Sunday, December 10, 2006

Romney the Flip-Flopper

What a difference a day makes. Just 22 hours ago the headlines were "Romney charms key Bush backers," and now we read "Romney Letter Angers Conservatives." So what's all the fuss about? It seems that Mitt Romney, a potential candidate for the 2008 GOP nomination for president, has been caught flip-flopping on the gay rights issue.

This is the same Mitt Romney who has filed a suit with the Massachusetts supreme court to make sure that a constitutional ban overturning same-sex marriage in the state makes it to the ballot, in spite of the legislature abandoning it. This is the governor who opposed same sex marriages vociferously the last few years, in a rather obvious attempt to improve his social-conservative credentials for his presidential bid. A guy who supports a federal constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

In a story which has been simmering for several days and is now breaking at the Associated Press, and has been picked up by ("More Romney Gay Doublespeak Surfaces"), it is revealed that Romney had courted the LGBT vote in 1994 when he was running for Senate opposite Ted Kennedy. Said Romney, in an interview with Bay Windows (the largest New England LGBT newspaper) during that campaign:
more . . .
When I speak of free agency, I don’t just mean that each person can do what they want to do, I mean that our society should allow people to make their own choices and live by their own beliefs. People of integrity don’t force their beliefs on others, they make sure that others can live by different beliefs they may have. That’s the great thing about this country: it was founded to allow people to follow beliefs of their own conscience. I will work and have worked to fight discrimination and to assure each American equal opportunity.
And in a letter to the Log Cabin Republicans:
We must make equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern . . .
adding that he would be more aggressive than Senator Kennedy in pushing for gay rights.

The Bay Windows story ("Romney Is A Big Fat Liar") gives the most complete coverage, including the text of their 1994 interview.

Though never fully in support of most gay rights, the turnaround in his positions in the last three to ten years is nevertheless breathtaking. And while we here at Outright Libertarians are not too surprised to find a Republican that gave up on promoting legal equality for all people (such as he may or may not have believed in when running for office in a liberal state), it seems the people he is really shocking are the national social-conservative base he was building. Not only is it surfacing that Romney was not always virulently anti-gay, it also seems he used to be . . . pro-choice (oh! no!). Quoting from the A.P. article:
The New York Times reported Saturday that the Family Research Council, among others, expressed disappointment with the contents of the Romney letter.

"This is quite disturbing,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. "This type of information is going to create a lot of problems for Governor Romney. He is going to have a hard time overcoming this."
Wouldn't it be ironic if it were the Religious Right he has been so actively courting that killed Romney's chance at the presidency?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Free Markets, Free Gay People: Part II

As we look over the comical landscape of "liberals" defending the perpetuation of anti-gay policies in the military that are opposed by 80% of the population, citing "controversy," and Democratic leaders introducing a whole host of new anti-gay laws (after campaigning against homophobic Republicans as the "non-homophobic" party), it's instructive to see how gays are advancing in the private sector.

Fortune delivers the latest look at gays in the private sector:

Last June the gay rights movement quietly achieved a milestone: For the first time, more than half of Fortune 500 companies - 263, to be precise - offered health benefits for domestic partners, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Ten years ago only 28 did.

Along with health benefits for their families, many workers also get bereavement leave when their same-sex partner dies, adoption assistance or paid leave if they have children and relocation assistance for their partners if they are transferred. Put another way, gay marriage - an idea that has been banned by all but one of 27 states that have voted on it - has become a fact of life inside many big companies.

"Corporate America is far ahead of America generally when it comes to the question of equality for GLBT people," says Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign.

Solmonese is right. The nation's Roman Catholic bishops last month advised gays to be celibate because the church considers their sexuality "disordered." Prominent evangelical minister Ted Haggard stepped down from his church after he was accused of having an affair with a gay man. Social conservatives flock to the polls to oppose gay marriage.

Business is different. "It's not a faith-based community," says Ed Offshack, a chemical engineer and gay activist at Procter & Gamble (Charts). "It's a logic-based community." The changes in attitudes toward gays and lesbians have been swift, deep, and altogether remarkable. People who once were shunned and then merely tolerated are today being embraced by corporate America. Yes, embraced.

The article is definitely worth a read. And while big-government sorts in the old parties express shock and amazement that free market enterprise is light years ahead of big, centrally-planned government programs run by politicians, we Libertarians just grin, nod, and wink.

As always, free markets equal free people.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Democrats continue attacks on marriage equality

Here's yet another example of what kind of behavior we can expect from a new Democratic majority in government:

Though Democrats captured Indiana's House of Representatives on election day, gay rights activists shouldn't count on making up any lost ground just yet.

Soon-to-be House Speaker Patrick Bauer, D-South Bend, announced before the elections that he would allow SJR07, the proposed amendment to the state constitution that would explicitly ban gay marriage, to be heard again in 2007.

Someone please explain to me how this at all represents the lesser of two evils. Both major parties look equally evil to me.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Romney: We don't like activist judges, except for when we do like them

Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, faced with a Legislature that refuses to put equality under the law for the minority up for a vote by the majority, is asking the state's supreme court to force a same-sex marriage ban onto the 2008 ballot.

This is the exact same governor who accused the exact same court of being "activist" and legislating from the bench when it ruled that the Massachusetts constitution requires equality under the law for same-sex couples. Is his problem now with an "activist" legislature?

What a hypocrite!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Obama Doesn't "Get" Civil Liberty

In this guest editorial published by the Bay Area Reporter (one of San Francisco's largest LGBT papers), author John P. Mortimer points out the inconsistency of Democratic mega-personality Barack Obama in opting for "separate but equal" treatment (as opposed to full marriage equality) for same-sex couples.

You would think, as a black former civil rights lawyer, Obama would know that "separate but equal" was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954.

Obama claims his religion is the cause of his legal blind spot. This is the obviously flexible religious belief system that allows him to be pro-choice on abortion while being opposed to marriage equality. Let's evaluate that from a religious point of view: he thinks murder of fetuses is OK, but he's gotta stop those gays from marrying!

We suspect his position has less to do with his religious beliefs than the latest directives from the pollsters at Democratic party headquarters to back-off on gay rights. But, we really shouldn't second-guess his motives: It could be that he is just as incompetent at theology as he is at civil rights law.

McCain Out of Touch With Arizona Voters

Republican John McCain, the presidential contender, missed the boat on Arizona proposition 107, which would have banned same-sex marriage in the state. From a column in the Arizona Daily Star:
Prop. 107 was the first ballot query of its kind in the nation to fail, and McCain was held up as an endorser of the measure and of its architect, Len Munsil, who ran for governor as a Republican.
And just in case you still don't understand how your rights might fare under a McCain administration, McCain drives the point home:
I just want to point out again: I believe that gay marriage should not be legal. OK?
Libertarians are given substantial credit for the defeat of prop. 107 in the column. So, if you want marriage equality, you had better not support McCain and the Republicans. And, our previous posts here, here and here make it pretty clear you had better not support Pelosi and the Democrats, either.

With the Libertarian Party, our equal legal rights come first, even if one happens to be an LGB or T person. Vote for your Libertarian candidates, and eventually the Democrats will come to understand that they can't just count on getting our votes, while deliving nothing in return; the Republican party will be forced to come to terms with its libertarian wing, relegating the social conservative agenda to where it belongs (the hind teat). Plus, you never know, in a few years we may even elect some partisan Libertarian candidates who would fight for our rights in the legislature in person.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Prominent Liberal Lesbian Commentator: "Don't Bet On Barack"

Now that the reverie over the Democrats' backlash-induced victory has worn off, gay liberals who view gay equality under the law as a real issue, rather than a wedge issue to win victory for their party, have started getting troubled. The Pelosi announcement that the anti-gay military ban is staying, and that gay issues in general were off the table, gave many pause from across the political spectrum.

The latest concern for the left is the Reverend Irene Monroe, who writes in the Advocate that:
Obama delivered a visionary keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2004, when he stated, “There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America. There’s the United States of America. There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America. There’s the United States of America…. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don’t like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states. We coach Little League in the blue states and have gay friends in the red states,” made him America's great hope for a better future.

As a supposedly bipartisan politician who understands and reconciles opposing views, and a non-doctrinal Christian whose personal identity and life journey shaped his lens to include those on the margins, why then, I ask, is this presidential hopeful not united with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer voters on the issue of marriage equality?
more . . .
I'd suggest that Mr. Obama's lack of support for the rights of gays is nothing new -- it's virtually required these days in order to be a "rising star" in the Democratic Party of 2006. In fact, it was also required to be a rising star in the Democratic Party of 1996, as Bill Clinton's strong endorsement of the DOMA indicates.

