Tuesday, August 29, 2006

No Taxation Without Representation

From the San Francisco Chronicle comes a story about two states which bar same-sex couples from marrying nonetheless deciding to impose a tax currently only levied on married couples.

As bad an idea as this tax is, whether for straight or gay couples, there's only one state in the nation justified in imposing such a marriage tax on same-sex couples, and that's Massachusetts. Gay voters in California and New York need to stand up and demand that they not be taxed as married couples until those states start to treat them as married couples.

Meanwhile, in states where there is no such tax, the problem of domestic violence amongst same-sex couples is finding a free-market solution:

In the absence of government mandates, a growing network of nonprofit agencies that specialize in same-sex domestic violence has sprung up in cities like Boston; Columbus, Ohio; Houston; Kansas City; and Tucson, Ariz. Many police departments also have started training officers to know how to respond to gay or lesbian victims.

Christine Smith for President

Christine Smith has informally announced she is running for the Libertarian nomination for President of the United States.

While I don't yet know enough about her to judge her qualifications, I do see the following statement on her personal website addressing some of Outright Libertarians' favorite issues:
I want as little governmental intervention into the private lives of the American people as possible. The government has no business in prohibiting drugs, or regulating what sexual acts between consenting adults are permitted, or who can get married or serve in the military based on their private sexual lives.
She intends to have her campaign website up in Novemeber, when she will make her formal announcement that she is running.

Monday, August 28, 2006

"Liberated" Iraq?

Over $300 billion of your tax dollars, and over 2,000 of your fellow citizens have died in a war launched under false pretenses about phony "weapons of mass destruction." But at least some Iraqis are freer -- the Islamic death squads which are, often with American-made and American-bought weapons, murdering gay Iraqis at an unprecedented rate.
more . . .

Hardline Islamic insurgent groups in Iraq are targeting a new type of victim with the full protection of Iraqi law, The Observer can reveal. The country is seeing a sudden escalation of brutal attacks on what are being called the 'immorals' - homosexual men and children as young as 11 who have been forced into same-sex prostitution.

There is growing evidence that Shia militias have been killing men suspected of being gay and children who have been sold to criminal gangs to be sexually abused. The threat has led to a rapid increase in the numbers of Iraqi homosexuals now seeking asylum in the UK because it has become impossible for them to live safely in their own country.

The American response to this crisis? Well, when a 14 year old boy was executed under suspicion of being gay, Army sources said they had "other priorities."

Democrats and Republicans lobbied for this war. They lied about the motivation for it, they voted for it, they funded it, they staffed it, they apologized for its failures, they attacked the patriotism and sanity of those who opposed it, and they supported the incompetence of those who planned it. Both Democratic leaders and George Bush pledge to "stay until our task is finished." The Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates of the Democratic opposition voted for the war just as surely as Bush and Cheney supported it.

Let's hope, for the sake of our gay brothers and sisters in Iraq, that the ill-defined "job" is finished before they are all exterminated by people elevated by the US Army and weapons supplied by the US arsenal.

And let us also commit to working hard not only to help our gay colleagues abroad with our strong support for a genuine and compassionate asylum policy (as well as loud condemnation of those who would murder them) -- but also to electing Libertarians who will put an end to the global Democratic-Republican war games which put them in such grave peril in the first place.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

"Let the people decide!"

Democrats make very loud noises about democracy -- when it comes to voting machines, socialized medicine, etc., Democratic activists can always be counted on to point out what a majority of voters support (when it's what they want).

However, that's less important, apparently, when it comes to their own electoral processes.more . . .

Patricia Todd, a lesbian who won a tough primary election in Alabama for state legislature in Alabama, was challenged for her victory. Most concede that it was because she was a white woman who won a victory in a majority black district. She was initially disqualified by party power brokers who cited an obscure campaign finance rule which had not been adhered to by any other candidate in any other race in the whole state.

