(AP/J. Scott Applewhite/Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Jae C. Hong)

Bigots' demented new low: Maggie Gallagher tells GOP hopefuls how to turn down a gay wedding invite

The gay marriage opponent explains how she'd decline a wedding invite she’ll likely never get in the first place


Joan Walsh
April 17, 2015 7:27PM (UTC)

Pro-marriage crusader and anti-gay marriage bigot Maggie Gallagher is sad that Sen. Marco Rubio showed what she called “kindness” in explaining why he would attend a gay wedding even though he opposes gay marriage.

“Ultimately, if someone that you care for and is part of your family has decided to move in one direction or another or feels that way because of who they love, you respect that because you love them,” Rubio told Fusion’s Jorge Ramos.

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So Gallagher lays out the right way to handle a gay wedding invitation: by making clear to your gay friend or family member that “as much as I love you,” I can’t celebrate your “sin.”

It’s a tortured argument, in which Gallagher admits that her position “sounds inexplicable, irrational, bigoted, and hateful to the powerful, creative, vibrant secular community that surrounds us.” She’s right about that.

But while the courts and even the voters are rejecting Gallagher’s belief that gay marriage is wrong, “I have staked my life on this truth,” she declares, rather self-importantly. To help others like her, facing the idea of having to attend gay weddings they haven’t been invited to, Gallagher writes a handy little speech. If you’re worried you might get coerced into attending a gay wedding soon, you might want to carry it in your wallet. It could help GOP candidates like Sen. Ted Cruz, who haven’t yet taken a stand on the issue.

Gallagher suggests saying something like this:

Here’s what I think. We are born male and female, and marriage is the union of husband to wife that celebrates the necessity of the two genders’ coming together to make the future happen. I know you don’t think that. I know the law no longer thinks that. But I have staked my life on this truth.

The problem for me in celebrating your gay wedding, as much as I love you, is that I would be witnessing and celebrating your attempt not only to commit yourself to a relationship that keeps you from God’s plan but, worse, I would be witnessing and celebrating your attempt to hold the man you love to a vow that he will avoid God’s plan. To vow oneself to sin is one thing, to try to hold someone you love to it — that’s not something I can celebrate. And I would be party to the idea that two men can make a marriage, which I do not believe.

On your happy day you should be surrounded by people who can honor your vow and help you keep it. I can’t do that.

See what she did there? True “kindness” isn’t Marco Rubio’s wussy assent to witness vows he doesn’t believe in, it’s telling your friend you want no part of their “happy day.”

Rick Santorum, meanwhile, needs no such coaching to turn down those gay wedding invitations. Asked about it by Hugh Hewitt, on the heels of Rubio’s declaration, Santorum said no way. “As a person of my faith, that would be something that would be a violation of my faith,” the 2016 longshot told Hewitt. “I would love them and support them, but I would not participate in that ceremony.”

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Sen. Ted Cruz, on the other hand, might want to have a look at Gallagher’s little speech, because he can’t figure out where to stand on the issue. The normally blunt Cruz told Hewitt, "I will tell you, I haven’t faced that circumstance. I have not had a loved one go to a, have a gay wedding. I’m a Christian, and the Scripture commands us to love everyone, and to love everyone, and all of us are sinners. But the legal question, I’m a Constitutionalist. And under the Constitution, from the beginning of this country, marriage has been a question for the states. It has been a question for elected legislatures in each of the 50 states."

It’s hilarious that this is becoming a defining issue for the GOP field. Of course, conservatives claim it’s the liberal media that’s making it an issue, and they deride such questions as frivolous given the pressing issues the nation faces. Gallagher herself mockingly frames it as “that question that is always so urgent for a president of the United States.”

But that’s a funny stance for people who are trying to make a big issue out of what should, in fact, be a non-issue. Gallagher, after all, says “I’ve staked my life” on the wrongness of gay marriage. If they’d stop trying to deprive people of basic freedoms, they wouldn’t be asked about it.

But now, when they do, Gallagher’s given them a handy albeit pompous way to explain themselves.

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Joan Walsh

Joan Walsh is the author of "What's the Matter With White People: Finding Our Way in the Next America."

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