Friday, April 27, 2007

Rudy now opposes civil unions. Is Hillary next?

Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani have had identical positions on LGBT equality for some time now. I always figured it was because Hillary was unwilling to be any less anti-gay than the least anti-gay Republican -- and that has always been Giuliani.

So, now that Rudy has flip-flopped on civil unions, is Hillary next? And if (when) she does, is there any doubt that Solmonese's HRC will continue to support her?

The best thing about the earliest-ever primaries in 2008 is that there will be more than half a year for third parties and independents to make clear that the Democratic and Republican candidates are equally bad on war, taxes, spending, civil liberties, and, yes, LGBT rights.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Brand New Media, Same Old Nonsense?

The web is abuzz with news that the left-leaning Huffington Post and the pioneering Slate Magazine are teaming up to launch presidential debates on the Internet. PBS has also joined in.

"Finally," you think, "an opportunity for real dialogue with the national candidates without censorship or one-way talking points." An internet debate would have the potential to be more interactive than the debates in 2000 and 2006, when the questions were pre-selected and anyone who asked an "unapproved" question would have his microphone switched off. In 2006, the Libertarian and Green parties received a court order mandating that the taxpayer-funded debates also include them -- yet not only was the court order ignored, but the two candidates were manhandled by police when they showed up at the taxpayer-funded forum to serve the two other candidates with the court order. The ruling of the court went ignored.

So the internet could only be better, right? Ahh, not so fast my optimistic reader! The current debate plan is to only allow Democrats and Republicans to participate in the forum:

PBS was expected to announce the web debates on Monday (according to AP) with both Democrat and Republican presidential candidates expected to sign up for their respective party with the first Internet debate to take place some time after Labor Day.

America's other two national parties -- our own party and the Greens -- will once again be excluded from this debate, as will independent candidates. Despite being on the ballot in most or all states. Despite having multi-million-dollar budgets, national campaign organizations, and robust nomination procedures.

So far, this is shaping up to be not a new media venture -- with debate, discussion and interactivity -- but rather an effort to impose the same old two-party duopoly on political debate, with no focus on new ideas or solutions.

It's up to every conscientious voter to write and call the individual organizations and make sure that the Libertarians, Greens, and nationally registered independents are also included in the debates -- so that they're actually debates rather than a PR exercise.

Edit: it's also interesting to note in the linked article that Democratic and Republican candidates are already balking at even a limited forum where they receive some questions from the public. That's yet another reason why the debates should be fully open to public participation and participation by all candidates with a national organization and presence on the ballot. Politicians shouldn't be able to ignore the scrutiny -- and tough questions -- of voters and other candidates.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Log Cabin pushes law to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation

While we normally applaud Log Cabin Republicans for helping make the Republican Party more friendly to LGBT people, on issues such as marriage, adoption, and military service, we hope their recent push for Republican Party support of the "Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act" (LLEHCPA) fails.

Since it was founded ten years ago, Outright Libertarians has opposed all laws that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. This puts us at odds with other LGBT groups like Log Cabin, because they only oppose laws that discriminate against LGBT people, and instead support laws that discriminate in favor of LGBT people. Unfortunately, that hypocrisy is not lost on the average voter, hence the pervasive charge that LGBT people want "special rights" from the government.

Log Cabin and other LGBT groups were on the right path when Democrats had neither the White House nor a majority in Congress -- they correctly pushed for "equal rights, not special rights" in the form of marriage, adoption, and military service. But now that the Democrats have control of Congress and could actually make an impact on these important equal rights issues, they've decided to go for the more politically expedient "special rights" embodied by LLEHCPA and ENDA (regulations on private employers).

Log Cabin was the absolutely last group we'd think would go along with that sort of bait-and-switch perpetrated by Democratic lawmakers on LGBT voters.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Roseanne Barr thinks you're a narcissist

Longtime liberal (and fame-seeking celebrity) Roseanne Barr has declared that gay people who seek to be treated equally are "narcissists" and "divisive":

Never once in my 54 years have I ever once heard a gay or lesbian person who’s politically active say one thing about anything that was not about them. They don’t care about minimum wage, they don’t care about any other group other than their own self because you know, some people say being gay and lesbian is a totally narcissistic thing and sometimes I wonder.

I’ve never heard any of them say anything except for “accept me ‘cause I’m gay.”
It’s just, it’s screwed. It’s no different than the evangelicals, it’s the same mindset. They want you to accept Jesus and you guys want us to all believe it’s ok to be gay. And a lot of us, a lot of them, I do, I don’t give a damn who anybody has sex with, as long as they’re not underage and an animal. I don’t give a damn, it’s none of my damn business. I’m just sick of all the divisiveness, it’s not getting any of us anywhere.

Let's ignore the fact that lots of gay people (including virtually the entire leadership of gay groups like NGLTF and HRC) are in vigorous agreement with Ms. Barr's call for government, and not employer/employee agreement, to set wages.

Let's also ignore the fact that Ms. Barr would rather see people unemployed for being "priced too high" than employed in jobs that pay wages commensurate to the work they deliver.

Finally, let's ignore the transparent homophobia endemic in Ms. Barr's "some people say" statement, while noting that a similar statement about women, blacks, Jews or other groups would ignite a firestorm of controversy and have the (currently silent) Democratic candidates handing Ms. Barr a drubbing that would make Don Imus's public repudiation look merciful in comparison.

Your humble blogger has a few key questions here, and some musings about same:

1) If Ms. Barr -- a multimillionaire celebrity living in an expensive home in Southern California -- is so concerned about people not earning enough, why hasn't she donated a large amount of her own cash to people who "don't earn enough?" (It is probably because the wealthy Ms. Barr would rather keep her millions for herself and tax the middle and working classes to pay for her "generosity.")

2) Is Roseanne in any position to talk about narcissism? This is a woman who did everything in her power to attract attention to herself over the last two decades, and profited handsomely from it. (If Ms. Barr is in a position to criticize gays for narcissism, then Bill O'Reilly has the moral right to criticize blowhards, George W. Bush has the right to attack others for being inarticulate, and Karl Rove gets a green light to condemn others' machiavellian dishonesty).

3) If Ms. Barr has such contempt for gay people and their "divisive" insistence that they deserve completely equal treatment under the law (as the Constitution warrants), how likely is it that her views are unusual amongst straight liberal Democrats? (Highly unlikely).

4) How stupid do she and her fellow travelers think we are? (Incredibly stupid, because after every insult and attack on gay families, gay votes and campaign cash keep coming back to Ms. Barr's party and candidates).

5) What can we do to disabuse Barr and company of this notion? (Vote Libertarian).

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.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

AlterNet article on Pink Pistols

In an AlterNet story on the Pink Pistols, Log Cabin Republicans spokesperson Scott Tucker said he admires the Pink Pistols, but...

"Tucker says his organization doesn't have an official stance on gun control"

For clarification, here is the Outright Libertarians official stance on gun control:

"the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed"

But more importantly, what's up with these "T-COPS" opposing the right of LGBT people to defend themselves? As transgender police officers, they should know better than anyone that all the police can do is take your statement after you've been bashed, or, worse yet, draw the chalk outline around your body. Their founder even admits that she wouldn't be alive today if not for being armed:

"I had one experience with a hate crime," Marin said, "and it was beneficial that I was armed ... otherwise I probably wouldn't be here today."

So is she saying that a cop's life is more valuable than a civilian's? That's the kind of fascist nonsense I'd expect a D.C. politician to say, not a transgender woman in the Bay Area.