NOM Exposed is a campaign-style operation that tracks and challenges the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage as it tries to influence elections and legislative campaigns across the country.

Maggie Gallagher


The Mastermind

Maggie Gallagher is president of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy and is NOM’s founding president.

Gallagher stepped down as NOM president in April 2010, and, in September 2011, stepped down as chairman of the board.

She a syndicated columnist with United Press Syndicate from 1995–2013.

President Bush’s Department of Health and Human Services paid Gallagher $21,500 under a nine-month contract connected to the Healthy Marriage Initiative in 2005. She received another $20,000 from Bush’s Justice Department for writing, “Can Government Strengthen Marriage?”  In 2005, after much public scrutiny, Maggie felt compelled to apologize to her column readers for not disclosing her work for the Bush administration.

Gallagher serves on the board of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, a legal organization started by NOM's former counsel, Charles LiMandri. The Fund's most known cause is to defend scientifically discredited and highly dangerous "ex-gay" therapy.

Maggie Gallagher is trustee of the Marriage Law Foundation (MLF). The MLF was founded by William Duncan (also a director of NOM’s project The Ruth Institute) and Monte Stewart. Stewart co-chaired the Utahns for a Better Tomorrow Campaign that supported the 2004 amendment banning same-sex marriage. Duncan is a Mormon and Stewart was formerly a Mormon mission president in Atlanta, GA.

She was a senior fellow at the Center for Social Thought. She opposed domestic partnership legislation in CA in 2006.

In a 2000 column where she defended talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Gallagher wrote that “in a simple biological framework abstracted from all religion and morality, homosexuality is like infertility. It is a sexual disability preventing certain individuals from participating in the normal reproductive patterns of the human species.”

In a book titled “The Abolition of Marriage,” Maggie Gallagher equates same-sex marriage with adultery: “…American family law has been rewritten to dilute both the right and the obligations of marriage, while at the same time placing other relationships, from adulterous liaisons to homosexual partnerships, on a legal par with marriage…”

She believes polygamy is better than same-sex marriage: “At least polygamy, for all its ugly defects, is an attempt to secure stable mother-father families for children.” And “…there is no principled reason why you don’t have polygamy if you have gay marriage…”

She opposes anti-discrimination laws: “I oppose anti-discrimination laws to gays for many reasons: a distaste for big government, fear of the job-shrinking side-effects of more lawsuits, a sense of injustice that a small, affluent group should be pressing for new economic protections.”

Gallagher has suggested that gay people can "control" their behavior, admitting she sees homosexuality as "an unfortunate thing":

She has suggested that both same-sex couples and supporters of marriage equality are "committing several kinds of very serious sins":

In the aftermath of Judge Walker’s ruling in the Prop 8 case, Gallagher dispatched a seething op-ed to the San Francisco Chronicle, writing: “If this ruling is upheld, millions of Americans will face for the first time a legal system that is committed to the view that our deeply held moral views on sex and marriage are unacceptable in the public square, the fruit of bigotry that should be discredited, stigmatized and repressed. Parents will find that, almost Soviet-style, their own children will be re-educated using their own tax dollars to disrespect their parents’ views and values.”

Ultimately, however, Walker's ruling made it all the way to the highest court of the land, where Prop 8 ultimately lost its final battle.  In the aftermath of that Supreme Court action on both Prop 8 and the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, Gallagher was forced to admit that marriage equality is coming to all 50 states.