However, the party's executive committee decided to reinstate her as their candidate:

The Alabama Democratic Party Executive Committee voted 95-87, mostly along racial lines, to reject the ruling of a subcommittee that had voted to disqualify Todd, who is white, and her black opponent, Gaynell Hendricks, in the race for the House seat from Birmingham's predominantly black District 54.

So in the Democratic Party's own business and in selection of candidates to run in its artificially-protected monopoly environment, the vote which matters most isn't that of everyday party voters, but of the small and exclusive executive committee deep in the party machine, which apparently number under 200 statewide.

Let the people decide, indeed.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Republicans, Clinton and Hezbollah Agree On Gay Hatred

It's funny when the mask of bigotry drops off of various parties' faces and they look so different underneath. In the case of anti-gay bigotry, homophobia has united Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders to oppose a simple gay pride parade in Jerusalem; has united "liberals" and "conservatives" in legislatures all over America to pass anti-gay laws; and now, we find the leaders of various terrorist organizations in the Middle East mouthing the Bush administration doctrine on why gays in the military are a bad idea.
more . . .

The leader, Abu Oudai, chief rocket coordinator for the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in the West Bank, said Hizbullah's "tremendous victory" has emboldened his group and other Palestinian terror organizations to immediately coordinate violence against Israel and to focus their "resistance" on rocket attacks.

. . . snip. . .

"If we do (what Hizbullah accomplished), this Israeli army full of gay soldiers and full of corruption and with old-fashioned war methods can be defeated also in Palestine."

This Libertarian will be doing his utmost to condemn the anti-gay forces in the Republican party with their own rhetoric for "allying with the terrorists" and "covering for the terrorists" and "mouthing the terrorist line in America, damaging our freedoms" the next time a discussion about gays in the military pops up. And when Democrats wax rhapsodic over Bill Clinton -- he of DOMA and Don't Ask, Don't Tell, why not ask why he allied himself with the Republicans and the terrorists on this important issue? I suggest that all liberty-lovers consider a similar strategy.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Hijacking The Gay Movement Again

If one listens to the loudest voices of the left, he'd think that the biggest gay issues aren't protecting our families, gaining equal recognition under the law for our mutual living arrangements, and lifting government restrictions.

What should be more important? Well, according to the AFL-CIO's "gay rights group," it's WalMart's compensation arrangements and a laundry list of other leftist causes:

"[Gay groups should] demand that Wal-Mart create 'friendly' practices, of say, paying their employees above-poverty-line wages, offering affordable health care, and when that is done, they could think about offering domestic-partner benefits and dealing with the massive class action lawsuit facing them regarding gender discrimination" [said Jeremy Bishop, program director of Pride at Work at the AFL-CIO].

more . . .

So first, gay groups should campaign for WalMart to offer health benefits to all of its employees -- gay and non-gay -- and also demand WalMart pay much higher wages. These are gay issues how? (I suppose that it is generous of Mr. Bishop to insist that gay groups may want to get around to campaigning for domestic partner benefits sometime after his own well-funded group gets everything it's looking for).

The cardinal sin for which WalMart is being punished? They've teamed up with the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce to create and nurture a gay-friendly supplier and employee culture. The initiative, if successful, will create friendlier environments for gay employees -- both in-store and in management -- as well as create greater access for gay and lesbian owned businesses to sell their wares through WalMart. This creates new jobs, new business opportunities for gay and lesbian enterprises (who can then hire more gay employees) and greater economic impact for all gay Americans versus the status quo.

Sounds great, right? You'd figure such value creation for such an important part of the gay and lesbian community would earn both organizations some props -- even from those who are regular critics of WalMart. But instead, Mr. Bishop says:

"The mission statement says it is committed 'to forming a broad-based coalition of LGBT-owned and -friendly businesses,'" Bishop told PageOneQ.com, referring to NGLCC's own description of its agenda. "We're not exactly sure how Wal-Mart fits into the LGBT-friendly business category. In fact, we're not sure how Wal-Mart fits into anything worker-friendly."

