Pam Spaulding

Mike Signorile confronts Maggie Gallagher on CNN

Filed By Pam Spaulding | November 18, 2008 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Media
Tags: CNN, Don Lemon, gay marriage, Maggie Gallagher, Michelangelo Signorile, Prop 8, same-sex marriage, Signorile

Marriage Protection advocate Maggie Gallagher sparred with Mike Mike Signorile the other night about same-sex marriage. He mops the floor with her.

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The transcript is below the fold.

CNN transcript:

Our guests tonight are passionately outspoken on both sides of this issue. Maggie Gallagher is president of the National Organization for Marriage. She is a strong supporter of the ban on same-sex marriage. And Michelangelo Signorile is a gay writer and talk show host who's been a long-time champion of same-sex marriage. Thanks to both of you for joining us.

OK. Maggie, why oppose anyone getting married, whether it's two men or two women or a man and a woman?

MAGGIE GALLAGHER, OPPOSES SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: What I oppose is the right of the people of California and the other states to protect the definition of marriage as the union of husband and wife. Listen, people have a right to marry. They don't have a right to decide, to redefine marriage for the entire state of California, or the entire country.

Unions of husband and wife, really, are different. These are the only kind of unions that can make new life and connect those children in love to their own mother and father. And this is a really important social ideal to millions of Californians and to Americans -- to have exercised their civil rights to peacefully organize, vote and donate, and are now facing an extraordinary campaign...

LEMON: Not every married...

GALLAGHER: ...and intimidation against them here in California. It's very serious.

LEMON: Not every married couple, though, procreates.

GALLAGHER: Every unions of husband and wife have this capacity, and every man and woman who marries can give every child that they have, a mother and father. No other union can do this.

LEMON: All right.

GALLAGHER: And very man and woman who marries is not going to be producing fatherless children across multiple households. So, they deserve this ideal.

LEMON: Michael is being very respectful here. And I'm surprised, because, you know, I hear him on the radio and I've seen him on other programs. Not that he's not a respectful guy. But usually he's chomping at the bit to get in.

OK. She says that it is something that is special between a man and a woman that they can procreate in a married relationship.

MICHELANGELO SIGNORILE, SUPPORTS SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: Well, as you pointed out, Don, not only are there many heterosexual couples who do not procreate and cannot procreate, but many gay and lesbian couples procreate. There are thousands and thousands of gay and lesbian couples across this country who have children. Many of them had them naturally. Many of these women, certainly, lesbians have them naturally. Many of them have adopted children.

Every study has shown that they do great. The American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, all talk about how there's absolutely no study that shows that these children do any worse. Some studies even show lesbian parents have children who do even better. So, we're talking about an issue that doesn't really wash here. Of course, children are in heterosexual families as well as gay and lesbian families.

LEMON: OK. Here to both of you. Here's what's surprising to me that I heard from Maggie that I hadn't heard. Won't you listen to this, Michael? She's saying that people who supported Prop 8 are being fired, and they're being intimidated by these protesters.

Maggie, is that so? Yes or no?

GALLAGHER: Well, yes. But not necessarily by these protesters.


LEMON: OK. Hold that thought.

GALLAGHER: Listen, what is happening is that the names and addresses and the employers of people who donated to Prop 8 are being put up on the Internet. People are being told to go after their employees. They're required to --

LEMON: OK, Maggie, hold that thought. I want to let Michelangelo get in on this after we take a quick break. This debate is from over. We're back seconds away.


LEMON: All right. Maggie Gallagher and Michelangelo Signorile - I just want to say Signorile, it's Signorile, both join us now. OK. You heard that. She's saying that the name and phone numbers of the people who supported Prop 8 and businesses who support it, their information is being given out, they're being harassed. In many cases, people are losing business and some people are getting fired, Michael.

SIGNORILE: Well, look, I've heard from people on my radio program who've been fired from their jobs because they voted against these ballot measures. We also had a ballot measure in Arizona as well, Proposition 102, that the voters passed banning marriage. I've had people whose bosses overheard them say that they voted for it and they got fired.

