Wednesday, March 21, 2007

NGLTF, ACLU, HRC: "Special Rights, Not Equal Rights"

Three of the largest organizations that claim to support LGBT equality have decided to drop the equal rights issues of marrige, adoption, and military service. Instead, they are once again pushing for laws that single out LGBT people as different from straight people. Why? Because in 2008, LGBT voters will rightly ask Democrats, "What have you done for us in the two years you've had control of Congress?" And since the Democrats have taken marriage and military service off the table, all that's left to pass are laws that treat LGBT people as victims, such as ENDA.

The list of LGBT organizations taking a principled stand against ALL laws that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity is short:

Outright Libertarians

Unfortunately, most organizations that used to oppose such laws, such as the Log Cabin Republicans, have decided that their favorite politicians need some sort of window dressing to support in order to earn the label "moderate." Hence, their decision several years ago to reverse their position and support these "special rights" laws.

But aside from principle, Libertarians also know that there is a practical reason to oppose such laws -- it lets anti-gay politicians claim that they're gay-friendly. Case in point: Rudy vs. Hillary. Both the leading Republican and leading Democrat in the Presidential primaries oppose marriage equality, but get labeled "gay-friendly" by the press due to their support for laws like ENDA and HCPA/LLEA.

Earth to Queer Voters: when there's do difference between the Republican and the Democrat on our issues, something has gone horribly wrong. And the thing that has gone horribly wrong is that so-called LGBT advocacy organizations have decided to set up a system where any anti-gay politician can support ineffectual laws and claim to be gay-friendly.

Why are these employment nondiscrimination and hate crime laws ineffectual? Because by the time they pass, they're no longer needed. Let's face it -- the only real social change brought on by government has been via "activist" judges, not legislative bodies. The democratic process means that elected leaders don't get around to creating social change until the majority of voters are behind that change. But employment nondiscrimination and hate crime laws would only help in a society that wasn't ready for social equality. So by the time these laws pass, they're no longer needed. This is the dirty little secret of the LGBT establishment inside the beltway.

It's lonely out here in the wilderness of principled LGBT advocacy, but Outright Libertarians (and the Libertarian Party) will continue to oppose any and all laws that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, whether that discrimination is for or against members of our community.

(Note: After I first published this, NGLTF put out another press release on how great it is when the government discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, so I figured this post deserved a bump back up to the top. --RNP)