Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Big government is a threat to LGBT equality

Once again, we've had another example of why big government, whether socialist, communist, or fascist, is a threat to LGBT people. When Russian police helped nationalists attack gays in Moscow, it showed that only strong constitutional protections of individual rights will lead to LGBT equality. Some comments over at Towleroad whined that the problem is that Russia isn't a democracy. But that's missing the point. If a democratic vote were held today in Russia on gay rights, the treatment of LGBT people there would be a whole lot worse than bloody noses and black eyes.

Our community needs to wake up and figure out that we are a biologically determined permanent minority of less than 1/10 of the population. Given that fact, we can't rely on big government, whether autocratic or democratic, to protect us. Our best strategy is to pursue an agenda of minimizing government and maximizing individual rights and responsibilities for all people, so that our own government, funded by our own tax dollars, can't be used to abuse us.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

MassEquality recognizes Liberty more important than Democracy (finally)

For years, as a member of the MassEquality coalition, Outright Libertarians has been trying to advance the idea that Liberty is more important than Democracy.

But because the MassEquality coalition is dominated by left-wing groups who put "the will of the people" above all else, this message has been all but ignored.

Until now.

MassEquality recently unveiled their "It's Wrong to Vote on Rights" campaign, complete with nicely done TV ads.

Now, do we expect MassEquality and its mostly-liberal supporters to take this same position the next time Libertarians oppose a tax or regulation like eminent domain in Massachusetts? Of course not. Because they don't really mean "It's wrong to vote on ALL rights." For them, property rights don't count.

But despite this, and other outrages like supporting anti-marriage Democrat Sean Curran over pro-marriage Libertarian Bob Underwood in last year's election, I have to say that these TV ads are good, and they (unintentionally) send a strong libertarian message. So, I'm sending MassEquality a donation to get these ads on the air. You should do the same.

Besides, won't it be cool the next time we do a Libertarian campaign to oppose some state regulation or tax, and use an identical format for our TV ads? It will be difficult for the lefties to demonize Libertarians as "arch-conservatives" when our own ads are eerily similar to theirs.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Hate Crimes Laws: Putting the "USSR" in "USA"

We hate to say "we told you so" to various hate-crime laws proponents -- including fellow libertarians -- but. . . well. . . we told you so.

Two high school girls in Illinois have been arrested and charged with an anti-gay hate crime.

Did they assault a gay man or woman? Perhaps murder someone?

No.

They wrote a brochure with anti-gay comments in it.

The Associated Press reports:

A judge Tuesday ordered that one of two teens charged with a hate crime for distributing fliers that contained hateful messages toward gays at a Crystal Lake high school remain in custody at a juvenile detention center until her trial.


...

The girls were arrested this month after they allegedly were caught distributing the fliers in Crystal Lake South High School’s parking lot. The fliers depicted a male student kissing another boy, along with hateful statements about gays.

Students told the Northwest Herald that the girls produced the fliers to get revenge on a friend after their relationship soured.

The alleged victim of the hate crime also is the neighbor to one of the girls charged, according to court testimony.


Now, I have no doubt that the girls in question are unpleasant people -- and that their message was probably hateful and offensive.

But last time I checked, the Constitution guaranteed freedom of expression -- including for anti-gay messages that are unpopular.

Our country has always been a bastion of free expression and free ideas. Anti-gay ideas, racist ideas, fascist ideas, communist ideas, and other ideological threats to the health of our society have not been defeated through draconian legislation or central planning -- but through the victory of liberty in the free market of ideas, where debate is unfettered by the chilling effects of state censorship.

Sadly, hate crimes laws destroy this dynamic.

And lest you think that, as a gay person you are safe, consider the recent death of Jerry Falwell.

In San Francisco, local gay activists jubilantly handed out brochures condemning the late and not-so-great Reverend's death -- replete with some unflattering, perhaps even "hateful," comments about his flock.

Will we soon be seeing the arrest of gay activists for brochures that "victimize" right-wing preachers through "hateful statements about fundamentalist Christians?"

I'm afraid so. In fact, with laws like these on the books, it's inevitable. That's why it's imperative that they be repealed -- or failing that, challenged in court and struck down as unconstitutional -- posthaste.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

You can't make this stuff up

I honestly thought when I first saw this that a joke in The Onion had mistakenly been taken seriously by the mainstream press.

So what's next after ENDA?