Note how quickly the discussion shifted from gay people to "worker-friendliness" in just two sentences. So once again, we learn that for the left, the demands of powerful union interest groups trump those of gay people. Despite all of the advances this agreement offers to gay entrepreneurs/small businesses, workers, managers, and potential employees of WalMart and its suppliers, it's just not something they can support -- in fact, according to them, no good gay person could.

If gay people needed any more evidence of the "tactical utility" of gay issues for the left, it would be harder to find. Unless you're a gay person who falls into the narrow band of people who the AFL-CIO represent, finding opportunity in a left-leaning socialist world will prove to be just as elusive as in a right-leaning neoconservative world.

These People Want To Run Our Lives For Us?!?

The typical Libertarian position on issues such as government defining and regulating one's family is quite simple -- that's a job for individuals, who define their relationships and living arrangements in mutually-agreeable terms.

However, it is often instructive to examine the character and practices of those who designate themselves morally superior, who seek to use government power to marginalize gay families, and who present themselves as experts in "family relations."
more . . .

The Advocate offers this intriguing news snippet on Republican Randall Terry:

Randall Terry, a leading conservative Christian, doesn't run away from "family values issues" in his Florida state Senate race, but his gay son, Jamiel, says things are not what they seem. Among the senior Terry's pledges are preserving traditional marriage and opposing adoptions by gays. He has touted efforts to stop abortions. His campaign mailers sum up the value he puts on family: they show a picture with his wife, a daughter, and three grinning young sons taken before a fourth was born this summer.

But Jamiel, Terry's adopted son, says the picture is missing two people: him and his sister Tila, also adopted. Both have been estranged from Terry since Jamiel came out as a gay man and Tila had a child out of wedlock.

So a man who seeks political power to "save the families" of the nation -- and micromanage them from a position of governmental authority -- has failed at his parenting duties to the point where he doesn't consider two of his kids to be his kids (at least from a campaign perspective).

"Redefining traditional family" indeed! Perhaps Mr. Terry and those who agree with him should focus more on their own family values rather than attempting to impose them upon other families. Most gay parents, after all, love all of their children.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Pitfalls of "States Rights" approach to marriage

Most of us in this country work for employers based out-of-state. Because of the Defense of Marriage Act, passed by a Republican Congress and signed by Democratic President Bill Clinton, LGBT people who live in a marriage equality state like Massachusetts can still be denied spousal benefits.

Nurse alleges antigay bias at hospital - The Boston Globe

Ciulla and her partner, Diane Trudel, were married on Oct. 1, 2005, more than a year after the landmark Goodridge decision was handed down by the state's Supreme Judicial Court, making Massachusetts the first state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage.
Martee J. Harris, a corporate vice president for human resources at Essent [based in Tennessee], testified that she had contacted brokers for Blue Cross some time after same-sex marriage became legal in Massachusetts and ordered them to use the federal definition of marriage in administering benefits.

Another reason Alabama's LGBT groups should stop endorsing Democrats

Loretta Nall goes after "Alabamastan Talibanicrats" who oppose LGBT equality in their new "Covenant for the Future". But the funniest line she wrote has to be this one about their proposed "Border Protection Act" (just before she goes into how this "Covenant" hurts LGBT people):

3. How will a border protection act move Alabama forward and make it a better place?

It won't. Alabama doesn't have a border with a foreign country. Maybe we should pass a bill that says our lawmakers have to pass a geography course before they can serve.

The First Amendment is more important than how annoying Phelps is

Richard J. Rosendall at Independent Gay Forumshows us several more examples of why LGBT people should embrace liberty, not oppose it.

After Canada, heeding the MacDworkinites, banned pornography that could be considered dehumanizing or degrading to women, Canadian officials began seizing shipments of books to gay and women’s bookstores, including works by Dworkin herself.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Democratic Party Gay Rights Flip-Flop #4,214

Democrats, we are told, are semi-reliable allies who, while they rarely support full legal equality for gay and lesbian people, at least can be relied upon to support gays serving in the military, and supporting symbolic statist window-dressing legislation like ENDA.

