Libertarian perspectives on LGBT rights
The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (February 2019)
This article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject.(November 2020)
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|lesbian ∙ gay ∙ bisexual ∙ transgender|
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.
Libertarian Party of Canada
On transgender equality, the Libertarian Party of Canada states: "Comedians are being fined by Human Rights Commissions and Bill C 16 arguably compels speech". Bill C16 is properly titled "An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code". The bill adds "gender identity or expression" to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination in the Canadian Human Rights Act and the list of characteristics of identifiable groups protected from hate propaganda in the Criminal Code.
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.
Anarcho-capitalists believe in stateless voluntary society, thus oppose any law supporting or opposing LGBT rights. The issue of LGBT rights would be left up individually for people to decide whether to support or oppose LGBT rights. Adam Kokesh argues LGBT people should be anarcho-capitalists.
At the first national convention of the Libertarian Party in 1972, the delegates unanimously adopted a platform that included, "We favor the repeal of all laws creating 'crimes without victims' ... such as laws on voluntary sexual relations ..." That year, John Hospers, who was gay (although discreetly so), was nominated as the Libertarian Party's first presidential candidate.
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.
In 1998, Outright Libertarians was formed. Outright Libertarians are also affiliated with the Libertarian Party and takes many of the same position that the Libertarians for Gay and Lesbian Concerns did in the 1980s.
In 2009, the Libertarian Party came out against H.R. 1913, a proposed 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 proposed 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 legislators of attempting to buy the support of the LGBT community while still opposing same-sex marriage, and challenged them to repeal Don't ask, don't tell.
In 2013, the Libertarian Party applauded the 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 claims that they have supported same-sex marriage since its founding in 1971.
The Libertarian Party takes the following positions relevant to LGBT rights:
- Section 1.2 "Expression and Communication":
- We support full freedom of expression and oppose government censorship, regulation or control of communications media and technology. We favor the freedom to engage in or abstain from any religious activities that do not violate the rights of others. We oppose government actions which either aid or attack any religion.
- 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.
- 1.6 Parental Rights":
- Parents, or other guardians, have the right to raise their children according to their own standards and beliefs. This statement shall not be construed to condone child abuse or neglect.
- Section 3.5 "Rights and Discrimination":
- Libertarians embrace the concept that all people are born with certain inherent rights. We reject the idea that a natural right can ever impose an obligation upon others to fulfill that “right.” We condemn bigotry as irrational and repugnant. Government should neither deny nor abridge any individual's human right based upon sex, wealth, ethnicity, creed, age, national origin, personal habits, political preference or sexual orientation. Members of private organizations retain their rights to set whatever standards of association they deem appropriate, and individuals are free to respond with ostracism, boycotts and other free-market solutions.
- Section 4.0 "Omissions":
- Our silence about any other particular government law, regulation, ordinance, directive, edict, control, regulatory agency, activity, or machination should not be construed to imply approval.
- "Libertés individuelles". Archived 8 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine
- "Civil Unions". Retrieved 5 May 2015.
- "Why Gays Should Be Libertarian".
- "Libertarian Party Platform of 1972". Retrieved 7 March 2021.
- Doherty, Brian. "Why Libertarian Party Insists on Being Libertarian on Gay Rights Issues, Reveals Utter Ignorance of Party's History". Reason. 30 December 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2016. "[T]he Party's first presidential candidate, John Hospers, was gay, though not openly so in a modern sense".
- O'Grady, Jane (13 July 2011). "John Hospers obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
- "John Hospers, RIP". Reason. 13 June 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
- "Walter Wheeler". Retrieved 5 May 2015.
- "Libertarians press Congress on DOMA, 'don't' ask, don't tell'". 17 August 2009. Archived from the original on 3 September 2009. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
- "Libertarian Party applauds DOMA strikedown". Libertarian Party. 26 June 2013. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
- "Platform". Libertarian Party. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
- Official Libertarian Party position on LGBT equality
- LGBT libertarians
- Gay Republicans That Invoke Libertarian Principles
- Raico, Ralph. "Gay Rights: A Libertarian Approach" (PDF).
- Raimondo, Justin. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell - Don't Go". It argues that LGBT people should oppose anyone joining the military, rather than campaigning for the right of LGBT people to enlist.