Libertarian perspectives on LGBT rights
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Libertarian perspectives on LGBT rights illustrate how libertarian individuals and political parties have applied the libertarian philosophy to the subject of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights.
- 1 By country
- 1.1 France
- 1.2 New Zealand
- 1.3 Russia
- 1.4 United States
- 1.4.1 Libertarian Party
- 1.4.2 Republican Party and libertarians
- 1.4.3 Democratic Party and libertarians
- 2 See also
- 3 References
- 4 External links
The Liberal Alternative party states: "We wish to make marriage a private affair, whether religious or not, composed simply of two consenting adults, without regard for sex, and with no further obligation beyond going to the local magistrate/city hall to notify the state about the union. This form of civil union would replace the PACS symbolically. Recognition of marriage is, of course, possible."
Libertarianz stated in their platform that the party "fully supports the concept of a civil union and would also support allowing marriages between same sex couples, and indeed polygamous marriages or marriages between people who are already related—in all cases as long as all parties are adults and consenting." The organization ceased to exist in February 2014.
Libertarian Party of Russia
The Libertarian Party of Russia has been one of the most active vocal opponent of the 2013 Russian law banning "propaganda of homosexuality" among minors. Libertarian Party activists have participated in a demonstrations in front of the Moscow City Duma against the adoption of the law. At a 2012 picket, the Libertarian Party announced its opposition to homophobic laws restricting people's right to freedom of speech.
The Libertarian Party's position on LGBT rights has remained unchanged since it was created in 1972. In 1975, Ralph Raico, helped to create the "Libertarian For Gay Rights" caucus within the party, and subsequently published "Gay Rights: A Libertarian Approach".
The second LGBT rights organization to operate from a libertarian perspective was the Libertarians for Gay and Lesbian Concerns. The organization held its first national convention in 1985, and sought to promote libertarianism to LGBT Americans.
During the 1980s, the organization was affiliated with the Libertarian Party of the United States. One of its activities was the production of a lavender pamphlet, to distribute at gay pride events, that explained the libertarian perspective on LGBT rights. Some of the libertarian views mentioned in the brochure are the following:
- Repeal of all laws regarding consensual sexual acts between adults (with the age of consent reasonably defined). This would include abolition of laws prohibiting prostitution and solicitation, whether gay or straight.
- Repeal of legislation prohibiting unions between members of the same sex, and the extension to such unions of all legal rights and privileges presently enjoyed by partners in heterosexual marriages.
- An end to the use of loitering statutes and entrapment procedures as a means of harassing gays and prostitutes.
- An end to the collection by government agencies of data on the sexual preferences of individuals.
- Elimination of regulations specifying homosexuality as a justification for denying or revoking state licenses (for doctors, lawyers, teachers, hairdressers, etc.).
- Repeal of laws prohibiting cross-dressing.
- Recognition of the right of a homosexual parent to be considered for custody of his or her natural child, and of the child to choose the homosexual parent as guardian.
- Elimination of laws specifying homosexuality as grounds for denying the right of adoption.
- Equality of treatment of gay people in regard to government service, including particularly membership in the armed forces.
- End the usage of zoning and loitering laws to harass gay people and gay-owned businesses.
- Equal treatment for gay immigrants.
- End government sanctioned closing of gay bathhouses.
The brochure then went onto explain that libertarians opposed efforts to prohibit private sector discrimination because people have the right to be wrong, and that peaceful persuasion was the better method to deal with prejudice than civil rights legislation.
In the 1990s this organization was joined by the classical liberal-libertarian LGBT rights organization called the Gays and Lesbians for Individual Liberty. As of 2007, the LGLC have a mailing address and the GLIL web page has not been updated since 2003.
The active LGBT libertarian organization is the Outright Libertarians. Founded in 1998, the organization is also affiliated with the Libertarian Party of the United States and takes many of the same position that the Libertarians for Gay and Lesbian Concerns did in the 1980s.
Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009
In 2009, the Libertarian Party came out against H.R. 1913, a purposed hate crime bill that would add to the federal hate crime statute the categories of sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability. The reason the Libertarian Party opposed the purposed hate crimes bill was because it would violate equal justice under the law by creating different classes of victims for the same crime. The Libertarian Party also accused attempt by legislators to buy the support of the LGBT community while still opposing same-sex marriage and repealing Don't ask, don't tell.
United States v. Windsor
In 2013, the Libertarian Party applauded the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision, United States v. Windsor, to strike down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional. The Libertarian Party has supported same-sex marriage since its founding in 1971.
Libertarian Party platform on LGBT rights
- Section 1.3 "Personal Relationships":
- Sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the government's treatment of individuals, such as in current marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration or military service laws. Government does not have the authority to define, license or restrict personal relationships. Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships.
- Section 3.5 "Rights and Discrimination":
- We condemn bigotry as irrational and repugnant. Government should not deny or abridge any individual's rights based on sex, wealth, race, color, creed, age, national origin, personal habits, political preference or sexual orientation. Parents, or other guardians, have the right to raise their children according to their own standards and beliefs.
