Gallagher noted that the Southern Poverty Law Center did not name her organization as a hate group “but even the Washington Post got confused” by its article.
Responding to the Law Center's accusations that some groups listed had spread falsehoods, she said she did not see anything that “would remotely cause us to be included in this report.”
In general comments about the SPLC’s attack on other groups, she described precedents in Europe where professions of belief in religious freedom accompany government suppression of believers in traditional marriage.
In Britain, according to Gallagher, Christian schools have the right to teach religious doctrine but the state claims the right to decide whether or not what is taught is a fact.
“The line they’re drawing is that you can say that gay marriage is unbiblical, but you can’t say ‘It’s better for children to have a mom and a dad’,” Gallagher explained.
The attempt to “shut down the scientific debate” on statements of fact controls what ordinary people can say and think and helps “morally shame” people who think marriage is a union of a man and a wife.
Gallagher saw the Law Center’s action as a vindication of her past statements.
“I wish they would stop proving that we’re right so consistently. I’m not surprised. This is what I predicted would happen. I’m a little surprised it’s happening so fast.
“They believe you should be treated like a racist if you think marriage is a union of a man and a wife,” she said.
Asked to explain the difference between having racist views and having views opposed to homosexual acts, Prof. George said that debates about sexual ethics are about whether certain acts are “consistent with the dignity of human beings.”
However, this debate assumes “the equal and inestimable worth and dignity of all human beings” because it asks whether certain acts are worthy of them. Racist ideology rejects this, basing itself on “skin pigmentation” or other “morally irrelevant factors.”
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“We need to face squarely the goals of this movement, the rhetoric of this movement, and the fact that this is an issue,” Gallagher remarked.
She added that Pope Benedict XVI and the Catholic bishops have made clear that “it doesn’t get better” if opponents of same-sex “marriage” stand down.
“The next fight is going to be whether or not our religious institutions and parents and schools are going to be stigmatized in the public square as racists, and face legal disabilities that racists face.”
George similarly warned that adherents of traditional Christian and Jewish beliefs have seen their rights “trampled” where same-sex unions have been recognized and where anti-discrimination laws have been used as “weapons against dissenters.”
“Here in the United States, we don't put people in jail for advocating bigotry, but we impose civil disabilities of various sorts,” he commented.
He predicted that if support for traditional marriage is treated as a form of bigotry, dissenting persons and institutions like the Catholic Church will “quickly find such disabilities imposed upon them.”