Here's Libertarian Party presidential candidate Michael Badnarik on gay marriage:
My position on the issue of gay marriage is simple. Individuals have rights. Gays are individuals. Case closed.


The first marriage licenses were issued by the government in an effort to prevent or regulate interracial marriage. Marriage licenses were generated due to racial bigotry, and this marriage amendment is based on sexual preference bigotry.
Short, sweet, to the point, and a position that virtually every gay person can support.

Some argue that a vote for a Libertarian presidential candidate is a "no hope" proposition, that we should support anti-gay Democrats in order to achieve "something tangible." Well, presently, the Democrats have already delivered something "tangible" -- nothing at all. And after hundreds of millions of dollars and gay votes expended since the early 1990s on Democrats, Democrats still have nothing to offer gay families.

I'd humbly suggest that we can -- and will -- do much better when we support the candidates and party that supports us with the same level of votes and campaign cash, to illustrate to the Obamas, Pelosis and Clintons that our votes and support need to be earned, not bullied out of gays presented with the Hobson's choice of an anti-gay Democrat or even more anti-gay Republican.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Nine Out of Fifty? Is That All You've Got?

According to an article in the Washington Blade, only nine of the 50 Democratic freshmen legislators are known to support full marriage equality. A greater number, thirteen, oppose same-sex marriage and two support a constitutional amendment banning such unions.

So it appears that LGBT faith in the Democratic party has been misplaced. More of the newly elected Democrats are opposed to than favor marriage equality.

Democratic party apologist Samantha Smoot, political director of the Human Rights Campaign, is attempting to smooth over the glaring lack of support from the new Democrats for equal legal rights for LGBT persons:
We have some very progressive new members. We also have some very conservative new members. There are a number of Democrats who are not necessarily with us on most issues at this time, so we have our work cut out for us, even though Congress is now in the hands of fair-minded leaders.
more . . .
I read that last sentence several times, and still haven't figured out what she meant by "fair minded." Obviously, something other than fairness towards gays.

Says John Marble, a spokesman for the Stonewall Democrats:
We do have more conservative Democrats who were elected, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be supportive of LGBT issues.
Then again, it could mean just that. Happily, here at Outright Libertarians we seldom have to apologize for the stance our Libertarian candidates take on LGBT issues. Of course, it could be worse. Poor John could be a spokesman for the Log Cabin Republicans instead of the Stonewall Democrats.

The most sensible statements came from Markos “Kos” Moulitsas Zuniga, a liberal blogger, and Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to congress. Said Ellison:
If my gay neighbor suffers from discrimination, then I suffer as well, and so does the entire community, just as when my female neighbor is held down by a glass ceiling, or my new immigrant neighbor is treated in a way that makes him or her feel unwelcome in our country.
and in support, Kos' reply...
As long as we talk about fairness and opportunity instead of what the gays are getting, what the blacks are getting, what the women are getting, if we can get away from that, and talk about a fair society, a just society, it gets much harder for the opposition.
Some fairly libertarian sentiments. Ellison realizes that cooperation and a civil society benefit all the members of that society, and Kos advises us to talk about equal rights, not special rights; and of equal opportunities, not equal outcomes.

Too bad these are not the majority views of the Democrats.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Democrats comment on Pelosi gay rights flip-flop

Did we say that Democrats were the party of gay rights? Ooops, we meant, gay rights aren't that important:
Having Frank and Meehan move on this right away and lose catastrophically, amidst intense media and Republican garbage about how the House is repeating Clinton's mistake of 1993, making gays in the military one of his very first priorities


Doing this in a few months, after carefully laying the plans for a floor debate, and actually having a chance of getting it passed in both the House and Senate -

Which makes more sense both for gays and lesbians in the military currently and for getting other things like ENDA further down the road?
more . . .
I wasn't aware it was an either-or situation!
Do you remember 1993?

When Clinton tried to do this? The press is majorly homophobic and they will be goaded on by the Republican party. If she tried to do this right away, regardless of what polls say, she would be fried in the media and it would have huge reverberations for the rest of the Democratic agenda. SAN FRANCISCO VALUES would be trumpeted in the headlines of major newspapers across the country. I fervently hope this will be addressed, but to expect her to make it one of her first priorities is not realistic, considering the huge shitstorm that would erupt from the Republicans and the media.
Well, at least they're willing to take risks!
It's a big "culture war" issue and it's not something they evidently think is wise to bring to the forefront early on. Like I said, I'd rather they pass it down the road than bring it up right away and have it turn into a media firestorm about how out of touch Nancy Pelosi is with America's priorities.
I suppose that without this issue, the Republicans will instead insist that Ms. Pelosi is in touch with America's priorities.
We are about to lose the war in Iraq no matter what we do. Do you honestly want them to be able to blame it on our making "drastic" changes in the military during a time of crisis? I don't.
We already saw how effective scapegoating "the gays" was for the Republicans in the last election (not very).
I hate to say this, because it's revolting, but this is a game. A very high stakes game. Stamping our foot and demanding doesn't cut it. If there is no strategy then there is no win.
I thought the strategy was, to summarize gay Democratic groups, "vote Democrat, get rights, vote Republican, lose them?" Now it looks a bit more like "vote Democrat, sit down and shut up, you're humiliating us."
a lot of dems think clinton lost the congress because the first thing he tried to do was to allow gays in the military.
But "some people say" they're all wet.
But you just have to look at the political terrain right now and see that it's just not going to happen this Congress. I agree, we have a far better chance of passing ENDA (and I think I'll contact my Representative, Jan Schakowsky, office about being a sponsor).
Except that largely-symbolic, substance-free legislation like ENDA isn't even on the Pelosi radar screen.
I'm not gonna get my panties in a wad if they don't tackle DADT right away. Deal with the meaty, significant issues first, while you still possess some capital from the landslide election.
I suppose that the whole "constitutional rights" thing is a piddling, minor issue in comparison to developing socialist medical care, or hiking the minimum wage.
I agree with Pelosi. I think one of the dumbest things Bill Clinton ever did was getting tangled up in this issue right out of the gate. And I agree there are far more pressing issues.
Hmmm, it's a shame that Democrats didn't campaign on this message *before* demanding gay votes.

Keep in mind that DADT is a profoundly unpopular policy with very little civilian support, and the easiest gay-rights issue to "lead with." But when Democrats won thanks to gays, gays were told to get back in the back of the bus -- as usual.


Because the Democratic Party, dear friends, is homophobic. They lied to millions of Americans in their campaign promises -- just to get our cash and votes.

And if they're willing to sell gays down the river after receiving tens of millions of gay votes and gay campaign dollars, how much further are GLBT voters willing to ride the ruinous rapids of "reframing" before they realize they've been had?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Pelosi to Gays: You'll have to wait some more for equality

From The Boston Globe:
Pelosi has also tempered hopes of reversing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on the service of gays and lesbians in the military, after two key Democrats -- Representatives Martin T. Meehan of Lowell and Barney Frank of Newton -- said last week that they want to repeal the policy.

Though Pelosi believes homosexuals should be able to openly serve, she has made clear that she believes Democrats have more urgent national-security priorities -- including changing course in Iraq and investigating war-related contracting.

Pelosi and Hoyer outlined an agenda yesterday for early next year that Pelosi said will relieve "the middle-class squeeze." It avoids hot-button issues such as tax cuts, gay rights, and abortion for popular issues such as a higher minimum wage, more affordable student loans, and congressional ethics reform.

Like we didn't see that one coming from a mile away.

It's 1992 all over again -- Democrats demand the queer vote, receive it overwhelmingly, then promptly forget who got them into office.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Democrats Speak Out On Gay Marriage

From the popular Democratic Underground forum, Democrats declare their stalwart support for gays and lesbians:

I'm no longer convinced that the democratic party should be fighting this fight because we're trapped--'acceptance' is beyond our power to legislate (we can't force everyone to come to terms with homosexuality) and, for the gay lobby, obtaining legal rights doesn't go far enough. We simply can't win. Moreover, if this has turned into campaign for 'gay acceptance', I'm off the bandwagon. I don't think we should sacrifice vital policy issues like environmental protection, economic justice and universal health care (to name some important issues) by giving the rightwingers this club to bludgeon us with in campaigns any longer. I think we should expunge gay rights

Or not.