Legislation would expand law to protect short, fat people - Boston.com

During the state government tobacco lawsuits, libertarians warned that fast food would be next, and liberals denied it. Within a year of the multi-state tobacco settlement, the movie "Supersize Me" went after McDonald's, and the lawsuits started almost immediately.

Libertarians have been saying that there's no end in sight to the list of "special" groups that will demand to be added to the federal non-discrimination list after ENDA adds sexual orientation and gender identity. Again, liberals are denying it, but this new law to include height and weight as "protected classes" in Massachusetts seems to contradict their claims.

Steve Kubby's Contribution to Outright's Presidential Dialogue

Steve Kubby has returned our survey. Questions should be directed to the Kubby campaign. Comments are welcome in the comments field below the blog entry.
more . . .
1) Since the early 1990s, Congressional legislation has blocked LGBTQ people from serving openly in the
military. This discriminatory legislation, commonly referred to as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (or DADT), has resulted in the discharge of thousands of qualified military personnel solely on the basis of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. As president, will you support the complete repeal of DADT and issue an executive order as Commander in Chief permitting openly LGBTQ people to serve in the military?


Yes.

The case against forbidding Americans to serve in the military because of sexual orientation or gender identity has never stood up to scrutiny, whether the excuse was "vulnerability to blackmail" or "harmful to morale" or whatever. We know that many, many gay men, lesbians (and I assume transgendered persons as well) have served, and continue to serve, honorably and often valiantly in the armed forces of the United States. We'll never know HOW many, because their patriotism and dedication have been rewarded with discrimination, abuse and the threat of expulsion or even prosecution if they don't hide their true selves from those around them. That's wrong, it needs to end, and I won't have to think twice about ending
it if given the authority to do so.



2) In 1996, Congress passed (and Bill Clinton signed) the Defense of Marriage Act (or DOMA). This law overrules the constitutional right of LGBTQ people to equal protection under the law by banning all federal recognition of same-sex relationships for various purposes (such as sponsoring a foreign partner for a visa, or filing a joint tax return). It also allows states to ignore the Constitution’s “full faith and credit” clause and reject other states’ certification of same-sex relationships. As president, will you support efforts to overturn DOMA?

Yes.

I support marriage freedom in general, and I find it particularly repugnant that the federal government would pass or enforce a law which violates the right of Americans to equal protection under the law -- not just as a _side effect_, but as the stated intent! As president, I would hold DOMA to be prima facie unconstitutional, decline to enforce or implement it, and direct the Solicitor General of the United States to defend that interpretation vigorously if the Supreme Court cares to consider the question.



3) LGBTQ people are subject to unequal tax treatment in a number of areas. For example, while opposite-sex married couples aren’t taxed for joint health benefits, same-sex couples must pay income tax on domestic partner benefits that include health care coverage. Asset transfer taxes, estate taxes, and inheritance taxes that aren’t charged to heterosexual couples must be paid by LGBTQ couples. As a result, many LGBTQ couples will pay over five times the tax of a comparable heterosexual couple over the life of their relationship. As president, will you take steps to eliminate tax discrimination against LGBTQ people?

Yes.

In the main, of course, I'll work to eliminate taxes where I can and cut them where I can't eliminate them. As far as such taxes as are left go, I'll direct all departments of the executive branch concerned with tax enforcement to treat all taxpayers equally under the law and to recognize claims of marriage or other beneficial relationships unless there's strong evidence to belie such claims. Specifically, I'd direct them to treat a "certificate of marriage" from your church or other social organization on par with a government-issued "license" as proof of marriage to your spouse.



4) The District of Columbia is a federally-administered District. Recently, Congress has considered and/or passed a number of laws related to LGBTQ issues in the district that are distinctly homophobic, including a ban on gay adoptions, a ban on recognition of same-sex couples, and a law forbidding gay people from having their out-of-district adoptions recognized. As president, will you veto this legislation and other similar legislation in the District of Columbia?

Yes.

All of the described restrictions are plainly wrong, and in addition the prohibition on recognizing out-of-district adoptions is in blatant violation of the Full Faith and Credit clause.



5) At this moment, the House and Senate are considering “hate crimes” legislation that seeks to make attacks on gay people (as well as certain other minorities) “more” of a crime than a violent attack on a member of a majority class. As president, will you lobby against – and veto – such legislation?

Yes.

I believe in equality under the law. While I might personally find an assault for the purpose of robbery to be less repugnant than an assault based on unreasoning hatred, we owe it to all Americans to treat them as equals under the law and to punish like crimes alike, regardless of motive.



