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Maggie Gallagher says she didn't set out to attack the idea of marriage rights for same-sex couples -- the issue simply came to the forefront when she was trying to create a "marriage culture." What's more, she says, she and her allies are victims of "hatred."
Gallagher, perhaps the nation's leading opponent of marriage equality, made these assertions in a speech to the Sutherland Institute, a conservative Utah think tank, at its annual dinner Wednesday night in Salt Lake City.
"I avoided the discussion of gay marriage as long as I possibly could," Gallagher said, according to Salt Lake City's Deseret News. When Massachusetts became the first state to allow same-sex couples to marry, though, she feared it meant a change in the common understanding of marriage, and she created the National Organization for Marriage.
Her problem with marriage equality? "By the very act of declaring that two men in a union are in a marriage we are announcing that marriage has nothing to do with bringing mothers and fathers and children together," she told the dinner guests.
She also contended that opponents of same-sex marriage are unfairly characterized as intolerant: "You are like a bigot who is opposed to interracial marriage." She painted her side of the debate as victimized, saying supporters of marriage rights for gay couples are "raising the cost of speaking out ... by directing a relentless torrent of accusations and hatred against anyone who speaks, no matter how civilly, for marriage."
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