Rand Paul

Can Rand Paul's Positions on Abortion and Gay Marriage Be Defended on Libertarian Grounds?

Yes, but you have to try pretty hard.

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Fox News

Rand Paul's recent comments about gay marriage are often cited as evidence that he is kissing up to social conservatives, which is fair enough. But his position is more nuanced than some of those quotations suggest. Here is what he said on Fox News last month:

I'm for traditional marriage. I think marriage is between a man and a woman. Ultimately, we could have fixed this a long time ago if we just allowed contracts between adults. We didn't have to call it marriage, which offends myself and a lot of people….

I think having competing contracts that would give them equivalency before the law would have solved a lot of these problems, and it may be where we're still headed.

In other words, it's not equal legal treatment of gay and straight couples that offends Paul; it's calling the arrangement "marriage." That suggests he'd be OK with laws that gave a homosexual couple all the rights and privileges a heterosexual couple enjoys and even used the same term in both cases, provided that term was not marriage. This legal status could be called a "civil union" or a "domestic partnership," while marriage would be reserved for unions (including gay ones) blessed by particular religious organizations.

It may seem silly to be so hung up on terminology, but much of the opposition to gay marriage comes from conflating the civil arrangement with "the institution of marriage," which existed long before the government started doling out marriage licenses. That conflation supposedly was what stopped Barack Obama from publicly endorsing gay marriage until May 2012. I don't know if Paul's religious objections are any more sincere than Obama's were, but it sounds like he is open to a policy that would be defensible on libertarian grounds.

Still, Paul is surely wrong that contractual-marriage-by-another-name "may be where we're still headed." Where we are headed, once the Supreme Court rules that the 14th Amendment requires it, is gay marriage in every state. Paul's position that the issue should be left to the states likewise has been overtaken by events.

Paul's opposition to abortion—a stance that seems to be a prerequisite for winning the Republican presidential nomination but also one that Paul shares with his father, who is widely viewed as more consistently libertarian—can be defended on libertarian grounds too, provided you accept the premise that a fetus is a person with a right to life. Two years ago Paul was the lead Senate sponsor of a bill that said just that. The Life at Conception Act aimed "to implement equal protection for the right to life of each born and preborn human person" by declaring that "the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being."

The point of the bill was to justify national restrictions on abortion by invoking the federal government's authority under the 14th Amendment, which protects "persons" that the bill defines to include fetuses. That approach makes legal sense only if the meaning of the Constitution can by determined by statute—a problematic position for a self-described "constitutional conservative" to endorse. I will give Paul this much: The 14th Amendment is a more plausible source of congressional authority to restrict abortion than the power to regulate interstate commerce, which was the highly dubious rationale for the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act. Still, the desire to regulate abortion at the national level is hard to reconcile with the federalism that Paul prefers for marriage, drug policy, and pretty much everything else.

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  2. Look, do you want him to make it past the primary or not?

    1. In a compromise with evil, evil always wins.
      -Jerry Falwell

    2. Increasingly, I’m believing their answer is “no.”

      1. Their answer is “Not just no, but hell no!”

        They like Paul exactly where he is: as a weapon that can be wielded against the rest of the republicans.

      2. Oh, for fuck’s sake.

        Yeah, this article is really going to make a big difference to Rand’s views and those of Republican primary voters.

        I hate elections. They just make everyone even stupider than they already were.

    3. I would, which is why I was pissed when he came out with that ‘stop the NSA on day one’ crap.

      On one hand – Its good to see a politician at least *look* like he’s trying to be honest.

      OTOH – that shit don’t fly with Americans. As much as they might bitch about being spied on *personally*, they’ll still reflexively support anything with ‘national security’ attached – it ‘just need to be reformed’.

      1. There is a significant group of hardcore advocates, particularly the youth, who will be attracted to his promise. Those who support mass surveillance don’t have nearly the same voting commitment to the issue, and probably wouldn’t support Paul on other grounds, anyway.

      2. I a phase no problem spying on foreign powers. Especially if the information gained helps us avoid future military conflicts.

  3. I would ask if the opposite of his positions could be defended on Libertarian grounds.

    1. Of course. Hands off is the default libertarian position, so abortion should be legal unless you can make a compelling objective case against it. I’m not saying you can’t, or that it hasn’t been made, but keeping government out of something can always be defended on libertarian grounds.

      1. Federal(ly enforced) recognition is the “hands off” position?

        IMO, this is the crux of both of his arguments.

        1. The federal government not actively opposing it is the hands off position, yes.

      2. Hands off, but only in terms of commerce. Hands off violence? No. If you think violence is being done to a baby then it is libertarian to put a stop to it, as the ultimate liberty of that person is being taken away.

      3. hetero-

        i do not think it’s that simple on abortion.

        any libertarian will accept that you have a right to life. you have a right not to be murdered. this right accrues to any and all people.

        the tricky bit here is “when are you a person?”

        if someone struck a pregnant woman hard in the stomach with the intent to kill her baby and caused a miscarriage and the death of the baby/fetus, is that just simple assault?

        the problem here is that there is no objective and unassailable standard for person-hood.

        exists outside a mother? see baby example above.

        brain function? i think that’s a good one, but testing for it is tricky.

        conception?

        i mean there are lots of arguable standards none of which are objectively provable.

        “hands off” is not exactly the default position.

        “do not harm others or their property” is closer.

        few libertarians would be “hands off” about murder or robbery. that drifts into anarchy/anarcho-capitalism, not libertarianism.

        1. You know a lot of anarchists? And they all want to condone murder? Please, say more! You seem to be using the Chris Hedges Definition (TM) of anarchism: everyone killing everyone!

          Person-hood is not what you suggest, a developing human-genome blastomere is not a fish, not a lizard, not a bird, not an insect, not a plant, not a bacterium, not a virus, not a tiger, not a cat, not a dog. It is –however inconvenient to your fragile sentimentality regarding (wanting to feel no) guilt over abortion– a human.

          Please hurry and tell me that I’m a kooky fundamentalist Xtian who is an anarchist. That should be a wizard-like insight you’ve got at the ready, no?

        2. A fetus is a person when it gains self awareness. This shit about ‘having to have the capacity to live outside the mother’ is bullshit. As it represents a sliding scale based on technology. Babies can be delivered safely earlier than 22 weeks if it is otherwise healthy and has sufficent lung development. In a few years that standard will probably change and a child will have suvivaviluty at an even earlier point of gestation.

          Self awareness makes sense, and it is based on science and is a consistent standard.

          1. Hah hah hah hah, this is quite clever! You’re suggesting you can dig into the blastomere and know what it “feels”?

            It’s always about “feelings” with the progressives, isn’t it? So much that you go to reason.com, pretend to be interested in liberty, while spouting about feelings and the need to make feelings primary.

            “I’m interested in liberty: the liberty to pretend that science-ish-ness has determined abortions don’t harm that blob of cancer cells which you cracker Christians are calling a human. It’s not a human until I say it is!”

        3. few libertarians would be “hands off” about murder or robbery. that drifts into anarchy/anarcho-capitalism,”

          Are you effing serious? This is more horrid an attempt of a definition of anarchy than even the liberals give. They usually say CHaOS, RoADZ!!! And some other complimentary bullshit.

          This takes the cake. Do yourself a favor and look up what freedom, liberty, and anarchy means. —-Because without the state, those folks who believe in freedom and liberty condone murder—

        4. the tricky bit here is “when are you a person?”

          No, the question of personhood is irrelevant; no person has the right to live in a woman’s womb against her will.

          brain function? i think that’s a good one, but testing for it is tricky.

          No, it’s not tricky at all. For much of the pregnancy, the fetus lacks the brain functions necessary for self-awareness and hence personhood. Not that it is relevant to abortion (see above).

          1. im somewhat grudginglt prochoice. that said ive always found this fetus as parasite argument to be absolutely horrific.

          2. If a woman knowingly undertakes the reproductive act–an act she knows will result in the creation of a new, dependent human that will form inside the organ whose only purpose is for a developing human to live within then how can one say that this happened ‘against her will’?

          3. Your posts reveal a lack of brain function, can I abort you, LoseTwink?

          4. “no person has the right to live in a woman’s womb against her will.”

            This is the winner for stupid today. It’s not like the fetus borrowed it’s way into the woman’s womb and said ‘looks like a nice place toots! Think Imma gonna settle down here.’ Unless you have lived under a rock you know exactly what one of the risks are when you decide to bump uglies. Next thing you’ll be siding with the two professors supporting infant euthanasia. Furthermore, if we are going to use brain functions as metric, shall we start euthanasia on newborns who are mentally retarded?

  4. The left are absolutely obsessed with him. Every time I flip the channel to MSNBC or CNN, just to see if they are slobbering all over themselves in foaming rage about Rand Paul, they are, every time.

    Last night Chris Hayes was totally bugging out. There was some old guy on there last night with a military background that he was interviewing and Chris kept saying that Rand is a neocon, and the old guy kept saying he’s not a neocon. It was like this:

    Hayes: Well, isn’t Paul just another typical neocon?

    Old guy: No, he’s not a neocon, his foreign policy is more….

    Hayes: He’s a necon.

    Old guy: As I was trying to say, he’s more like Rea…

    Hayes: NEOCON!!!! (purple face, spittle drolling off chin…)

    1. Chris Hayes? did Rachel Maddow have a sex change operation that I wasn’t aware of?

      1. If it would have been Madcow, I would have just flipped the channel again without even listening, since I already she’s not going to say anything that’s not totally insane.

        But, yes, Hayes, he’s trying to label Paul as a Neocon, and he’s not taking anything else as a legitimate answer.

        1. The more those shitbags hate him the more I want him to win. The more reviled by MSNBC, the better the candidate.

      2. Interesting question….what would a Rachel Maddow sex change look like? Would she become more feminine, or more masculine?

        1. Funny that. I always imagine that Tony resembles Maddow.

          Physically, I mean. Snarky, smarmy with a pouty look.

          1. I picture Tony as more of a garden variety annalid. Or some other form of invertebrate.

    2. I would ask how anyone with an iota of intellectual honesty could compare Rand to a “neocon” but I think the answer lies in the question.

      1. Neocon is a signaling word. It let’s the audience know they are supposed to boo.

        1. Not just boo, but also and most importantly, ignore that the hated neocons are totalitarian-socialist by impulse, only relabelled to avoid the scathe they experienced when they called selves “liberal” and/or “progressive.”

        2. Trigger word.

      2. But what do the Millenials think?

    3. The left is all over the talking point that Paul recently voted for defense spending increases. Luckily for Paul, most Americans (not just Republicans) really don’t have an issue with it. But the progtards and libertarians do.

      Paul’s positions are being completely mischaracterized by the left. They are deathly afraid of him because, in reality, he would wipe the floor with any Democrat on social issues and they know it.

      1. Depending on what social issues we’re talking about.

        Most progs only care about 2 social issues, gay marriage and abortion.

        So whoever the democrat is, they will run exclusively on those 2 issues. Hillary will screech on and on about war on women and anti-gay Republicans. But we all know she’s a neocon and drug warrior, and she’s not going to touch on that at all, she’ll just avoid it and make the entire race about abortion and gay marriage. This is all the Democrats have.

        1. Dems don’t enjoy majority support from the public for either unrestricted abortions or criminalizing religious [removed]which they’re characterizing as homophobic bigotry). I think Rand’s got a political loser on his hands in terms of his protection-at-conception policy, but Democrats are on equally shaky grounds having to rationalize why late-term abortions aren’t abominable. Rand’s take on gay marriage may be a little semantics-heavy, to the point of being a pointless aside for most people, but Democrats are running up against the limits of the public’s patience with their anti-Christian zeal. At a point, opposing the freedom of conscience and forcing businesses to shutter looks an awful lot like bullying.

          1. religious [removed]

            Uh… I’m pretty sure I didn’t typo that.

            Should have said expression.

            1. Is a bot deleting some typo for “speech”? “Language”?

        2. Progressives are not some great big voting block that swings elections. The batshit left of the Democratic party has a certain appeal to young ignorant college students, but they barely vote. Otherwise, they are a loud fringe that has, through their screeching, managed to gain undue influence on the Democratic party itself.

          If you ask your average 50 year old white Democratic voter about SJW issues, there would be a great deal of disapproval/disagreement. But a lot of these people vote party line.

          But with true undecided/independent voters, the shit peddled by the far left doesn’t work.

          The question for Paul is whether he can make it through the primary, and still retain enough of what made his father appealing to young types. Ron Paul was fringe. Rand isn’t. Can he make it to a general election and win over parts of the traditional Democratic base who aren’t rabid SJW’s? I think the answer is yes.

        3. She’s not going to go on very much about abortion, she’s going to say “Rand Paul is going to take away your contraception! And your breast exams, which you can only get at Planned Parenthood (or would get if they provided breast exams).”

        4. Most progs only care about 2 social issues, gay marriage and abortion.

          So, evidently, do most social conservatives.

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            Keep them poofties trollin’
            Get that jelly rollin’
            HAW-RIDE!