6) At this moment, the House and Senate are considering the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would regulate businesses and ban the right of employers and employees to voluntary affiliation by banning private sector discrimination based on sexual orientation while possibly create hiring quotas mandating the hiring of LGBTQ people. As president, will you veto ENDA?

Yes.

See above. I personally boycott businesses whose owners I believe to be homophobic, and I tell them why. However, even though such behavior arouses disrespect on my part toward those who practice it, I don't believe that it creates a license on our part to disrespect THEIR rights. That only drags us down to their moral level, and it solves nothing.



7) LGBTQ people around the world face tremendous challenges in the face of government and societal persecution. In places ranging from the Palestinian Authority to Iran to China to Singapore to Algeria to Zimbabwe, LGBTQ people are regularly imprisoned, tortured, beaten, mutilated, and murdered simply because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Many seek asylum in the United States, but find their application delayed or denied due to government policies that seek to limit immigration. As a result, the US government regularly sends back thousands of people to an uncertain fate – or worse, a certain fate of torture and death – rather than welcoming the oppressed. As president, will you support efforts to reform the immigration system to allow oppressed LGBTQ people from abroad to find sanctuary and freedom in America?

Yes.

I support immigration freedom for ALL peaceful people who respect just and proper laws and I would make no exception to that policy on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.



8) State and federal regulations have severely restricted the availability of certain kinds of health insurance, such as “catastrophic care” coverage, to force people into expensive HMOs and similar programs that offer so-called “comprehensive” coverage. As a result, healthy LGBTQ people have not been able to buy insurance that fits their needs, and many are unable to afford health insurance – rendering them vulnerable to catastrophic illness (and financial stress) as a result. As president, will you support efforts to eliminate regulations that restrict the ability of LGBTQ people to buy health insurance that is “right-sized” for them?

Yes.


9) The Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) is legislation currently in Congress that would allow unmarried Americans (heterosexual or gay) to sponsor a same-sex or opposite-sex partner for residency in the United States. As president, will you support UAFA?

Yes.

See above -- I am for a general freedom of immigration. Failing that, I'll do what I can to make immigration easier for all peaceful and law-abiding people, without discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.



10) As president, you will be the chief executive of the federal government, with tremendous decision-making power over general employment policy. Will you take steps to ensure that gay federal employees are treated equally to heterosexual employees in the provision of health care benefits and other conditions related to employment?

Yes.


11) Efforts to water down, or even eliminate, the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms have been gaining momentum. Self-defense is a crucial right for many LGBTQ people, who have often avoided severe injury or even death due to the prudent use of a firearm for self-defense. Organizations such as the Pink Pistols have emerged to help protect and defend this right. As president, will you unambiguously support the right of LGBTQ Americans – and all other law-abiding people – to keep and bear arms for self-defense as outlined in the US Constitution?

Yes.


12) LGBTQ parents – especially adoptive parents – often find difficulty in traveling across the country due to anti-gay state laws that refuse to recognize their status as parents granted by their home state. Some have even lost custody of their children due to a simple vacation that took them into “hostile territory.” This is in direct violation of the Constitution’s full faith and credit clause that requires states to recognize other states’ certifications and legal status. As president, will you take steps to uphold the full faith and credit clause to ensure that LGBTQ parents don’t suddenly become legal strangers to their children simply by crossing a state line?

Yes.

Enforcement of the full faith and credit clause isn't optional -- it's one of the few legitimate roles the federal government has to play.



13) Do you have any other comments or statements that you’d like to make to the LGBTQ community?

Achieving the elimination of marriage apartheid, and every other legal and political manifestation of homophobia, isn't optional. To fall short of that goal is to fall short of realizing the full promise of America. As president -- or in any other position I may find myself in from which I can wield influence -- I will work diligently to achieve full legal and politically equality for the LGBTQ community.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

George Phillies Replies To Our Presidential Survey

George Phillies is the second candidate seeking the LP nomination to reply to our survey. His answers to our survey are provided verbatim in boldface, our questions are in italics. As we receive answers from other campaigns, we will post them here on the blog as well. Questions should be directed to the Phillies campaign. Comments are welcome in the comments field below the blog entry.

.
more . . .
1) Since the early 1990s, Congressional legislation has blocked LGBTQ people from serving openly in the military. This discriminatory legislation, commonly referred to as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (or DADT), has resulted in the discharge of thousands of qualified military personnel solely on the basis of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. As president, will you support the complete repeal of DADT and issue an executive order as Commander in Chief permitting openly LGBTQ people to serve in the military?

