Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Log Cabin's darling, Sen. McCain, flip-flops on marriage

I'm too sad to gloat. Just read this.

Message to Log Cabin's Carol Newman: It broke my heart to watch you get choked up describing Bush's betrayal in 2004's "Gay Republicans" movie. Don't make me watch it again for McCain in the 2008 sequel. Come back to the Libertarian Party. Bring your friends.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Porkers Line Up—It's Feeding Time Over at Homeland Security

According to Lisa Keen, writing in the Bay Area Reporter (a San Francisco LGBT newspaper), social service grants to faith-based organizations increased 7 percent in 2005 including—get this—the addition of a new office in the department of Homeland Security charged with making it easier for "faith-based and other community organizations" to obtain federal funding to provide "social and community services."

Somehow, and maybe it's just me, I don't get the connection between Homeland Security and social services. But hey, Bush's gotta keep those fat porkers on the religious right fed somehow!
more . . .

Here's how those on the LGBT left took the news about continued expansion of the faith-based initiative:
"In our experience, very little" federal funding under Bush's five-year-old program is going to gay groups that provide social and community services,
said Lorri L. Jean, chief executive director of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center. (Is anyone shocked about this, coming from the Bush administration?) Added Jay Smith Brown, director of communication strategies for the Human Rights Campaign,
"We aren't opposed to faith-based funding..."
No indeed. While whining about the potential for these programs to roll back existing civil rights protections as cover, the main problem the left has with them is they think they're getting stuck sucking the hind teat. They're not against more faith-based funding; they just want more of the loot for themselves! But don't worry, our little leftist piglets may be down but not out. After a long struggle with principle, Jean says,
"we decided to go forward with a faith-based partnership."
The only principle either the left or right seems to have remaining is to feed long and hard from the public trough. With all the slurping and sucking sounds coming from the pigs on the Animal Farm, one might think there was a orgy going on there in Washington. There is, and guess who's getting screwed!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Outright's Treasurer, Lloyd Russell, has passed away

Lloyd Russell(r) with Harry Browne(l) in 2000
Lloyd Russell (r) with
Harry Browne (l) in 2000
We are saddened to report that, following a long illness, our organization's Treasurer, Lloyd Russell, has died.

A fixture in Libertarian politics for decades, Lloyd Russell was a founding member of Outright Libertarians in 1998, while he was running for Lieutenant Governor of Georgia. Prior to that, he had been an on-air television personality in the 1960s and joined the Libertarian Party when it was founded in the early 1970s. In addition to being an attorney, "Russ" was the owner of a well-known gay bar in Atlanta, The Cove, which was in business until the 1980s. While running The Cove, he became personally aware of the difficulties of running a gay-oriented business in the Bible Belt, which led to his involvement in the Gay Bar Owners Association of Atlanta and his contribution to other gay bars in the Atlanta area.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Queer leaders beg Dems for crumbs

This line from the Washington Blade says it all:

"We are tired of being seen as the embarrassment to the [Democratic] party." (Kevin Cathcart, Lambda Legal)

In contrast, the Libertarian Party doesn't see the LGBT community as an embarrassment. In fact, Libertarians have supported equal rights for same-sex couples to form a contract, which includes marriage, ever since our first platform in 1972.

Unfortunately, with puppets of the Democratic Party entrenched in the leadership of the largest LGBT advocacy groups, most people have never heard about this. If queer Americans knew how often their rights are traded for an extra 1% in spending on some Democrat's pet project, there would be Stonewall-like riots outside the Democratic Party conventions.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Straight and Unhappy?

Justin Watt, a gay blogger, has riled up Exodus International, the "ex-gay" folks, with his parody of their billboard. Watt took a photo of the billboard, aimed at recruiting gays for the "cure," and altered it so the roles of gays and straights were reversed. The Exodus lawyers failed to appreciate the joke and sent Watt a cease-and-desist letter.

Now, it may be turning into a First Amendment case as the ACLU has taken up the cause claiming, correctly in my view, that this parody is constitutionally protected speech.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Dogs, Ponies and Shows...Oh, My!

