Monday, May 29, 2006

We're Here, We're Queer, And We're Perfect

Kudos go to David Link for his column of the same name in Reason magazine where he points out some of the pitfalls of having politically correct legislation ruling the state-wide educational curriculum.

The column is about SB1437 which recently passed the California Senate (and which Governor Schwarzenegger has promised to veto). It adds "sexual orientation" to a long list of politically-protected classes—in this case an existing law prohibiting textbooks and other instructional material from containing "material adverse to persons" based on their race, color, creed, and etc, and etc. The measure, sponsored by "out" lesbian Senator Sheila Kuehl (D), has attracted national attention because California represents about 12 percent of the nation's textbook market.
more . . .

I am certainly supportive of textbooks in our monopoly public schools being relatively unbiased—an impossible task since bias is in the eyes of the beholder. However, there has to be something wrong with a law that prohibits history books from being just that: How can they be unbiased if "adverse material" is prohibited? As is often the case, we have the unintended consequences of a law passed with the best of intentions instead creating a whitewashed curriculum and a politically-correct version of history. I shudder to think of how the textbook authors might comply with this law; which gays and lesbians they would pick to shower with praise, just as the roles of minor figures in history that are black, women, or hispanic are sometimes blown out-of-proportion today. Won't we be able to say anything bad about Roy Cohn?

On the other hand, it does sting a bit that our governor doesn't think that we rank up there with blacks, hispanics, Jews, Quakers, foreigners, cripples, women, and the other dregs protected elements of society.

As Libertarians will point out, if we had real choice in schools, these curricula disputes—whether gay-inclusive in California or evolution-exclusive in Kansas—would not take on the monumental standing they do. This microscopic examination of every textbook by polarized political factions is amplified when decisions are made at the state level instead of by teachers and local school boards.

Even further de-centralization of these decisions would encourage a yet more civil society. If parents had realistic and economically feasible alternatives to the public schools, there needn't be such intense battles in our state capitols or even our local school boards. Unfortunately, most parents cannot pay for their children's education once via taxes and then pay again for tuition at alternative private schools with curricula more to the parents liking, a situation that must be addressed by any Libertarian solution to education.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Out & Equal Poll shows public holds libertarian views on employment nondiscrimination and benefits

A recent poll by Out & Equal Workplace Advocates (PDF) shows that most straight people nationwide support equal benefits for same-sex partners but do not support laws that dictate companies' employment policies.
A majority of heterosexual adults (61%) believe
that a company should have the freedom to decide for itself the benefits it offers to its employees and
their spouses or partners – not federal or state policy, according to the latest national Out & Equal
Workplace survey...
72 percent of heterosexual adults consider it important that a company have a written
nondiscrimination policy that includes sexual orientation in addition to race, ethnicity, sex, religion,
age and disability, compared to 63 percent in 2002.

Unfortunately, Out & Equal still includes corporate endorsement of the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) as a factor in choosing its annual "Outie" organizational awards, such as with Chevron in 2005. Aside from its support of ENDA, Out & Equal's advocacy model is a good one -- providing training to HR professionals and publishing reports on the companies that voluntarily choose the most LGBT-friendly policies. Maybe these latest poll numbers will convince them to drop ENDA advocacy from their mission and concentrate on what they do best -- voluntary workplace training on LGBT issues.

Friday, May 19, 2006

HRC "outed" as DNC lapdog

Wow. We've been saying it all along here in our little blog, but Chris Crain of the Washington Blade actually put it in print in a mainstream LGBT publication. You've gotta go read this:
Rather than actually defend gay families and make the case for gay marriage, HRC is stuck in a three-year strategy of arguing that the American people don’t — and shouldn’t! — care about marriage equality for gay couples.

“Voters want candidates focused on soaring gas prices, a health care crisis and national security,” Solmonese says in the release, “not putting discrimination in the United States Constitution.”

What sort of gay rights strategy is it, when the attention of Americans is focused on our issues, to argue that our rights aren’t important, and refuse to engage our opponents in the debate over our equality?

Dean apologists are self-loathing

Since 2004, when Bush announced his Federal Marriage Amendment, I've heard lots of Democrats, gay and straight, call all gay Republicans "self-loathing."

And they're right. If you put party politics over your own freedom and dignity as an equal human being, you must not like yourself very much.

But this week, it appears that gay Democrats are the ones in need of some self-esteem, as they're now falling all over themselves to make excuses for Howard Dean and the DNC's recent behavior. From Stonewall Democrat Mark Kvare in the Washington Blade to Advocate reporter Bruce Steele, gay Democrats are trying to peddle the tired old myth that the Democrats are the most gay-friendly political party.
For the Task Force to return a $5,000 donation to a friendly political party that the vast majority of its membership supports is not subtle or smart. It’s the political equivalent of giving the finger and demonstrates to the masses that the leadership’s negotiation and collaboration skills are so remedial that the message strategy is to cut the organization off from the chair of the only party gays are still invited to.