Libertarians, on this blog and elsewhere, have also long warned that Democrats who waver or "sell out" on marriage equality, constitutional rights, and other fundamental issues of gay and lesbian human rights couldn't be counted as reliable supporters even of basic Democratic Party talking points later. I must say, however, that our caveat is coming true even sooner than many of us likely thought possible.

Democratic congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth, who has made a great deal of political hay for herself by citing her military career, has backtracked on a commitment to support the repeal of the military's gay ban. Gay servicemembers and their supporters, unsurprisingly, are unimpressed.
more . . .

The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network put out a news release last week praising Duckworth, who lost both legs in the Iraq conflict, for supporting legislation that would repeal the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military.

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


"When I was serving in Iraq, it made no difference to me what the sexual orientation of my comrades was. It certainly did not matter to me what the sexual orientation was of the men or women who helped save my life after my Black Hawk helicopter was shot down over Iraq," Duckworth said in the statement, which her campaign acknowledges is correct. "Any qualified American who is willing to make that kind of sacrifice for our freedom should be free to do so."

Based on those words—and Duckworth's being listed as backing a change to allow gays to serve openly in the military on the Human Rights Campaign's Web site—"it seemed pretty clear to everyone involved on our side that her statement seemed to be one of support for lesbian and gay service members," Ralls told the Herald.

I suppose that, as one famous Democrat once said, it depends on what one's definition of "is" is.

And the beat goes on. As gay Democrats continue to accept their received-wisdom status as the familial whipping-boys-and-girls of the Democratic Party, this sort of flip-flopping will increasingly become standard fare.

Perhaps it's time for gay Democrats who support a military built on merit, not Machiavellian meandering, to support a party based on principle, not politics.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Self-Loathing Strikes Again

Democrats, gay and otherwise, are often quick to blast gay Republicans as "self-loathing" when the latter express their partisanship. After all, their logic goes, how can any self-respecting gay man or woman support candidates who wish to undermine one's basic right to exist or be considered equally under the law?

They're right, too. Too bad that just as often, gay Democrats are equally self-loathing. Consider the high-profile Pennsylvania Senate race this year, where an anti-gay Democrat is going up against notorious anti-gay Republican Rick Santorum.
more . . .

Bob Casey, Jr., offers a "kinder and gentler" alternative to Santorum, whose opposition to gay marriage and gay people in general is well known. However, strip away the veneer of kind and gentle, and the same old tune starts to play:

  • Both Casey and Santorum are opposed to gay marriage. Democrats counter that Casey supports "civil unions," which is equivalent to defenders of segregation claiming they're not racists because they support separate voting facilities for blacks which are almost as good.
  • Both Casey and Santorum are opposed to sexual freedom. Both believe that the government has an important role to play in regulating, restricting, taxing and otherwise approving various life decisions.
  • Both Casey and Santorum believe that the government, and not parents, knows best about how to raise children -- whether those children are adopted, or whether those children are one's own biological children.
  • Both Casey and Santorum love big-spending, high-taxing government. Santorum has supported deficits (a hidden tax increase) and soaring spending for years, while Casey's platform calls for increased expenditures in everything from government education bureaucrats to expanding the Iraq War.

I could go on and on, but the striking thing isn't that Casey and Santorum are largely two shades of the same color -- that's common when it comes to comparing Democrats and Republicans. It's rather more interesting to note that Pennsylvania's ballot system has been so distorted by the old parties that there's no room on the ballot for alternatives from the libertarian or even old-line socialist/social conservative movements.

Pennsylvanians are being told that the Casey/Santorum race offers them a choice. But if your issues of import include marriage equality, freedom to raise one's own family, deficit/tax/spending reduction, the Iraq War and other foreign adventures, or even freedom to pursue medical stem cell research in the private sector, there's not a dime's worth of difference between the two candidates.

