Steve G.

Libertarians Nationwide Unite To Oppose Proposition 8 and Demand The Truth

In Libertarian on October 27, 2008 at 12:11 pm

N.B.: Received via e-mail from Angela Keaton.

LOS ANGELES and SAN FRANCISCO – With slightly more than a week to go until Election Day, Libertarians in California and across the country came together once again to voice united opposition to California Proposition 8, and to call for Proposition 8 proponents to cease efforts to deliberately mislead the public about the intent and impact of the bill.

In a recent press release, supporters of Proposition 8 repeated the often-discredited claim that without the passage of that amendment to the California constitution, children would be subject to mandatory education about same-gender relationships. The press release also went one step further than in the past, claiming that all opponents of Proposition 8 are in favor of overruling parental choice in education.

The reality is quite different from the misleading rhetoric of those in favor of Proposition 8. Libertarians, the country’s most outspoken and principled defenders of school choice and parental rights, are proud partners in No on 8, and Libertarian organizations Outright Libertarians and Liberty For America wanted to set the record straight.

FACT: Pro-School Choice and Pro-Parental-Rights Libertarians Oppose Proposition 8 Without Hesitation

Proposition 8 has nothing to do with educational choice, standards, or curriculum. The ballot proposition is a very simple effort to revoke the equal protection rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Californians to equal marriage treatment by the state government of California – nothing more and nothing less.

“The proponents of this hateful proposed constitutional amendment in California are trying to change the subject in a deliberate effort to mislead,” said Brian Miller, National Secretary of Outright Libertarians. “Proponents of the proposition know that if its true intent is clear to voters, voters will overwhelmingly reject it. By muddying the waters with this fabricated (and discredited) education argument, they are hoping to change the subject and fool otherwise tolerant voters into supporting the unsupportable.”

Miller asks “If Proposition 8’s proponents were seriously concerned about education, why haven’t they created a proposed amendment directly addressing educational priorities such as school choice and parental consent? I think the answer to that question is quite obvious.”

“Libertarians support the rights of parents as the final arbiters of their child’s education,” said Miller. “We also are outspoken proponents of school choice. The fact that we are taking such a clear position in opposition to Proposition 8 should underscore the established fact that it has no meaningful impact on curriculum, parental choice, or parental rights. Discussion of education in the context of Proposition 8 is utterly meaningless, except as an effort to mislead.”

Libertarians throughout California and across the United States from the very highest levels have committed their resources to lobbying against Proposition 8 and educating voters on the facts, and many of them have stepped forward with comments of their own, addressing the continued unethical and immoral campaign tactics employed by the Yes On 8 campaign.

FACT: California’s Libertarian Leaders Stand Up For Equality Under The Law For All

“As the proponents of Proposition 8 are so fond of saying, this Constitutional Amendment is only 14 simple words — it’s nothing more or less than a government definition of marriage and has nothing whatsoever to do with schools, taxing churches, or limiting judicial activism,” said Rob Power, Chair of the Libertarian Party of San Francisco.

“I’ve had a few rare encounters with self-professed ‘libertarians’ who still don’t want to help with the NO on 8 campaign, because they believe that ‘government shouldn’t be involved in marriage at all.’ My response is that they are looking at this issue completely backwards. My question to these libertarians is: How does writing a government definition of marriage into the state’s Constitution ‘get the government out of marriage’? The answer, of course, is that it doesn’t. Instead, the one and only thing it does is increase government meddling in marriage by codifying discrimination against gays and lesbians into our state’s Constitution. All libertarians, whether you think the government should have any role in marriage at all, must vote NO on Prop 8 and encourage friends and family to do the same.”

“Libertarians are America’s most outspoken and consistent defenders of both school choice and parental authority over education,” said Angela Keaton of Los Angeles, an at-large member of the Libertarian Party’s National Committee. “That’s why the efforts by the Yes On 8 campaign to paint opponents of their amendment as anti-school-choice and anti-parental-rights are so absurd. The Libertarian Party platform, as approved in our May convention in Denver, stands up strongly for both equal recognition under the law of LGBT people, and for the rights of parents to choose the most appropriate educational environments for their children. Proposition 8 does nothing to guarantee parental authority or school choice – rather it is a mean-spirited effort to target the LGBT community. Proponents of this divisive amendment should come clean and stop lying about their intentions and the issues. I encourage Californians to reject the lies, stop the hate, and vote NO on Proposition 8.”

