February 15, 2010 | by Chris Johnson
Sullivan, Gallagher to face off at conservative forum

A leading national voice against same-sex marriage and a renowed gay blogger are set to face off Wednesday during a panel discussion in a conservative forum.

The Cato Institute, a libertarian think-tank in D.C., has this week scheduled an event titled, “Is There a Place for Gay People in Conservatism and Conservative Politics?” The panel, set to begin Wednesday at noon, is slated to tackle LGBT participation in mainstream society and conservative politics.

Among the panelists are gay blogger Andrew Sullivan and Maggie Gallagher, president of the National Organization for Marriage. Also scheduled to appear is Nick Herbert, a member of British Parliament and the country’s Conservative Party. He serves as the party’s shadow secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs.

According to the event notice, the Conservative Party under the leadership of David Cameron has “jettisoned much of its former opposition to gay rights” by supporting civil unions and appointing openly LGBT people to the shadow cabinet. Herbert is slated to explain why the Conservative Party adopted this change and offer details on the party’s new social agenda.

To register for the event, email events@cato.org, fax (202) 371-0841, or call (202) 789-5229 by noon, Tuesday, February 16, 2010 .

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

12 Comments
  • I would imagine the “Place for Gay People” would be the same as the one for blacks, women, and other power-minorities. Which is to say, they can participate as a token for the rest of their group, but at the sacrifice of contributing to the improved standard of living of any minority.

    It will likely be an interesting debate.

  • So, it’s still ok to offend me and other gay people by “discussing” our private lives in public (like they know anything), and “debating” the relative worth of our existence. Wonderful! I hope the Bible’s Texts of Hate happen to come up. Spong’s subtitle: Intense, Irrational, Threatening and Hysterical. About sums it up! http://books.google.com/books?id=Sywosa4ee5sC&pg=PA113&dq=john+shelby+spong+homosexuality&client=firefox-a&cd=1#v=onepage&q=&f=false

  • I hope Andrew Sullivan rips Maggie Gallagher for her hypocrisy — she is actively trying to squash other people’s rights in the name of “tradition”, yet is so untraditional! She does NOT take her husband’s name (Srinivas too ethnic?) and jets around without him as the leader of a movement. Not a very traditional marriage role! Sullivan is a superior conservative and human being… who happens to be gay.

  • Republicans force conservative queers like me to look for alternative politics because they are trying so hard to prevent any equality for gay and lesbian citizens. I am giving most of my support to the Libertarian party right now. Trying to contain a groundswell movement of civil rights never works. The sooner the Republicans stop harassing the GLBT community, the sooner they might find themselves the recipients of money from the donor demographic with the highest expendable income in the nation.

  • In all likelihood, Maggie will try to pander to Sullivan and other GLBTs by saying she’s not homophobic, she has gay friends, she supports gay rights, blah blah blah, oh, but she just wants to protect marriage from being redefined because of the children or whatever.

    From her perspective and that of other “social conservatives,” GLBT people are welcome to be conservatives, so long as we “know our place.”

  • “donor demographic with the highest expendable income in the nation”

    This is a lie repeated ad nauseum and often used to argue against extending legal protections to the LGBT population.

  • Romans 1:21, 26-27
    Talk about Christians twisting scripture to support their own perverse ideas… the STRANGEST condemnation of homosexual activity in the New Testament… Christians ignore it, but Paul is asserting that homosexuality is the PUNISHMENT GIVEN by God to those who fail to worship him properly. Read it, think… i.e. Paul is saying that God creates same-sex desire! Whaaaa?? If a loving God could do that, or WOULD do that, would that God be worthy of anyone’s worship? (thx to John Shelby Spong for many of those words and ideas. See above).

  • Shouldn’t the debate about “conservatism” really be whether it can rescue itself from the clutches of fanatical relgiosity?

  • Maggie Gallagher recently appeared in a similar style “debate” here in Corvallis, Oregon with “gay ethicist” John Corvino, a professor of philosophy at Wayne State University. It became very apparent very quickly that there is no there there when it comes to Gallagher’s belief system concerning opposite sex marriage. Her contention, which was entirely unsupported by any kind of actual thought process let alone facts, was that there is “some something special” in the relationship between a married man and woman that doesn’t exist between two married (or partnered) people of the same sex, and that’s why it’s okay to discriminate against, and deny those same sex couple access to the institution of marriage. Some how, she literally thinks the marriages of same sex couples will drain away that “some something special” enjoyed by those heterosexual couples. Even worse than this infantile thinking was her utter inability to actually articulate a coherent sentence. If this women is the best intellect the right wing has to offer on the subject of marriage equality, and why it’s okay to subject millions of Americans to such blatant bigotry, hatred and discrimination, the U.S. is doomed as a world leader. If our citizenry is as lame-brained as she is, we have no hope for the future, not as a society, and not as a soverign nation.

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