It's pretty obvious that Democrats will happily take our money, and votes, but when push comes to shove, "environmental protection" (big government), "economic justice" (income redistribution) and "universal health care" (bureaucrats taking over your health care) are far more important than the Constitutional rights of gays and lesbians.

Don't say we didn't warn you -- and remember, there is another choice.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Our Best Opportunity. . . Ever

The mainstream press is focusing on the election as a rout over Iraq -- especially in the overseas media. And while Iraq was a factor, it wasn't the largest by any means -- it was corruption. Libertarian Party strength in Senate elections, meanwhile, managed to peel off a sizable contingent of homeless libertarian Republicans -- handing the Democrats Senate victories and the margin they needed to win in the Senate (no mention of this, of course, by Democrats).

The tone-deaf far left in the Democratic Party is ecstatic over the wins and are positioning the Democratic Party to push forward profoundly unpopular policies. At the same time, the gay rights vote that the Democratic Party claimed as its birthright is being tossed on the ash heap of recent history.

Recent statements by Hillary Clinton (already blogged about here), dissembling by Democratic apologists in the media (especially the blogosphere), and party leadership commentary have already told gay people that the best we can expect is a half-hearted opposition to super-anti-gay laws proposed by the religious right. You know, the religious right which was just tromped!

What does all this mean? It means we can expect the Democratic Party to race to the left as fast as they can scurry. We can expect an expanded socialist medical system, spending increases (and massive tax increases to "balance the budget"), economic protectionism dragging down our knowledge economy to protect the dying unionized base of the old Democratic coalition, greater central government intervention in education, job-crushing wage regulations, etc.

In short, Democrats are going to give the American people a whole lot of what they DIDN'T vote for -- a slow economy, high taxes, protectionism that will damage our jobs engine, and health-care waiting lines. They aren't likely to give Americans what they DID vote for -- reduced corruption, a real plan on Iraq, commitments to roll back legislation like the USA PATRIOT Act, significant investigations into the conduct of the Bush Administration, or even civil union recognition (though they may pass a token piece of symbolic legislation like ENDA to continue their efforts to pretend they "sacrifice" for GLBT folk).

Now, which party is in the best position to oppose these positions and articulate an America with a strong economy, lower taxes, smaller government, a budget balanced through thrift rather than punitive taxation, free trade, a real commitment to civil liberties in America, a real foreign policy alternative, and a proposal for healthcare (Project Healthy Choice) that will offer lower costs and greater availability?

Not the Republicans. They're busy nursing their wounds and liquidating their libertarian wing, many of whom are coming home to the Libertarian Party.

The answer is us. Only Libertarians will be able to hold the Democrats' feet to the fire on gay rights, the economy, taxes, civil liberties and the role of government. That means not just LP candidates, officeholders and staffers -- it means you and me. Let's take our fantastic election 2006 momentum and continue to make the case for American values -- life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for ALL people.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Massachusetts Marriage Mania

Once again, Massachusetts' legislature has voted against an anti-gay state constitutional amendment. Now, it wasn't done in the fashion that the anti-gay forces wanted -- lawmakers voted to adjourn without considering the amendment rather than voting on the actual amendment itself -- but the overwhelming majority of the democratically elected representatives ended the amendment's run.

However, the homophobic mania about this issue -- from both Democrats and Republicans -- won't die. Astroturfed letters to the editor are demanding that "the people should decide," that the democratic will of voters is being ignored, etc.

Let's step around, for the moment, the clear constitutional position that the equality under the law of various groups of people is not something that should be subject to the popular vote.

A quick review of the history of the proposed amendment itself reveals just how ridiculous the anti-gay crowd have become. The amendment supposedly received almost 2.9% of all Massachusetts residents' signatures to "pass the threshhold." Unfortunately for right wing forces, the media documented widespread fraud in the collection of signatures:

Scenario 1 - Citizens were told they were signing the wine petition when the anti-gay marriage petition was actually presented.

Scenario 2 - Citizens were first asked to sign the wine petition and then asked to sign again on a second page. The second page was actually the anti-gay marriage petition.

Scenario 3 - Citizens were told they were signing a petition to protect gay marriage when it was actually the anti-gay marriage petition.

This practice was so widespread that local television news crews easily captured the fraud on film. Based on the estimates provided by paid signature gatherers, between 50% and 75% of the signatures on the original petition were collected fraudulently.

(Of course, Democrat Attorney General Tom Reilly wasn't too concerned with this, and refused to take a position on the issue beyond "yes, it's happening and it's illegal.")

Now, the same people who defrauded tens of thousands of voters into signing the document are turning around and complaining that a clear rejection by the legislature of their bill represents "contempt of democracy." Right-wing soon-to-be-former Governor Romney has been particularly shrill in his denunciation.

The funniest part, however, has been the proposed remedy the anti-gay forces are cooking up to try and get their fraudulently-balloted amendment to the polls -- they're turning to "activist judges" to force the outcome that they want! Romney and other anti-gay types are threatening to force the issue in federal court.

It's time to recognize these efforts for what they are -- contempt for human rights, wrapped up in "democratic" rhetoric; contempt for the democratic process (including heavy use of out-and-out fraud) while citing "the will of the people"; and an effort to put the constitutional rights of a minority group up to a simple-majority vote-down.

Should the anti-gay Democrats and Republicans in Massachusetts succeed in their mission of forcing the issue on the ballot, a near-certain vote by Massachusetts citizens against their anti-gay measure wouldn't be the end of the crusade either. Another round would be certain, perpetually, until they get the results they want. It's nothing but obsessive dislike for gays which drives these folks.

Thank goodness for the sensibility of the voters of Massachusetts -- and the strong support for equal marriage rights from the Massachusetts Libertarian Party.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A Mid-Term Libertarian Electoral Surge

The Libertarian Party easily had its best election season ever yesterday, with exit polls showing remarkably strong showings by our candidates -- especially in the Southwest. For example, in "red state" Texas, four of our candidates for state Senate received around 20% or more of the vote, with an additional three posting similar results for state House. This, despite the adage that a gay-friendly party like ours cannot post strong results in a supposedly anti-gay state like Texas!

In "blue state" Vermont, all three of our candidates for state House received 12% or more of the vote. This, despite the adage that Vermonters would never accept a small-government message.

In "red state" Wyoming, our candidate for state House of Representatives broke the 20% barrier -- getting close to 22% of the vote, and our Secretary of State candidate hit the 18% mark.

Similar results can be seen in South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Louisiana, Kansas, Idaho, and Arizona -- states as diverse as the US population itself.

So what about federal races? It turns out that the media, as usual, got the story wrong. Races where Libertarian candidates received lots of media coverage saw good returns versus traditional Libertarian balloting in those districts, but our best performances were in areas with grassroots campaigning instead of big media endorsements.

In Texas, Gordon Strickland of Texas grabbed 21.3% of the vote for a seat in the House, Bob Smither won 18.8% of the vote to finish Tom DeLay's term, and Michael Idrogo grabbed 12.6% of the vote. In Texas!

In Arizona, Jason received 26% of the vote for House. In California, Camden McConnell received almost 17%. And the electoral list is peppered with similar performances for House and Senate seats in Indiana and Kentucky too.

Some Libertarian party detractors will claim that this election wasn't good for the party because we didn't win the two high-profile federal races in Texas. They're wrong.

This election shows a broad increase in support for Libertarian candidates across the board. Libertarians receiving double-digit support for national seats in multiple states in a single election year is unheard-of. Libertarians have switched in performance from a party which typically denies Republicans or Democrats a victory by "spoiling" 5% of the vote to a party capable of attracting 15% or more of the vote in key elections across the country on a state and federal level.

This is an *excellent* electoral performance and will position the LP quite well for the 2008 general elections, when the shine has worn off Democrats' promises to undo the predations of the Bush administration. It will also guarantee continued (or new) major-party status in several states.

Thanks and congratulations to the candidates, their volunteers and supporters, LP national and state organizations, and to all of you who voted on Tuesday. Your voice is being heard, loud and clear.

{Edit: Mea culpa on the Texas results -- I undercounted the number of successful candidates due to my bleary-eyed election-night blogging. Mike Nelson indicates, in the comment section, that Libertarians did even better in Texas than I indicated. Even better news for the future of our country!]

Monday, November 06, 2006

Double-Dealing For Democrats

In a rousing editorial for the Advocate, HRC head honcho Joe Solomenese calls for gay Americans to take a stand for our civil rights and vote -- an admirable proposition. He then offers a link to HRC's campaign web page. . . where things start to fall apart.