Keaton has been a regular and enthusiastic participant in the No On 8 campaign, devoting numerous hours to staffing the phone bank at her local No On 8 office.

Phil Berg, Libertarian candidate for San Francisco’s Congressional seat and opponent of incumbent House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, noted that “nobody wants busybodies interfering in our relationships or forcing ideas on our children. It’s hard to imagine the heavy hand of government being used to ban adults’ most intimate life choices. The Yes on 8 folks might look in the mirror the next time they complain about government forcing its views of morality on others, because that’s exactly what they themselves are trying to do.”

California Libertarian candidates for state and federal office have rallied to oppose the amendment as a core part of their campaign communications, including:

Jill Stone (L), candidate for US Congress in California District 29

Wayne Dunlap (L), candidate for US Congress District 50

Edward Teyssier (L), candidate for US Congress District 53

Jesse Thomas (L), candidate for California State Senate District 39

Anthony Gregory, research analyst at the non-partisan Independent Institute in Oakland, noted that “a lot of discourse surrounding Proposition 8 is confused, misguided or even misleading. Many have conflated this issue with what is taught in schools, which indeed should be up to the children, teachers and parents – not activist judges or politicians on either side of the marriage debate. However, even those who reject public school social engineering across the board can find good reasons to oppose the effort to have the state define marriage in this way. In fact, such a uniform, state-imposed definition intrudes upon the rights and values of families and localities who do not share the views of this Proposition’s proponents.”

FACT: Leadership On Marriage Equality Is A National Priority For Libertarians

Leaders in the libertarian movement across the country are urging Californians to support the equal treatment under the law of the Golden State’s LGBT citizens.

“When the proponents of Proposition 8 lie about their opponents, it shows how desperate they are to move California backwards,” said George Phillies of Massachusetts. Phillies, chair of the Libertarian Party of Massachusetts, is on the ballot in New Hampshire as Libertarian candidate for President.

Phillies notes that “two centuries ago, Massachusetts Courts used the Quock Walker case to end slavery. It took America eight decades to realize that Massachusetts was right. Not ten years ago, Massachusetts Courts again took the lead, ruling that gay people must be allowed to marry the person they love. This November, Californians have a choice: join with loving Massachusetts, or sink backward with hate-filled Utah. I urge the good people of California join free Massachusetts: Vote NO on Proposition 8.”

Allan Wallace, Outright Libertarians’ Tennessee Coordinator, stated that “the proponents of Proposition 8 in California say that they’re fighting for Christian values. But how can that be when they knowingly lie about what Prop 8 will do and what failing to pass it will do? For example, they claim that Prop 8 prevents the ‘teaching of homosexuality’ in public schools when, in fact, it has nothing to do with education.”

“Proposition 8 is motivated by Hate,” contends Wallace, “and as a Christian myself, I would like to remind the proponents of this discriminatory legislation that Hate comes from the devil, not from God, the Ten Commandments instruct believers not to bear false witness, and Jesus commands us to love our neighbors in the same way we love ourselves. By this example, Proposition 8 isn’t very Christian.”

THE UNDENIABLE CONCLUSION: A Vote For Proposition 8 Is An Un-Libertarian and Un-American Vote To Revoke The Constitutional Rights And Liberties Of LGBT Californians.


Outright Libertarians

Liberty for America

  1. Stop the Hate, No on 8.

    Proudly voted against it, and I wrote the ballot analysis against it for the LPCA (OK, it really wrote itself, it was that easy!), who voted unanimously to oppose 8.

    I’m also doing daily advertising on LA freeways against 8 in the Bouncing Blue Billboard, and in hyper-religious-conservative Riverside, I’m getting stares and arguments all the time. But I have been winning over people too.

    I ask the supporters one question: Give me a non-religious reason to oppose expanding marriage to all loving couples.

    Only one has tried, a genetic purity argument (no kidding!), and he immediately I shot him down by pointing out the miscengenation laws of the past. This guy was so truly a racist all he missed was the swastika tatoo or the sheet over the dunce cap.

    Keep it up, this needs to go down. The nonpartisan Public Policy has it with No leadign 52-44, +-3, so it’s still tight.