Libertarian PA Senate candidate Tom Martin is campaigning to improve the ballot access proposition for political candidates who believe that candidates who offer an alternative view on the major issues I listed get to crack through the stranglehold on the electoral process.

A quick surveying of his political platform shows real differences with the Casey/Santorum platform, including putting one's marriage and family decisions in the hands of individual families to deliver true marriage equality; reducing taxes and spending; and getting America out of the Iraq morass.

Wouldn't it be great to have that choice? It's up to us to make it happen, and that involves lobbying for ballot access equality (i.e. true democratic elections) and also poking holes in the contrived "differences" between the essentially identical Republican and Democratic platforms in elections throughout America.

Are we going to permit the duopoly monopoly to continue to subvert real debates about gay issues, economics, geopolitics, etc. through ballot access restrictions, hacking wikipedia entries (as has happened repeatedly in the Outright Libertarians wiki entry), campaign "finance reform" laws which ensure massive streams of money to Democrats and Republicans but no funding for third party campaigns, and "publicly sponsored debates" where only two variations on one side of any given issue are presented?

Ultimately, supporting such a status quo is self-loathing defined -- not only for gay people, but for every American who seeks a real debate on the issues which influence the success, integrity and prosperity of our country.

Friday, August 11, 2006

You gotta smack 'em in the forehead with it

I hate paper. So it's no surprise that it took me more than a month after the LP National Convention to finally go through the crushing mass of paper I accumulated there. But one thing stood out -- a rainbow flag of a postcard simply saying "Vote your values" followed a candidate's name .com.

For anything to stand out in the mass of papers stuffed in my LP Convention binder, it must be well designed. And it got me to thinking about something one of our local Massachusetts candidates opined about recently. To paraphrase, he said that the LP has been better on gay rights than Republicans and Democrats, ever since our party was founded in 1971. But the gay activists don't support the LP, and the gay voters don't support the Libertarian candidates. Why not?

My answer is "because you gotta smack 'em in the forehead with it." And that's exactly what Bruce Guthrie, Libertarian for US Senate in Washington State has done.
more . . .

It's not like high school civics classes even mention third parties, much less their positions on the important issues of the day. And we all know how worthless the mainstream media is at covering third parties. So it's up to the parties and the candidates to educate the voters, which is difficult, especially when you want to target a minority of constituents who tend to no longer ghettoize geographically for easy door-knocking. In the case of the LGBT community, you're pretty much stuck with doing your outreach via the annual Pride celebration. But you simply won't get many takers if you try to give folks at an LGBT Pride celebration plain black-and-white brochures (or if they take them, you find them on the ground or in the trash ten feet away). Though if you give out something as eye-catching as a giant rainbow flag with the empowering words, "Vote your values," people are compelled to take it, probably assuming it's from a Democrat.

But then, when they're ready to look at who the candidate actually is, and they turn the card over, they see that it's not a Democrat, but rather a Libertarian. And not your typical crazy-looking wouldn't-wear-a-suit-if-his-life-depended-on-it Libertarian, but a professional-looking candidate with a professionally-run campaign, yet with the uncompromising stance on equality under the law that differentiates Libertarians from the other parties.

Bruce Guthrie's campaign for US Senate in Washington State is a model for how Libertarian candidates need to be reaching out to the LGBT community and other constituencies currently being oppressed by government. It's unapologetic in its support of key libertarian values, but it makes use of the marketing tools long since mastered by the major party candidates. I'd love to see more campaigns like this, which don't hide from or apologize for the Libertarian platform, but rather proudly embrace it, while running a serious organization that can be considered viable not only by the voters, but by the media. This is the path to electoral success.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Pass An Anti-Gay Law, Destroy Your Economy

When people say that gay rights are “special rights,” they couldn’t be more wrong. Gay rights, from a Libertarian perspective, are simply affording gays the same legal responsibilities and rights as any other group of Americans receives. Various state governments, however, don’t see it that way, and they do so not only to their own detriment, but the detriment of their own citizens.