But look, with Proposition 8 in California, it is the public record. If you put money down to take away people's rights, and this was a right that was already given, unlike in Arizona and elsewhere. This was a right that people enjoyed since June that the California Supreme Court said this constitution held for gays and lesbians.

If you take away someone's right and your name is up there, it is public record and you better put your money where your mouth is. You better be proud to sing it loud if that is what you believe.

GALLAGHER: In other words, what you're hearing is that there is no shame about this. Michelangelo is endorsing this. There's no marriage advocates putting up the names and addresses of people who voted no and anything.


SIGNORILE: Maggie, the names and addresses are public record.


GALLAGHER: Go dig up, go dig up dirt on this. Don't attack these people. Don't take away their livelihood. Let's blacklist artists who disagree with you on gay marriages, too.


SIGNORILE: They are public record. Look, it's one thing if you...

GALLAGHER: This is happening and it's one-sided right now, Michelangelo.

SIGNORILE: It's one thing if you speak out.

GALLAGHER: I don't think it should happen to you if you disagree with me.

LEMON: I beg you, I have to say, though, I have to say that there are...


GALLAGHER: ...civil rights to organize, to donate without threats and intimidation as a result of doing so. LEMON: Maggie, there are gay, lesbian and transgender people who say the same thing that you're saying now, that they're being fired for their jobs just because of who they are. What is the difference?

GALLAGHER: I would -- first of all, I would certainly repudiate that. The difference is that it's a tactic. I mean, it was the "No on Prop 8" people who put up an ad going after the Mormons. It's an ad we would never. If someone who were holding up signs saying that Jews...


SIGNORILE: Maggie, there are 18,000 couples who have had their rights taken away.


GALLAGHER: ...that Jews have donated too much money on this. And therefore, let's go and put -- hold up signs in front of them, attack their places of worship, hold up signs saying dumb and moron, too.


SIGNORILE: Can I get a word in here, please?

LEMON: Stand by. Maggie, let him get a word in. Go ahead. Go ahead, Michael.


SIGNORILE: Can I get a word in here? Maggie, can I get a word in here? Are you going to allow me to talk?


SIGNORILE: 18,000 couples have their rights taken away.

GALLAGHER: Absolutely, that is wrong.

SIGNORILE: Can I finish my point, please, Maggie?

GALLAGHER: Well, you've been talking over me, Michelangelo.

SIGNORILE: 18,000 couples...

LEMON: Yes, this isn't doing anyone any good. You guys talking over each other. Hey, Maggie and Michael, it's not doing any good, you guys talking over each other, but hang on. I'm just going to stay with this a little bit longer.

Maggie, let him make his point, so he can get it out. And then I'll give you one as well.

SIGNORILE: Thank you. 18,000 couples have had their rights taken away from them. They enjoyed these rights. They were given to them by the Constitution of California. The Supreme Court read that in the constitution.

Now, these people who voted against them decided to act and take away their rights. It's different from saying you're opposed to marriage.

LEMON: OK, Michael, finish it.

SIGNORILE: You now voted against people and took away their rights.

LEMON: OK, Maggie, real quick. Because I only have a few seconds.

GALLAGHER: The Constitution of California gives people the right to organize, to vote and donate. And we should do so, each our side, without this atmosphere of intimidation.

LEMON: All right. Both of you, thank you very much. And both of you have a good evening.

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Signorile came off very bland, sorry. The lady was allowed to spew her crap without outspoken counters.

She walked all over him with her aggressive demeanor.

In talking about same sex marriage as a civil right i think we need to remind Americans of the language the US Supreme Court used in it's 1967 Loving vs Virginia decision (striking down laws prohibiting mixed race marriage); "...marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man..." Similar language defining marriage as a civil right has been found in several other Supreme Court decisions since (including marriage rights for federal prisoners).

I think it's hard for someone like Maggie to be really convincing, because her arguments are totally illogical-- I could probably do better than that with my high school debate knowledge. And saying "But what if this were Jews!?" is just a low-blow. Wish they hadn't been talking at the same time for most of the thing, though...