Legions of Democratic candidates with exciting soundbites present a quick face to the world to show their supposed commitment to gay rights. Bob Casey, Democratic Senate candidate from Pennsylvania, talks about how people should feel accepted for how they are, not how they're told to be.

Just one big problem -- Bob Casey opposes gay marriage.

Tammy Duckworth, Democratic House candidate from Illinois, offers a phrase where she suggests that she doesn't support the military's anti-gay policy.

Just one big problem -- her campaign has reiterated that she is not in favor of repealing DADT as a policy.

But a campaign spokeswoman told the Herald that Duckworth doesn't support the legislation. "I think she only supports a repeal if it was deemed appropriate by military commanders of the armed forces," Christine Glunz said. "The press release is incorrect."


The HRC page then goes on to present a plethora of other candidates, including the token GOP candidate Lincoln Chaffee, and waxes rhapsodic about some pretty unremarkable stances on the issues -- which usually involve some favored legislation but falls short of full equality.

Meanwhile, the Libertarian Party has a host of excellent, unabashedly pro-gay candidates who are polling well and receive short shrift from HRC and similar groups.

Solomonese writes that if everyone gets behind HRC's preferred candidates, "maybe, just maybe, we will finally get the country we deserve."

But surely, we deserve better than this?

Election day is Tuesday, November 7th.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Endorsements and Candidates of Interest

Since our original "Outright Libertarians' Endorsements" blog entry has rolled off of our front page, and my "More Libertarian Candidates" entry is near the bottom, I thought I'd bump to the top of the blog a reminder about which candidates deserve your attention on Tuesday...

Official Endorsements by Outright Libertarians:

  • Philip Berg - US Congress, California District 8

  • Bruce Guthrie - US Senate, Washington

  • Mike Nelson - US Congress, Texas District 5

  • David Schlosser - US Congress, Arizona District 1

  • Starchild - Board of Supervisors, San Francisco, CA
Berg, Nelson, and Starchild are Outright Libertarians members with whom, naturally enough, we found large areas of agreement. Guthrie and Schlosser are running high-profile campaigns with Libertarian solutions to GLBT issues prominently featured through single-issue brochures, gay pride festival appearances, web site mention, etc.

We regret that due to a very aggressive timeline for nominations, some deserving candidates were not able to be considered by our membership. Here are some of them...

Additional Candidates of Interest:

Keep a bookmark on this blog entry -- this list will almost certainly grow as November 7 approaches. If you know of a Libertarian who publicly supports without reservation the LP Platform plank on Sexuality and Gender, as the candidates listed above do, and they're not on this list, please let us know.

[Update: You gotta read the comment Bruce Guthrie added to this post!]

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

They really *are* the same

Dick Cheney, Republican VP Candidate, October 5, 2000, on gay marriage:

I think the fact of the matter, of course, is that matter is regulated by the states. I think different states are likely to come to different conclusions and that's appropriate. I don't think there should necessarily be a federal policy in this area.

Hillary Clinton, Democratic Likely Presidential Candidate, October 26, 2006, on gay marriage:

My position is consistent. I support states making the decision. If you go the next step and say, 'But I want what is called marriage,' you're going to have a problem.

Very few Democrats spoke [for marriage equality and against the anti-gay constitutional amendment], because maybe you thought one way, which is that you want people out there speaking for us. We thought . . . force the Republicans out there, make them look like they're trying to enshrine discrimination in the Constitution.

We all know how lousy the Bush administration has been for the civil rights of gays. Now, six years and millions of dollars in gay campaign contributions and votes later, Democrats are parroting the Bush administration rhetoric on gay marriage and lamely explaining away their refusal to fight for our basic rights. Why should gay families even give Democrats the time of day?

Desperate Democrats, Rabid Republicans, Lucid Libertarians

As the mid-term campaign comes to a close, rabid Republicans and desperate Democrats claw at each other with shallow allegations and negative campaign ads.

Republicans attack Democrats as bin Laden lovers (despite the fact that a Republican administration was his principal client in the 1980s). Democrats retort that Republicans caused the war in Iraq (despite voting for it themselves). Both parties are happy to hang their hats on homophobia.

Now Senator John Kerry is caught up in the latest manufactured crisis. A poorly worded crack at the president is being characterized by desperate GOP campaigners as an "insult to the troops." Kerry and Democrats, who supported the Iraq War, are claiming it's instead a criticism of the Iraq War.

Rather than raging about rhetoric, Libertarians focus on facts. If Bush and the GOP cared about the troops, they would not have sent them into the Iraq quagmire to suffer injury and thousands of deaths. If Kerry and the Democrats cared about the war, they would not have overwhelmingly supported it in the Senate. If either of these issues are important to you, neither old party deserves your vote.

And if either old party cared about "protecting freedom," they's start by adhering to the Constitution -- ceasing their constant attacks on gays and our families.

It's time to end the spin, the shallow campaigning, and the deceit. It's time for more Libertarians in local, state and federal offices across the country. If you care about the future of this country (and how jeopardized it is due to antics like what we're witnessing), go to the Libertarian Party web site and get involved in your local campaign. Many campaigns need funding and get-out-the-vote efforts to put themselves over the top and send a Republicrat home.

I Have A Right To Condemn Your Thriving Marriage. My Failed Marriage, However, Is None Of Your Business!

Persisting in the hypocrisy for which the old political parties are legend, Senator George Allen recently had three of his goons physically assault a liberal critic who asked Allen about his failed first marriage.

Allen, a "family values" conservative, is no stranger to discussing (and condemning) the marriages of others, especially gay people. In reaction to New Jersey's ruling which stated that discrimination against gays in marriage law is unconstitutional, Allen was downright outspoken:
more . . .
I support the marriage amendment, because it will protect the values and views of the people of Virginia from judges who would want to impose their elitist views on us. This is a clear difference between my opponent and me – I support protecting marriage from judges who do not understand their role: to interpret the law, not invent the law.


This amendment does exactly what it says it does; it defines marriage as being between one man and one woman, and I’m for marriage between a man and a woman while my opponent is against it.
Despite Allen's outspoken views on others' marriages (it runs in excess of two paragraphs), he's surprisingly tight-lipped about the sanctity of his own marriage. In fact, he refused to address the public question asked of him and had to instead turn to his ex-wife:
Allen's former wife, Anne Waddell, issued a statement after Tuesday's incident calling Stark's question "a baseless, cheap shot." She said she and Allen divorced more than 22 years ago and, because it was a personal matter, they had the divorce records sealed.

According to a news release from Allen's campaign, Tuesday's incident began when Stark pushed an Allen staffer. "Later, volunteers restrained him and asked to leave the building when he approached the senator a second time, asking inappropriate questions," the release said.
So a divorced heterosexual Senator can seal his divorce records, demand absolute privacy about his personal life and personal matters, dispatch his ex-spouse to decry public inquiries into his marriage life as a "baseless, cheap shot," while ordering his campaign orderlies to "restrain" people who ask "inappropriate questions" in public.

But Allen's public condemnation of hundreds of thousands of committed same-sex couples who, unlike Allen, have remained committed to their relationship vows, is "an important public policy debate."

We would contend that attacks on gay families by someone who skipped town on his own marriage vows -- with an embarrassing divorce apparently so messy he had to have the records sealed -- is perhaps the ultimate in "baseless, cheap shots."

If Senator Allen believes that it's open season on the marriages of people he doesn't like, then he also must by default open up his own private life to public investigation and debate. "Family values Republicans" have no problems with double standards, but we're Libertarians. We believe in common sense, common decency, and common standards that apply to all people.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Democrats Are Not Your Friends, Episode # 6,321

Non-partisan libertarian law/culture blogger KipEsquire has noted that Jim Corzine, New Jersey's Democratic governor, has predictably opted for the "less than equal option" for New Jersey's gays in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling:

Gov. Jon S. Corzine told legislative leaders on Thursday that he would prefer that New Jersey enact a civil unions law for gay couples rather than allow them to marry.

That prompted attacks from the state's leading gay-rights advocate, who said Mr. Corzine expressed support for same-sex marriage to a gay audience two weeks ago and had repeatedly done so during his 2000 primary campaign for the United States Senate.

Now, we all know how to tell when an old-party politician is lying -- just check to see if his lips are moving -- but considering that Corzine has a court order which provides legitimacy to full marriage equality, and lives in a state where a majority of voters support marriage equality, his position is absolutely craven. Kip is absolutely right to be disgusted by this -- in fact, all gay people should be.
more . . .