  2. Mr. Seebeck, there are plenty of non-religious arguments against Prop 8. It’s not about hate. It’s about choosing the policies one thinks is best for the character, morale and well being of the people.
    Same Sex Marriage will probably hurt religion. Once the whole camel gets in the tent, religion will find it very uncomfortable and Religion is important in inculcating national morality. (See Geo. Washington’s farewell address).
    Same sex marriage creates, as plan A, families with non biological children. See any stats on that and you’ll see it’s not an ideal situation for a child. It’s full of risk factors.Libertarians are infamous for ignoring the fact that children exist and will most likely be products of the culture they are raised in.
    homosexual relations can spread and can be addictive. Check out the Static 99 or the RRasor instruments for sexual offender recidvism.
    Gay sex was very common in the near east and middle east in ancient times and was imported into Europe during the Crusades. Ancient Greece was believed to be majority bisexual. For those of us who don’t want to risk that happening, we can choose that based on religious or non religious reasons.
    There’s also reasons people don’t speak of because they don’t understand. Symbols are the hidden levers of our thinking. Mixing gender forms and norms in the way ssm does has forever been associated with a call to chaos.
    DH lawrence:
    My whole working philosophy is that the only stable happiness for mankind is that it shall live married in blessed union to woman-kind –intimacy, physical and psychical between a man and his wife. I wish to add that my state of bliss is by no means perfect.

  3. Ben, I’m not saying there aren’t any, only that nobody I’ve come across can make one. You try to make some here, but you also fail.

    Same-gender marriage is not going to damage organized religion unless the organized religion lets itself be damaged. If they are so nervous about this happening, then is that a statement on the same-gender marriages, or on the instability and insecurity of their own position? I say conclusively the latter, for if it were otherwise, they wouldn’t be concerned in the first place. And a lot of them aren’t, starting with the Jews, UUs, and UCCs. Look at the money trail to find the sects that are against this. I’m suprised that Freddie Phelps hasn’t relocated Westboro Baptist Church out here to fight for this thing tooth and nail.

    Washington had it wrong on religion and morality. No less than that Aristotle guy disproved that a long time ago, long before Washington and his era came along. The book was Ethica Nichomachea, and in it he proved that one can be moral and ethical via logic alone, and that religion had nothing to do with it. For a good moral code sans religion, check out the Ten Commandments of Solon (Google, it, first or second hit are the right sites). (Besides, what’s moral about the religious motivations of the Inquistion, a Moorish Invasion, four Crusades, 9/11, etc.?)

    I’ve seen those stats and they have been conclusively debunked elsewhere. They deny the reality of the true state of families these days, and that the children of divorce are much more at risk for problems than those in any type of marriage. What’s the divorce and at-risk stats for children in Canada and Massachusetts? No worse than for opposite-gender couples. The key is two parents over one, and gender is irrelevant.

    BTW, sex itself can be addictive. Ask Charlie Sheen or Magic Johnson, or any hair band.

    And, yes, I AM an expert on marriage, and here’s why: grandson of a married Protestant pastor who had to juggle his personal marriage and his ministry, yet somehow did it successfully until the day he died; son of a divorced and remarried loving father and loving stepmother; raised in a household with two women parents; and happily married myself for 11+ years. I’ve seen or been involved in as a spouse or child almost every type of marriage in my life (except polygamy), and my conclusion is this: love is not based on age, gender, race, or what kind of private sex one has, and committment to a partner should not be either. The ideal solution is to get government out of it entirely, and defeating 8 is a step in that direction.

    And no, Libertarians do not forget about children. That’s a common mistake. Do you think the whole Ruwart controversy would have happened if that were true? Remember, she’s a grandmother herself. The strongest LP county affiliate I’ve ever had the privilege to be associated with had 17 children among the core activist group families!

    Or do you prefer writing a First Amendment violation into the CA state constitution adn thereby creating a state constitution contradiction and crisis at the same time? I don’t.

  4. Mr. Seebeck:
    Don’t automatically assume you are right because you can make better “arguments.” Perhaps the reason everyone fails to make good arguments for traditional marriage is because society no longer believes in it. When the major premise is wrong, you can’t plug in a minor premise into the syllogism and make a successful argument. You can’t hardly lose the ground the argument is based on and still win. That doesn’t mean you are right, it just means our society is sick sexually. I agree ssm is coming I just wish it wasn’t. It introduces degrading and repulsive acts into the heart of something sacred. My state calls it the Infamous Crime Against Nature because it was considered too offensive even to mention. In just a few years it’s become something we celebrate and use the state to promote.
    I don’t think the gay rights advocates share your zeal with getting government out of marriage. They want to use the state to teach kids, even against the will of their parents in Mass. at least, that homosexual relations are good.
    Again, you start with the premise that religion is to satisfy the needs of the adults.

