Maggie Gallagher has rejected claims
that anti-gay marriage rhetoric is in part responsible for the deaths
of gay teens bullied to death.
Gallagher, the board chair of the
National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the country's most
vociferous opponent of gay marriage, denies her group has the blood
of gay teens on its hands.
“Forced sex, childhood sexual abuse,
dating violence, early unwed pregnancy, substance abuse – could
these be a more important factor in the increased suicide risk of
LGBT high schoolers than anything people like me ever said?” she
rhetorically asks in an op-ed published Wednesday in the New York
In the wake of a spate of incidents
where gay teens were bullied to death, activists argued that anti-gay
rhetoric – including that of anti-gay marriage group's like NOM –
was partially responsible for fostering a homophobic environment.
“National Organization for Marriage
Chairman Maggie Gallagher is among those who, with reckless
disregard, attacks LGBT youth, arguing that 'any organization or
institutional practice that encourages kids to adopt the homosexual
label at an early age is not being kind, healthy or compassionate to
children;'” Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry,
said on his group's blog.
“Despite Gallagher's claims that
organizations like hers are concerned about children, NOM does
nothing with its millions of dollars other than attack the freedom to
marry and demonize gay relationships, and Gallagher herself wasted
little time defending those who pushed [Rutgers student] Tyler
[Clementi] to the brink, saying that 'nothing in the press accounts
suggest the kids who did this were motivated by homophobia.'”
Gallagher responded directly to
Wolfson's claims: “Apparently, either we all agree that gay
marriage is good or gay children will die.”