Maggie Gallagher was on Signorile’s show this week, and he called her out on something she’s been doing for years: talking one way when she’s in front of what might be called “mixed company,” affirming the humanity and dignity of gay people and the like, but then talking a completely different way when she’s in front of “her people,” i.e. bigots.

Gallagher says, “I think about gay people as my fellow citizens, my neighbors, my friends, for some of us, family members.”

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I noted to her that she speaks in that way, about gay people as fellow citizens who should have rights (even if not marriage), when she is on shows like mine and on CNN and other mainstream outlets. But when she goes on Christian media outlets she talks about homosexuality as something that is an “unfortunate thing” and sinful.

“I think it’s not true that I go on some stations and have a radically different view than I have here,” she responded. “I don’t see that any of us has the right to redefine marriage. It’s older than government. It has its own meaning and purpose.”

But Gallagher did not deny that she called homosexuality “unfortunate” and in fact reiterated that she has “orthodox” Catholic views on the issue. It’s an important fact because Gallagher and NOM often try to couch their arguments against gay marriage as strictly secular, social science-based arguments about the family and children. The only reason religious people are so prominent in the debate, they contend, is that they have more “motivation” to speak up.

“I think the reason you hear only primarily religious people willing to stand up for that idea is that it requires a community,” Gallagher said, “and religious people have more motivation to be willing to stand against the charge that you’re hateful, or bigoted, or discriminatory or wicked, really, if you don’t believe in gay marriage.”

No, Maggie, the reason it’s only religious people is because the only arguments people have left are those which are informed by biased, fundamentalist teachings about sexuality.

But Michelangelo is right, and Jeremy provided some audio evidence of this Gallagher phenomenon on his blog. Here is Maggie, talking on Catholic radio to her true believers:

And here she is, trying to sound not quite so much of a bigot, testifying before Congress:

The two Maggies: the difference is remarkable.