  5. I would argue that Paul’s position on gay marriage is a lot closer to pure libertarianism than having the state recognize gay marriage. His argument is simple – the government has no part in marriage to begin with. The problem is that’s a non-starter.

    The whole argument on gay marriage as it comes to presidential elections has always been a laugh. Republicans get trashed while cowardly Democrats too scared to endorse the idea publicly get a pass.

    The politicians have had almost nothing to do with the ‘progress’ made on this issue. It’s all come from the courts. And pretty soon, the politicians will have no say whatsoever unless they start talking constitutional amendments which isn’t happening.

    The whole argument on Paul’s gay marriage position is nothing more than nonsensical social signaling. A bunch of leftards want to show that Paul is really just a normal Republican.

    There are things Paul has said in the past that libertarians can take issue with. His stance on abortion and gay marriage aren’t among them. At least, there’s room for libertarians to take a range of positions on those issues. Pro-choice is in no way the default position of a libertarian (I could care less about abortion).

    1. The Democrats have moved the goal post. Just accepting gay people and leaving them alone is not enough. Now you have to celebrate gayness and want them to get married and force people to bake gay wedding cakes, else you’re a bigot.

      They’ll never stop moving these goalposts, no matter how much people accept any idea, it will never be enough. This is what they do.

      1. I think you’re right about progressives, but most mainstream Democrats* would be satisfied if gay marriage were allowed in 50 states and recognized in all matters the same way heterosexual marriage is. The activists, as usual, won’t accept that and are the ones moving the goalposts.

        *Except the vast majority of black and Hispanic catholic democrats who are ardently opposed to gay marriage but won’t vote against the party that’s keeping them on the plantation in other ways.

      2. So much this. Just a few years ago, Live and Let Live meant “leave the poor gays alone”. Now, Live and Let Live means JournoList inquisitors fanning about the country to seek out heretics of the Church of Political Correctness so that they can be publicly crucified.

        1. When, exactly, did it mean “leave the poor gays alone” in the libertarian sense?

          They were passing “anti-discrimination” laws for gays as early as the 1970s – remember Anita Bryant?

          There was a movie (*Philadelphia,* I think) in the 80s or 90s about an evil law firm that got what was coming to it – a lawsuit – for firing a poor gay guy with AIDS.

          There were two libertarian-oriented gay-rights campaigns – repeal of the sodomy laws (as applied to consensual activity in private), and overcoming the FDA bottleneck on AIDS drugs.

          The other crusades were all about “do as we tell you, or else.”

      3. So its exactly like South Park predicted in the Tolerance Awards episode. “You idiots, tolerance doesn’t mean celebrating something, it means putting up with it even if you don’t like it.”

        1. And then Mr. garrison was shipped off to Tolerance Re-Eduction Camp for not being tolerant of his own sexuality.

      4. The goal posts are being moved by the moral signallers. They need to keep inventing new issues to decare themselves morally superior about.

      5. The Democrats have moved the goal post. Just accepting gay people and leaving them alone is not enough. Now you have to celebrate gayness and want them to get married and force people to bake gay wedding cakes, else you’re a bigot.

        The only way to not be a bigot in that mindset is to be gay. Might that give you an inkling of what their real wishes are? Fewer than 10% of humanity in America, but feeling lonely and demanding that the other 90% swing to the gay.

        Might want to ask The Nickster and Rico Suave and Jacob Sullum why they’re so soft-pedal-ish around this particular issue. Each of them, on this subject, does so much reeling and jigging around, trying to appease that pivotal 10%.

        So we have sub-10% of the pop, a majority of whom insist it’s genetic, clamoring for the other 90% to make a conscious choice to go swinging to the gay. Wait, isn’t that saying it’s a choice?

        Never mind. We have brows to beat and equine corpses to stomp and trample.

        1. Actually the 10% number is inaccurate. Based on the Kinsey study which lumped in people who may have had a homo experience, but were not really gay. The reading I’ve done seems to put the real number anywhere from 1.5-3 %. Which seems more realistic.

        2. you truly are a pinhead oobins. Im not sure what madrassa taught you that the toleration of the private behavior of others was part of some gay conspiracy, but please go back there & stfu.

          1. Madrassa? Afraid that’s a new one on me.

            I don’t have a “back there” to “go to” you smug little ignoramus who likes to project BS onto people he’s decided to “hate” on the internet.

            So, you’ve decided what I am and where I come from and what I think. Without consulting me. And I’m the one who’s kooked?

            Swell.

            What I’ve said above is the result of speaking to a significant number of Special Gays who think everyone needs to accommodate them on their specialness. Last I checked, it doesn’t matter fuck-all what gender you like to put your willy into, but the Special Gays insist that not only does it matter and not only is it primary, but it’s the only way — dick into ass, man-on-man — and those who don’t do it that way need to be rectified, brought ’round to the reach-around, as it were.

            Seems this is a problem for you. I suggest going to a shrink. They’ve been known to help Special Gays see they’re not so special.

      6. Soon all men will have to submit to a spitroast ing or be labelled a ‘hater’.

      7. Just accepting gay people and leaving them alone is not enough.

        It never was. Equal protection under the law was always required, and that means that the benefits of governmentally blessed couples should be available to all pairs of adults.

        Now you have to celebrate gayness and want them to get married and force people to bake gay wedding cakes, else you’re a bigot.

        You have to “celebrate gayness” in the same way that a protestant has to “celebrate Catholicism”. Probably neither should be imposed by the government, but since the latter is imposed by the government, there is no reason why the former shouldn’t be as well.

        1. You have to “celebrate gayness” in the same way that a protestant has to “celebrate Catholicism”. Probably neither should be imposed by the government, but since the latter is imposed by the government

          Cite?

          1. His argument is that the religious are a protected class. Then he goes on to say that although they shouldn’t be, he won’t fight to end it, but to expand the list of protected groups to the detriment of the individual.

    2. Thanks for telling us what libertarians can and can’t take issue with. But pro-choice is definitely the default position of a libertarian, unless you have a moral objection to abortion.

      1. Libertarians are free to take issue with whatever they please, but this article pretends to lay claim to the default position of libertarians on two social issues.

        But pro-choice is definitely the default position of a libertarian, unless you have a moral objection to abortion.

        It is entirely possible for atheists to oppose abortion, and many prominent atheists have in fact done so. Abortion, despite the culture war nonsense to the contrary, does not require a hint of religiousness. As such, reasonable people can disagree on when a fetus is considered human and when it thus becomes murder (if it does, because there are reasoned arguments to the contrary) to terminate it.

        Your inability to recognize that libertarians can hold a multitude of views on this issue is exactly what my comment was going on about.

        None of this has to do with my own position. I don’t vote on culture war nonsense. Paul isn’t going to set abortion rights back. I’m also not going to vote for politicians based on issues they have little to do with (gay marriage). I didn’t pretend to be the final arbiter of what is or isn’t libertarian. You, on the other hand (along with this article), did just that.

        1. You’re projecting a lot based on two sentences, and not even able to parse those accurately. Do you know what “default” means?

          1. I made one mistake, as I see it, in how I responded to your comment in how I interpreted the word ‘morality.’ Regardless, the overall point stands. This article started with an assumption on the default position of libertarians with regards to two issues. This one, abortion, is the one you responded to. The part you pulled out to try and counter used the word default with regards to one issue.

            The ‘moral’ question with regards to abortion is whether it violates the NAP. Since there’s no clear answer on that, you cannot say the default libertarian position on abortion is pro-choice just because libertarianism in general is for the freedom of choice. Libertarianism cannot answer the question of when life begins, and if you polled most libertarians, I doubt they’d agree with Planned Parenthood on the matter.

            Libertarian ideals provides no default position on this question at all unless you complete skip over the fundamental question of it (when life begins).

            1. Perhaps the answer is somewhat along the lines of:
              May be the libertarian answer involves the understanding of the relationship between the state and the citizens. Citizens ban together to form a government for common protection and security of individual rights in exchange for consent. Since the fetus cannot give consent to the govt, the fetus does not fall under jurisdiction of govt, and govt has no role in defending its life. Whether abortion is murder, becomes irrelevant. There are many murders occurring in other countries, but it doesn’t mean that american govt is going to convict them.

              1. Just spitballing here since I don’t know the “correct” answer myself. The genome idea is definitely wrong, since pretty much every cell in human body has the full human genome and yet are not people. Foreskin for instance is not only human, but is comprised of many human skin cells, each of which is a human organism. Yet circumcision is clearly not murder. And not all people have the human genome: Down syndrome, Turner syndrome, klinefelter, and hypothetical aliens are people, yet do not have “human” DNA with 46 chromosomes. An incomplete molar pregnancy actually has the fathers exact DNA, but is certainly not anything resembling a person.
                It has something to do with the mind, specifically volition and reason. In fact, if someone developed a peaceful AI that could reason, we would probably consider it wrong to turn off the computer. But then the question is what is reasoning and volition and how do we know. That function develops in utero I would think at least to some level.
                And then of course this introduces the question of whether animals have a right to life, since they can probably reason to some extent.

        2. “reasonable people can disagree on when a fetus is considered human”

          Maybe in the Middle Ages they could have.

          Now we know that from conception, the zygote/fetus is a living member of homo sapiens. At what point of its development is a zygote/fetus *not* human?

          1. Depends on what you mean by “human”. Of course it is genetically Homo sapiens. The question of whether it therefore has the exact same moral status as a free-living, thinking, human being is not so easily answered.

            1. I’m referring to the scientific definition of human.

              Of course, I’m aware of the “trespasser” argument, which at least doesn’t involve denying the humanity of the fetus.

              1. I don’t think human is a term with a specific scientific meaning. Science can’t answer the moral question anyway.

                We are asking a philosophical question, so why would we use a strictly biological definition.

                I think we have the moral status that we do because of our minds, not our genes.

            2. If we look back over recorded history, we can find many examples of people who have considered other members of their species to be less than fully human.

              How many of those people have been judged kindly by history?

              1. And?

                Those people were evil because they didn’t consider other human beings to be human beings. And by human being I mean creatures with the same kind of minds. Genetics is irrelevant. If we encountered some other species with the same kind of intelligence and moral sense that we have, it would be just as wrong to treat them as less than human.

                1. Those people were evil because they didn’t consider other human beings to be human beings

                  Which is exactly what you are doing by attempting to parse an obviously living human individual into a “non-person”.

                  1. No. You are assuming that “genetically a member of the species Homo sapiens” is identical with “person” or “human being”. I don’t think that is the case. As I have said many times, it is the mind that makes us moral actors. I use “human being” to refer to the kind of intelligent, thinking, moral creature that we are, not to refer to any living entity with sapiens DNA. If you want to use words differently, that’s fine, but there is a real distinction to be made there. Personhood and belonging to a species are not the same thing. This is a philosophical question, not a scientific one. Science is amoral. Murder is not a scientific concept.

                    1. So, Zeb, by that reckoning 1. people with really sub par intelligence and who can’t think as we do, are not human? 2. Babies also would fall into this category. There is nothing in anyone’s history that suggests a 3 month old is a moral thinking character and actor.

                    2. Honestly, yes. That is what I think.

                      We protect infants because their parents are attached to them and they will presumably become people one day. We protect the profoundly disabled because of feelings and because it is hard to draw a line. I don’t think pulling the plug on a brain dead person in murder.

          2. At what point of its development is a zygote/fetus *not* human?

            When the sperm and egg donors agree, mutually or unilaterally but not forcing each other, that the fuck wasn’t intended to make a baby. Nothing beats post-fuck birth control!

        3. Um, atheists can have moral objections to things too.

          I agree that reasonable people can disagree on the morality of abortion. But it is still accurate to say that unless you have a moral objection to abortion, the default libertarian position would be not to forbid it. If you do consider it morally abhorrent, for religious or other reasons, then of course your position would be different.

        4. It is entirely possible for atheists to oppose abortion

          It is entirely possible to oppose abortions without wanting the government to make laws against it.

          As such, reasonable people can disagree on when a fetus is considered human and when it thus becomes murder

          The “thus” is wrong. Nobody has a right to attach themselves to a woman’s womb; personhood or humanity has nothing to do with it.

          1. “Nobody has a right to attach themselves to a woman’s womb; person hood or humanity has nothing to do with it.”

            That’s fucking dumb rationalization. You cannot talk about fetus as if it were some trespasser when it never had a say in the matter. Furthermore given that the full reason raison d’etre of fucking is to produce life and take in account the animal instinct in regards to fucking in which mutually initiated fucking is an indication of a willingness to accept/give the genetic material required to produce said life, then you cannot argue that the attachment of the combined genetic material to the womb is analogous to trespassing in the vast majority of situations where this occurs.

      2. If you believe fetuses are living human beings, then they have rights. Libertarianism has nothing to say about abortion, since the main argument is when life starts. This is why there are both pro-choice and pro-life people who legitimately call themselves libertarians.

        1. But not prohibiting something is the default position of any legitimate libertarian. So unless you have a moral (not religious) objection to abortion, if you are a libertarian you should be ok with it remaining legal.