If Democrats cannot be counted on to deliver equality under the law in states where they have a mandate from the highest court in the jurisdiction -- and a clear majority favoring equality -- what good are they in states where the human rights of gays are still viewed as privileges which can be revoked by a simple majority vote?

Kip advances this theory:
As for voters, being a gay Democrat is not much better than being a gay Republican. The proper course of action for a gay is to be a registered Independent, hopefully with small-l libertarian views.

The best way to combat the two-party system -- and its double-edged "vicious Republicans / hypocritical Democrats" sword is simply by not being a part of it. A pox on both their houses.
Well, we're partisan Libertarian party members, so we'd suggest involvement in the Libertarian party, but regardless of your political affiliation, we suggest you take a look at which party is fighting for your rights.

While Corzine cannot bother to make good on his promise to support gay marriage in New Jersey -- an easy, low-risk proposition -- Libertarians are fighting in Wisconsin, Washington state, and other battlegrounds for your constitutional rights and equality under the law.

Top notch Libertarian Party candidates such as Bruce Guthrie, Ed Thompson, Carla Howell, and hundreds of others, have taken the fight to Democrats and Republicans in the past -- and many more deserve your support today. Outright Libertarians will continue to blog about these candidates over the next several weeks up to election day.

If you're a gay voter fed up with the old-party duopoly, you can send a strong message by standing by the party which stands by you -- the Libertarian Party.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

New Jersey's Not-Quite-Equal Ruling

So New Jersey's high court has ruled that gays cannot be deprived of the "rights of marriage." Of course, they've also said that a "separate but equal" regime is perfectly OK, with government doing the legal equivalent of setting up a "gays only" water fountain and "straights only" water fountain in every area where the state regulates life today.

Everyone's a winner, and everyone's a loser, as a result.

Anti-gay forces, predictably, are outraged by the notion that gays have any rights at all. But they can console themselves in the likely fact that the NJ state legislature will not simply "open up" marriage, but will instead settle for a "civil unions" type of sorta-marriage.

Pro-gay people hoping for full marriage equality are disappointed that a "liberal" Democratic court would seek to create a remedy reminiscent of the segregation policies of Alabama in the 1960s. But they can console themselves in the knowledge that it's at least an acknowledgement of injustice and a partial remedy to a pernicious problem.

Last, but not least, Libertarians are upbeat that gays are recognized, but also mindful of the massive new bureaucracy and growth in government creating an entirely separate regime for "sorta-marriages" will create. But we can console ourselves in the knowledge that getting government out of the "moral legislation" and the marriage businesses altogether is the best solution to the gay marriage debate -- and that in a generation's time, it will probably be our approach which carries the day in American politics.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

More Libertarian Candidates

We goofed. When we wrote our bylaws several years ago, we made our candidate endorsement process too slow and bureaucratic. And on top of that, this year we started the process too late to compensate for that bureaucracy.

We'll fix the bylaws at our Spring 2007 annual meeting, in plenty of time for our 2008 endorsements. But in the meantime, there were several 2006 candidates who were not nominated in time but would likely have been endorsed (IMHO) by Outright Libertarians under an improved process. Here are some of those candidates, with links to their websites. Remember that these are not campaigns officially endorsed by the membership of Outright Libertarians, but rather campaigns I personally think may be of interest to you. Please read their websites and decide for yourselves if they deserve your support:
And be sure to see the list of five candidates the membership did endorse in this blog entry.

As a final reminder, the Libertarian Party's platform calls for full equality for LGBT people, including marriage, adoption, and military service. While a small number of candidates do not follow the platform on LGBT issues, these same candidates are likely to not follow the platform on other issues such as immigration and taxes, either. But most Libertarian candidates support the platform and endorse full LGBT equality. So, when in doubt, vote Libertarian!

Friday, October 20, 2006

The LP platform works. Period.

We keep being told that Libertarian candidates who run on the LP platform are put at a disadvantage, and that this justifies gutting our platform in order to win.

Well, in his televised debate with the major party candidates, Washington Libertarian Senate candidate Bruce Guthrie stuck to our platform and won the debate. Way to go, Bruce!

Being a principled Libertarian helps one's campaign. It doesn't hurt it. So, lets tell the few Libertarian candidates who prefer to scapegoat queers, Mexicans, and other "undesirables" that they're only shooting themselves in the foot -- costing themselves the support of their core Libertarian base, while not winning any points in the public debate.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Partisanship isn't bad, but lying about it is.

After many months of being extremely patient, I wrote the following letter to MassEquality.

I've read both your "red envelope" fundraising appeal as well as this latest email.

And I just wanted to let you know why I have not donated to MassEquality in the past year and will not do so now. It's because MassEquality has proved itself unwilling to support ANY third-party candidate over a Democrat, even when the Democrat is significantly worse on marriage equality. I can understand picking a pro-equality Democrat like Sandlin over a pro-equality Green like Broadhurst. All else being equal, you have to go with the better funded, major-party candidate. But why defend an anti-equality Democrat against pro-equality candidates?

The most glaring example is anti-equality incumbent Democrat Sean Curran, who is opposed by pro-equality Libertarian Bob Underwood. This line from your PAC's "campaign locator" says it all [Blog note: use the address at the top right of this page in the "campaign locator"]:

"Representative Curran's position on marriage equality is unknown. In 2005, Representative Curran voted in favor of a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage."

Seriously? Unknown? I can send you some press statements from Curran in the past few months if it will help clarify things for you.

But you shouldn't even need that. Does the second sentence in your "campaign locator" entry for Curran not directly contradict the first?

more . . .

When we spoke in the Spring, you admitted it was unlikely Curran would start to support us on marriage equality, but that you were concentrating on primaries and would not deal with the general election until the primaries were done. And yet, still, a month after the primaries, you refuse to speak out against Sean Curran despite his continuing record of opposing marriage equality. Would you give a Republican this much slack? I doubt it.

One would have hoped that Bill Clinton signing DOMA was a wake-up call for gay and lesbian Americans, and that John Kerry endorsing a same-sex marriage ban in Massachusetts was the final confirmation that the Democrats are NOT our unquestionable allies in the struggle for equality. But MassEquality still doesn't "get it," so I'm withholding my support. I will instead be using my time and resources to support a truly pro-equality candidate, Libertarian Bob Underwood. Shame on you and your organization for not doing the same.

Can you give me any reason why Outright Libertarians should remain part of the MassEquality coalition? Given the way that MassEquality has run its endorsement process, supporting only Democrats, we feel like we're merely nonpartisan window dressing for your clearly partisan Democratic activities. And we're not at all happy with that.

I know other Libertarians (and Greens and Republicans) who have decided to stop donating to MassEquality, though they had given in the past, because they're tired of MassEquality giving anti-equality Democrats a free pass when there are alternative party competitors who deserve MassEquality's support. If you're truly facing the dire funding issues you described in your letter and email, you should consider how much your supposedly nonpartisan nonprofit organization's blatant Democratic partisanship has contributed to that problem.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Outright Libertarians' Endorsments

At a meeting of the general membership held yesterday, October 15th, Outright Libertarians endorsed five candidates for election in their respective races. Nominations were made last month by an Endorsement Committee consisting of all twelve members of the Outright Libertarians Executive Committee which in turn took suggestions for the nominations mainly by email.

Criteria included the candidates positions on issues of interest to the GLBT community, such as same-sex marriage and the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, and their willingness to discuss these issues in their campaign.

The five candidates endorsed, all Libertarian Party members, are:
  • Philip Berg - US Congress, California District 8

  • Bruce Guthrie - US Senate, Washington

  • Mike Nelson - US Congress, Texas District 5

  • David Schlosser - US Congress, Arizona District 1

  • Starchild - Board of Supervisors, San Francisco, CA
Berg, Nelson, and Starchild are Outright Libertarian members with whom, naturally enough, we found large areas of agreement. Guthrie and Schlosser are running high-profile campaigns with Libertarian solutions to GLBT issues prominently featured through single-issue brochures, gay pride festival appearances, web site mention, and etc.

We regret that due to a very aggressive timeline for nominations some deserving candidates were not able to be considered.

Sea Scouts' Ship Suitably Sunk by Supremes

The Supreme Court today laid the final stone in the case the Sea Scouts brought against the city of Berkeley, CA in their attempt to have their cake and eat it, too. The Scouts want to discriminate at will, and they wanted the taxpayer to help pay for it. They retained their right to the former (freedom of association) in a landmark Supreme court decision in 2000; and now in 2006 the court ruled the taxpayer is off the hook. Both correct decisions by the court in our view.