Yes. We desegregated the armed forces 60 years ago. As my late father, who was a physician who did draft physicals, noted, through WW2 and into the 1950s the armed forces were utterly disinterested in whether or not men being drafted were gay, regulations notwithstanding. For a variety of my positions on this and related issues, please see my web site http://www.phillies2008.com

2) In 1996, Congress passed (and Bill Clinton signed) the Defense of Marriage Act (or DOMA). This law overrules the constitutional right of LGBTQ people to equal protection under the law by banning all federal recognition of same-sex relationships for various purposes (such as sponsoring a foreign partner for a visa, or filing a joint tax return). It also allows states to ignore the Constitution’s “full faith and credit” clause and reject other states’ certification of same-sex relationships. As president, will you support efforts to overturn DOMA?

2. DOMA is transparently unconstitutional, and I will work vigorously for its elimination.


3) LGBTQ people are subject to unequal tax treatment in a number of areas. For example, while opposite-sex married couples aren’t taxed for joint health benefits, same-sex couples must pay income tax on domestic partner benefits that include health care coverage. Asset transfer taxes, estate taxes, and inheritance taxes that aren’t charged to heterosexual couples must be paid by LGBTQ couples. As a result, many LGBTQ couples will pay over five times the tax of a comparable heterosexual couple over the life of their relationship. As president, will you take steps to eliminate tax discrimination against LGBTQ people?

3. Yes, I will work vigorously for tax equality for all Americans.


4) The District of Columbia is a federally-administered District. Recently, Congress has considered and/or passed a number of laws related to LGBTQ issues in the district that are distinctly homophobic, including a ban on gay adoptions, a ban on recognition of same-sex couples, and a law forbidding gay people from having their out-of-district adoptions recognized. As president, will you veto this legislation and other similar legislation in the District of Columbia?

4. Yes. Period.


5) At this moment, the House and Senate are considering “hate crimes” legislation that seeks to make attacks on gay people (as well as certain other minorities) “more” of a crime than a violent attack on a member of a majority class. As president, will you lobby against – and veto – such legislation?

5. These laws are not legitimate Federal issues. Also, states should not burden prosecutors with proving this sort of motive before being able to throw the book at people.


6) At this moment, the House and Senate are considering the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would regulate businesses and ban the right of employers and employees to voluntary affiliation by banning private sector discrimination based on sexual orientation while possibly create hiring quotas mandating the hiring of LGBTQ people. As president, will you veto ENDA?

6. Yes.


7) LGBTQ people around the world face tremendous challenges in the face of government and societal persecution. In places ranging from the Palestinian Authority to Iran to China to Singapore to Algeria to Zimbabwe, LGBTQ people are regularly imprisoned, tortured, beaten, mutilated, and murdered simply because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Many seek asylum in the United States, but find their application delayed or denied due to government policies that seek to limit immigration. As a result, the US government regularly sends back thousands of people to an uncertain fate – or worse, a certain fate of torture and death – rather than welcoming the oppressed. As president, will you support efforts to reform the immigration system to allow oppressed LGBTQ people from abroad to find sanctuary and freedom in America?

7. I prefer to encourage people abroad to fix their own regimes, and to exert American pressure to move foreign regimes in the direction of becoming civilized countries.


8) State and federal regulations have severely restricted the availability of certain kinds of health insurance, such as “catastrophic care” coverage, to force people into expensive HMOs and similar programs that offer so-called “comprehensive” coverage. As a result, healthy LGBTQ people have not been able to buy insurance that fits their needs, and many are unable to afford health insurance – rendering them vulnerable to catastrophic illness (and financial stress) as a result. As president, will you support efforts to eliminate regulations that restrict the ability of LGBTQ people to buy health insurance that is “right-sized” for them?

8. Yes. In particular, health insurance that covers only catastrophic losses is an excellent idea.


9) The Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) is legislation currently in Congress that would allow unmarried Americans (heterosexual or gay) to sponsor a same-sex or opposite-sex partner for residency in the United States. As president, will you support UAFA?

9. Yes.


10) As president, you will be the chief executive of the federal government, with tremendous decision-making power over general employment policy. Will you take steps to ensure that gay federal employees are treated equally to heterosexual employees in the provision of health care benefits and other conditions related to employment?

