Tuesday, June 26, 2007

If at first you don't succeed, rinse, repeat, and repeat again

The queer left is beating the drums for ENDA once again.

A new study shows that despite a patchwork of state non-discrimination laws covering gays in various parts of the country employment harassment remains at nearly the same level it did a decade ago.

Not a surprise. As Libertarians regularly point out, "nondiscrimination" laws aren't effective at stopping discrimination. If someone senior wants you fired, for any reason, you'll get fired -- regardless of what the law says.

So, the left has given up on this failed experiment and embraced equality under the law, rather than special protections, right?


We can clearly document that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are vulnerable to discrimination and to its harmful effects on earnings and jobs."

Badgett said that the only remedy is federal legislation to outlaw sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination.

So let me get this. . . ummmmmmm. . . "straight" -- "nondiscrimination" laws are generally a failure and have literally no impact whatsoever on supposed discrimination in the workplace.

So, the remedy to the utter and complete failure of "nondiscrimination" laws is another "nondiscrimination" law that just happens to be federal rather than state -- but in every other way, identical to the laws that have failed previously.

Has Speaker Pelosi managed to borrow a real magic wand from a drag queen fairy princess from Pride, despite her no-show status at this year's San Francisco event, to make the legislation magically work?

Will Californians, New Yorkers, Massachuttans, and other states covered by "nondiscrimination" law suddenly become more accepting and loving of gay people in the workplace when the law demanding compliance is printed by the federal Government Printing Office rather than the state legislature's stationer's office?

And perhaps the most important question of all -- when will left-leaning gay groups get real and get on board with grassroots priorities coming from the gay everyman, such as marriage equality and military service equality?

The reality, as I'm sure most of you know, is that on-the-job bigotry is vanishing like a California fog on a hot summer's day -- legislation notwithstanding. The current competitive job market means that companies who value key employees need ones who work hard and deliver results -- regardless of irrelevancies like sexual orientation.

By continually fudging numbers to deliver foregone conclusions of "workplace crises" that don't exist, the left is pushing for new laws that will keep Democratic politicians and their trial lawyer buddies in clover for years to come.

The sad thing is that Outright has always pointed out how ineffective and harmful such laws are -- and now that their own research underscores our perspective, they're increasing the volume on how more such laws are needed!

I'd shake my head, but I've been doing that so much the past four days that it's starting to hurt.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Nancy Pelosi: "Too Busy" To Do Any Work

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) was once again "too busy" to show up at Pride:

Pride Executive Director Lindsey Jones said Pelosi, the first woman to be elected speaker of the House, received the most votes from Pride's membership as the person they most wanted to hear speak at this year's event.

"We asked Pelosi to come speak," said Jones. "Our membership voted her as the number one requested speaker."

Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill told the Bay Area Reporter that the speaker's schedule does not allow for her to return to San Francisco during Pride weekend.

Did the date for Pride magically change this year to make it unpredictable? Nope.

Was it a secret that Pelosi was in demand? Hardly -- people had written her for six months asking her to show ("most requested speaker," remember?)

What else has Pelosi been "too busy" for in the last few years?

Pelosi has *always* been too busy to show up for a general election debate. Not once in her entire career in the House has she deigned to appear to debate her Libertarian, Republican and Green competitors in Congressional elections.

Pelosi was "too busy" to make good on the Democrats' campaign promise to pull out of Iraq. Instead, she had a symbolic resolution followed up with a vote that handed Bush a blank check for $120 billion (but Pelosi wasn't "too busy" to cast a meaningless symbolic "no" vote against her own Iraq funding bill to show her "disapproval." Whoopee.)

Pelosi is "too busy" to co-sponsor or allow a bill repealing the military's anti-gay policy to come to the floor of the House.

Pelosi has been "too busy" to vote to revoke the DOMA bill (or even amend it to allow federal recognition of same-sex marriages that are recognized by US states).

Pelosi has been "too busy" to campaign for marriage equality.

Pelosi did have extensive time for certain activities this past year -- voting on renaming post offices and other inconsequential minutiae, as well as demanding that taxpayers furnish her with unlimited use of a Boeing 757 with 40+ business class seats, a kitchen and a bedroom.

The reality is that Pelosi, as a consummate Democratic Party triangulator, doesn't give a fig about gay rights or the gay people of San Francisco. She holds them in utter contempt -- refusing to debate the issues in front of them or find time for even the most basic Congressional duties, such as constituent service at major cultural events (like SF Pride) and voting on key legislation that she claims to support.

So when Pelosi comes calling for money, votes, or gay campaign resources, I humbly suggest that we inform Madame Speaker that our schedules won't allow us to accommodate her -- we're just too busy.

