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.