The Rise and Fall of the National Organization for Marriage

About Maggie Gallagher’s ‘old friend’ and current colleague, Charles LiMandri

January 04, 2013, by Jeremy Hooper

In a new Huffington Post interview, Maggie Gallagher talks about how she has joined the board of a new organization headed up by Charles LiMandri.  Gallagher refers to LiMandri, who once served as NOM's general counsel, as her "old friend":

HUFF PO: I understand one of your upcoming projects will be working with the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, which has announced it will help defend the Jewish ex-gay therapy group JONAH against a lawsuit from previous clients. What do you think the significance of this fight is?

GALLAGHER: I am serving on the board with my old friend Chuck Limandri who is one heck of a litigator. The overarching goal is to build legal institutions to protect traditional religious believers from what I believe is going to be increasing efforts to stigmatize and marginalize us from mainstream society -- and to interfere with the process of building institutions that reflect these beliefs.


So that being the case, let's look at some of what this "old friend" and NOM colleague has said about us:

  • Limandri says of gays: "Nature never forgives [::laughs::] And when you do certain things that are unnatural because our bodies were not designed for that kind of behavior, nature's not going to be forgiving":
  • Limandri (second voice in clip, beginning aroun 1:20) equates supporting LGBT people with buying booze for an alcoholic:
  • Limandri refers to gay family members by saying he loves them but can't support "their destructive lifestyle"; He positions gay men as innately non-monogamous and describes our relations as "pathologic," "deviant," and "perverse"; He warns of a "potential civil war in this country by imposing same-sex marriage on this nation"; He denies that there is any genetic basis to homosexuality, instead using the "ex-gay" community's beloved theories about fractured relationships with same-gender parents leading to gayness. All of that in this lengthy video recording of an anti-gay CD set that LiMandri created (and sells on the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund site):
  • In ad for the above CD set, Limandri is said to see same-sex unions as "spelling the end of society as we know it":
  • Wrote of gays: "the destruction of the concept of gender is perhaps Satan's greatest accomplishment"


And there's much more out there for anyone who cares to do more digging.  There's a Powerpoint presentation where he cites the research of the thoroughly disgraced Paul Cameron, links to incendiary groups like MasResistance and Americans For Truth, and includes a defintion of "sodomy" as being "a crime against nature."  There used to also be an eight-part video series in which Chuck condemned gays in every way available to him, but the YouTuber who posted them has yanked them from the web.    

Of course Maggie has every right to join whatever board, support whatever kind of advocacy, and raise the profile of whatever "old friend" she finds helpful to her goals.  But really—this is with whom she, someone who has tried so hard to deny that animus is part of the marriage debate, has chosen to partner for her next act?   Seriously?  

Look, I know the last thing Maggie wants is advice from the likes of me, but personally I'd choose to get in bed with a team that/leader who didn't make it so darn easy for my political opponents.  Because I'm not gonna lie—it took me about twenty minutes to find the overtly hostile info I needed for this post.  It will take about as much time for Maggie to bely every denial of animus that she's been making for the past decade.