I agree. Not only is it a low-blow, but it's pitiful attempt to pass the buck. Furthermore, just because you didn't act alone doesn't mean you aren't guilty. I think the LGBT community would have gone after any other organization that so heavily and hypocritically donated to the cause. We don't have the populous to go after everyone, so we go after those who are the most outspoken.

Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | November 18, 2008 8:19 PM

Well, I respect and admire Michael but I have to say on this one I have say I'm not so sure about him "mopping the floor with her." I generally have a problem with trying to cram a complex and important subject like this in a short space of time complete with having to watch for a commercial break. And all the "crosstalks" in the transcript mean that most of it was a rather garbled mess where both were talking at once. People come away clinging to their own opinions, including one that says there's often more heat than light in these supposedly informative attempts at public discourse.

Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | November 18, 2008 8:34 PM

Maggie repeated the old line about "Unions of husband and wife, really, are different. These are the only kind of unions that can make new life and connect those children in love to their own mother and father."

I always wonder why somebody doesn't reply, or ask her back, something like this:

"OK, OK, let's assume that you're correct in that there is something unique about heterosexual reproduction that puts it on a special pedistal so far as being constitutionaly "special" is concerned. Please tell me, though, why that brings with it all kinds of benefits and rights that have absolutely nothing to do with that biological uniqueness? Excluding folks is supposed to have some rational basis, some connection with the reason for the treating of similar groups differently. How is the ability to file a joint tax return related to that unique biology? What about social security survivor benefits? What unique features of put penis A into vagina B exclusively entitles the putters and puttees to over a thousand rights and benefits at the federal level alone that don't seem to have any connection to anything having to do with genital activity or any kind?"

That might at least shut Maggie up long enough for Michael to say "Gotcha" before the commercial break.

That might at least shut Maggie up long enough...

I doubt it. LOL

What do we know about the state of Maggie Gallagher's marriage?

She seems like the kind of woman who needs the law to force men to marry women in order to have a chance of landing a husband.

She is like an abusive alcholic parent who continues their crap in front of their children knowing full well other sane adults will not confront the flipped out jackass in front of the children so as not to further traumatize them. Lets get past this child issue. It is a front to disguise their own ignorance and it is no different than full blow disfunction. The topic of having children and marriage equality are completely separate and these people must be addressed appropriately and silenced when they attempt to combine the two. It is completely off topic. I am sick of it.

It is amazing these fundamentalists take an issue like this and play victim throwing themselves right into the middle of it as if it is about them. I am consistently astonished at their radical conservatism being accepted by the majority as free speech as we continue to be defecated on. Unbelievable. I am not interested in convincing untold numbers of ignorant americans lined up against us. We need to focus on the correct tactic to achieve equality and it is not giving these ugly hearted evil narrow minded simpletons hiding behind religion any recognition. That's for sure and that has already been proven over and over again. You would think people like Peggy Noonan never sat on a toilet seat the way they speak with such better than thou loftiness. Ugh. Go away Gallagher. She is an embarassment to the female gender and that is just the beginning.

It is unique, silly boys and girlz. Two men cannot procreate. Two women cannot procreate. Only a man and a woman can procreate. It is your arguments that are without base. Claiming that not all heterosexual couples have children is a strawman argument. They are merely the exception that proves the rule.

Furthermore, It is only a sign of the bizarre disfunctionality of our times that this conversation is even taking place. The last time such a conversation was held was when Caligula was emperor of Rome, and we all know where that one went.

Now, understand,. I could care less who you get on your knees for. I could care less what you do in your bedroom or the bathhouse. But the very idea that a group of people who represent the far left side of the Bell curve of life should have a right to enforce their disfunction on the rest of us is just too bizarre. And, understand, that it will not last. Muslims do not like it, Hispanics do not like it and neither do blacks. And since you and your cohorts have stuffed multicultural diversity down our throats, those peoples numbers will only grow, and as they do, so will their political clout--which means yours will diminish.

And so, as was predicted by people like me, you have killed the golden goose by going to far...


You don't need to be married to procreate.
You don't need to procreate to be married.
You don't need to marry or procreate to parent.

So what's so unique about marriage?