10. Yes.


11) Efforts to water down, or even eliminate, the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms have been gaining momentum. Self-defense is a crucial right for many LGBTQ people, who have often avoided severe injury or even death due to the prudent use of a firearm for self-defense. Organizations such as the Pink Pistols have emerged to help protect and defend this right. As president, will you unambiguously support the right of LGBTQ Americans – and all other law-abiding people – to keep and bear arms for self-defense as outlined in the US Constitution?

11. Yes, and to give the Department of Justice something useful to do will have them look at denial of equal protection of the laws in the form of discriminatory denials of firearms permits (I prefer Vermont or Alaska concealed carry, but that's harder to arrange.)


12) LGBTQ parents – especially adoptive parents – often find difficulty in traveling across the country due to anti-gay state laws that refuse to recognize their status as parents granted by their home state. Some have even lost custody of their children due to a simple vacation that took them into “hostile territory.” This is in direct violation of the Constitution’s full faith and credit clause that requires states to recognize other states’ certifications and legal status. As president, will you take steps to uphold the full faith and credit clause to ensure that LGBTQ parents don’t suddenly become legal strangers to their children simply by crossing a state line?

12. Yes. Extremely vigorously.


13) Do you have any other comments or statements that you’d like to make to the LGBTQ community?

13. I will work vigorously to keep Uncle Sam out of your bedroom. However, I can only do that if I have your support. For more on my campaign, http://www.phillies2008.com Without your support, the Republican and Democratic Parties will continue to run the show.

George

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Jumbo Shrimp and Military Intelligence

Seriously, what were they thinking? They fired him for being gay, so when they brought him back, was it because they really needed him, or because they lost track of why they fired him in the first place? Well, it's not like our military situation has improved at all, so his skills as a translator aren't any less needed now. So we have to assume that they simply lost track of why they fired him in the first place. Does that mean that if they fired someone for committing a violent crime against a fellow servicemember, they'd lose track of that, too?

Libertarian Nomination Candidate Christine Smith Speaks Out

As part of Outright's mission, we submitted a survey to the individual LP presidential nomination candidates asking them (or their campaign staff) to provide their perspectives on issues important to LGBTQ people of a libertarian bent.

We encourage you to get involved with the upcoming election by engaging candidates with your questions, and if so inclined, your volunteer time, money and energy as well. A successful 2008 Libertarian campaign depends on your input!

Christine Smith was the first candidate to return our survey last week, and thus is the first entry on our blog. Her answers to our survey are provided verbatim in boldface, our questions are in italics. As we receive answers from other campaigns, we will post them here on the blog as well. Questions should be directed to the Smith campaign. Comments are welcome in the comments field below the blog entry.
more . . .
1) Since the early 1990s, Congressional legislation has blocked LGBTQ people from serving openly in the
military. This discriminatory legislation, commonly referred to as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (or DADT), has resulted in the discharge of thousands of qualified military personnel solely on the basis of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. As president, will you support the complete repeal of DADT and issue an executive order as Commander in Chief permitting openly LGBTQ people to serve in the military?


1. YES. The DADT is horrible legislation with the following results: Continued physical and verbal harassment of gays, lesbians and bisexuals; The discharge of thousands of fine men and women from service to our country. The DADT policy is a clear example of continued federal discrimination. Military personnel should be held to the same equal requirements physically, mentally, emotionally ---no one should be prohibited from service because of their sexual orientation.

I fully support openly gay individuals serving our nation. I will do everything within my power to immediately eliminate the DADT policy and all other such discriminatory practices. One's sexual partners and orientation prior to and during military service is no business of the federal government. I will order an immediate end to this horrible injustice by the federal government against LGBTQ individuals. I believe in full equality, and I oppose all laws that discriminate against gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender Americans.


2) In 1996, Congress passed (and Bill Clinton signed) the Defense of Marriage Act (or DOMA). This law overrules the constitutional right of LGBTQ people to equal protection under the law by banning all federal recognition of same-sex relationships for various purposes (such as sponsoring a foreign partner for a visa, or filing a joint tax return). It also allows states to ignore the Constitution’s “full faith and credit” clause and reject other states’ certification of same-sex relationships. As president, will you support efforts to overturn DOMA?

2. YES. I am for the immediate repeal of DOMA, and I oppose the Federal Marriage Amendment. Although I do not believe it is the business of government to be involved in granting marriage licenses, as long as the government issues marriage licenses and grants special privileges and benefits based on marital status, the same advantages must be granted equally to all married couples. The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land protecting all citizens; no state shall supersede the U.S. Constitutionally guaranteed rights of American citizens, and all citizens must be provided "equal protection" of the laws.