Outright Libertarians has commented plenty so far on this case and other related Boy Scout cases, so we will say no more today. Coincidentally, the just previous post to this one also mentions the Boy Scouts.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Kolbe Targeted; Right Wing Lies Twice

Apparently, Congressman Jim Kolbe is being investigated on an "anonymous tip" that he went camping on a large trip which included two pages. The claims against Kolbe are obviously without merit:
"I don't want to get into the details," he said. "I just don't want to get into this... because I might possibly be considered for a job in the administration."

However, the former page — who is the one to whom Kolbe allegedly paid special attention — said he had a "blast" on the trip and did not report anything improper to his parents or any House officials after the trip. He said he has a favorable impression of the page program to this day and likes Kolbe.
Right wing blogs like GayPatriot are suggesting that it was a Democrat who targeted Kolbe with this slur (although, given "The List" we blogged about yesterday, as well as the loud attacks from Kolbe from his own party, it's equally likely the "anonymous witness" was a Republican). Lie #1: It must have been a Democrat targeting Kolbe.

Now, for Lie #2: On hops the right wing to "explain" that this is why the Boy Scouts have to "exclude gay scoutmasters":
more . . .
When my son was in the Boy Scouts the organization was fighting back against openly gay scout masters (not gays) and the firestorm from the left about allowing gay men to camp out with these young boys.


I guess if Kolbe had been a Boy Scout Master it would have been all OK.
Except, of course, that this is a Big Fat Lie as well. The BSA and its supporters certainly did campaign against gays -- loudly. It did not campaign merely "against gay scoutmasters." In other words, they sought to exclude a 14-year-old young out gay scout, or a 16-year-old gay Eagle Scout. "Gay scoutmasters molest boys" was just some of the blood libel used by that organization to justify a ban against all homosexual people in that organization from a 12-year-old gay kid on up to an honorable 18-year-old Eagle Scout with a strong history of achievement in his chosen endeavors.

In short, if you are gay of whatever age, you are banned from affiliation with BSA in any capacity -- young scout, scoutmaster, or even volunteer secretary in a regional association's headquarters.

Outright Libertarians and Libertarians in general support the right of the Boy Scouts to associate with whoever they please, including maintaining their anti-gay ban. Although it must be said that the increasing amount of distortion and outright lies that BSA and their supporters have been using to justify the ban underscores the fact that it has no purpose other than to demonize gay people.

I also think I speak clearly for many of us when I say that we're tired of the anti-gay climate perpetuated by conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats in Washington for their own political gain, and find the word games of both of the old parties to alternately slam gays or wrap themselves in the rainbow flag (depending on what's convenient) to be tiresome, homophobic, and insulting to the intelligence of all.

Let's teach them a lesson this November.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

McCarthy Republicanism and the Deluded Gay GOPer

GOP activists make a big to-do about the "sacrifices" that they make to advance gay issues inside the GOP.

Which would be great if there were actually any advances made.

A look at the GOP's history with gays should be depressing for them.

When campaigning as a "uniter, not a divider," George W. Bush's campaign lambasted Senator John McCain in South Carolina as "the fag candidate" in brochures sent to GOP primary voters because of McCain's (unjustified) endorsement from some gay Republicans. Bush also refused to meet with members of the gay Republican organization Log Cabin, preferring instead to assemble a hand-picked committee of friendly gays in Austin to discuss (and dismiss) a limited subset of the concerns of gay Americans.

As recently as a couple of election cycles ago, openly gay Republican lt. governor candidate Patrick Guerriero was told, in no uncertain terms, that Massachusetts GOP gubernatorial candidate Mitt Romney wasn't interested in running with a gay man. Did he bail on a party that, even in liberal Massachusetts, wouldn't accept an out gay man? Nope. He joined the Log Cabin Republicans as their new leader -- the very same group that the Republican leader refused to engage with. His tenure at that organization, up to his recent departure, was spent mostly lambasting his own party and culminated in the gay Republican group withholding endorsements from its own presidential candidate and most of its party's other candidates, while being excluded from most Republican Party events and discussions.
more . . .

Annoyed with the idea that gay issues are best articulated by gay people, the GOP's tiny moderate wing started a new front-group called the Republican Unity Coalition, whose leadership included well-known Republican "homosexual leaders" such as. . . Gerald Ford, Alan Simpson, Mary Matalin and Susan Molinari. Oh, they're all straight. Oops. Even funnier, the RUC's position was not to criticize the GOP and GOP candidates on objective issues, but to justify anti-gay positions and politicians with doublespeak and undermine the Log Cabin Republicans' activist role in their own party. That position has delivered howlers such as this:
We are Republicans because we believe in limited government, free markets, a strong national defense, and personal responsibility. Some of us are straight. Some of us are gay or lesbian, and some of us think it is nobody's business but our own what we are. All of us are Americans." (The Cody Statement).

We vigorously oppose the Federal Marriage Amendment, and will speak out against it. Yet, we are uncomfortable with the Hobson’s choice (no good choice) of beating up President Bush or defending the Amendment.
Now, it's getting even worse for gays in the GOP.

Those few gay people who, like recently-disgraced Mark Foley, choose to live a lie in the closet to maintain "respectability," face a new McCarthyism:

In the wake of the Mark Foley scandal, a memo containing the names of allegedly closeted gay Republican congressional staffers was composed by anti-Republican gay rights activists and sent to leading antigay Christian groups, according to a report in The Nation. The Reverend Don Wildmon of the notoriously antigay American Family Association told The Nation's Max Blumenthal that he had received that memo, which he referred to simply as "the list."


"They oughtta fire every one of 'em," Wildmon told Blumenthal. "I don't care if they're heterosexual or homosexual or whatever they are. If you've got that going on, that subverts the will of the people; that subverts the voters. That is subversive activity. There should be no organization among staffers in Washington of that nature, and if they find out that they're there and they're a member, they oughtta be dismissed el pronto."

I am reminded of Joe McCarthy's statement that "I have here in my hand a list of 205 people that were known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party..."

It's time that gay Republicans recognize the GOP for what it is: a deeply anti-gay political organization which puts gay hatred ahead of most other concerns, mouthing Libertarian slogans about smaller government (while hiking spending) and individual liberties (while passing draconian "security laws" and challenging habeus corpus).

Gay people who support an agenda of smaller government and greater freedom -- in an environment welcoming to gay people -- would do much better advancing the growth of the Libertarian Party and libertarianism by joining Outright Libertarians, rather than wasting time begging the Modern-Era McCarthyists of Republicanism to learn to love them.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Grassroots Deliver While The Old Parties Fret

If one listened to the dialogue which is common within the capital these days, he'd think that the biggest challenge gay Americans face today is protecting the careers of richly-paid anti-gay closeted homosexual staffers in the Democratic and Republican parties.

However, once again, the grassroots are delivering results:
more . . .
Support for same-sex marriage bans is weak in three of the eight states that will vote on them this November, and in one—Colorado—a competing measure to establish domestic partnerships for same-sex couples is currently backed by a majority of voters. The growing sense that key victories will be had this Election Day is in stark contrast to 2004, when constitutional bans on same-sex marriage were approved in 13 states, USA Today reports.

. . .

This year, however, opposition to such a measure in Arizona is currently at 51 percent, with only 38 percent of voters supporting it, according to a recent poll, while the proposed marriage ban in South Dakota is opposed by 49 percent of voters, with 41 percent in support. In Colorado, which has ballot measures both to ban same-sex marriage and to create domestic partnerships, a recent poll showed that only 52 percent of voters are in favor of the former, but that 58 percent favored the latter.

It's no secret that the Libertarian Party and Libertarian activists have been working hard to push same-sex legal equality in marriage and other legal issues. Libertarian candidates in local, state and federal elections from Bruce Guthrie to Ed Thompson have been campaigning against anti-gay laws and strongly supporting marriage equality in both "blue" and "red" states -- with great success. This is a long, proud tradition in the party -- back when Bill Clinton was busy supporting the Defense of Marriage Act, Libertarian Party presidential candidate Harry Browne was arguing, passionately, for the freedom of all gay people. And even back to the 1970s, the Libertarians stood for the individual rights of gay people while Democratic and Republican politicians were blasting us as subhuman.

When the battle was started for equality under the law, Democrats and Republicans warned us that "we wanted too much, too fast." We were told by the Washingtonians that equal protection rights didn't apply to us, that wanting to raise our families as we see fit was "politically dangerous," and that our victories would take decades to win. "Pro-gay" Dem/Rep liaisons from Alan Simpson to Barney Frank warned us of the dire consequences of defending our families.

