Letter to the Editor: If Gallagher Believed in ‘Compassion, Love and Understanding,’ He Would Have Voted for the Respect for Marriage Act

Recently I contacted Rep. Mike Gallagher regarding my views on the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which I believe impacts women’s rights. I was pleased that he took the time to respond to me with an email on July 16. He wrote that he is pro-life and that he believes in “compassion, love and understanding, and that it is important not to vilify or demonize those who feel differently than I do.”

Mr. Gallagher, I call your bluff. Your vote against H.R. 8404, Respect for Marriage Act, does not display the “compassion, love and understanding” you claim to cherish. Your vote goes against your own words that “it is important not to vilify or demonize those who feel differently than I do.”

A vote of nay to the Respect for Marriage Act does not, in my opinion, demonstrate that you are “pro-life.” It is the complete opposite of this value that you say you hold dear.

If younger Americans continue to come out at increasing rates, Gallup predicts the proportion of adults who identify as LGBTQ+ will exceed 10% in the near future. If you cared about love, you would know that the LGBTQ+ percentage of our population here in northeastern Wisconsin also cares very much about love and the commitment that comes with marrying the person you love, no matter whether that love is same sex. Your lack of respect for all marriages shows no compassion or understanding.

If you were pro-life, you would show that you care about all life. When you vote against same-sex marriage, you are showing all of northeastern Wisconsin that it is acceptable to discriminate against the LGBTQ+ population. You are vilifying and demonizing as much as 10% of the folks you represent even though they feel differently than you do. You are saying nay to the experiences and important life events for brides and grooms and to the friends and families that love and support those who want to commit to same-sex marriage – those who want to be a mother or father-in-law, sister or brother-in-law, groomsmen, bridesmaids and all those who just want to dance the polka at these wedding receptions.

It is time for you to show in action that what you claim in words is important to you.

Anna G. Knapp

Ellison Bay, Wisconsin