The founder of the antigay National Organization for Marriage, Maggie Gallagher, wrote her last syndicated advice column on Wednesday and announced she was giving up optimism.
Gallager's column has run in various publications for 17 years, where she espoused her conservative, and often antigay, beliefs. Gallagher has long been the face of the anti-marriage equality movement, appearing on talk shows and news programs. In her final column, Gallagher admits much of her work has proved fruitless. "On every key measure, marriage is weaker," she writes. "The consequences are more obviously unsustainable, yet culturally powerful voices are less willing to engage, and the power of porn and Hollywood to create our norms for family life is more triumphant than ever."
Gallagher believes men must lead all households, which must consist of a husband, a wife, and children.
"Without a powerful ideal of masculinity that points men toward marriage and fatherhood, more and more young men are deciding the hard work of becoming marriageable is not worth it: Porn, beer, video games with the guys, freedom and fleeting sexual encounters are good enough.
The most urgent overlooked need is the deep need of boys for masculine ideals. If civilization refuses to provide any, porn and video-game makers will step in to fill the gap.
Why should young men work hard to become protectors and defenders of women and children when American culture -- and women -- tells them they are not needed in either role?"
Gallagher seems to believe marriage is not pleasant — for straights or gays — but must be endured: "Men and women are different. A society that pretends otherwise is not going to raise boys to be loving, reliable family men. Marriage is about settling for less but raising up an ideal much bigger and more important even than the most urgent whispered promises of romantic love."
Gallagher closes her column by saying she's giving up on optimism, but remaining hopeful that her life's mission is taken up by others. Read the column here.