Going Further, But They've Got To Do Better

Outright Libertarians has been a fixture at San Francisco Pride for a number of years, and we've come to the conclusion that good things happen at Pride. Groups who disagree on the direction of the LGBTQ movement meet, share ideas, and hopefully pull in the same direction. Politicians who are friendly to the community (and equal treatment by government) are embraced, and other politicians who attack LGBTQ people receive the infamous "Pink Brick Award."

This year, we had a fantastic pride -- hundreds of booth attendees, cheers for our marching contingent, and a positive reception from most Pride attendees we spoke with. The appeal of liberty, as always, is strong in the gay community.

Elizabeth Edwards is neither a politician nor anti-gay, and she "came out" in support of gay marriage during SF Pride. Yet another good Pride thing, in our estimation.

Outright gives credit where credit is due, regardless of the party affiliation of the public figure who has earned it. And we're pleased to be able to give kudos to Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of John Edwards -- one of the top-tier candidates for the Democratic Party's presidential nominations.

Mrs. Edwards stated, in an interview with the Associated Press, underscored her support for "gay rites":

None of the major candidates for the White House in 2008 has embraced legalizing gay marriage, but Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of one hopeful, John Edwards, said yesterday that she's ready.

"I don't know why someone else's marriage has anything to do with me," Mrs. Edwards said after delivering a speech to a gay and lesbian political group here, according to the Associated Press.

Goodness, she sounds positively libertarian! She's absolutely right -- someone else's marriage is the business of those "someone elses." This comment elicited a small cheer from your faithful blogger.

She continues:

"I'm completely comfortable with gay marriage."

Hurrah! So we are about to learn about a new direction for the Edwards campaign, in embracing a libertarian incrementalist approach to marriage equality, right?

Mrs. Edwards acknowledged that her husband, a former senator from North Carolina, still opposes gay marriage, though he supports civil unions.

Uh oh.

"John has been pretty clear about it, that he is very conflicted," she said. "He has a deeply held belief against any form of discrimination, but that's up against his being raised in the 1950s in a rural southern town."

Oh dear.

Mrs. Edwards, we welcome you to the libertarian movement for marriage equality and look forward to your strong continued advocacy.

But unfortunately, we cannot look the other way as your husband plays "bad cop" to your "good cop."

The Democratic Party cannot have it both ways -- despite this new (and clever) form of triangulation. Either the candidate supports marriage equality, or he/she doesn't. While it's wonderful that Mrs. Edwards is a supporter of LGBTQ marriage equality, we caution the media (and voters) to be wary of efforts to have her positions be confused with Edwards' steadfast opposition to equal treatment of queer folk.

So while Mrs. Edwards might be a breath of fresh air for Democrats, her husband's candidacy offers more of the same. Meanwhile, top-tier Libertarian candidates seeking our party's nomination have the right position on gay marriage equality and equality under the law -- no apologies or "spousal clarifications" necessary.

So in short: Sorry Democrats, you've made an inch of progress, but you've got to do better than this.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Bob Barr publishes op-ed opposing DADT

Former Republican congressman Bob Barr, now a member of the Libertarian National Committee, has published a major op-ed in the Wall Street Journal [subscription required] stating his opposition to the military's Don't Ask - Don't Tell policy.
The bottom line here is that, with nearly a decade and a half of the hybrid "don't ask, don't tell" policy to guide us, I have become deeply impressed with the growing weight of credible military opinion which concludes that allowing gays to serve openly in the military does not pose insurmountable problems for the good order and discipline of the services.

. . .

The invasive investigations required to discharge a service member are an unconscionable intrusion into the private lives of American citizens. Worse, while supporters of don't ask, don't tell claim the policy only regulates behavior and not identity, the distinction is disingenuous.
Since joining the Libertarian Party as a life member, Mr. Barr has reversed his former prosecutorial position on medical marijuana, becoming a lobbyist for the Marijuana Policy Project. Now, Libertarians can be comforted by Barr's having joined the majority Libertarian position opposing DADT.

Thank you, Mr. Barr, for joining with Outright Libertarians, SLDN, ACLU, MEA, the Call to Duty Tour, and others in fighting this unjust law.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Republicans abandon federalism over marriage

Shortly after the Massachusetts Legislature killed a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, Republican presidential candidate (and former Massachusetts governor) Mitt Romney called for an amendment to the US Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. Will John McCain and Rudy Giuliani follow him?

I'm thinking they will, but I've been wrong before. On Angela Keaton's Liberated Space radio show just a couple weeks ago, I was certain that the Massachusetts ban would make it onto the 2008 ballot. I just didn't have any faith in the Democrats in the Massachusetts Legislature voting the right way. Now, it's safely off the ballot until at least 2010. Once again, though, I have little faith in the Republicans to uphold federalism by opposing the Federal Marriage Amendment. I'd love to be proven wrong again.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Bush's Surgeon General Will "Cure" Gays?

Okay, this is one of those weird political battles where Libertarians are insulted on so many levels, we don't quite know where to start.