Republican Party and libertarians
LGBT Republicans and conservatives organizations will often make libertarian arguments concerning LGBT rights. Organizations such as GOProud and the Log Cabin Republicans often advocate for LGBT issues in a way that illustrates some common ground between American conservatives and libertarians.
Yet, LGBT Republican and conservative organizations may also differ with the libertarian perspectives on LGBT rights, such as the Log Cabin Republicans' support for the Employment Nondiscrimination Act and the Matthew Shepard Act.
GOProud, an organization representing conservative and libertarian gay men, lesbians, and LGBT allies, support same-sex marriage at a state by state level, establishing domestic partner tax equity, and repealing the Defense of Marriage Act, Don't ask, don't tell policy in the United States military. GOProud has not taken an official position regarding the Employment Nondiscrimination Act or the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, but opposes any individual being treated unfairly due to his or her class, age, gender, religion, race, or sexual orientation.
On January 18, 2013, GOProud officially came out in support of same-sex marriage at a state by state level. Prior to that, GOProud had no official position on marriage or relationship recognition. In 2011, Ann Coulter claimed she had got GOProud to take its support of same sex marriage out of its platform.
Republican Liberty Caucus
Republican Liberty Caucus state chapters
In 2012, the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire supported an amendment, introduced Free State Project Rep. Seth Cohn, on the House floor that would take government entirely out of marriage. Carolyn McKinney, chairwoman of state's Republican Liberty Caucus, said the group has not taken a position on the repeal same-sex marriage bill, which presents "a little bit of a rift among the libertarian types." and "There's two different minds when it comes to this bill: The first is obviously the individual liberty aspect, that people should be allowed to do what they want to do,"
Democratic Party and libertarians
The Libertarian Party platform and Democratic Party platforms share common ground on LGBT rights, in such areas as supporting same-sex marriage and opposition to state sanctioned discrimination against LGBT people.
Democratic Freedom Caucus
The Democratic Freedom Caucus, is a libertarian-leaning caucus within the Democratic Party. The Democratic Freedom Caucus takes the libertarian position that people of any race, ethnicity, minority opinion, gender, or lifestyle should have the same legal rights as everyone else, laws should not discriminate against any group, and should also not favor one group over another.
- Libertés individuelles
- Libertarianz - Civil Unions
- "DMP activists took part in a demonstration against the adoption of homophobic law in Moscow". Libertarian Party of Russia. April 23, 2012.
- Walter Wheeler
- Gay and Lesbian Center - GLBT Archival Collections - SFPL.org
- Gays and Lesbians for Individual Liberty
- revolution: libertarian groups
- "Libertarians press Congress on DOMA, ‘don’t’ ask, don’t tell’". August 17, 2009. Retrieved 2013-12-29.
- "Libertarian Party applauds DOMA strikedown". Libertarian Party. June 26, 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-29.
- Platform of the Libertarian Party
- "2012 Republican Platform". Republican Party. Retrieved 2013-12-29.
- "Log Cabin Republicans Praises Senate Passage of ENDA, Unveils GOP House Strategy". Log Cabin Republicans. November 7, 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-29.
- "Log Cabin Republicans applaud passage of Matthew Shepard Act in US Senate". Log Cabin Republicans of Georgia. July 21, 2009. Retrieved 2013-12-29.
- "Guest Commentary on ENDA from Corinna Cohn". GOProud.org. April 28, 2010. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
- "Concealed Carry: If You're Interested in Preventing Hate Crimes, Let's Stop them Before They Happen". On Top Magazine. February 16, 2011. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
- "What we believe". Goproud.org. Retrieved 2013-12-19.
- "GOProud Backs Civil Marriage For Gay Couples". BuzzFeed. January 18, 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
- "GOPROUD ON MARRIAGE AND RELATIONSHIP RECOGNITION". GOProud.org. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
- "Ann Coulter Wants Thanks For Talking GOProud Out Of Supporting Gay Marriage". On Top Magazine. February 16, 2011. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
- Mataconis, Doug. Texas RLC Denounces Anti-Gay Planks in Party Platform. UnitedLiberty.org, 6-26-2010. Retrieved April 19, 2011.
- MATTHEW SPOLAR Gay marriage repeal bill no sure bet. concordmonitor.com, January 29, 2012 . Retrieved December 28, 2013.
- "2012 Democratic National Platform". Democratic Party. Retrieved 2013-12-29.
- "DFC Platform". Democratic Freedom Caucus. Retrieved 2013-12-29.
- Official Libertarian Party position on LGBT equality
- LBGT libertarians
- Gay Republicans That Invoke Libertarian Principles
- Lavender But Not Pink 
- Gay Rights: A Libertarian Approach, PDF version of the 1975 pamphlet by Ralph Raico.
- Outright Libertarians response to Wikipedia articles
- "Don't Ask, Don't Tell - Don't Go" by Justin Raimondo - argues GLBT people should oppose anyone joining the military, rather than campaigning for the right of GLBT people to enlist