Again, GLBT Americans are being used as a distraction from Bush's bungles in Iraq.

As detailed in the previous post, "out" gays are being told to stay away from important White House positions, due to "security" concerns. This Administration fears honesty, period. How surprising it thinks good citizens should live a lie! Or that, once again, it portrays us as a threat. We're hardly the only convenient villains in the neocons' cast of enemies.
more . . .

Paul Craig Roberts notes in today's Lew Rockwell.com, "One can imagine the thoughts in Bush's mind: 'Thank goodness I didn't capture bin Laden. Maybe he will strike again and bail me out.'" See Roberts' entire essay at www.lewrockwell.com/roberts/roberts156.html. And if good ol' Osama doesn't cooperate, Bush can always look for his villains closer to home.

But the dog-and-pony shows may no longer be fooling the public. Anthony Gregory also comments quite pointedly on the scapegoating tactics of our desperately-flailing Commander in Chief at www.lewrockwell.com/gregory/gregory112.html. Our protectors can't tell the difference between the truly evil and the innocent. We must hope America understands that difference while we still have a nation to protect.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Do you like this blog?

The Federal Elections Commission intends to start regulating political speech on the Internet. The Online Freedom of Speech Act (S.678 in the Senate and HR 1606 in the House) will stop them from doing that. If you like this blog, please tell your elected representatives to support the Online Freedom of Speech Act.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

So, You Want Single-Payer Health Care?

Here's another reason against granting the state a monopoly in your health care . . .  If you are gay, you might get even less care than the rest of those trapped in such a system. From 365gay.com's Montreal Bureau we get this column: Widespread Neglect Of Gay Seniors In Health Care System.
A new study shows that despite full equality rights and government funded health care in Canada LGBT seniors face a serious health threat from discrimination by health care workers and institutions.
more . . .
The authors claim some may be shocked by the discriminatory service provided:
The conclusions are likely to shock many Canadians who pride themselves on their liberal attitudes towards gays and on their government health care system
but Libertarians are not surprised at all. Governments are the biggest discriminators of all; and without competition and consumer choices, no provider has an incentive to shed their prejudices such as they would under the profit motive.

What is frightening is that it is often illegal to purchase any healthcare insurance outside of the state plan. Where I live (in California) we are right now being faced with the threat of just such a monopoly system, with Senate Bill 840 working its way through the legislature. Just today the Libertarian Party of California published an op-ed entitled A Total Health Care Monopoly by Anthony Gregory which describes some of the pitfalls of single-payer health care.

As is often the case, one has to be careful what they wish for. Ask for centrally planned health care, and you may regret what you get: institutionalized discrimination and potentially fatal neglect with no way out.

Major gay and lesbian groups raise funds for anti-marriage-equality lawmaker

And these people have the nerve to call anyone else "self-loathing"? Someone find them a mirror.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Is the First Amendment a gay basher?

Chris CrainHere's kudo's to Chris Crain, executive editor of the Washington Blade, who really seems to "get it" in his recent editorial about some of the recent Supreme court decisions on LGBT — First Amendment-related issues.

Starting with the decision allowing Boston's St. Patrick's Day parade organizers to exclude Irish gay groups, and then continuing with two more Supreme Court cases, Crain says,
more . . .

And the same decision that resulted in James Dale being excluded from his New Jersey Boy Scout troop likewise allows his local PFLAG chapter to exclude "ex-gay" recruiters from Exodus and similar groups.

The decision last week in FAIR vs. Rumsfeld went against the gay-friendly law schools because they weren’t really being forced to accept the military recruiters as "members" or fellow marchers, as in the other gay cases. And nothing about the Solomon Amendment prevents law schools from speaking out against "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell."

The uncomfortable reality is that all these cases were decided correctly and probably should not have been brought, except perhaps to bring attention to the anti-gay bigotry that lurks below the surface in each.

They should also remind us of the dangers in using the law to force social change in the private sector. Not every battle over discrimination is best fought in the courts, or even in the legislatures.