Consider this example: when I lived in Silicon Valley in 2002, Alabama was making a concerted push into the Valley to try and recruit high tech companies. Alabama had what it thought was the ultimate in incentives – low taxes and an abundance of cheap electricity (compared to the government-enabled Enron scam, this seemed like a blessing). However, they had trouble attracting Silicon Valley companies.
more . . .

I agreed to meet with one of the economic advisors to the Alabama government when he was visiting in Palo Alto, and explained to him that despite all the tax benefits, Silicon Valley companies would never relocate to Alabama because of its anti-gay laws. Then Alabama-Supreme-Court-Justice Moore’s ruling that gay parents need to be executed before keeping custody of their own children would ensure that the many gay parents working at Silicon Valley high tech companies would never agree to move to that state. Mix in the anti-gay attitudes in every level of government, laws designed to harass gays (or make them jump through hoops to get their powers of attorney recognized, etc.) and Alabama was anathema to the employees and thus their employers.

The Alabama rep was furious. “You’re saying we have to accept that lifestyle to get investment,” he fumed. He didn’t understand that not harassing or targeting gays is not “accepting a lifestyle,” but rather following the dictates of the Bill of Rights. He insisted that Intel, Apple, AMD, Hewlett-Packard and other companies could simply force their employees to move to Alabama – he wasn’t aware that most of the top marketing, strategy, design, engineering and finance people at all of those companies have standing offers for employment at competitors which they could take at any time. He then insisted that the companies could move their heterosexual-only employees to Alabama. Ignoring the absurdity of such a proposition (can you imagine the HR implications?), he didn’t understand (or care to understand) that often, gay employees are the decision-makers in such a scenario and would never go for it. Silicon Valley is successful because it’s a meritocracy – one’s religion, race, sexual orientation, etc. is not a barrier (or enhancer) of success. Alabama is not a meritocracy, thus the Silicon Valley culture of innovation would never take root.

Alabama probably spent/wasted millions of dollars on this campaign – to no avail. Not a single Silicon Valley company chose to move there. Alabamians who could have looked forward to a career in a high-growth company which rewards performance, not religion or sexual orientation, likely had to leave the state for others places to find it -- driving a continued brain-drain and continued capital flight out of the state. The price, if ever calculated, is likely quite high to the state economy.

Which brings me to the latest absurdities, this time in Virginia:

Edel Quinones lived in Virginia for 10 years, but early this year, he sold his Arlington townhouse to move to the District.

"It felt like I wasn't welcome anymore," he said.

Quinones and his partner of three years are joining a migration of gay people out of Virginia in the face of recent legislative action they perceive as hostile.

Twenty states have amended their constitution to ban same-sex marriage since 2004. Virginia state legislators passed a law two years ago that prohibits "civil unions, partnership contracts or other arrangements between persons of the same sex purporting to bestow the privileges or obligations of marriage." A proposed constitutional amendment, which will go to voters in November, excludes any "unmarried individuals" from "union, partnership or other legal status similar to marriage."

Many gay people in Virginia and some family-law attorneys say they worry that the state law and proposed amendment are more far-reaching than simple bans on gay marriage -- that the measures could threaten the legal viability of the contracts used by gay couples to share ownership of property and businesses.

The exact effects are unclear, and the 2004 law remains untested, but some gays say they fear the laws could affect their ability to own homes together; to draft powers of attorney, adoption papers or wills; or to arrange for hospital visitation or health surrogacy.

Once again, a state that isn’t too interested in its economy passes a law that makes its gay citizens strangers to the law. Some suggest that the law might not survive a court challenge, or that it won’t be rigorously applied, but most gay families aren’t going to risk being the “guinea pigs” for such a court case – putting their assets, health, financial decisions, hospital visitation options, child custody, parental rights and other basic, constitutionally-guaranteed rights up to risk.