          1. BakedPenguin put this much more succinctly than I did. Yes, libertarians follow the NAP and need justification for prohibition, but this particular issue centers around the question of when life begins. As such, libertarians can and do hold a range of views on it. All are justified by the core tenants of libertarianism.

            None of this has to do with my personal views which is that the ‘from conception’ argument is ridiculous, but not non-libertarian in anyway.

          2. I identify as libertarian and am pro-life. I believe that abortion (except in extreme cases) should be illegal. Fetuses have their own genetic code. By most ways that life is defined, they are alive (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life). I grant, though, that they aren’t quite like fully developed humans. They lack the ability to commit a crime. They completely and utterly lack the ability to defend themselves. Because of this, they are, in my opinion, the group of people that should receive the most protection under the law.

            Naturally, as a libertarian, I hold the belief that you can disagree with me.

        2. “the main argument is when life starts”

          OK, when is an early-stage fetus *not* a living human being?

          1. When it lacks any form of self-consciousness, in my view. Having all the chromosomes matters very little to me. But proceed to provide your argument to the contrary that will be nominally based on science, but totally fall in line with that pushed by the Christian right.

            1. You know, Christians are also in favor of charity to the poor.

              So I suppose, like Nietzsche, you should refuse to provide charity to the poor, for fear of acting like a Christian.

              In fact, Christianity is so contaminated by pro-charity ideas that under your premises I don’t see how atheists can possibly agree with Christians on the matter.

              And Christians have been big on promoting the idea of the dignity of the individual.

              Again, logic requires that, like Nietzsche, you reject any respect for the dignity of the individual and go back to “the good old rule, the simple plan, that those should take who have the power, and those should keep who can.”

              1. Yes. My rejecting your arguments on what should be law totally makes me like Nietzsche and anti-Christian.

                I don’t care what you personally believe on moral question x. I care about what you can prove, and how it impacts other people. In this case, you cannot prove to me when life starts and your attempt at using a dumbed down version of the ‘scientific definition’ is laughable to me. You thus cannot prove harm. And when you point to science, I see nothing more than an attempt to avoid stating the true reasons you believe what you do.

                The other stuff you said on Christians? Well, I’m noticing a trend where you twist history into neat and convenient narratives.

                1. Well, I’m noticing a trend where you twist history into neat and convenient narratives.

                  It’s his right as a Brave Knight of Malta.

                2. you cannot prove to me when life starts

                  So you are totally superstitious or completely ignorant? We have described the very mechanism by which the egg and sperm split their DNA and rejoin it. It is a scientific fact that this is when new human life begins.

                  Now is when you move the goal posts to something different like “personhood”.

                  1. Life began once a few billion years ago.

                  2. When life begins is irrelevant. As you say, the relevant question is when personhood comes about..

                3. Brochettaward,

                  I used your own “logic” against you.

                  If a Christian holds a position, suggest, it’s because of superstition and may safely be disregarded. Such an attitude prevents Christians from defending charity or the dignity of the individual.

                  So you either re-invent the wheel, excluding from your mind anything of Christian origin, in order to come up with a pro-charity, pro-individual position, or you bravely avow, with Nietzsche, that you’re giving up on morality where it’s marred by guilty by association with Christians.

                4. Life begins at conception, or close to conception. I don’t know how you can argue any other way. You seem to be implying that only ‘valuable’ lives matter, not a living human being with its own DNA that requires more growth before it becomes an independent actor.

            2. When it lacks any form of self-consciousness, in my view.

              Buck v Bell, for the win.

              Please, continue telling us how enlightened you are.

            3. proceed to provide your argument to the contrary that will be nominally based on science

              Nominally? Can you describe the scientific mechanism where a human being in it’s fetal stage of growth becomes a “person”? Science, not Christianity, has determined without a shadow of a doubt when human life begins. Indeed, it is the superstitious who look for a non-scientific time for what amounts to the “soul entering the body”. Life at conception is the scientific position. A magic coming of “being” or “having a soul” is the religious one.

              1. 1. No scientist can give a definitive answer on when human life begins. Science can provide a definition that most scientists can agree upon, at most. This is not something that can be proven through the scientific process so your entire argument is bunk from the start.
                2. Science can only observe what characteristics a fetus develops and when. It cannot say this makes it human or this doesn’t.
                3. This is because there is no set definition of what is human. Those characteristics themselves are subjective and partially based on value judgements of the observer.

                You make an appeal to science to cover for your religious motivations. Pro-life positions are perfectly in-line with libertarianism. But so are pro-choice because no one can provide objective criteria needed to answer the core question definitely.

                Beyond that, I object to the definition of human life that science has supposedly agreed upon. It’s a gross oversimplification. It’s the intellectual equivalent of global warming proponents who cite consensus to prove their point, only worse because you are misstating the position of the scientists themselves.

                1. 1. No scientist can give a definitive answer on when human life begins.

                  This comes from NARAL/PP pamphlets, eh? Remember: be ignorant on science, especially biology, because that way you’re an eager puppet for people’s political machinations.

                  Fertilized egg begins responding with division: human life has begun. It doesn’t get much simpler — unless you don’t know science and are willing to accept the latest feel good about killing fetuses because that angers cracker Christians and I do literally hate me some cracker Christians sort of social signaling/mob shaming idiocy.

                  1. Fertilized egg begins responding with division: human life has begun.

                    Your shit and your piss contain thousands of viable human cells that, in the right environment, can develop into a full human being. The question of what constitutes “human life” simply isn’t relevant to the question of legal personhood; if it were, you couldn’t use the toilet anymore.

                    1. Your shit and your piss contain thousands of viable human cells that, in the right environment, can develop into a full human being

                      Each cell, if the science of cloning is correct, can be induced to behave as a sperm or an egg.

                      But, on their own, not even a sperm or an egg can develop into a new human being. They must be combined and then react in precisely the right way.

                      When they are, a new distinct genome is formed–one that is distinct from the one those shit and piss cells you’re so fond of contain. THAT would be a new human life.

                      The cells, on their own, are just shed from an already existing lifeform.

                2. 1. No scientist can give a definitive answer on when human life begins

                  You mean, when “personhood” begins. Or are you really so ignorant of the process of reproduction?

                  You make an appeal to science to cover for your religious motivations

                  Hmm, as I point out, the only religious ones are those who deny science. Your disbelief that science understands reproduction is much more a religious belief than my belief in what is basically junior high biology. Are there really people who do not believe that human life begins at conception? I always thought it was simply a parsing of “rights to be granted” rather than a question of objective knowledge. Sure, scientists can never define “personhood” because it isn’t scientific. Alive, human, individual are all objectively definable.

                  This is because there is no set definition of what is human.

                  Clearly, our inability to agree on this point makes the entire discussion moot. I had no idea defining what is human was controversial. You usually have to switch from “living human individual” to “person” or “being” or “possess a soul”.

              2. Life at conception is the scientific position.

                When human life begins is irrelevant. You constantly shed cells that are every bit as viable and complete as a fertilized egg, so if that were the criterion, you’d be constantly guilty of murder. The question is when personhood begins.

                Can you describe the scientific mechanism where a human being in it’s fetal stage of growth becomes a “person”?

                Yes: the brain matures to the point where it supports conscious thought.

            4. I am a non religious libertarian. I do not agree with abortion. By your argument, that a fetus (semantics- fetus when unwanted, baby when wanted) lacks any form of self awareness. Babies do not have self awareness until months after birth. Some mentally challenged people do not have self awareness. Defining who is or isn’t a person is some shaky ground. Whether my mother had had an abortion the minute she found out she was pregnant up until the moment before I was born, I would not exist. I would not be typing this. My own son and daughter would not exist. A choice she could have made would have impinged on my rights to life and liberty.

        3. If you believe fetuses are living human beings, then they have rights.

          Sure, and they can enjoy their free speech rights and property rights all they want. One right they do not have is to live inside another human being against their will, and that other human being clearly has an unrestricted right to remove them. That is the obvious and clear libertarian position.

          1. Not when that other person did everything they could to create them.

            The first right is the right to life. Without that, one can have no other rights.

            1. I have heard of the eviction defense by Walter Block where you should be able to evict the baby or fetus whatever you want to call it. I think it is wrong and here is why.

              First you have allowed that baby in by your actions(you could argue differently regarding rape, but if someone just gave you a baby in the park throwing it on the ground and crushing it’s head would be wrong and murder still).

              If you can evict without killing the baby or if there is some problem with the mom and you are not trying to kill the baby then I wouldn’t call it abortion, but trying to save the mom as well as the baby.

              So basically look at it this way. There is a hitchhiker on the road I say hey I will give you a ride. He gets in the car then I go 100 mph and push him out of the car and he dies(he hasn’t tried to harm me I just want him out). I still have at the very least committed negligence or manslaughter but most likely murder because any regular thinking human being would know that would inflict massive injuries or death. You would need to slow down and let him out. Now if he was willfully attacking you you may have an argument. I don’t believe the baby willfully attacks and it is normally not the baby punching or kicking you that hurts you but rather other complications from having a baby.

              You don’t invite in a parasite in it is more of a symbiotic relationship.

      3. Pro-choice is not the default position for libertarians. According to polls Stossel presented on his show it’s pretty evenly split.

        1. I think it is split pretty evenly(I personally think abortion should be considered murder). The only place I will make a distinction on it being the default position is for big L Libertarians and the actual party as they basically have said we don’t know when it gets its humanity and it is very highly debated so we want government out of it not making any laws against it so essentially making it legal at any month of pregnancy. At least that is how I understand the Libertarian party stance.

    3. “The politicians have had almost nothing to do with the ‘progress’ made on this issue. It’s all come from the courts.”

      Well, actually, it’s all come from regular, everyday people. People who eventually realized that the gay man in the apartment next door wasn’t going to break in and ass-rape them. People who eventually realized that the gay couple in the house next door were wonderful, friendly neighbors. People who eventually realized that their gay friends went to Boston, got married, and yet this somehow didn’t cause their straight marriage to fail or mean anything less.

      I guess you’re referring to political “progress”. In that case, yes the courts were in front of the politicians. But, they were both miles behind the public sentiment.

      1. I wouldn’t disagree with this. In general, government only changes when the underlying culture does whether it was slavery, civil rights, unions etc. The government then typically does go completely in the opposite direction from its previous position. It’s not enough to allow unions, for instance, but the government has to recognize them and give them special rights and privileges.

      2. Americans are a generous people – and alas, many Americans were raised to believe that to affirm a group’s rights, it’s necessary to punish the group’s enemies – such as discriminatory businesses. That’s the lesson many took from the civil-rights movement.

        There’s also the philosophy of non-judgmentalism, by which if you disagree with someone’s behavior you must hate them.

        So for lots and lots of Americans, realizing that gay people can be nice guys (and gals) necessarily entails the conclusion that (a) sodomy is OK behavior, and (b) gay people need laws punishing “anti-gay bigots” like discriminatory businesses.

        1. Americans have a big law and order streak. They make rules up pretty easily. Canadians are more up-tight, but we make rules less easily, and less easily look to a call the police or go to court to fix something.

          When the zeitgeist changed to gays are okay, then the law and order side took over. PUNISHMENT!

        2. gay people need laws punishing “anti-gay bigots” like discriminatory businesses

          Not at all. I just think that as long as the gay florist can’t legally discriminate against the Catholic, the Catholic shouldn’t legally be able to discriminate against the gay florist. I’d like to see both kinds of anti-discrimination law abolished, but keeping one and not having the other is wrong.

          1. How many groups do you start making then. Recently there was a professor who came out and said you are born with pedophilia. Would this not mean we would need another group protection where does it end?

            We actually don’t even have protection for weight, height, hair color, eye color and many other things you can’t help should there then be even more groups? When does it end??! How about no groups at all!

  6. Still, Paul is surely wrong that contractual-marriage-by-another-name “may be where we’re still headed.” Where we are headed, once the Supreme Court rules that the 14th Amendment requires it, is gay marriage in every state.

    Nope. SCOTUS can’t require that states recognize gay marriages. What SCOTUS can do is require that every 2 person marriage be either required by a given state, or none. (Apparently polygamous people don’t have civil rights, because FYTW.)

    1. “recognized”, not “required”

    2. Apparently polygamous people don’t have civil rights, because FYTW

      All SCOTUS is saying is that if government makes something available to two adults, their religion, race, or gender shouldn’t matter; that follows from equal protection. Equal protection doesn’t require that something that is available to any group of two adults is automatically available to any group of three adults.

  7. You don’t have to try very hard at all. Government marriage is nothing but a set of default or often enforced contract terms on married couples. If the government decided tomorrow to no longer recognize my marriage, I would be more free in any number of ways. I would no longer be obligated to split our property in half if my wife and I divorced. I would be free to leave all of my property to say my father or disabled sister without my wife getting a forced share. If my wife and I split up, I would no longer have to go to court and get a judge’s permission to end my marriage. The list of freedoms goes on and on.

    Libertarians have for years argued that the government should not mandate the terms of marriages and should get out of the business of handing out marriage licenses. They made this argument not because the poor gays couldn’t get in on the action. They made this argument because government sanctioned marriage made people less free and getting rid of it would make them more free.

