Monday, April 09, 2007

Shoo, bigot, shoo!

While we clearly disagree with Classically Liberal's pessimism about the Libertarian Party, we recognize that there does exist a serious problem with anti-gay "libertarians" being mistaken for "Libertarians." The capitalization is important, since "Libertarians" with a capital-L are expected to adhere to the Libertarian Party's decidedly pro-LGBT-equality platform.

The post by CLS is mostly about Kenn Gividen, who ran for Governor of Indiana in 2004 as a Libertarian, despite having only left the GOP and joined the Libertarian Party in 2002. Thankfully, the Libertarian Party of Indiana's strong support for gay rights, highlighted by its principled opposition to that state's ban on same-sex marriage, was enough to scare off Gividen from the Party in January of 2007 (and send him back to the GOP, where homophobes belong).

Note in the comments to the post that big-L Libertarians in Indiana totally disavow Gividen, his campaign, and his hateful remarks about gay people:

Mr. Gividen's views are certainly not those of the LPIN or any of its members whom I know. One of the reasons for his leaving the LP is quite likely the fact that the LPIN has stood against SJR-7, an amendment to the Indiana Constitution that was anti-gay marriage. This was a contentious issue over the last few weeks and the LPIN stood firm in opposition, alongside the gay community and other political groups. As someone who was at the convention when Mr. Gividen was nominated to run for governor some years ago, I can say that he managed to keep his anti-gay, (and by extension anti-libertarian) views to himself. If his views in this matter had been known it is likely that the convention attendees would have voted for his opponent, NOTA or scrambled to find someone else. As it was these views were a well kept secret. If Mr. Gividen has chosen to go back to the GOP, they are certainly welcome to him and his particular viewpoints on denying people their rights and liberty.

Does the Libertarian Party have its share of kooks? Sure it does -- just like the major parties do (Zell Miller, Jesse Helms, etc.), but what's important is what we do when we find out someone's a kook. Democrats and Republicans let their kooks stay in leadership positions for decades. We tell ours that they're welcome as members (the big tent strategy), but we ensure that they don't stay in leadership positions. Classically Liberal and the other LP detractors should give us a little credit for that.