3) LGBTQ people are subject to unequal tax treatment in a number of areas. For example, while opposite-sex married couples aren’t taxed for joint health benefits, same-sex couples must pay income tax on domestic partner benefits that include health care coverage. Asset transfer taxes, estate taxes, and inheritance taxes that aren’t charged to heterosexual couples must be paid by LGBTQ couples. As a result, many LGBTQ couples will pay over five times the tax of a comparable heterosexual couple over the life of their relationship. As president, will you take steps to eliminate tax discrimination against LGBTQ people?

3. YES. I will take immediate steps to eliminate all federal discrimination against LGBTQ people.


4) The District of Columbia is a federally-administered District. Recently, Congress has considered and/or passed a number of laws related to LGBTQ issues in the district that are distinctly homophobic, including a ban on gay adoptions, a ban on recognition of same-sex couples, and a law forbidding gay people from having their out-of-district adoptions recognized. As president, will you veto this legislation and other similar legislation in the District of Columbia?

4. YES. I will veto all discriminatory legislation in the District of Columbia - no exceptions.


5) At this moment, the House and Senate are considering “hate crimes” legislation that seeks to make attacks on gay people (as well as certain other minorities) “more” of a crime than a violent attack on a member of a majority class. As president, will you lobby against – and veto – such legislation?

5. YES. I oppose all such "hate crime" legislation. This is because I oppose all laws that discriminate based on sexual orientation. All Americans must be treated equally under the law. There should be no 'special" groups of people granted "special" rights or protections. I oppose laws making some crimes worse than others based on assumed motives-- every crime must be judged on the law broken not who committed the crime, who the victim was, or why. I support equality under law for all; and strong enforcement of the existing laws we have protecting all individuals of our nation against being harmed.


6) At this moment, the House and Senate are considering the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would regulate businesses and ban the right of employers and employees to voluntary affiliation by banning private sector discrimination based on sexual orientation while possibly create hiring quotas mandating the hiring of LGBTQ people. As president, will you veto ENDA?

6. YES. I oppose all such federal government mandates imposed on the private sector, so I would of course veto ENDA.


7) LGBTQ people around the world face tremendous challenges in the face of government and societal persecution. In places ranging from the Palestinian Authority to Iran to China to Singapore to Algeria to Zimbabwe, LGBTQ people are regularly imprisoned, tortured, beaten, mutilated, and murdered simply because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Many seek asylum in the United States, but find their application delayed or denied due to government policies that seek to limit immigration. As a result, the US government regularly sends back thousands of people to an uncertain fate – or worse, a certain fate of torture and death – rather than welcoming the oppressed. As president, will you support efforts to reform the immigration system to allow oppressed LGBTQ people from abroad to find sanctuary and freedom in America?

7. YES. Immigration law has long been discriminatory throughout our nation's history, so I will use my power to bring equality--across the board--to our immigration policy since federal discrimination against any group of people is unjust. I am for immigration equality.


8) State and federal regulations have severely restricted the availability of certain kinds of health insurance, such as “catastrophic care” coverage, to force people into expensive HMOs and similar programs that offer so-called “comprehensive” coverage. As a result, healthy LGBTQ people have not been able to buy insurance that fits their needs, and many are unable to afford health insurance – rendering them vulnerable to catastrophic illness (and financial stress) as a result. As president, will you support efforts to eliminate regulations that restrict the ability of LGBTQ people to buy health insurance that is “right-sized” for them?

8. YES. I will do this for all Americans - the key to getting affordable healthcare and affordable health insurance is to get the federal government out of healthcare completely. Mandated health insurance benefit laws have driven health insurance costs high resulting in fewer people being covered. Americans should be able to purchase medical services and insurance free from government controls just as medical provision and insurance should be able to sell their services free from government control. Government control and mandates--both federal and state--are responsible for higher medical costs and higher premiums. It's big government interference that's responsible for the high cost of insurance, healthcare, and pharmaceuticals.


9) The Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) is legislation currently in Congress that would allow unmarried Americans (heterosexual or gay) to sponsor a same-sex or opposite-sex partner for residency in the United States. As president, will you support UAFA?

9. YES. As I said in #7, Immigration law has long been discriminatory throughout our nation's history, so I will use my power to bring equality--across the board--to our immigration policy since federal discrimination against any group of people is unjust. I am for immigration equality.