    1. Once the sodomy and cohabitation laws were stricken from the books, gays lived in the world libertarians wanted everyone to live. Absent palimony, which is nothing but government enforced marriage, gays were free to set the terms of their relationships as they choose not by the dictates of family law.

      Somehow it has become the Libertarian position that freedom and justice demand locking gays up on the government marriage plantation so they can be equal with straights. Really? Wouldn’t have it have been better to just push for laws that ensured courts enforced gay marriage contracts and such? If you want gay couples to get marriage benefits, just change the immigration law to recognize gay couples who sign a marriage contract and are actually romantically involved just like you do straight marriage? Just solve the actual harms rather than demanding locking gays up in government marriage? How about that?

      1. John, your arguments don’t specifically make exceptions for situations that zealots on either side could dream up, therefor fail.

        I mean, if we explicitly deny the rightsl of the polygamist goat fuckers to wed and specifically Christians to deny them wedding cakes, we’ll have nothing but anarchy.

      2. No, gay couples still did not qualify for many of the benefits conferred by government upon married people.

        There are all sorts of tax advantages to being married. And not just income taxes, but estate taxes and health benefits. If you have domestic partner in the state of virginia, you have to pay taxes on the health benefits if they are on your employers plan as a dependent.

        1. First, there are no tax advantages. That is a complete lie and myth. Unless one partner doesn’t work at all, you are better off on your taxes filing single than you are being married. That is just bullshit to claim there are tax advantages.

          As far as the rest of it, the solution is to change those laws to let anyone who is in a relationship benefit from them. If you think married couples are getting unfair advantages, the solution is to make those things available to everyone, not just let gays in on the action,

          1. You are creating a pretty wide loophole that people could exploit. If alls I have to do is say I’m in a relationship with x, so give us benefits…

            1. Then get rid of the benefits if you don’t want to give them to everyone. What is so special about married couples versus anyone else?

              1. I would get away with all the benefits, but you typically insist on packing layers and layers of bullshit on top of that before we can get down to the basic point.

                Legally, though, I disagree with your position that the federal courts can’t rule on the matter to be bunk because they’ve already applied the same reasoning in previous cases. The precedent already exists.

                1. Where did I ever say the feds can’t rule on the matter? I said there is no right to government recognized marriage. Moreover, if you think a law is bad, the solution is to get rid of it, not make it apply to more people in the name of equality.

                  1. Moreover, if you think a law is bad, the solution is to get rid of it, not make it apply to more people in the name of equality.

                    Yes, that is how it should work. And what would happen if I were in charge. But people are really attached to the idea of legal marriage for some reason. And equal protection of the law is a pretty important principle.

                    1. Sure Zeb. And it should work that marriage doesn’t mean gay people can sue bakers to force them to be a part of their ceremony. Yet, that is how it does work. So the question is which is worse, giving gays legal marriage at the price of them being able to force people to be involved in their ceremonies or not giving them marriage at the price of them continuing to determine the terms of their own marriages rather than have them dictated by family law?

                      I vote for option number two being better.

                    2. I don’t get to choose between those choices. So I just say what I think. Why is that such a problem for you? Why should I play politics when I have no power and no desire for power?

                    3. Easy enough to separate domestic contract law from marriage.

              2. “What is so special about married couples versus anyone else?”

                Well, once upon a time it was about children. A married couple had access to health insurance and other benefits so that the working parent could support the other at home raising the children. But since we’ve pissed all over that paradigm…

          2. That is a complete lie and myth. Unless one partner doesn’t work at all, you are better off on your taxes filing single than you are being married.

            You just contradicted yourself there, John. It may be misleading in some ways, but it is neither a lie nor a myth. It’s not as if there are no marriages where one spouse makes little or no income.

            Anyway, so what? It’s still an equal protection issue. It is an issue that could be solved by getting rid of legal marriage as it now exists, which is what I would prefer to have happen.

            1. It is only an equal protection issue if you think that being gay is some kind of a special class that can’t be discriminated against. Lots of couples can’t get married. You can’t marry your sister. You can’t marry your dog. You can’t marry someone until you are divorced from the person you are currently married. Why can the government say no to them but not to gays? The only way they can is if being gay is different and a special class. And if it is a special class, then Katie bar the door because gays are going to be able to sue over anything.

              1. I think you should be able to marry your sister or more than one person too. It is wrong for the government to say no to those people too. And if the laws were changing on those matters, I would speak up and say I thought that was a good thing too. I suppose you could marry your dog too if you could convince me that the dog was consenting to it in any meaningful sense. As I keep saying, I am not an activist. I am just commenting on what is happening in the world.

                The way I see it, IF government is going to recognize marriages, they should recognize marriages that exist, not use it as some sort of social engineering tool.

          3. Try telling Edith Windsor it doesn’t make any tax difference.

    2. John, you already have all those freedoms. Straight people don’t actually have to get legally married.

      1. Oh yes we do. It is called palimony and comon law marriage. It would all be fun and games with my contract marriage until my wife decided she didn’t like the terms of it and sued for divorce. Then a judge would find us married as a matter of law and I would be stuck with all of those terms.

        Before states recognized gay marriages and gay palimony, a gay person was in no danger of that happening. Gays were more free then than they are now.

        Libertarians just can’t be reasoned with on this issue. I think it is because gay marriage is the one political success they have ever had. They thought up gay marriage and now it is happening. And they refuse not to embrace it no matter what.

        1. You are right about that.

        2. Libertarians just can’t be reasoned with on this issue.

          Perhaps you should stop trying.

          1. Never Warty. I am a hopeless optimist.

        3. You’ve got kind of an odd view of libertarians on marriage. I think that for most it is completely an equal protection issue.
          If there is going to be legal marriage recognition, then it should apply equally to all marriages. I don’t think you will find many libertarians who think there is a right to gay marriage.

        4. That was my argument to my gay friends. I said, ‘Dude(s), the only advantage I can see you having being gay over being straight is you DON’T HAVE TO get married. Absolutely, don’t ask for this.’

          But, noooooo, they wouldn’t listen to me. Wait until the 3 year long divorce cases start happening and people having to pay alimony etc. But, it will be too late.

          We need to get married, if we have kids. If you don’t get married and do have kids a father runs a real risk of at some point being alienated from your kids and having way less rights.

  8. –“Still, the desire to regulate abortion at the national level is hard to reconcile with the federalism that Paul prefers for marriage, drug policy, and pretty much everything else”–

    It is only hard to reconcile if you are a fucking moron.

    Look I disagree with Paul on abortion, I am fully pro abortion (not just pro choice, I believe that abortion is a good thing and is sometimes the best choice for a woman) but I am intellectually honest enough to see where he is coming from.

    If you accept his premise that human rights are created at the moment of conception then there is simply no legal framework under which an abortion could ever be legally tolerated because it would always be murder.

    Do you have a problem with a politician taking a federalist approach to murder? Of course not, you might prefer that the specific laws governing murder be applied at the state level but of some state wanted to legalize murder you would expect the federal government under the 14th amendment to prevent that action.

    Paul may be wrong about abortion being just another form of murder (and personally I believe he is) but his belief is utterly consistent both internally and with the Constitution and is not at all incompatible with libertarianism.

    1. Thank you. Sullumn, unlike you, is a typical pro choice moron who begs the question of when life begins and just assumes it must begin at birth, as if that is not the substance of the entire issue and no one could or would ever conclude otherwise.

    2. Glad I hit refresh before starting to write something similar. You did it more clearly and concisely to boot, damn you.

      1. To put it even more concise, Paul isn’t anti freedom, he just disagrees with Sullumn about what constitutes a human life. My question is whether Sullumn is that stupid and doesn’t understand that or is he that dishonest.

        1. Both, most likely. Because twitter is substance and image is essence. The Nickster insists we all must kowtow to the flurries of the idiotic, mindless snark exchange is real substantive discussion, and the “liberty” in “libertarian” means only “liberty to fuck without consequence, ergo fetus not human.”

          1. Nick is a terrible poser.

            1. Omidyar should give him a job at The Intercept with Greenwald, a legion of frauds who would say anything to hide their childish urges and grinding-at-self insecurities.

    3. Agreed. Thanks for saving me the effort of typing out this exact same position.

    4. This. I disagree with you about abortion, but I sincerely appreciate that you’re willing to argue your point honestly(hint Reason).

      Also, when did federalism become unlibertarian? Is it unlibertarian to read the constitution and come to the conclusion that not everything is under federal power?

      1. Federalism is not related to libertarianism. Libertarianism would hold that no government, no matter how small or quaintly local, has the legitimate authority to violate an individual’s rights.

        1. Libertarianism would also hold that one government should generally not interfere with the internal laws of another.

          1. Actually, I don’t think it matters if governments interfere with each other at all as long as none of them are interfering with individual rights. I don’t think libertarianism has anything to say about how governments should interact with each other.

        2. Libertarianism would hold that no government, no matter how small or quaintly local, has the legitimate authority to violate an individual’s rights.

          No, this is anarchy. I wouldn’t assert that we are approaching anarchy, but I think a libertarian is more content with more local government than an anarchist.

    5. Re: Rasilio,

      I am fully pro abortion (not just pro choice, I believe that abortion is a good thing and is sometimes the best choice for a woman)

      So your position on abortion is founded on purely pragmatic grounds, not moral. Got it.

      1. You’re assuming that he listed all the reasons he is ok with abortion. Isn’t it implicit that he doesn’t believe fetuses are people with a right to life?

      2. Why wouldn’t it be a moral issue whether it was good for the woman?

        1. Shut the fuck up and get back to birthing that baby. And who the fuck taught you how to read?

        2. Take

          Off

          Them

          Dam

          SHOES!

      3. Oh no my position on abortion is far more nuanced than that.

        I do not believe that human rights begin at conception, nor do I believe they begin at birth. I am honestly not certain when they should begin but I can put the number at somewhere between 24 and 60 weeks post conception and think a sliding scale of rights should apply within that range.

        With respect to abortion that means I am perfectly comfortable with it being legal on demand for any reason up to 24 weeks (and would not seriously quibble with someone who preferred 20 weeks) and should only be performed for reasons of absolute medical necessity or detection of severe birth defects through 30 weeks. Past 30 weeks I can see no legitimate reason to allow an abortion, any medical situation that could occur could be resolved just as easily with an emergency induction of labor or C-Section as it could with an abortion

    6. I think Sullum’s main point is that Paul voted for legislation that would essentially interpret the Constitution in a particular way, which kind of defeats the purpose of having a Constitution. If the meaning of the Constitution is not clear, then the only solution is an amendment. Without an amendment we are all bound by the court’s interpretation.

      1. In 1857, the Supreme Court said blacks can’t be citizens, but under Lincoln, free blacks were treated them as citizens. Then in 1866 Congress naturalized black people *en masse.* The 14th Amendment (putting citizenship rights for the native-born into the Constitution) wasn’t until 1868.

        In 1896, the Supreme Court said “separate but equal” segregation was OK. Was Congress powerless to deal with that?

    7. Good post.

      I’m as anti-abortion as you can get, as the little thing is complete, has its own human DNA, and has all the signs of life.

      However, I can see why there would be an argument here.

      One of the other articles here I’ve got two people arguing that the little one is trespassing and that you can kill trespassers… So apparently if someone leaves a live human on your land immobilized in a body bag, you are free to shoot them if they fail to get off your property when you tell them to.

      The chaotic-neutral part of my brain just got tempted to go make some poetic justice of their argument…

    8. The thing is, the pro-lifers don’t actually want to treat it like murder either. Very few if any of them would say that if the government catches a woman trying to have an abortion, we should send her to prison for decades and take her children (including the one she was forced to carry to term) away from her as wards of the state. But that’s what we do to a mother actually guilty of attempted murder. And of course if the government finds that a woman was successful in having an abortion, that’s a capital offense. Life in prison if not execution would be the only way we could treat it “like murder”.

      They may want abortion to be illegal, but they don’t seriously want to treat it like murder, at which point the psuedo-equal-protection argument falls apart.

  9. it’s not equal legal treatment of gay and straight couples that offends Paul; it’s calling the arrangement “marriage.”

    I find *many* people are like this. It’s a SoCon version of political correctness.

    1. That is bullshit. that is not what Paul is saying. What offends Paul is the government recognizing the marriage such that it forces everyone else to do the same. That is a big difference than just objecting to the name.

      1. Does he object to forcing everyone to accept man/woman marriages? How is that situation any different?

        I agree that the best answer is not to force anyone to recognize anyone else’s personal relationships. But I don’t hear that argument from many people who oppose gay marriage outside of H&R comments.

        1. Because the marriage of a man and woman is natural both biologically and socially. It is also the basis of the very idea of marriage. That’s why it’s different.

    2. I disagree. I’m opposed to calling it “marriage” because it’s intellectually dishonest in regards to how marriage has been defined for thousands of years. I sure as shit don’t want the government telling consenting adults who they can and can’t enter contractual relationships with though. Don’t see anything “SoCon” about that.