Virginia, and Fairfax County in particular, has made great noises about what a high-tech economy it is building. The qualitative trends are beginning to suggest otherwise, and I suspect the numbers will as well. What entrepreneur is going to want to set up shop in a state which targets gay people for nasty treatment? Gays are all over high tech -- they're some of the hardest working employees around. In certain areas of high technology, especially development, engineering, product design and marketing, many companies have groups which are 20% gay or more -- run by gay and lesbian managers. Locating in a state like Virginia will shut off access to over 20% of the talented, hardworking employees the entrepreneur needs in order to succeed. He'll simply cross the state off his list, or put it at or near the bottom, along with Alabama and Ohio.

For various regions of the country, the message is clear: anti-gay policies that marginalize or destroy the rights of gays under the US Constitution also destroy the economic growth prospects of the jurisdictions that pass them. Non-partisan gay groups should start carrying this common-sense message forward – Libertarians have done so since 1971.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Montana Democrats Reject Gay Amendment Plank

This speaks volumes about how the Democrats feel about equality before the law for gays. Short version: only when it helps them stay in power.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Houston Voice Botches Article; Shills For Democratic Front Group

I came across this article in the Houston Voice, the local queer rag. It is about the Houston GLBT Political Caucus (HGLBTPC) PAC's Endorsements in twenty-seven Houston-area races.

Guess how many Libertarians or Republicans were endorsed? How about Greens or Independents?

If you guessed "zero," you would be right on the mark. How about Democrats? Twenty-Seven — what a lucky choice!
more . . .

Now, I am not one to disparage partisanship; we practice it here on the Outright Libertarians web site every day. But what I thought somewhat duplicitous was that this bias towards Democrats was nowhere disclosed in either the column or by the HGLBTPC themselves. Nowhere does it mention that the HGLBTPC is just a Democratic party front group. In fact, on the HGLBTPC's web site, the endorsements are all listed, but nary a one with their party affiliation.

I checked out the party affiliation of every single named candidate, judges and all. This, too, turned out to be more difficult than I expected. It may be hard to believe, but about half of the candidate web sites do not mention that the candidate is running as a Democrat! Sometimes I had to find a local newspaper report in order to find out which party the candidate belonged to. Are these candidates ashamed of their Democratic party affiliation?

We are up front about our Libertarian Party bias. It is in our mission statement and even our name. Why can't the HGLBTPC be honest about their purpose? It seems that they are redundent with the Stonewall Democrats, except they try to achieve their purpose by chicanery and deception. I bet they didn't even approach the Libertarian candidates to find out their position on marriage equality and other gay issues.

Partisanship by the Voice's journalist is even less forgivable. While they mention the party affiliation of many of the endorsed candidates, and some of their opposition Republican candidates, the only Libertarian mentioned is Michael Badnarik in the 10th Congressional district, and then only as "also running". Badnarik's pro-gay positions, reported on by us here, are not mentioned at all.

Also not mentioned are all the other Libertarian candidates, not least of which is our Gubernatorial candidate, James Werner. A quick comparison of the 170 Texas Libertarian candidates vs. the 27 HGPC endorsements indicates that about half are opposed by Libertarians, not just one.

Update: Ironically, this 2004 column just got indexed on Google News today. It gives a pretty good overview of Badnarik's views on LGBT issues.

Friday, August 04, 2006

IGF - ‘Beyond Marriage’ — to Nowhere

This is a very good article, explaining why marriage equality is, and should continue to be, our highest priority in LGBT advocacy:

Independent Gay Forum - ‘Beyond Marriage’ — to Nowhere

But even better than the article is the set of comments afterwards, which shows just how boggling the thought processes are of those who put socialism before equal rights:

My point is that FIRST we need to provide for those in need in our community, whether through the private sector or the government. I don't care. I'd rather give homeless folks a community land trust to live in, with a living wage job. But that ain't going to happen anytime soon. Some of us are working on it here and we've managed to establish a land trust for a building of Chinese immigrants who were about to be evicted. We are currently working on a land trust for a building of low-income people with AIDS.