They were wrong. Everyday people fought, won a number of key battles, and now the tide is turning in their favor. The results of that broad-based grassroots activism is coming to light. In a surging election year which promises to deliver the strongest Libertarian electoral results in party history, once again Libertarians lead in the issues which matter to gay Americans -- while Republicans and Democrats scramble to protect their powerful closeted friends in Washington DC.

This November, when you go to the ballot box, consider who has fought to earn your support and stood up for you -- and who cares more about their powerful friends in Washington than about your individual rights.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

It's time to come out of the Libertarian closet

Today, National Coming Out Day, thousands of LGBT people will "come out" to friends, relatives, coworkers, and even strangers, as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender.

The reason LGBT people have to do this is that most folks simply assume that everyone they meet is straight. At Outright, we often find ourselves "coming out" twice -- once as LGBT, and then a second time as Libertarian. In our case, we have to do this second "coming out" because most folks simply assume that every LGBT person they meet is a Democrat.

Well, it's time for us all to "come out" of the Libertarian closet. You can start by contacting the main sponsors of National Coming Out Day, the Human Rights Campaign, and letting them know that you're a Libertarian. If you've donated money to them, and you're disappointed that they've only ever used your money to support big-government (Democrat and Republican) programs and candidates, tell them so.

And when you're done "coming out" to HRC, be sure to do the same with the other large LGBT organizations, such as the Victory Fund, NGLTF, NCLR, GenderPAC, and others.

Happy Coming Out Day, everyone!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Free Markets Mean Free Gay People

One thing that, as a Libertarian, always amazes me is the power of free markets to solve complex social and economic problems quickly and often ingeniously.

When it comes to equal access for gay people, once again, the free market is far ahead of the pack.

Just in the last couple of days, the Advocate has run a couple of interesting stories on corporate advancement for gays in the workplace -- the growth of non-discrimination policies, affirming workplaces, equal benefits policies for same-sex couples, etc.

An openly gay partner at Ernst & Young writes about the benefits his organization has seen in adopting gay-friendly policies:
more . . .
One thing that is applicable across the board: A commitment to equality at work inevitably expands within employee ranks, beyond the cubicle and the office walls. In today’s highly competitive business environment, a company that not only adopts but also projects a philosophy of respect and fairness for all employees is critical to the recruitment and retention of top-tier candidates.

In other words, doing the right thing pays off for both employees and companies.

Isn't it ironic how Democratic party socialists, who claim to be pro-gay politicians, manage to produce little to nothing in the way of equal treatment under the law, while "evil, greedy businesses" which are so often maligned by the Democrats have been driving forward equal treatment of gays on and off the job?

Free markets give us domestic partner benefits, equal insurance treatment for our partners and children, even free airline club access for our partners equivalent to spouses. Voting for Democrats gives us nothing but DOMA, Don't Ask Don't Tell, state anti-gay marriage amendments, and constant frustration.

If you want your vote to deliver the same sorts of results in the legal equality domain that free markets have delivered in your everyday life, a vote for your local Libertarian candidate this November is in order.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

More Pro-Dem Spin Dissection

The bi-annual ritual of Democratic Party apologia in the gay press persists in another article in Bay Windows from former editor Jeff Epperly.

He writes:
It’s an argument that’s been around in this community since before there were Log Cabin Republicans: Should progressives vote for “moderate” Republicans with the hopes that their middle-of-the-road views will somehow win over their more rabid right-wing colleagues?
Funnily enough, we Libertarians have been asking the same question about "moderate Democrats" like Hillary Clinton, Howard Dean, Bill Clinton, John Kerry, and Evan Bayh for years now. Except that when we ask it, we're attacked for holding such individuals to their actual records on gay issues.
That is a rallying cry that is being used once again to justify the candidacy of Kerry Healey, the GOP candidate for [Massachusetts] governor who swears that she is different than outgoing right-wing Gov. Mitt Romney — a man who painted himself as a moderate in the last election and has been a disaster locally and (if he has his way) nationally for this community.
more . . .
I am strangely reminded of Bill Clinton -- hailed by gay Democrats in 1992 as a revolution for gay people, but who ended up leaving gay people with two of our most enduring setbacks: DOMA and the military's anti-gay policy. However, the double-standard persists -- when Republicans don't live up to expectations, they are to be condemned. When Democrats don't live up to expectations, they should be endorsed, heavily funded, and (re)elected so that they can be "better educated by the community on our issues" and given a second/third/twentieth chance to vote for gay equality under the law.

The very same Democrats who support an anti-gay Senator from Massachusetts in his bid to win the presidential election on a policy platform that endorses state-by-state anti-gay constitutional amendments will turn around and hastily attempt to muzzle pro-gay-marriage Libertarian opponent Michael Badnarik. Voting for actual, bona fide pro-gay candidates, such as Libertarians (who support universal legal equality for all people, including gays), never comes into the equation in the bizarro world of Democratic partisan politics.
Much of the mainstream media, most of which are always eager to prove their centrist bona fides in the face of conservative cries of liberal bias, have been slower to open their eyes to the Big Lie of moderate Republicanism. Still, when The New Republic decides to devote an entire in-house editorial to the subject, it’s safe to say that the thin veneer of respectability that has covered many a moderate Republican’s tracks is starting to crack.
Libertarians, among other opposition parties, have been pointing out this fact for years -- with significant Democratic approval. Of course, when we make similar observations about the pitiful line-up of Democratic candidates and their claims of "progressive pro-gay values" versus their substantial anti-gay voting records, the silence is deafening.
When The New Republic decides it’s time to put to rest one of the great electoral lies of our time, it’s safe to say that perhaps the rest of us should think twice before falling for the sham once again.
Unfortunately, Republican "moderatism" is a smaller sham than the present Democratic sham on gay issues, where Democrats talk like Libertarians but govern like Republicans. Rather than reward such duplicity on gay issues, we should hold our elected officials and candidates alike to a higher standard -- the standard the Libertarian Party and its candidates have been setting since the 1970s.

And So Begins The Pro-Dem Spin

As election 2006 looms, the Democratic Party spin machine is whirling to life yet again, urging gay people to vote Democratic for their fundamental survival and to put the brakes on Republicans.

Unfortunately, there's no reason to believe Democrats' dismal performance on this front over the past five years will change, regardless of the outcome of the midterms.

Courtesy of your friendly neighborhood Outright blogger, let's do a little "Fisking" of the common Democratic Party talking points, starting with Richard Rosendall's piece in Bay Windows:

Like demonized foreigners, we represent “the Other” against whom voters are encouraged to direct their fears and frustrations. In any witch hunt, GLBT folk are not safe.

Especially when large numbers of Congressional Democrats vote for the latest anti-gay marriage amendment, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry endorses anti-gay constitutional amendments, and Kerry uses his first major press conference after losing the election to condemn gay marriage equality in his home state, one would suppose.

When Bush endorsed a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage — both in 2004 and last June — he stressed the need for civility and respect, while refusing to mention the people he sought to write out of the Constitution.

Whereas, the Democratic leaders who supported the federal amendment, and Democratic leaders who support state anti-gay amendments including Kerry, are not seeking to disenfranchise people? What of the overwhelming support for DOMA from senior Democrats including Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, and Joe Biden?

I suppose gay families are supposed to ignore these votes.

If we are concerned about our nation’s drift toward tyranny and theocracy, then we must ask ourselves what price we are prepared to pay for our liberty. Disillusionment and disengagement from politics are poor substitutes for electing to Congress those likeliest to resist a president who has shown he considers himself above the law.

I agree completely. And considering the complicity of Congressional Democrats in widespread support of Bush's agenda ranging from the Iraq War, to the USA Patriot Act, to anti-gay constitutional amendments, to budget-busting deficit spending, it's imperative that gay people exercise their electoral muscle to send a strong message to Washington. . .

. . . by voting for and electing Libertarians to Congress, rather than rewarding Democrats for their embrace of the Bush agenda on gay issues and civil liberties issues.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Is there such a thing as a closeted gay Libertarian?

Yawn... US Rep. Mark Foley Resigns From Congress. Another one?

Between McGreevey and Foley, and several before them, it's clear that there are more than a few closet cases in the Democratic and Republican parties. But can anyone imagine such a thing as a closeted queer Libertarian? I'm not sure how that would even work.