      1. how marriage has been defined for thousands of years.

        Citation needed.

        1. Has there ever been a single instance of a society recognizing same sex relationships as marriage before now? If there has, I have never heard of it. But if one exists, show us what it was. Otherwise, Catafish’s point stands.

          1. ***cough***polygamy***cough***

            1. Polygamy is not necessarily same sex marriage. Try again.

              1. I think his point is that polygamy has been a major part of marriage for thousands of years, so it should be included in the modern definition of marriage by your standards. And yet you would (presumably) exclude polygamists from marriage just as you would exclude gays from marriage.

                1. It has not been part of Western marriage for thousands of years. We don’t live in Saudi Arabia. We don’t have those traditions.

            1. That doesn’t answer the mail. Sure, there has always been homosexuals and homosexuality and some societies have been more accepting of it than others. Acceptance is not the same thing as recognizing such relationships on equal terms as straight ones.

              Try again.

              1. So what? There’s a first for everything.

                1. Sure Hazel. But who says that judges get to decide this is that first time? Shouldn’t society at large do that?

                  1. No. Society at large does not get to say what you can’t do unless there’s a damn good reason for restricting your personal liberty.

                    How is that so hard to understand for a guy who at least has libertarian leanings.

                    1. Hey Agammamon, just because you can do it, doesn’t mean I have to accept it. That is what we are debating here. No one says gays can’t call themselves married. The issue is can they use the government to force everyone else to agree with them.

                      For a guy who claims to be a libertarian, you sure seem to like helping gays put their boots on people’s faces.

                    2. Science will cure alternate forms of sexuality in a few decades anyway. I suspect it will become part of prenatal screening to detect whatever gays up a fetus and then correct it along with a lot of,other things. Once that happens, the gay population will rapidly dwindle away.

            2. More to your point.

              Plato’s Symposium, for example, describes instances of homosexual attraction and same-sex relationships in ancient Greece without condemnation.

              Considering Plato’s abstract, and sometimes bizarre, concept of human relationships that’s a pretty tortured interpretation.

              Kinda like saying Buddhists monks who seek to rid themselves of physical desires and emotional preoccupations like hatred don’t explicitly condemn (and therefor approve of) homosexuality.

              1. The pagan Greek example goes against the gay-marriage argument, since even those gay-affirming Greeks didn’t say gay relationships should be treated as marriage.

                And the relationships we’re talking about are between older men and adolescent boys.

        2. The basis of the argument for gay marriage is that it’s based on love and you should be able to marry anyone you love, which is nice and warm and fuzzy but hasn’t been the case until fairly recently. For thousands of years it was a legal framework for an autonomous family unit, which is why polygamy has been the norm in some places but not gay marriage. And personally, I don’t care if people want to redefine it, but they should at least be honest about it.

          1. Also, if they’re honest about the redefinition then hopefully they’ll be more likely to be honest about addressing possible legal consequences that could arise such as custody of children.

          2. The basis for the family unit was children. It wasn’t about love and all of that bullshit. It was about children. That included love and sex because before birth control love and always entailed at least the risk of children.

            Now with birth control, there really isn’t much of a basis for marriage. We pretend there is and invent Disney fairytale bullshit about love and soul mates but that is all bullshit. You love your partner. I love my dog. What is so special about your love for versus my love for my dog?

            1. That included love and sex because before birth control love and always entailed at least the risk of children.

              *For heterosexuals* it still does. Birth control significantly diminishes the risk, but doesn’t eliminate it and, even if it did eliminate the risk, it’s still a burden.

              I say this as someone who chided a couple for conceiving unexpectedly and then had to eat my words as I, later, did the same. Considering some 40-50% of the world’s population (even in the West) falls into the ‘unplanned’ category, I’m not alone on this.

              1. And legal abortion. I forgot that caveat.

                1. Still, unless society’s gonna start handing out free abortions (I’m *not* making any propositions). It’s unequally burdening (female) heterosexuals to the benefit of everyone else.

                  1. Mad casual, life is not equal. Women get the ability to bear children and with it comes the responsibility.

                    1. That’s precisely my point. Passing, having passed, or citing the CRA in the passage of… most anything does nothing to generate actual equality (government ineptitude aside).

                      It gives a distorted perception, and thereby does a decent job of fucking up moral compasses, at best.

        3. If it’s part of the “definition,” it is by default. Of course monogamous marriages were between a man and a woman. That will always be the norm, and even moreso when people are hostile to homosexuality. That doesn’t really tell us anything.

          More importantly, why does anyone care? Insecure sons of bitches.

  10. Abortion is easy – if you believe a fetus is a human beings with all the rights that a human is entitled to, the pro-life position is the only moral position possible.

    As for gay marriage, if the libertarian position is that marriage is properly handled as a purely private contract issue then any endorsement by the government other than ordinary contract law is problematic. The nomenclature part is easy to fix. Just don’t have the government call it marriage. Because there is a special religious attachment to marriage in most cultures, having the government bow out of the marriage business is the easy answer to this insoluble problem.

    Neither of these answers is anathema to libertarianism. Because political philosophy cannot resolve the “when does life begin?” question, no political philosophy will ever resolve the abortion debate.

    1. As I point out above, the entire reason why Libertarians object to government sanctioned marriage is that it is a restriction of freedom. You don’t get to choose the terms of your government marriage, the government does in the form of family law. So what exactly is not pro freedom or Libertarian about not wanting to subject gay couples to such restrictions?

    2. Abortion is easy – if you believe a fetus is a human beings with all the rights that a human is entitled to, the pro-life position is the only moral position possible.

      Which pro-life position? What exceptions are permitted? Rape? Incest? Threat to the mother? There are, after all, plenty of circumstances in which it is both legal and moral to kill an adult, even though the adult has a right to life.

      1. Start naming them so we can analyze them on their own merits. (No snark)

        1. It’s ok (morally and legally) to kill someone (Steve, say) if:

          – Steve threatens you or someone else with a deadly weapon
          – Steve breaks into your house/car/boat/boathouse/RV/shed while you’re in it

          Either of these scenarios can play out in limitless ways. It all comes down to whether you can reasonably believe that Steve means to cause serious harm to you or someone else.

          So, if we say fetuses are people and deserve the same rights as adults then abortions are essentially illegal in all circumstances except, perhaps, when there is a demonstrable threat to the health of the mother. That means a rape victim has to carry her assailants child to term. That also means that someone has to decide how much risk is needed before an abortion is permissible to protect the mother. So who makes that decision? A bureaucrat or a politician?

          1. And I say that “abortions are essentially illegal in all circumstances except, perhaps, when there is a demonstrable threat to the health of the mother” because you could argue that the fetus is never a threat to the mother. After all, the mother made the decision that led to the pregnancy (unless she was raped) so really she caused the health problem much as if she had been smoking, drinking or eating to excess. Under this interpretation a pregnancy could never be terminated under any circumstances, even if it was virtually certain that both mother and fetus would die.

          2. That means a rape victim has to carry her assailants child to term.

            No, it does not. Voluntarism is a tough concept for you, apparently.

            1. No, it does not. Voluntarism is a tough concept for you, apparently

              Next time read the entire series of comments. I promise the context is relevant.

              Which pro-life position? What exceptions are permitted? Rape? Incest? Threat to the mother? There are, after all, plenty of circumstances in which it is both legal and moral to kill an adult, even though the adult has a right to life.?”

              That’s where I started playing devil’s advocate.

              So, if we say fetuses are people and deserve the same rights as adults then abortions are essentially illegal in all circumstances except, perhaps, when there is a demonstrable threat to the health of the mother.

              That’s where I posed a hypothetical.

              Given the hypothetical that a fetus is a person with the same rights as an adult, you can’t kill the fetus, unless it poses a significant threat to others, any more than you could kick a stowaway overboard in the middle of the ocean.

              Disclaimer: I’m pro-choice. I just like pointing out what pro-life policy would mean in the real world.

              1. Next time read the entire series of comments. I promise the context is relevant.

                An empty promise from a dishonest debater? Each of your comments on this subject is sophistry, look over here not over there nonsense.

                Be smug, be a douche, and be progressive. You didn’t need the disclaimer, it was obvious from your evasive misdirections.

  11. Dear BigT,

    Thank you for your generous contribution to Rand Paul for President. Your contributions provide the fuel for a well coordinated, effective, and successful campaign. With your help, we can Stop the Washington Machine and Unleash the American Dream!

    Here are your transaction details:
    Donation amount: $
    Transaction date/time: 04/08/15

    In Liberty,
    Dr. Rand Paul
    Rand Paul for President

    1. I ordered beer coozies from the Rand store yesterday and have already gotten a few random calls without voicemails. This may rapidly escalate to a “Don’t piss me off, Art” conversation.

  12. One thing that is apparent already, is that the left are scared shitless of Rand Paul. Just watch, I don’t care who else declares for the GOP nomination, they won’t even take notice, they are obsessed with Rand. I haven’t seen them so scared of anyone, ever.

    1. They have a feral sense of danger. If Paul were not a real threat to win the election, they wouldn’t be so terrified of him. So don’t let the people claiming Paul can’t win fool you. The liberals seem to think he can. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be so terrified.

      1. No one is fooling me about Rand’s chances. If he gets the nomination, I think he’ll win. If he can survive the attacks from both the right and the left and still get the nomination, while Hillary hides from the public and gets the silent coronation, I think Rand’s chances are then very good.

        As far as the nomination is concerned, I would give him about a 50% chance right now.

        1. Giving any candidate a 50 % chance of the nomination this far out is pretty damned impressive.

        2. I don’t give him quite the odds you do of winning the nomination. I’d put it closer at about 35%. The Establishment is going to be turning their guns on him full blast. And I wouldn’t discount the possibility that he’ll be getting some friendly fire from quarters more interested in getting keeping those sweet MSNBC gigs than shifting the country’s politics.

          That said, I think you’re about right on the general election. Unlike a lot of the Republican party, he realizes the GOP isn’t going to win a pure popularity contest with the Democrats. Their media advantages are just too massive. The only way the Republicans will beat the Democrats is to disagree with them and actually challenge them on issues. And Paul has proven that he’s very, very, good at doing just that.

          1. Rand is very smart. I’m being redundant in saying this, but Rand already has some powerful allies in the GOP, none more important than Mitch. He has Mitch in his back pocket.

            1. “He has Mitch in his back pocket.”

              Yeah, a guy unpopular in his home state and not even on the charts nationally…..as his ally!

              This is akin to saying Hillary has it made because Harry Reid likes her.

  13. I cannot help but notice that George W. Bush was much smoother — let alone grammatically correct — in his opposition to gay marriage than Rand Paul. Even when he pushed for the FMA, I don’t recall him ever saying that gay marriage “offended” him. I’m not talking about the substance of the issue but about how Bush and Paul sound.

  14. While I do not support abortion, I do believe that prohibiting it would be worse.

    1. While I do not support abortion, I do believe that prohibiting it would be worse.

      Reminds me of a quote from the late, great, Harry Browne. “If government gets into the business of regulating abortion, pretty soon men will start having them”.

    2. You only pass a law against something if you are OK with the government killing someone to enforce it.

      1. Who’s the someone?

        1. Whoever they have to kill to enforce it: an abortion doctor, a mother trying to self-abort, a maker/supplier of RU-486, someone trying to implant or receive an IUD, etc.

          1. All I’m saying is that you can get a lot more support if you specify someone in particular. That’s why I’m introducing the Confiscatory Taxation and Murder of Justin Beiber Act of 2015.

            1. We should just deport the little criminal. How much terror should one Canadian lesbian be allowed to cause?

  15. This legal status could be called a “civil union” or a “domestic partnership,” while marriage would be reserved for unions (including gay ones) blessed by particular religious organizations.

    *All* civil marriages should just be called ‘civil unions’ – gay, straight, robosexual, whatever.

    You can call your ‘civil union’ whatever you want though – marriage, concubinage, whatever.

    1. The issue is the enforcement of the default rules that go with marriage. A civil union doesn’t do things like automatically guarantee a forced share in the spouse’s will or necessarily give the spouse the right to make medical decisions for them in case of incapacity. All of that of course can be handled via wills and power of attorneys. But somehow excepting gay couples to manage their own affairs is just too much and evil and hateful or something.

      1. Yes it does – that’s the *point* of the ‘civil union’ that was being pushed by conservatives as a compromise.

        The ‘civil union’ I’m talking about is simply a rewording, to recognize that ‘marriage’ is a word that has a huge amount of religious and social baggage associated while the marriage certificate you get from the magistrate is just a civil contract, with no more or less meaning than signing a contract with the guy building your house.

        With my thing, you get all the same shit from the state as modern day ‘marriage’, its just a first step in getting people to internalize the distinction between ‘state-sanctioned’ and ‘god sanctioned’.

        The end goal of course is to get people to stop asking the state to ‘bless’ their union and allow custom marriage contracts – including more generic ‘covenants’ drawn up by whatever religion.