First of all, a Libertarian government wouldn't have such a thing as a Surgeon General to begin with. But if we're going to have such an office in the federal government, then we sure as heck shouldn't give that office to someone so blinded by dogma that he ignores all scientific and medical evidence proving that "reparative therapy" simply does not work.

You're an M.D., Dr. Holsinger. Act like it.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Empty Democratic "Support" Redux

Today, let's look at another major LGBTQ issue being debated by Democrats -- ending the military's anti-gay ban.

The Advocate reports that:

In their debate Sunday night in Manchester, New Hampshire, Democratic presidential candidates clashed on Iraq and over the security of the country since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks—but they were united in their opposition to "don't ask, don't tell."

So, being a facts-based sort of fellow, yours truly went sniffing around the vote page again to see if the Democrats were taking this opportunity to put their money where their mouths were. After all, you'd think that with ending the anti-gay ban being a mainstream position supported by a supermajority of the populace, this would be a no-brainer -- especially for "supportive Democrats."

Unfortunately, once again, you'd be wrong.

To his credit, Congressman Dennis Kucinich once again sits as a co-sponsor of Meehan's bill in the House. (And once again, "supportive" House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is missing in action).

All the other Democrats who are presently Senators couldn't be bothered to introduce the bill in the Senate, despite their "strong support." So once again, their "strong support" means zilch, zero, bupkis, nada.

None of the Senators seeking the Democratic nomination -- not Hillary Clinton, nor Barack Obama, nor Christopher Dodd, nor Joe Biden -- has stepped up to introduce the bill in the Senate. Also conspicuously missing is Democratic Senate Majority leader Harry Reid.

Here's a question to make do-nothing Democrats and their supporters squirm -- if the Democratic "leadership" and those seeking the presidency won't introduce the bill today, when they have the power (and solid majority) to do so, why are we to believe they'll make things happen later?

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Democrats -- We "Support" UAFA, Just Don't Ask Us To Sponsor It

As Rob noted in his prior post, HRC is breathlessly extolling the virtues of the Democratic National Committee's latest candidates for president.

Now far be it for me to interrupt HRC's paroxysms of joy over its new status as a quasi-official wing of the Democratic Party, but I am focused on the issues.

One of the biggest issues this election season is the Uniting American Families Act, or UAFA, which would equalize immigration treatment for same-sex couples to the same standard that opposite sex couples already enjoy.

HRC excitedly informs us that every single Democratic candidate "supports that bill."

A number of the candidates are Senators or Congressmen.

So, how about a Roll Call of Senators or Congressmen who are cosponsors (or primary sponsors) of UAFA?

You'd expect Hillary Rodham Clinton to be a cosponsor of the bill, right?

Wrong. Hillary Clinton hasn't cosponsored it in the Senate.

What about Senator Barack Obama? Surely he'd be in our corner!

Ooops, he's not a co-sponsor either.

Joe Biden? Now here's a Senator with a long tenure. Oops, except that he's not a co-sponsor either.

How about Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd? He hails from a state with a civil unions bill, passed democratically and signed by a GOP governor.

Nope, he's not a co-sponsor either.

In fact, the UAFA in the Senate has a pathetic three cosponsors -- in addition to primary sponsor Daniel Patrick Leahy, Senators Brown, Feingold and Inouye have stepped up to the plate.

The moral of the story?

Count on Democrats to tell HRC they "support" various equality reforms. Just don't count on them to actually vote for them.

Nor on HRC to do it's job and ask the putative "supporters" why their name isn't on the cosponsors' line.

To his credit, Dennis Kucinich is the only Democratic candidate to be a cosponsor of the bill (in the House of Representatives), but being that he's the only Democrat in the race who actually votes for his declared positions -- and the only Democrat to support marriage equality -- he doesn't stand a snowball's chance of being the Democrats' nominee.

Oh, and if you really want a good chuckle, neither Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, nor Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada could bother putting their signature on the line either.

Long story short? With "supporters" of UAFA like these Democrats, the bill will never come to fruition.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

If you blink, you'll miss it

The Human Rights Campaign has announced that all of the announced Democratic Party candidates support equal treatment of same-sex couples (with the exception of the word "marriage").

That sounds wonderful. And if I had any faith whatsoever that the eventual nominee will stick to this position, I'd be ecstatic. But as Bill Clinton proved in 1992, a Democrat pandering for gay votes can't be trusted to honor their campaign promises if elected. So, go ahead and download a copy of the HRC questionnaire, because once the primary is over, the DNC nominee will abandon these pro-equality positions, and HRC will bury the story.

Note, however, that even with what HRC calls "groundbreaking" support for same-sex couples, the Democrats (with the exception of Kucinich) are still behind the leading Libertarian candidates on the issue of equal marriage. It's great to see the Democrats making progress (at least in their rhetoric) on LGBT issues, but they still haven't caught up with the Libertarians.