In the meantime, homeless and poor folks have to eat and have shelter. That's the bottom line. So bringing food to them is vital, even as we struggle to find the permanently affordable housing controlled by the tenants, even as we push to enforce our city's living wage laws and expand them to include every job, even as we win universal healthcare for all San Franciscans (which we just did). The latter was from a radical queer supervisor, Tom Ammiano, though our centrist mayor is now traking credit for it. Thanks to him, every person in SF, homeless or housed, will have access to healthcare!

Many of us Socialist types are doing more than handouts.
-- tommi avicolli mecca | August 4, 2006, 1:29pm

That last sentence implies that the laundry list of wealth redistribution schemes right before it are anything other than "handouts." When the person you're debating is that clueless, how on earth can you carry on an intelligent debate?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Two Wrongs do not a Right Make

And this is wrong on at least two fronts.

365gay.com reports that the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco has decided to get out of the adoption business rather than submit to state regulations requiring same-sex couples be treated equally. This is unfortunate.

It is too bad that the Catholic establishment feels the way it does about same-sex couples. There are kids needing adopted, and couples willing to raise them. Many children today are raised by only one parent, so having two, of any sex, seems like a blessing.
more . . .

I must admit that it is their right to set any criteria they want for whom they deal with, no matter how much I may disagree with their logic (or faith, as logic may not have been involved). Which brings us to the second part of the tragedy.

The state does not believe in the Archdiocese's freedom of association . . . it is telling them exactly how they must conduct the business of adoptions, and with whom. That "whom" includes same-sex couples. For the church that is a show-stopper.

Instead of two wrongs making a right, we just have a lot of heartbreak and disapointment.
  • The church stops helping with adoptions for those 90-plus percent of couples that they are willing and anxious to serve
  • Those couples don't get kids
  • Those kids don't get placed, and many stay as wards of the state; surely not the best parenting organization around
  • And ironically, same-sex couples—those austensibly "protected" by the non-discrimination law—still don't get served
It's a lose-lose-lose-lose situation. The church, the straight couples, the kids, and the same-sex couples all lose. Did I mention the taxpayer? All this grief brought about by religious fundamentalists on the one hand, and a bunch of liberal do-gooders abusing the power of government on the other. There needs to be a stand-down, starting with the State of California butting out of the church's business.

When will everyone learn? Force is seldom the way to accomplish a social objective. That is, unless your objective is specifically to increase the size and scope of government.

Update: The church blinks first, with a creative approach to the problem.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Get ready for liberals to abandon marriage equality

It's already started. Egged on by a report by 260 gay "scholars," entitled "Beyond Same-Sex Marriage: A New Strategic Vision for All Our Families & Relationships," Jon Carroll of the San Francisco Chronicle suggested that with the oceans dying and the ice caps melting and Iraq in flames and 10 million kids in Africa starving, that gay marriage maybe wasn't worth quite as much energy as it was getting.
more . . .

In contrast to the argument I've heard from many libertarians that the government should just get out of the marriage business altogether (to which I respond that I'll support that position as soon as the majority of straight folks are ready to tear up their marriage licenses and give up their government goodies), both Carroll and the gay "leaders" are suggesting more government benefits for many more groups of people. In other words, "Queers for Economic Justice" agrees with liberals like John Kerry and Hillary Clinton that socialized medicine and other wealth redistribution schemes are more important than LGBT equality.

Get ready for it. The Democrats have already effectively dropped LGBT advocacy, in their preparation for the presidential election two years away. By 2008, you'll see groups like HRC endorsing whomever the Democrats put forward, no matter how bad they are on LGBT equality, because the people running the national gay organizations are socialists first, and queers second.