        1. See my point above about the nature of government marriage. Family was created to protect women and children because women and children were wards of their husbands and fathers. The government enforced contract terms to keep men from abusing their power over their wives. That is not true anymore. Women are equal with men and there is no government interest in mandating the terms of any relationship between to people.

          It is still true with regard to children however. So the government ought to only recognize marriages when they result in children. Otherwise, it should treat everyone as if they were single and leave the terms of their relationships up to the people involved.

          1. That’s actually an interesting thought.

          2. I don’t buy the ‘for the children’ argument.

            You’re saying that the state should recognize marriage as its currently formulated for the good of the children, *immediately* after pointing out that civil marriage laws hae tons of stuff that was emplaced to protect ‘chattel’ and is no longer applicable.

            Why not allow contract law to spell this out, with a few mandatory terms required *specifically and only* related to children and only triggering *if* children are produced?

            1. This seems to me to be a better approach. Besides, the logical conclusion of the children argument is that people who don’t want to or can’t have children don’t deserve spousal privileges, 5th amendment protections, things like that.

            2. Because children are not competent to contract. If you are dumb enough to let your wife rip you off and leave you desitute, that is just too bad. A child cannot act to prevent that. They can’t contract or act in their own interests. Therefore, the state has an interest in mandating the terms of relationships such that they are fair and don’t totally screw children.

              And BTW this argument has nothing to do with gays. If gays adopt, recognize their marriages too. My approach is to look at what the government interests are that would justify government intervention. And the only interest the government has is for protecting children.

              It would be nice if people would start thinking in terms of “where is the government interest at all” rather than “I fucking love gays and think they are cool and want them to get their pony”, which is what most pro gay marriage people do.

              1. This has nothing to do with *children contracting*.

                Its a similar sort of deal that you propose – I just propose stripping out all the extra shit and only let the government dictate terms that *explicitly* deal with child-rearing.

                Strict Scrutiny and all that.

                You propose keeping the status quo ‘because children’ or something – even when, as you pointed out, the status quo contains all sorts of restrictions and duties that have nothing to do with child-rearing.

                1. You propose keeping the status quo ‘because children’ or something – even when, as you pointed out, the status quo contains all sorts of restrictions and duties that have nothing to do with child-rearing.

                  I never pointed that out at all. I said that since couples don’t always have children and women are full citizens, those restrictions have no justification in cases where there are no children. All of the restrictions from divorce to community property to forced share of the estate all go back to the state interest in protecting children.

                  And if you don’t understand how this relates to children’s inability to protect their own interests and this creating a need for the government to intervene and protect their interests for them, then you just don’t understand the argument, which I doubt. You just don’t want to understand it because God damn it gay marriage if fucking great and we need it consequences or logical consistency be damned.

  16. Where we are headed, once the Supreme Court rules that the 14th Amendment requires it, is gay marriage in every state.

    Is there anything “equal protection” can’t do?

    I think libertarians should be very wary of stretching that clause to mean whatever people want it to mean. It existed for 100 years before anyone imagined it meant “gay marriage is not only constitutional, it’s unconstitutional to ban it.” So why doesn’t it also mean “equal protection” for fetuses? For polygamists? For incest? For whatever someone comes up with in the next 100 years? Heck, why not demand that all wages be equal?

    Gay marriage may increase liberty, but stretching “equal protection” to mean anything does not.

    1. And “the right to bear arms” means you can only have a flintlock.

      1. It’s entirely possible to make a too expansive reading of the Constitution. I guess I’m an originalist, because I think we have to look at what the people who wrote laws intended them to mean. The 2nd seems to pretty clearly not exclude “improved flintlocks” or other developments of small arms, but did the authors mean the right to own a bomb that could destroy a city? I doubt if any would say they meant that, just as a doubt that “equal protection” means “gay marriage is a constitutional right.”

        Retroactive redefining of terms is something that is often used against liberty, so we should be wary of embracing it, even if we like the ends in one particular case.

  17. Can Rand Paul’s Positions on Abortion and Gay Marriage Be Defended on Libertarian Grounds?

    Yes, the N.A.P. You don’t have a right to kill and you do not have a right to a ceremony performed by someone else. I don’t see how that can be hard to understand unless you want to think you somehow have a right to those things.

    As long as you have the permission or willingness from whoever is performing the ceremony for you, then you can have your ceremony. That is true regardless of your sexual orientation.

    No one has the right to kill another human being unless it is to defend your life from a clear and unequivocal attack.

    1. Are you saying the NAP allows a government employee to simply refuse to perform a service for a specific portion of the population?

      We aren’t talking about *private* ministers here, we’re talking about the Clerk of the Court issuing a marriage ‘license’.

      Are you saying your read of the NAP would allow that clerk to refuse the issue of a marriage license to a couple (for whatever reason) and that that should be allowed to stand?

      Civil marriage is simply a contract – and it would seem to me to violate the Equal Protection Clause to say that these two people can enter that contract, but those two over there . . . not them.

      We’ve already had this argument before – mixed race marriages and miscegenation laws.

      1. Can a clerk refuse a marriage license to polygamists? To incestuous couples? To 10-year-olds? Does that violate the NAP?

        1. Yes.

          Well, not 10 year olds – as long as we recognize that children are not fully capable of making these decision.

      2. Re: Agammamon,

        Are you saying the NAP allows a government employee to simply refuse to perform a service for a specific portion of the population?

        Yes. For instance, a soldier can refuse to kill in the name of a specific portion of the population, namely those that want war.

        Or did you really think I was going to fall for your clumsy trap?

        Are you saying your read of the NAP would allow that clerk to refuse the issue of a marriage license to a couple (for whatever reason) and that that should be allowed to stand?

        Licensing IS A VIOLATION OF THE N.A.P.

        1. A soldier that refuses to kill in the name of a specific portion of the population is a soldier who is going to end up in jail.

          1. Re: Agammamon,

            A soldier that refuses to kill in the name of a specific portion of the population is a soldier who is going to end up in jail.

            That may will be. And? That does not mean he doesn’t have the right to refuse. His mind, his body, not the government’s or anybody else.

            You still don’t understand the concept of rights, do you?

  18. Is Sullum saying there’s no room under the libertarian tent for pro-lifers like myself?

    That’s a fucking shame.

    [starts looking up how to change a baby’s name]

    1. I think they’ve been hinting at such for years.

    2. Yes he is. And he is of course dead wrong about that.

    3. It’s not a libertarian tent. It’s a Humans-are-Bonobos tent. Everyone is just an erect penis or engorged clitoris. They just can’t help themselves. Gotta fuck. Gotta fuck always, gotta fuck everything, got no brain got no mind, just got a hypervascularized pylon that’s standing at attention.

    4. …What?

  19. Just read on the Twitter that at a New Hampshire town hall forum Rand Paul pushed back on an abortion question by saying, “Why don’t we ask the DNC if it’s okay to kill a 7 pound baby in the uterus?”

    Glad to see him challenge assumptions and narratives on these issues.

    1. NBC News Breaking Story: Rand Paul dodges questions.

      1. Actually,I guess it should be: Reason.com “Can Rand Paul Defend Hos Position Without Deflecting? Not Really”

        1. “His”.

          We all know a ho’s position is face down-ass up.

          1. ENB might steal that headline for her forthcoming post. In either form.

  20. It may seem silly to be so hung up on terminology, but much of the opposition to gay marriage comes from conflating the civil arrangement with “the institution of marriage,”

    Let’s not overlook that when the civil union option was offered to gays, their activists vehemently refused.

    It goes both ways, IOW. I’m not sure how you say one side that is hung up on terminology is more irrational than the other side, which is equally hung up on terminology.

    1. It wasn’t about terminology for gay activists. They didn’t want civil unions because they didn’t give gays the right to demand everyone accept and recognize their marriages. That was always the end game, using the government to enforce social acceptance of gay couples.

      But remember, it is the people who objected to gay marriage who were the ones not on the side of freedom.

      1. Legal recognition of their unions across state boundaries isn’t a trivial point.

        1. Yes it is. So what if the state doesn’t recognize my marriage? That just means I am free from it telling me the terms of it.

          1. So what?
            It means you’re no longer married for tax purposes in that state. You may have to pay more income taxes, estate taxes, and taxes on health benefits.

            You could be travelling across the state of texas and get in a car accident, and be denied access to your spouse in the hospital.
            Their bigoted family could get called in instead, whereupon they show up him and tell him that God is punishing him for his sodomy with broken legs. And then he dies and they lay claim to all his property because they are the legitimate heirs.
            And they refuse to let you attend the funeral.

            1. You could be travelling across the state of texas and get in a car accident, and be denied access to your spouse in the hospital.

              Get a medical power of attorney and that won’t happen. It is called being responsible for your affairs. Why do you think gays should be exempt from that?

              The only reason any harm would occur here is because the person in question didn’t take the steps necessary to prevent it. That is on them Hazel. A straight person living with their partner and not legally married would have the same issues. No one is upset about that and nor should they be.

              1. Why should a gay couple have to pay for legal services? That’s what breeders do! Heroic gays should get free legal services! Because they’re gay!

          2. Oh FFS you’re not going to let go of this “marriage = less freedom” argument that you’ve constructed, are you? Gays did not agitate for marriage for the specific purpose of getting the government to dictate its terms. In your world, hetersexuals should be advocating in droves for the abolition of government-defined marriage. Curiously, they are not.

            1. ? Gays did not agitate for marriage for the specific purpose of getting the government to dictate its terms

              Of course they didn’t. They did it because they wanted to get the government to force other people to recognize their unions. It was always about government enforced acceptance. Yet somehow Libertarians decided black was white and government coercion was really freedom.

              In your world, hetersexuals should be advocating in droves for the abolition of government-defined marriage. Curiously, they are not.

              Then explain to me why the Libertarian position hasn’t always been to get the government out of marriage by stop recognizing marriages? What is the basis for that position other than to let people define their own relationships and not the government.

              And a lot of straight couples support that. They are called Libertarians. As for the rest, since when do most people support their own freedom? Not very often.

              The bottom line is Libertarians advocate for the government to get out of marriage until the gays came along. Then they decided that expanding the institution of government marriage was somehow the way to go. They just like gays and forgot their principles.

              1. I have heard more than one self-described libertarian advocate for the latter as a best-case solution but in the meantime advocate for the former as the best means currently available to extend certain freedoms enjoyed by traditional couples to gays.

                1. But why is it the best case solution? It is the best because it would make everyone more free. Okay. If getting rid of marriage makes people more free, that means having government marriage makes them less.

                  Before gay marriage, gays were free to create whatever associations they want. With it, they are now less free to do so. So because straights are in a system that is less free, the solution is to put gays in that same system and make them less free in the name of equality? Really?

                  The sollution was to make sure courts recognized contracts signed by gay couples. That would have been a win for gays and a win for freedom of contract. And indeed, maybe straight people would have seen the advantages of the system and embraced it too.

                  Instead, all of that has been lost. And the argument for getting the government out of the business of marriage recognition has morphed from a positive pro freedom one to a negative nasty vindictive one. Instead of “people should be able to define the terms of their own relationships” it is “if you don’t like gay marriage you should just give up on the government recognizing yours”. Yeah, that will convince a lot of people. Great fucking job Libertarians.

                  1. Before gay marriage, gays were free to create whatever associations they want. With it, they are now less free to do so

                    What the hell? This makes no sense. Give me a concrete example of this.

                    1. What the hell? This makes no sense. Give me a concrete example of this.

                      Before gay marriage and palimony, if a rich gay man wanted to have a 20 something partner, he didn’t have to worry about that guy taking half of his stuff. He could give him the right to whatever worked for both of them.

                      A gay person could write a will and leave their property to whomever they choose. So if they say had a disabled sibling, they were free to leave everything to that sibling. A gay married person can’t do that. Their spouse gets a forced share of their estate.

                      Before gay marriage, no gay couple ever had to hire a lawyer and get a judge to sign off on their split. Now married gay couples have to go to family court. And worse, thanks to palimony and common law marriage, they can end up going there and being called married even if they never got a license.

                      90% of what you call “marriage” is nothing but forced contract terms dictated the terms of marital associations. This is why government marriage is a restriction on freedom and why Libertarians, until support of gays became the most important issue in the movement, objected to it.

                      Before gay marriage, gays didn’t even have to worry about bigamy laws. I can’t be guilty of bigamy if the government doesn’t recognize my marriage.

                    2. Before gay marriage…

                      Nothing is stopping gays from NOT getting married and enjoying those advantages. They just won’t get the advantages that do exist with marriage. It’s a tradeoff – one which was unavailable until recently.

                    3. Nothing is stopping gays from NOT getting married and enjoying those advantages.

                      Yes there is. It is called common law marriage and palimony. The court will find you married whether you like it or not. They of course never did that with gay couples until gay couple started demanding equality of oppression.

                      After the sodomy laws were struck down, gays were always free to get married and consider themselves married. And more importantly, they were free to define the terms of their relationship without government interference, which is something straight people didn’t have. Now they are just like straights and less free for it.

                    4. most states have banned the recognition of common law marriages.

