, then why don't the children in those households do far better than the children in single-parent households? And why would they ever do the same or even worse?"
Gallagher refers to her crusade as "a road to recreate a marriage culture in America", implying that marriage here has already been destroyed. She says she got involved in the gay marriage issue thinking same-sex marriage was an "us/them" problem while the larger problem marriage was facing in society was a "we" problem and more important. But in modern society, unmarried couples (both same-sex and opposite-sex) are having babies together and raising perfectly happy children. Biology alone seems to be working just fine in those cases. It appears at least some fathers love their children enough to stay in their lives without the bonds of matrimony. Where do these families fit into Gallagher's vision of "we"?
Do you believe marriage in America has been destroyed and needs to be "recreated"? Do you agree that marriage is the only sure way to keep fathers in childrens' lives? Do you think same-sex marriage supporters are bigots for saying hateful things about those who oppose them?