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.
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