It's refreshing to find someone in the mainstream LGBT movement who understands that if we give up our basic First Amendment rights, there won't be any "equal rights" (let alone any special "LGBT rights") left worth having.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Playing with the Law

Traditionally, conservatives have believed in something called organic societal change. This is change that is allowed to happen naturally -- in a way in which people are able to adjust to it -- rather than, as liberals so often attempt to do, trying to force it to change artificially -- whether people are ready for it or not. Even though we often find ourselves at odds with conservatives, libertarians share with them that preference for organic, natural change. The political Right, today, has almost totally abandoned the principle of organic societal change.
more . . .
A case in point is their infatuation with laws supposedly banning same-sex marriage. I've got news for them. Same-sex marriage already is a fact for many people, regardless of whether conservatives like it or not. We don't use laws to change the definition of words -- for that, all we need is a dictionary.

Just as the meanings of words naturally evolve as usage changes, so, too, will the way marriage is defined in our society. And no artificial construct of law is going to do a thing about it.

Fortunately, more than a few people are wary of a Constitutional amendment (against same-sex marriage) that would, in fact, violate four existing amendments to the Constitution. Not all of us are prepared to do grave violence to the supreme law of our land -- effectively undermining the very authority of the document, itself -- just to strut and posture for political purposes. Would that those so enthusiastic about state-level legislation against same-sex marriage were as wise. Even enacted at the state level, such laws violate three existing amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

We have a President who stood up before God and everybody and swore an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. Now, I don't think he's a bad guy in every way, and I cannot bring myself to believe that he is genuinely homophobic. But to support an amendment that would do unprecedented (and probably irreparable) harm to the Constitution is political quackery.

Tammy Bruce has referred to the current legislative efforts against same-sex marriage as "the silly-putty solution." Coming from somebody who really DOES like the President, and who supports him on almost every other issue, this is a damning indictment, indeed.

Let's go over to Toys R Us and get these politicians something harmless to play with. We should insist that our elected officials treat our laws with the respect that they deserve.

Does campus recruiting decision apply to institutions not taking tax dollars?

Brian Doherty at Reason Magazine suggests in "Recruiters in My Cornflakes!: Time to give McCullough v. Maryland another look" that the actual wording of the recent Supreme Court decision to uphold the Solomon Amendment that bars federal funding for schools which ban military recruiters may actually say that institutions not taking federal money must also allow recruiters on campus. See bottom of page 8 and top of page 9 of the decision.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

California Supreme Court to Sea Scouts: Discriminate On Your Own Dime

Today, the California Supreme Court ruled unanimously for the city of Berkeley and against the Sea Scouts when they refused to force the taxpayers of that town to continue subsidizing the Scouts in spite of their refusal to adopt a non-discrimination policy required by the city.

Outright Libertarians agree with the court. As Libertarians, we question why the taxpayers should subsidize the Sea Scouts in the first place, but we are even more adamantly opposed when some individuals are denied access due to irrelevant factors such as religious beliefs or sexual orientation.

Refer to the Outright Libertarians press release on this very topic.

Poppin' Out All Over

Allow me to introduce myself. Not only am I a brand-newbie to this fine blog, but I am also a new convert to libertarianism. For most of my life, I was a typically-conformist liberal Democrat, though I did have my maverick moments. To name one example (or does it count as two?), I voted for Reagan twice. Although he was hardly a libertarian, I certainly think our Fortieth President did more than most of 'em have to make the world a freer place.

I guess I've been something of a "closet" libertarian for some time now. So out of the closet I pop, now -- politically as well as sexually. Whoooeee...I feel so FREE!

It's still pretty early, but thus far I have noticed something very strange. I meet with WAY more hostility outing myself as a libertarian than I ever have as a lesbian. And most of the guff I get for my frankness comes from others in "the community."

There are many, many reasons I am now switching to the Libertarian Party. In a nutshell, suffice it to say that though I still have some disagreements with the LP, it is by far the party in which I fit the best. In the days and weeks to come, as we explore issues and events together, I will further elaborate as to why.