They should be ashamed of themselves. Oh, wait. They already are.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Dean lets the cat out of the bag

In an interview with Christian Broadcasting Network News, Howard Dean let it slip what the Democrats' platform on marriage really was in 2004, though this is hardly news to anyone who listened to what Democratic Party candidates like Kerry and Edwards were saying on the issue. The real news is that a national LGBT rights organization (NGLTF) has for the first time stopped ignoring DNC attacks on our community. We'll see if HRC, the Victory Fund, etc. follow suit.

But don't hold your breath for any of these largest national LGBT groups to support Libertarians. Their leadership is too closely tied to Big Government, Big Labor, and Big Media interests to admit that there is any alternative to the two major parties. (Heck, the person hired by Dean to replace the staffer he fired whose partner dared be critical of the DNC is himself a former head of the Victory Fund.) But at least one of these groups ending the silence on longstanding DNC attacks against the LGBT community is a good start.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Libertarianism: The Invisible Option?

Over at, they are lamenting the lack of a political party that is both pro-gay and pro-free-market.


Why do so many people -- folks who would make fine Libertarians -- look past the Libertarian option as if it weren't even there?

It is true our party doesn't have the money, or the fundraising clout, of either the Republicans or the Democrats. But given adequate support, we could certainly do well enough to win (the Republicans began life as a third party, themselves). Additionally, if people began voting for the best candidates instead of merely the wealthiest -- something nobody can stop them from doing -- against all the conventional odds, Libertarians would begin winning more and more elections.

Money does play a huge role in politics. But psychology counts for even more.

We need to begin seeing our pro-gay-rights, pro-free-market party as a winner. If that idea ever catches on, the Libertarians will be unstoppable.

If it does not catch on, then both the free market and gay rights may be in danger.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

LGBT folks, stop settling for the lesser evil

From the Washington Blade, we have a story about how tortured the federal legislative process is. Faced with a bad bill from the Republicans that created double-jeopardy for "sexual offenders" (which some of us were considered until the 2003 Lawrence decision), the Democrats decided to try to make it less bad (in their view) by tacking on gay-inclusive "hate crimes" legislation. Predictably, this strategy failed, and now the bad bill is going forward without the "gay-friendly" rider.

Why can't we just get the federal government out of micro-managing crimes that states can handle perfectly well on their own? Congress and the President should only be dealing with those things that the states themselves cannot handle (such as national defense and interstate commerce) and leave the rest to the states, as required by the Tenth Amendment.

The one thing that both gay-bashing and the sexual abuse of a child have in common is that both are crimes that can easily be handled by the states, without Ted Kennedy and Bill Frist sticking their noses into it.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

No White Flags on Battle of Sexes

Could it be the reason America's not ready for a libertarian, gender-neutral approach to criminal justice and political issues is that we're just not ready for the Battle of the Sexes to end?

Take rape, for example. Yes, take it, please. Another boys-against-the-girls catfight is heating up at But in crimes like rape or domestic violence (both of which women can commit, too), what difference does it make who commits it more often, who "started it" or why they do it?

Gay marriage, and gay relationships in general, call us to a vision based upon equality -- one in which each individual is responsible to every other, regardless of gender. Libertarianism does the same. Is the accumulated resentment between heterosexual men and women so overwhelming that they feel greater allegiance to their gender than to an impartial standard of right and wrong?

The Democrats seem to have adopted women, just as the Republicans have men. How much of the rancor between the sexes -- and of anti-gay hysteria -- is rooted in corrupt, statist notions of which sex should "win?"

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Pimp's Up Ho's Down

In a recent blog entry, our own Rich Newell referred to the state politicians who traded the privacy of HIV positive people for federal funding as "a bunch of whores."

Seems he wasn't too far off, since those same states just got slapped down by their pimp in favor of those states who voted with the White House in 2004.

Investigators with the Government Accountability Office have found that some funding formulas disproportionately benefit states with urban areas, due to a quirk that double-counts AIDS patients in 51 metropolitan areas. A separate quirk that counts some dead patients overwhelmingly helps San Francisco, giving the city an extra $7 million a year...
The White House wants to eliminate both these quirks...
Lawmakers in California and New York fear the changes could cost their states more than $20 million a year each.

Dems put gays below illegal immigrants on list of priorities

UPDATE 5/3/06: Howard Dean has fired Yandura's partner, Donald Hitchcock, from his job at the DNC, in retaliation for Yandura speaking up.

Democratic Party loyalist and gay former staffer from the Clinton White House, Paul Yandura, recently decided enough was enough:

In his letter, Yandura pointed to efforts by the DNC to purchase television ads attacking Republican-led efforts to pass legislation in Congress that most Democrats considers harmful to immigrants.

"It's the right thing to do, and I applaud their action," he said. "Why then is it so difficult for them to do the same for us?

"Why are gays and lesbians continually left to fight these battles alone?" he asked. "Where are our allies?"

In the Libertarian Party, Paul. (And we support the right of peaceful people to freely cross borders, as well.)