Libertarians place such a premium on the value of the individual that suppressing one's own identity for the sake of the collective seems unthinkable.

Similarly, for most out LGBT people, the thought of being in the closet seems totally alien. So why do out LGBT people continue to vote for major parties that are structured such that elected party leaders feel the need to stay in the closet in the 21st Century? Doesn't this continual outing of middle-aged politicians in both major parties make it clear that neither party is as inclusive of diversity as they claim? When will LGBT voters figure out that voting for the major-party status quo only prolongs our struggle for equality under the law?

Friday, September 29, 2006

An interesting article from the leader of the charge to eliminate the LP Platform

Several months ago, we reported on an effort to eliminate the Libertarian Party platform. The effort largely succeeded, with only a handful of planks surviving, including the Sexuality and Gender plank that puts the LP ahead of all other political parties in its LGBT-friendliness. Yet this wasn't enough for Carl S. Milsted, Jr., who led the charge to gut the platform, because the night of the vote he was overheard saying that he would leave party over what little of the platform that remained. He didn't leave, and it appears that he may be changing his mind about "embarrassing" planks like Sexuality and Gender.

In his September 27 article, Freedom and Equality: They Go Together, he makes the exact point that we were making in our argument to keep LGBT equal rights in the platform. Granted, he never actually says the word "gay" anywhere in it and instead only talks about economic equality, but his basic argument, "Equality requires freedom," and "A free society requires more equality than we have today," supports our position nonetheless. Liberty and Equality are not opposites, but rather they require each other. Thankfully, the Libertarian Party platform still says so.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Gay and Lesbian (Democratic Party) Victory Fund

Outright chair Rob Power had a look at the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund's attitude towards gay Libertarian candidates a few days ago.

Despite their protestations of being a "non-partisan" group, the group refused to even consider an endorsement of gay Libertarian Party candidates running competitive races throughout the country, though it has endorsed a number of candidates who have "no hope of winning" running as Democrats in party primaries and general elections. That obviates the typical excuse used to dismiss Libertarians, which is that "we have no chance of winning."

However, increasingly often, a significant number of our candidates not only have a chance of winning, but are running for re-election as incumbents. In addition, the number of elected Libertarians in offices at all levels is expected to significantly grow this election cycle. However, this dynamic has not translated into any meaningful, thoughtful consideration from the Victory Fund. There's one piece of evidence of Democratic partisanship masquerading as "non-partisan lobbying."

However, it's the Advocate which delivers the damning final blow, reporting the skewed nature of GLVF's endorsements:

The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, an LGBT political action committee, announced Thursday its support of 13 new candidates. The new endorsements bring the total number of candidates it's supporting this election year to 77, the group's largest number ever.


The fund also endorsed one Republican, Devin Slayton, for Arizona house of representatives, district 11, and one candidate with no party affiliation, Rudy Serra, for Detroit judgeship, district 36.

In other words, in GLVF's busiest-ever election year, a "whopping" 2.6% of their endorsements went to candidates who weren't Democrats.

In short, it would appear that a donation to or support of the GLVF isn't an effort to increase the representation of gay candidates in America's total political system, including the Libertarian, Democratic, Republican, and Green parties (as well as independent affiliation), but rather a donation to Democratic Party candidates who happen to be gay.

Many left-wing Democrats complain ceaselessly about the systemic bias of conservative-leaning organizations such as self-described "fair and balanced" FOX News, and they have a point. Democratic organizations conducting similar deception shouldn't get a free pass either. GLVF should come clean about its partisanship and drop the "non-partisan" pretension by adding its party affiliation to its name -- just like the Log Cabin Republicans, Stonewall Democrats, and yes, Outright Libertarians already have.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

What's a 9% annual spending hike between friends?

The Republican Party has been in power for years now, with a monopoly over the legislative and executive branches (and a majority in the judicial branch). So how is the self-described "party of small government" faring?

We have expensive wars overseas, we have massive numbers of American casualties in Iraq; we have an activist foreign policy which would make Wilson jealous; we've received a new and disastrously operated Medicare prescription drug program; we have the government trying to legislate individuals' personal and family lives; and we've endured endless incursions into our civil liberties ranging from illegal wiretaps to efforts to legalize torture.

But at least the GOP is clinging to one small government value--its fiscal conservatism--right? Guess again.

more . . .

Federal spending in 2006 is set to rise 9 percent, the largest increase since 1990 and enough to earn Congress near failing grades from the Heritage Foundation’s third quarter report card.[1] Most families facing steep new expenses would cut back on additional spending. However, the Senate is preparing to bust fiscal year (FY) 2007 discretionary spending caps by at least $32 billion


Senators classify much of this new spending as “emergency” so that it does not technically count against the budget caps.

When we Libertarians have pointed out these facts, we've been blasted as "left wingers." It's hard to see where the Republicans' bona fides come from. Do they come from a profligate Republican Congress blasted by the Heritage Foundation? Perhaps a GOP-developed federal budget which manages to consistently outpace even the spending growth of the big government Clinton-Gore administration?

The honest, forthcoming answers to these questions are likely hidden in the secret vaults containing large stockpiles of Iraqi WMDs.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Reminder: Endorsement meeting via teleconference on Sunday, October 15

If you are a member of Outright Libertarians and did not receive via our email list the notice of the upcoming general membership meeting on October 15, please send us an email, stating whether you want to receive all posts, or only special notices from the officers, and we'll see that you are added to our email list accordingly.

License To Discriminate

The Advocate reports on a civil rights lawsuit being considered by California's high court which has been filed by a lesbian denied fertility treatment:

The California supreme court on Wednesday took briefings in an appeal brought by the gay advocacy group Lambda Legal concerning a lesbian who was denied infertility treatment by her San Diego County doctors because of her sexuality. Despite California’s civil rights law, the doctors say they have the right to not offer the treatment because of their religious beliefs.

Libertarians always honor freedom of association, which includes freedom to choose to discriminate in provisioning services. However, we also oppose cumbersome and intrusive licensing practices which restrict the number of medical professionals who can qualify to provide services in the first place.

Religious-right doctors seem to want it both ways -- free-market style freedom to refuse to treat gays "based on religious beliefs," but heavy government regulation restricting new entrants into the medical profession to protect their revenues. With the approach to health care advocated by the Libertarian Party, we'd have more doctors, lesbians would be able to easily find fertility treatments if their existing doctors refused to provision them, and religious-right doctors would quickly find their businesses collapsing as consumers seek a medical professional who bases his or her services on science and patient priorities, not religious politics.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Libertarian Candidate Reverses Position on FMA

Much to our shock and dismay, Dr. Eric Schansberg, Libertarian candidate for Congress in Indiana's ninth district, while responding to a question about the Marriage Protection Amendment (MPA/FMA) during his recent televised debate, was heard saying, "I would vote for an amendment like that."

Outright Libertarians questioned him on his statement. As a result, Dr. Schansberg has publicly retracted his statement and reversed his position on the FMA, sending this clarification to the debate panelists (and to Outright Libertarians):
  • Ideally, the government would not be involved at all in defining marriage

  • If the government is involved, it should be at the state rather than the federal level. The federal government should not prohibit states from coming to their own arrangements.
We commend Dr. Schansberg for taking this principled action. It takes character to admit you made a mistake and publish a retraction. If only the politicians in power would do that—they've been pretty intransigent about their mistakes, and they've made some whoppers!
more . . .

The first point in his clarification is the pure libertarian position, absolutely consistent with Outright's: no government, at any level, should be involved in marriage.

It is on the interim steps to be taken between here and a totally privatized marriage institution that we still disagree with Dr. Schansberg.

Dr. Schansberg takes a "state's rights" position, being justifiably wary of Federal interference in the activities of the states. As a case in point, look at all the "help" the Fed's have given the states in the matter of medical marijuana. Even though ten states have legalized medical marijuana, the DEA is still breaking down doors and prosecuting both the sick and their state-certified purveyors.

Outright Libertarians, on the other hand, believe the 14th amendment gives the Federal government the authority to step in and stop the states in certain well defined circumstances; namely when they violate individuals' rights of due process and equal treatment before the law. We believe that individual rights should be protected, whether the rights violation originates with other individuals (e.g., criminals), the states, or the Federal government. Aid in furthering the protection of our rights is the reason that we have established governments in the first place.

As a deeply religious man, Dr. Schansberg is likely struggling with this issue. Outright Libertarians is proud to have helped move him a good portion of the way toward our position. Now, instead of supporting the FMA as he did several days ago, he wants to get the government out of the marriage business.