My main reason, however, towers head and shoulders above all the others. I can say, without the slightest exaggeration, that if this country does not move in a libertarian direction -- and soon -- we will no longer have a country. Libertarians hope to rekindle the spirit of the American Revolution. As a Christian, I am not ashamed to say that the Founders of this noble experiement called the United States were inspired by God.

Those on the Right, especially a great many who call themselves Christians, frighten the hell out of me. They have torn a page from the playbook of the far Left, and they are determined to turn America into a totalitarian state. They say they are "at war against terrorism," but they are behaving exactly the way the militant Islamists must have hoped they would. I doubt it is very sound strategy to behave exactly the way our worst enemies want us to.

As the old song says, "Clowns to the Left of me...jokers to the Right." But I don't think I'm "stuck in the middle," and neither are you. Libertarianism represents our only real way out of the Nanny State-regulated, theocratic, thought-policing mess in which we find ourselves.

In Villahermosa, a city of about a half million not far from Mexico City, it is actually illegal to be naked inside your own house. This may have interesting ramifications, both in terms of birth-rate and body odor (not only must making whoopee present a challenge, but what do they do about showers?). Can there be any doubt that, once the Dobson/Robertson/Falwell crowd hears about that, they'll be inspired to carry the torch North of the Border?

Relax...I'm kidding. I hope.

Popping out of the closet may scare some folks, but it sure is fun.

Be subversive and strike a blow for the folks of Villahermosa. Practice a little random household nudity!

Monday, March 06, 2006

SCOTUS: Tax dollars always have strings attached

It's rare when the modern-day Supreme Court makes a unanimous decision on any contentious issue. But today the entire Supreme Court made it clear that strings are always attached to tax dollars.

In a unanimous ruling, the Court said that even when universities did not single out the military, and rather banned all recruiters from campus who discriminate against gays and lesbians, they can still lose their federal tax dollars.

This is particularly troubling to the leadership of the largest LGBT organizations (and other socialist-leaning civil rights groups), because one of their primary strategies in the past twenty years has been to move various parts of the economy from the private sector to the public sector, so that nondiscrimination laws that apply to government employees and government contractors can be applied to more and more people.

Until the Solomon Amendment, which prohibited federal tax dollars from being spent at colleges and universities that don't allow military recruiters on campus, this strategy worked quite well. Now, as we watch the pendulum swing back, with a larger government than ever, but the leadership of that government being hostile to the interests of LGBT people, we're seeing that the Libertarian warning to the LGBT community was valid. The largest federal government ever now funnels tax dollars to anti-gay religious organizations via President Bush's "faith-based initiative," and private universites, suffering from a decades-long addiction to federal research money, no longer have the ability to set their own policies regarding LGBT equality.

Perhaps it's time for the LGBT community, and especially those largest organizations representing it, to listen to the Libertarian argument that a biologically-determined permanent minority should be skeptical of big government where there are no controls on the will of the majority.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

We'll miss you, Harry Browne.

On March 1, the 1996 and 2000 Libertarian Party nominee for President, Harry Browne, passed away due to ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). While Mr. Browne was probably the most "Republican-acting" candidate our party has ever nominated, he was nonetheless a staunch defender of LGBT equal rights under the law. Less than a year ago, just last April, he debated the Reverend O'Neal Dozier on same-sex marriage for Free Market News Network. And though the entire discussion was very much targeted toward FMNN's primarily Republican audience, using the term "homosexual" instead of "gay" or "lesbian" and taking Biblical stories as historical fact, Mr. Browne would not yield on the issue of marriage equality for same-sex couples. He was speaking in "their" terms. This is the kind of argument that our community needs to be making in the "red states" that have a habit of banning same-sex marriage and adoption by gays and lesbians.

You can watch the debate here. You can skip ahead in the program to 14:00 to the beginning of the debate. My favorite part is where the Reverend makes unfounded assertion after unfounded assertion, to which Mr. Browne simply asked "How?" over and over again to prove the circular logic of such assertions.

We'll miss you, Harry Browne.