                      Of course, if you get married in a state that does recognize them, and get it legally recognized, then the other states have to respect that judicial decision

                    5. “A gay person could write a will and leave their property to whomever they choose”

                      Until a blood relative challenges it, a legal battle ensues and the relative winds up getting the property.

                    6. “A gay person could write a will and leave their property to whomever they choose”

                      Until a blood relative challenges it, a legal battle ensues and the relative winds up getting the property.

                  2. And the argument for getting the government out of the business of marriage recognition has morphed from a positive pro freedom one to a negative nasty vindictive one.

                    People are perfectly free to continue making that argument – in fact, I see it around here all the time. And I support it. But that doesn’t mean that nothing less will do in the meantime – you’re the one who’s making the perfect be the enemy of the good.

                    1. But that doesn’t mean that nothing less will do in the meantime – you’re the one who’s making the perfect be the enemy of the good.

                      If that solution didn’t have the cost of destroying religious freedom, sure. It of course does. Moreover, even if it didn’t, that isn’t a solution at all. It is just making gays less free in the name of equality. Why do you want to give gays government marriage? It makes them less free. How does that help anything? All you are doing is making them less free in the vindictive name of equality.

                      And people are not making that argument. It has been drown out. Thanks to gay marriage, Libertarianism has come to be equated with fucking over religious freedom in the name of equality. You don’t realize that because you don’t see it from the outside. Other people do and are not going to forget this. Libertarians when it came down to it are willing to let religious freedom get screwed in the name of gay equality. Sure they don’t like it, but they are willing to live with it and will never stop supporting gay marriage no matter how much freedom the Left uses it to destroy.

                    2. If that solution didn’t have the cost of destroying religious freedom, sure. It of course does.

                      Keep peddling that bullshit, John, maybe some day you’ll actually get someone to buy it.

                    3. You keep denying that it is true when you know it is Android. You just keep telling yourself whatever Bullshit soothes your conscience.

                      The foreseeable consequences of the policies you support are not your fault. You wanted it to be different and you meant well and that is all that matters.

                      And God damn it gays are cool and you want to fit in and don’t want Progs calling you a big meanie.

                    4. John, this crap is exactly why so many people find you so aggravating to deal with: your refusal to accept that other people advance their arguments in good faith.

                      I, and many others, reject as false the dichotomoy you constantly invoke whereby equal treatment for gays and religious liberty are mutually exclusive things. Instead of attempting to explain why I may be mistaken in that belief, instead you childishly insist that I really know you are right but I am lying to be popular.

                      If you pull your head out of your ass for five seconds to give other people the basic courtesy of treating their opinions as genuine, why the hell should anybody waste their time giving that respect to you?

                    5. Yes Android, You didn’t want it to work out this way. But you knew that it was going to. Sure you would have stopped it if you could. But you didn’t have the power to stop it and you knew you didn’t. You were warned this was going to happen and you supported gay marriage anyway.

                      In the end, you knew the choice was gay marriage now at the cost of religious freedom or gay marriage later or maybe never but only when it could be enacted in a way that preserves religious freedom. You choose option number one and supported gay marriage with not caveats. So you own the results.

                      It is not that you don’t care about religious freedom or wouldn’t protect it if you could. It is that when given a choice, you were okay with sacrificing religious freedom as a necessary price for getting gay marriage now.

                      That is the truth. You guys don’t like to hear it but tough shit. I am going to keep telling it to you until you learn to be honest and take responsibility for it.

                    6. And again, I find myself wondering why I bother trying to respond at all…

                    7. And one more thing android. I consider religious freedom more important than gay marriage. I will own that. If you can give me gay marriage in a way that doesn’t destroy religious freedom, sign me up. Until you can though, I am not supporting gay marriage and the gays can wait. It sucks but a choice has to be made and I am choosing religious freedom. I will own that choice. You choose the other way and lack the integrity to own it. That is all I am saying.

                    8. Think of it this way Android. Do the people who voted for George Bush in 2004 not own the deficits he helped create? What if they didn’t support the spending and only voted for him because they thought he was better on the war than Kerry? Do they just reject the false dichotomy that big domestic spending has to accompany fighting radical Islam? Ah no.

                      They own those deficits because while they may not have liked them they considered them a worthwhile price to pay to get what they wanted on the war. It is the same thing here. You supported gay marriage. And sure you don’t like it that it resulted in whacking religious freedom and would have done it differently if you could have. But that reality didn’t stop you from continuing to support it. That is because you viewed gay marriage as more important than religious freedom and religious freedom worth sacrificing to get gay marriage. You were brave and sacrificed the rights of people you hated for the benefit of a group you liked. That is the bottom line.

                    9. John, here is the problem with the argument you are making here.

                      Most of us who express some support for gay marriage are not activists or legislators. We aren’t having any influence on the laws or court decisions. We are simply saying that we think that equal recognition of same sex and opposite sex marriages is a good thing. And that public accommodation laws are a bad thing. We have no reason or obligation to be strategic in how we think about this. There is absolutely no contradiction. We are not responsible for the way it plays out in the real world. If every libertarian decided to go with exactly what you say, it wouldn’t make any difference to how it all plays out. Gay marriage is happening and so are civil rights laws that cover gays. Some of that is good and some of that is bad.

                      If I wanted to be relevant to the political process, I sure as fuck wouldn’t be a libertarian.

                    10. It doesn’t matter how much difference it made Zeb. The point is people like Android and a lot of other people on this board never to my experience ever said “no gay marriage without protection for religious freedom”. The position was always “gay marriage now” followed by either a denial that it was going to damage religious freedom or some kind of ‘well it is not our fault if it works out like that”.

                      The bottom line Zeb is that most Libertarians care more about the rights of gays than they do about the rights of religious people and were willing to sacrifice those’ people’s rights as a objectionable but necessary price for gay rights. What bothers me about that is not the choice. The two things were under current law incompatible. You had to make a choice. What bothers me is not their choice but their absolute refusal to accept that they made one.

                    11. I just don’t think you can lay the blame on people who have no power. No one gives a fuck what we think. Libertarians didn’t create the gay marriage laws and court decisions.

                    12. On what basis do you claim that I hate religious people? That’s deeply insulting and uncalled for.

                      If you want to try to advance since kind of actual argument, please do so, and stop using personal attacks and a childish stubbornness to deflect from the fact that you have no desire to engage honestly with those that disagree with you.

                    13. Maybe you don’t android. You just don’t consider their rights as important or equal to the rights of gays.

        2. Not to mention legal recognition of a foreign-born spouse.

          1. Good addition. If you’re not married, you can’t sponsor your partner for immigration purposes.

          2. Change the law. Beyond that, if you don’t have children, why should any spouse get special treatment? Why should the fact that you are fucking someone put them to head of the line? Again, unless there is a child involved, I see no reason why the government should have any concern with how you are fucking or under what terms you are doing it. And that include letting them into the country over anyone else.

            1. I see no reason why the government should have any concern with how you are fucking or under what terms you are doing it. And that include letting them into the country over anyone else.

              Good luck getting anything more than a tiny fraction of straight people to agree with this position.

              Again, you’re avocating an ultraorthodox position that has virtually zero chance of widespread acceptance in our lifetimes.

              1. Again, you’re avocating an ultraorthodox position that has virtually zero chance of widespread acceptance in our lifetimes.

                And that so makes it unacceptable to Libertarians. They have never had any unpopular positions.

                Beyond that, who cares? That doesn’t make my position any less principled and any less in accord with freedom. More importantly, the popularity of the pro gay marriage position doesn’t make it any less antithetical to freedom or Libertarian principles.

              2. Moreover Rywun,

                We are never going to get rid of the CRA and public accommodation laws either. Yet, the pro gay marriage Libertarians are allowed to pretend it is not their fault when gay marriage ends up fucking over religious liberty. If you can pretend the CRA is going away, why can’t I pretend government marriage benefits are going away?

                1. Religious freedom is fucked in any case, gay marriage or not. You think religious people could exclude blacks from their businesses or refuse to work interracial marriages, or fire women for not wearing a veil on the basis or religious belief up to now? The only place where religious freedom truly exists is in Libertopia. Religious freedom is exactly the same as freedom freedom. You can do whatever you want as long as it doesn’t involve unjustified aggression. There is nothing that one should be allowed to do on the basis of religious belief that one shouldn’t be allowed to do simply by virtue of being a free individual.

                  1. Zeb,

                    Since no one I am aware of has a religious objection to serving blacks, I don’t see how that matters. Saying you have to serve blacks is not the same thing as saying you have to participate in a wedding ceremony that violates your religion. So, no they were not fucked. And even if they were, they just got a lot more fucked thanks to this. Libertarians got suckered by Progs on this issue and they just won’t admit it.

                    1. Well, I guess I have a broader conception of religious freedom than you do.

              3. Oh heavens! O glorious starry constellations of pockmarks of light! Oh my stars! Somewhere, at someone’s computer/smartphone, a tiny fraction of straight people have been insulted in a discussion at reason.com.

                Twinkle twinkle little star.

    2. when the civil union option was offered to gays, their activists vehemently refused

      Not all of them.

  21. personally, i just filed my 1040 and got caught with the AMT. so whoever is going to charge me less gets my vote.

    1. So – you’re not voting again this cycle either?

      1. surely someone will cut … dammit.

  22. Rand Paul should just announce that gay marriage is a moot point and he’s not going to talk about it anymore.
    We’re not going to turn back the clock and call it civil unions or whatever, so why does it even matter?

  23. while marriage would be reserved for unions (including gay ones) blessed by particular religious organizations.

    Meaning what exactly? Outside of the law…the word marriage is meaningless.

    I’m married to my dog. My cat performed the ceremony. Do you accept it as marriage? Do Catholics accept it? Does it make a fucking bit of difference?

    I live with my girlfriend. We exchanged vows and call ourselves married. Is that good enough? Of course it is. Do you have to accept it? No, nor do I have to accept that two Catholics are married because some mystic makes the sign of an ancient torture device over them and declares it so.

    This is spot on. Make a legal definition. Call it being legally “bound” and call it good. Everyone else can call their union under mythological forces whatever they want to call it.

    1. Ultimately, I shouldn’t have to accept your marriage no matter who it is to, unless it results in a child. I should not be able to punish a child for the misfortune of having you as a father. So therefore the state has an interest in my recognizing the marriage of that child’s parents, whoever or whatever they are. I should, however be free to deal with you and whatever you call your wife any way I choose.

      1. I should not be able to punish a child for the misfortune of having you as a father. So therefore the state has an interest in my recognizing the marriage of that child’s parents,

        Not following. For the sake of not mixing apples and oranges, let’s call the legal part, “being bound” and “marriage” is what your church does…

        How does being married OR bound make a hill of beans difference in how you, as a private citizen treat me, my significant other or the child?

        AND

        The state doesn’t care if you are married/bound either. If, your sperm and her egg, produced THAT child, by law, that child is yours until some legal document (adoption papers…) relieves the both of you of your responsibilities to that child under the law.

        1. If I am runing a school and you send your kid there, I don’t think I should be able to not recognize your spouse as that child’s parent just because I don’t like your marriage, whatever that is.

          There are fewer examples of public accommodation that really matter. The better example is government benefits. Why does your spouse get 1/2 of the community property? To make sure both parents of the child are not destitute and can help provide support. Why do they get priority in immigration? Because we want children to grow up with their parents.

          Take out the child and none of that matters. Government should treat everyone like they are single. You of course are free to get married and do whatever you like. You only get the right and the burden of having the government get involved when you have a child and give the government an interest in doing so.

          1. If I am runing a school and you send your kid there, I don’t think I should be able to not recognize your spouse as that child’s parent just because I don’t like your marriage, whatever that is.

            Has nothing to do with the marriage/bonding. If it was my sperm/egg it’s legally my child. Who I’m married to has nothing to do with it. No marriage is required either way. The biological parents are the child’s legal guardians until some other legal function removes that obligation. You as a school administrator must accept the legal definition of guardian regardless of the marital status of those guardians.

            Same with the rest of those examples. I don’t need to be married/bonded in order to have legal responsibility to my biological child (or a child I’ve accepted legal responsibility for).

            Has NOTHING to do with marriage.

            1. It nothing to do with marriage if you live in a fantasy world where children not raised by their parents are somehow not harmed. They are. And you are confusing biological parenting with actual parenting. What makes you a parent is more than just producing it. What makes you a parent is assuming the responsibility of raising the child.

              And if you can’t understand the connection between marriage and children and the importance of that in family law, my point has wizzed right over your head and I am not sure how much more I can do for you.

              1. I’m quite certain the point has whizzed over someone’s head. It certainly isn’t mine.

                If I’m the son of an unwed mother and father my rights are no different than if they’d been married.

              2. You didn’t even read all of my first comment prior to writing yours did you?

                Go back. Reread. Apologize.

                Might want to focus on THIS PART:

                Make a legal definition. Call it being legally “bound” and call it good. Everyone else can call their union under mythological forces whatever they want to call it.

    2. Especially as you can be married by your church and still considered unmarried by civil authorities.

      And vice-versa.

      Getting a marriage certificate from the local courthouse carries absolutely no weight with the Catholic church. The divorce decree is, likewise, completely meaningless to them.