    George Washington was correct or religion and morality, and he made room for the exceptions you mention: “And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

  5. Ben, can you describe exactly what this “national morality” is which you speak of? Can you further explain to me why your morality should be my morality?

  6. Ben, I don’t assume I’m right because I can make better arguments. I assume I’m right because the opposing arguments are debunked baloney. That plus my own personal experience shaping my own views, and a healthy dose of Catholic-school-taught Logic supplemented by a degree is the ultimate in logic, mathematics.

    You may think society is “sick” becasue of its evolving views on sex, but that’s only your opinion. I’m sorry if you might still view sex as sick and evil instead of the gift of expression of intimacy that it truly is. (That’s Starchild’s cue if he’s reading this!) When society finally stops trying to use sex as a controlling and fear factor–and it’s getting there, as it is with gambling, booze, and other so-called “vices”–then the human race will finally begin to understand how to reach its potential.

    The major premsies of procreation and religious mores to uphold restricting the expression of love and committment called “marriage” were debunked long ago by childless marriages, divorce, and even polygamy. History has borne out that the one-man-one-woman idea of marriage that is prevalent in the Christian religious sects is only relatively recent in human history–you even admitted it yourself in your Greek references, and even the early Jewish/Hebrew history is replete with it. The arguments of restriction based on race or polygamy hold true for gender.

    If marriage is truly a unifying name and property contract, then treat it as such in the realms where that is relevant, being contract law and arbitration.

    If marriage us truly a religious issue, then get government out of the equation entirely and leave it to the religious sects. It was brought into government circles for political reasons, specifically taxation and control.

    Sure, some gay rights advocates don’t share my view on getting government out of marriage, and that’s because they still see government as their crutch, not their impediment. They fail to understand that the same government that denied them their equaility is not the tool to use to get it for them. They, just like their counterpart authoritarians on the right, want to use government to their ends only, not for the proper role of freedom and protection of individual rights from force and fraud. That’s where they and the LP part ways. Hell, some in Outright Libertarians don’t either, because they want the whole enchilada now and don’t understand reverse incrementalism in politics very well. I’ve had one of their lot call me a homophobe because of that approach, which is utter bull.

    The quote you give for Washington is not an exception. He claims there in the second sentence that even if society allows for morality sans religion, it wouldn’t work. He still thought the two were connected, and he was wrong.

    That’s where we differ, Ben: you think that society needs religion to function, and I think religion is what keeps society from functioning better, especially when it is forced upon people through the law against their will and consent. Banning a right is clearly the latter.

    And Jesus Christ himself agreed, since he too said many times to keep the religion private. Ditto Jefferson and Madison. I prefer that company, even while being a non-Abrahamic person.

  7. Sorry, that’s “non-Abrahamic” in terms of not being of the Christian, Jewish, or Muslim belief systems. No race was intended to be implied. I worded that badly.

  8. I also said, “The arguments of restriction based on race or polygamy hold true for gender.”

    That should be, “The arguments against restriction based on race or polygamy hold true for gender.”

    My own proofreading failed me.

  9. I am proud to be listed so prominently in this email, but I’m
    a candidate for CA State Senate, District 29. not Congress. Mr. Alan Pyeatt is the candidate for Congress District 29.

  10. I’m a heterosexual male who has been married for 18 years. That said, I fail to see how the sexuality of another person affects me or threatens my marriage. I know gay people, transexuals, bisexuals, polyamorists, swingers and some who are involved in the BDSM/fetish scene. Funny enough, my marriage is as strong as ever.

  11. Michael, Gene
    It’s clear we have different values. I have every right to vote for laws that I believe are for the public good. I don’t have to accept the court’s verdict or your opinion on what are rights and what aren’t rights any more than Lincoln had to accept Dred Scott.
    I think Same Sex Marriage is bad for children. It promotes fatherless or motherless homes. It teaches that all sorts of sexual deviancy is appropriate within marriage. It promotes gender confusion. It robs marriage of a rich history of meaning and symbolism.
    Since grown ups are usually pretty set in their ways it won’t affect my marriage a whole lot. I was married in California and I have to admit for a few days I felt degendered by the decision, but I would be more worried about the unisex world my kids inherit.