10) As president, you will be the chief executive of the federal government, with tremendous decision-making power over general employment policy. Will you take steps to ensure that gay federal employees are treated equally to heterosexual employees in the provision of health care benefits and other conditions related to employment?

10. YES.


11) Efforts to water down, or even eliminate, the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms have been gaining momentum. Self-defense is a crucial right for many LGBTQ people, who have often avoided severe injury or even death due to the prudent use of a firearm for self-defense. Organizations such as the Pink Pistols have emerged to help protect and defend this right. As president, will you unambiguously support the right of LGBTQ Americans – and all other law-abiding people – to keep and bear arms for self-defense as outlined in the US Constitution?

11. YES. I am pro-self defense. The Second Amendment must be restored. Firearm ownership is to be absolutely protected. I oppose gun control laws. Citizens must have the right to self-defense. Your right to bear arms is not negotiable. I oppose federal laws and regulations which intrude upon the rights of the American people to keep and bear arms and provide for their own self-defense. "Gun control" laws restrict law-abiding people, they do not make people safer. Criminals can always obtain their guns and will ignore gun bans. Federal gun regulations are against your rights and result in victim disarmament. Laws must be strong against perpetrators of violent crime, not the tool they use. Infringement laws prevent people from defending themselves. Firearms save lives.


12) LGBTQ parents – especially adoptive parents – often find difficulty in traveling across the country due to anti-gay state laws that refuse to recognize their status as parents granted by their home state. Some have even lost custody of their children due to a simple vacation that took them into “hostile territory.” This is in direct violation of the Constitution’s full faith and credit clause that requires states to recognize other states’ certifications and legal status. As president, will you take steps to uphold the full faith and credit clause to ensure that LGBTQ parents don’t suddenly become legal strangers to their children simply by crossing a state line?

12. YES. The highest law of the land is the U.S. Constitution. State law may not supersede it; thus states may not violate the constitutional protections guaranteed all citizens, and that applies both to recognition of adoptions and marriages granted in other states.


13) Do you have any other comments or statements that you’d like to make to the LGBTQ community?

13. YES. First, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my political views with you through the above questionnaire.

Second, I would like to take this opportunity to share a few of my beliefs with you...

I believe there are only two emotions in life: love and fear. All other thoughts or feelings we may experience come from one of those. Love is unconditional and views all equally. Fear focuses on differences and believes "love" can be divided. It is the powerful emotion of fear which manipulates people into allowing government to take more and more of our liberties away. It is also fear which manipulates people into hating anyone that differs from themselves. But I believe love is far more powerful. Love recognizes all as equal. Love exists in perfect freedom and liberty. Love is bold, strong, and courageous. I believe love is the answer.

Throughout my campaign both prior to receiving the LP nomination, and after I receive it, I will use my position as your Libertarian spokesperson to boldly support equality for the LGBTQ community. I am already doing so through my campaign website, radio show appearances (I've reached millions already through my appearances on AM-Radio shows nationwide including several 50,000-watt stations), and my political activism in the past. I want to be the strongest spokesperson possible, using my platform most effectively for what we believe are working to achieve. Thus, I am receptive to and seek Outright Libertarians' advice, guidance and ideas. I will be the strongest, most articulate spokesperson for the Libertarian Party-educating, enlightening and recruiting more Americans into the LP...and I will be the strongest, most articulate (and only) presidential candidate speaking for the equal treatment for the LGBTQ community.

I will be a voice for an end to all federal discrimination.

I will be a voice for liberty.

I will be a voice for love.

Thank you, Outright Libertarians, for this opportunity to share with you my views. I invite you to my campaign website http://www.LibertarianForPresident.com

Christine Smith, Libertarian Candidate for President
Christine Smith for President
15400 W. 64th Ave., E9-105
Arvada, Colorado 80007
(303) 532-4185

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Hate Crimes/ENDA Part 1

This is the first in a series of posts examining why Outright (and other Libertarians) are taking a stance against the ENDA and "hate crimes" bills being presently debated in the hallowed halls of the Capitol.

If you were coming here seeking the Republican/Democratic spin on the issue, and nothing further, here you go: Libertarians are horrible, self-loathing people who want gays to be beaten in the streets and who want no gay person to have a job. (I'm sure there are other clich├ęs and various insults that I've overlooked, but I figured short and simple is best.)

If you want the real story, here it is.

Gay people in America are at a crossroads. Over the next 20 years, we will have a tremendous opportunity to create change. But first, we have to decide what we want.

Do we want equality or do we want special treatment?

Outright Libertarians advocates equality under the law. We want gay families to have the same privileges, rights and responsibilities that the law accords heterosexual families. We want gay people to be able to start businesses, own bank accounts, and browse the internet without being snooped on by federal agents overstepping their constitutional bounds. We want gay people to be able to live and love without fear of government (or private citizen) assault. We support law enforcement in its efforts to crack down on violent crime, including violent crime against LGBT people. We stand strong (and virtually alone) in our campaign to reform the immigration system so that LGBT Americans can sponsor their foreign spouses for residency -- and so that foreign nationals facing prison, torture or death can find a new free life in America.

We want all people -- including gay people -- to receive the full, equal protection of the law, as the equal protection clause in the US Constitution requires.

Seems reasonable, right?
more . . .
Not so to a large portion of Washington's unelected, unaccountable gay lobby. HRC, NGLTF, Log Cabin Republicans, and Stonewall Democrats are pushing for special treatment for gay people instead (even while borrowing the language of "equality.")

They want laws that make assaulting gay people "more" of a crime than assaulting straight people, and dubbing only the attack on the gay person as "motivated by hate." That's not equality -- that's elevating gay people above others. And we think that's just plain wrong.

They want laws that move gay people into a special class that is more difficult to terminate (and hire) through laws like ENDA. That's not equality -- once again, that's elevating gay people above others. And we think that's just plain wrong.

Advocates of special status for us are quite crafty in their rhetoric -- their guile is truly unmatched in contemporary politics. They point out instances of other groups that have achieved special status under the law, and encourage us to join them. They present cases of hate crimes that are unsolved, and talk as though Matthew Shepard's killers are walking the streets free rather than rotting in jail. They attack critics as self-loathing dinosaurs, bigots, evil, and hateful.

There's just one problem. No matter how many personal attacks, distortions, and big-money lobby dollars are thrown at special status for gays, there's no getting around the fact that special status is special status -- not equality.

Outright Libertarians (and Libertarians in general) understand that once real equality falls off the radar screen, so does progress for our community.

Once we've established that special status (and corresponding "inferior status") is OK, how can we push for marriage equality? After all, if heterosexual people are less deserving of the protection of the law due to "hate crimes" legislation, why shouldn't gay people be less deserving of the protection of the law due to "tradition?"

Once we've established that special status (and corresponding "inferior status") is OK, how can we push for immigration equality? After all, gays already get "special protection" through ENDA. Why should society go further?

Once we've established that special status (and corresponding "inferior status") is OK, how can we push for tax treatment equality? After all, now that gay people are a special class with special protections, shouldn't they have to pay higher taxes for fewer government "services" to compensate "the system" for the costs of "hate crime" prosecutions and enforcement?

See where this could easily go?

In addition, the political process in Washington will ensure that this is the last "gay legislation" considered for 5 to 10 years. With a "major bill" passed on gay issues, Democrats will tell their loyal followers at NGLTF and HRC to sit down and shut up and stop rocking the boat.

We expect they'll happily do so -- and that 20 years from now, "hate crimes laws," ENDA and civil unions in a handful of states will be all we have as a result of the equal protection clause being so thoroughly undermined.

So while we're taking our lumps from the usual suspects, you can count on us to keep fighting for what's right. The stakes are too high not to.

Next edition: Why hate crimes laws don't work.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Congress is about to pass laws discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity

Update: The House passed the Hate Crimes law on 5/3/07 with a vote of 237-180. But it still has to be voted on in the Senate and make it through conference before it goes to Bush for his veto (which he has promised), so keep those letters coming. Even with likely passage in the Senate and almost certain veto by the President, we Libertarians need to keep hammering on the message of absolute equality under the law for all people.

You can ask them not to do so here:

http://actionstudio.org/?go=3021

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

LRC says equal rights advocacy is "narrow" and "absolutist"

Take a look at the flyer (PDF) being distributed by the Libertarian Reform Caucus at state LP conventions.

Notice anything missing on Page 2?

As a reminder, the LRC is the group that tried to remove "Sexual Rights" (now "Sexuality and Gender") from the Libertarian Party platform in Portland in 2006.

They're gearing up for Denver in 2008.

Let's tell these people that they can either become real Libertarians, or go back to the GOP where homophobes belong. Attend your state LP convention, and the national one next year in Denver, and fight the Republican takeover of the Libertarian Party.