    Obviously nobody should be punished for his beliefs. The constitution was designed to, among other things, protect freedom of conscience, not give license to do whatever has no immediate harm on others. However the state is going to be educating the children. And doing it in a way that contradicts what the parents want. (If this issue is really equivalent to the struggle for black rights, equality of same sex relationships will be taught and taught with gusto.) The government will become more of the master than before in enforcing its view upon the people.

    One other thing I wanted to bring up. The sex shops, homosexual and otherwise that lined the streets of Berlin in the 1920’s in a subtle way had their part in bringing about Nazism. Blind adherence to libertarian principles may have unintended consequences and produce quite the opposite effect. i.e. you legalize drugs, unrestrict alcohol and gambling you end up with more crime and the need for more police surveillance, more searches, etc…
    communism and libertarianism are the scylla and charybdis of politics. You’d be better off taking a sensible, middle course instead of some categorical approach dreamed up by John Stuart Mill.

  12. Libertarianism is the middle course, because it doesn’t let you dictate to me or me dictate to you. To the extent that no one violates anyone else’s basic rights, libertarianism enables everyone to go about their business however they like.

    If a scylla and charybdis exist, they must be socialism and fascism.

    The constitution was designed to limit the powers of the government and protect the rights of the people (same thing really).

  13. Ben, the state does not need to educate the children. in CA homeschooling is legal, and parents do not have the obligation to abdicate their role as educators to the state. In fact, the state should be taking the backseat to the parents in that role. This week in fact the state schools are doing their annual anti-drug propaganda “Red Ribbon Week” malarkey while feeding these kids one of the worse drugs of all–sugar!

    I think you don’t quite get what legalization would truly do. It removes the taboo and the “excitement” of it being illegal. People grow used to it and them it becomes a ho-hum affair. Look at Las Vegas. Look at Amsterdam, even. I saw it first-hand when gambling came to Colorado in the 90s. At first the anti-gambling crowd freaked out, but as it has progressed they’ve lost their ability to influence by hysterics and people in CO just shrug at it. The people who are in hysterics for 8 are that way because they fear a loss of control, not because they truly value marriage. To them, it’s a control tool and nothing else. By voting down 8, it pulls that tool away from them a little further, and they don’t like that and go into their hysterics and talking points, which is why they can’t come up with a non-religious, logical argument to support their position–their control agenda is the only thing they have, and it’s a guaranteed loser! (BTW, crime went DOWN when Prohibition ended–look it up!)

    For Gene: It doesn’t, and every marriage like yours (and mine) is living, walking, breathing, thriving proof it doesn’t. A claim of a same-gender marriage threatening a person’s own marriage is an indicator that that person’s own marriage is in serious trouble.

  14. BTW, in related issues, Libertarians should get behind efforts to defeat Prop 102 in Arizona, Prop 2 in Florida, both of which would ban same-gender marriage, and a related measure in Arkansas regarding adoption.

  15. I cannot speak for Ben, but in my experience, those who oppose same sex marriage with the argument that it will destroy traditional marriage are simply insecure.

    Yes. I said “insecure”.

    Insecure in their marriage, insecure in dealing with people who are different than them or insecure in their personal lives to the point they have a compulsion to control others. I believe that this offers yet another reason why we need to keep government so small that it can only protect our individual liberties. A government that will allow the insecure among us to seek security at the expense of our liberties is a government that is outside it’s Constitutional limitations.

    While I can respect the right of Ben to hold the values and opinions that he has been expressing here, does Ben respect the values of people such as myself and Mike Seebeck? Clearly no. While Mike and I won’t use the ballot box or agencies of the government to dictate the peaceful, non-criminal behavior of others, Ben seems to be more than willing to do so.

    It is plainly obvious that same sex marriage cannot destroy or harm the marriage of other people. My marriage depends upon myself and my wife working together in love, trust and respect. If a person’s marriage is so weak that it lives or dies depending upon whether a couple of lesbians get married, well, that’s just pathetic and a sad commentary on an already ruined relationship.

    What I find most curious is the constant reference to “sexual deviancy” from both Ben and other anti-marriage types. Why the focus on sex? If Rick and Steve are getting it on in the privacy of their own bedroom by engaging in some anal sex, how does that affect MY marriage? And what exactly *is* “deviant sex” anyhow? I would venture to guess that in 2008, deviant sex would be plain vanilla missionary, because what some people consider “deviant” is regular practice among most heterosexual married couples.

  16. Gene, well said!

    See you at the Colton Prop 4/Prop 8 debate Saturday? Ask Carolyn Marbury about it.

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