      If the church doesn’t divorce you , they’re not going to remarry you. Same as the civil authorities – doesn’t matter if you have divorce papers signed by the pope, until the *state* says so, you’re still married and, unlike the church, the state is willing to kill you to prevent you from remarrying.

      1. But your getting married in the church carries no weight with the state. You have to get the license.

      2. the state is willing to kill you to prevent you from remarrying

        I don’t know about that. They will wait until after you remarry and then kill you (if you don’t do what they say).

  24. Paul’s opposition to abortion […] can be defended on libertarian grounds too, provided you accept the premise that a fetus is a person with a right to life.

    Or the opposition to slavery can be defended provided you accept the premise that a human being has a right to liberty.

    1. That’s about as profound as the Joker’s ‘people are only as good as the world allows them to be’ line.

      1. That was Sullum’s argument: a meaningless tautology.

    2. So, a fetus isn’t human? What is it if it’s not human? Which genus/species?

      The reason commentariat might have a gift for coding and working the internet economy, but when it comes to science law and hazy matters of existential philosophy, there’s more than a small disconnect between self-impression (geniuses of all dimensions) and actual positions (fetus not human because that would make me feel guilty when I support an abortion).

      1. Re: oobins,

        So, a fetus isn’t human?

        Of course, but for Sullum, you would have to believe it is human so you can argue for his or her right to life. Which means if you don’t believe a human fetus is human, then voil?: you can argue against his or her right to life! That’s his logic. Sounds a lot like solipsism to me.

  25. I kind of wish reason would root for Rand a bit more. We all know he’s going to disappoint us, but it might be fun to indulge the fantasy for a while, you know?

    1. *sigh*

      Sort of.

      OTOH – they indulged in that fantasy with Obama and look where that got them.

      1. A few of the dumber writers indulged in that fantasy. All I’m asking for is equal treatment – a few of the dumber writers can go all in on Standing with Randing.

        1. Given the shellacking they’ve gotten in the comments section over the last few year, I imagine that they’re going with the ‘safe’ option this time.

          Tear the guy down. If he turns out to be a baddun (which is, sadly where the safe money is when betting on *any* pol) then they’ve CYA.

          Of course, in my little fantasy, the writers actually *pay attention* to the commenters.

          1. the writers actually *pay attention* to the commenters.

            Only to Tony, Hazel Meade, Bo Cara Esq, and the various isomeric iterations of those 3.

            Fly on wall at reason HQ says this was a conversation:

            The Nickster: “Seems like the velvet mafia are mad about what they think libertarians stand for.”

            Rico Suave: “As a member of said mafia presently wearing an unclever disguise that fools only the blind, I agree. We need to conform to what the velvet mafia demand.”

            Jacob Sullum: “Look no further Mr Gillespie. I’m your man.”

      2. OTOH – they indulged in that fantasy with Obama and look where that got them.

        Of course, all one would need to do is look at either of their positions PRIOR to becoming presidential candidates to know where they truly stand.

        Obama was a socialist shitbag before running and moderated his stance when he needed to get votes.

        Rand was a libertarian before running (see his earlier opinions on the CRA) and is sacrificing his principles to gain votes.

        Obama became what he was before the election…Rand will __________?

  26. When all is said and done I couldn’t care less about Paul’s position on abortion and gay marriage. The left and the right will beat him up whatever he says – a handy distraction from issues that actually matter.

    1. And its not like he could do anything on either issue as president anyway.

      1. This. So much this. Culture war stuff is obnoxious because people elect politicians on those issues when they typically have no chance to change them.

        Abortion is mostly settled at the federal level. Gay marriage is about to be. And no one is gaining votes for constitutional amendments here.

        1. Exactly that. This kind of shit should be fought out at the state level. It has nothing to do with a Presidential election.

  27. OT: ccw with no permit. Love this guy. You can tell what the local media spin will be though.

    http://www.nbc4i.com/story/287…..-education

  28. Why would one have to “try pretty hard,” Sullum? Tells like that put you in with Rico Suave and The Nickster. Gender-bending pansexuals who see the world as bonobo monkeys do, but with the freedom to buy nice disposable expensive trinkets and fly to Mars as bonuses. Got it.

    1. Ya I don’t think it’s that hard

      1) Abortion : I think murder should be illegal. I think this fetus is a human. QED.

      2) Marriage is between a man and a woman. That’s just what the word means. You don’t get to change that using government guns just because you don’t like it. The government should probably look into not discriminating against people based on marriage status, as that is probably unconstitutional.

      feel free to disagree with both of those. I’m not even going to defend either one of these positions here. But I didn’t have to try hard, and these are not convoluted or weird positions.

      1. But it’s ok to enforce your definition of marriage with government guns?

        1. Who says gays can’t deny straight marriage s? They are apparently the superior beings who was right trump everyone else’ rights

      2. “2) Marriage is between a man and a woman.”

        Is liberty the freedom to choose between 347 flavors of toothpaste?

  29. Rand Paul is going to be social conservative lite on SSM and abortion. You have to accept it.Big time defense cuts, forget about it.

    You can expect some sweeping changes concerning NSA and drone policy, but even there, reality will clash a bit with campaign rhetoric. Obama was a champion of privacy as a candidate, but once he got in power, he probably had a nice long meeting with people actually running the NSA and the intelligence community.

    I think the better question is, “did Rand erase massive amounts of email while questions about certain foreign connections were mounting, and did he resign from an important position after messing up?”

    1. I kind of suspect you are right that nothing much would change behind the curtain. But you have to go with the one that’s making the right noises.

    2. “You can expect some sweeping changes concerning NSA and drone policy”

      WAIT.

      We are gonna fight more wars on terrorism and islam with MORE money, but we can look forward to Paul saying that instead of unmanned drones we will send real Fighters? Or, that we will hobble our intelligence services and take “what the higher father is telling Rand” as our guide?

      That’s plain silly. More money for defense and intrusion into person freedoms (reproduction) means MORE of a Fascist nature…not less.

      I’d love to do business with you fellas…but, then again, most libertarians probably don’t know much about success. They are too busy living off the state in one way or another….

  30. I don’t have time to read comments (actually working for once)

    Does anyone else actually think it doesn’t make a fucking difference what his opinion is, that he’s just saying whatever he thinks will win votes, but in practical reality his POV on either issue doesn’t matter in the slightest because we have a political system that prevents “one guy’s opinion” from being force of law? not only that… but that despite what his feelings about “gays or fetuses” are, that there’s zero prospect of him strongarming any laws into existence about either?

    (i am ignoring michael hihn in advance because i already know what he thinks)

    Shorter =
    – yes, he has unlibertarian views on these subjects, but he’s not going to do fuck-all about them.
    – he has libertarian views about the things *that he actually will do things about*, which is what matters.

    1. Solumn might think that. Anyone with half a brain who gives the issue any thought? No they wouldn’t. But fuck it, why worry about things that matter when you can social signal and fight about shit that doesn’t matter but makes you feel all righteous and good?

    2. we have a political system that prevents “one guy’s opinion” from being force of law?

      Well, we used to at least before this president anyway.

  31. Still, the desire to regulate abortion at the national level is hard to reconcile with the federalism that Paul prefers for marriage, drug policy, and pretty much everything else.

    I’ll never get used to seeing the “modern” definition of federalism being used like this.

    .. all I think of is that rat bastard Hamilton and how he fucked us all up.

    1782. Madison joined Hamilton in persuading Congress to send a delegation to persuade Rhode Island to change its mind. Their report recommending the delegation argued the federal government needed not just some level of financial autonomy, but also the ability to make laws that superseded those of the individual states.

  32. Marriage is soooo gay.

    Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others.

  33. Can Rand Paul’s Positions on Abortion and Gay Marriage Be Defended on Libertarian Grounds?

    If you hide behind federalism, sure.

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  35. No, Paul’s opposition to abortion CANNOT be reconciled with libertarianism, EVEN if you accept that a fetus is a person with rights. Personhood does not give you the right to be located inside another person’s body where you are not welcome. Personhood does not give you the right to take material (nutrients, oxygen, water) from another person’s bloodstream against her will. Personhood does not give you the right to inject toxic metabolic end-products (CO2, creatinine) into her bloodstream without her ongoing permission. And personhood does not entitle you to subject another person to the major medical/surgical trauma of full-term labor and delivery against her will.

    Libertarianism demands a pro-choice position on abortion, and would do so even if the fetus were fully conscious, sitting up, and writing poetry in the womb. For a true libertarian, the womb-owner’s body-ownership overtrumps fetal personhood every time.

    We need to run Ron Paul and all right-to-lifers out of the Libertarian Party, and make sure they never come back.

    1. That’s a good point, and shows that the Life At Conception Act is really just to stake out a religious claim that embryos that are OUT of the body are persons and have a right to life. Combined with RFRA law, the hope is to claim a right to implant cloned and genetically engineered embryos, if doing so is banned.

      1. You’re giving the religious right too much credit. They just believe that fetal personhood makes abortion murder and didn’t think it through.

        The religious right doesn’t want to “claim a right to implant cloned embryos”; they want to ban all reproductive technologies, foremost cloning and genetic modification.

    2. We need to run Ron Paul and all right-to-lifers out of the Libertarian Party, and make sure they never come back.

      No, we don’t. Federal laws on abortion simply don’t matter that much in the real world as long as abortion remains legal during the first dozen or so weeks. Rand Paul may not be the perfect libertarian, but both abortion and gay marriage simply are not very important issues compared to all the other ones that the country faces.

      1. Win Bear: But if Rand Paul ever becomes President, he will appoint Supreme Court justices who will overturn Roe/Wade and will pass laws making abortion ILLEGAL, even in the first dozen or so weeks.

        RE: “abortion and gay marriage simply are not very important issues compared to all the other ones that the country faces.” WRONG! It is just as important for a country to DESERVE prosperity as it is for it to HAVE prosperity. A country which denies abortion rights and gay marriage would not deserve to prosper.

    3. “Personhood does not give you the right to be located inside another person’s body where you are not welcome. Personhood does not give you the right to take material (nutrients, oxygen, water) from another person’s bloodstream against her will. Personhood does not give you the right to inject toxic metabolic end-products (CO2, creatinine) into her bloodstream without her ongoing permission. And personhood does not entitle you to subject another person to the major medical/surgical trauma of full-term labor and delivery against her will.”

      Unless the pregnancy resulted from rape, the woman has implicitly consented to all of those things. You can’t hold the fetus responsible for any of the effects of its occupancy because it had no say in occupying the mother’s wound, only its mother did. If we stipulate personhood, the situation is little different than trapping a person in a building surrounded by a minefield. The entrapper assumes responsibility for the entrapped’s welfare by virtue of her responsibility for the entrapment.

      The biggest problem with your argument, however, is that it proves too much. Not only does it invalidate the concept of parental neglect (a toddler is every bit as much of a parasite as a fetus), it also denies that positive duties can exist under any circumstances. I suppose you object to the Geneva Convention as well? Those damn mooching POWs consuming our rations should just starve to death behind concertina wire!

      1. RE: “Unless the pregnancy resulted from rape, the woman has implicitly consented to all of those things.”

        Pope, you suggest that by consenting to sex, the woman gives some sort of tacit or implicit consent or invitation. This may be so, but today, in USA in the 21st Century, that consent or invitation is limited and restricted in scope. If it were written down, it would read as follows: “If, as a result of my participation in sex, you form in my uterus, oh not-yet-conceived fetus-to-be, you are invited to remain there for precisely as long as it takes me to learn I am pregnant and to get an abortion. Longer than that only if I so choose. If this limited invitation and consent to give you a SHORT life inside my body displeases you, oh not-yet-conceived fetus-to-be–if you cannot deal with the fact that I might choose to abort you, then feel free to decline this invitation, bugger off, and go get yourself conceived in a more welcoming environment!”

        Pope, you may not approve of this limited, restricted consent/invitation, but it is all the consent/invitation which the sex act implies in USA in the 21st Century.

        Regarding the rest of your post, toddlers and POWs are not inside anyone’s body, are not engaging in body-fluid exchange with anyone, and are not preparing to subject anyone to major medical/surgical trauma. They are therefore entitled to ordinary human civil rights.

        1. RE: “You can’t hold the fetus responsible for any of the effects of its occupancy because it had no say in occupying the mother’s wound, only its mother did.”

          It’s not a question of “holding the fetus responsible” nor of punishing it. It’s a question of who owns the body.

          RE: “If we stipulate personhood, the situation is little different than trapping a person in a building surrounded by a minefield. ”

          The two situations–where you trap a person in a building, and where you create a person inside your body–are as different as East and West. When you trap an already-living person, you take something from him–his freedom. You make him worse off than he was before. This is what obligates you to restore his freedom to him, and to make him better off again. In contrast, creating a fetus does not take anything from it (before conception it has nothing to take, not even a self), nor does it make it worse off than before (creation makes the created BETTER off–it is better to exist for a short time than not to exist at all). Conceiving a fetus therefore incurs no obligation to give it more womb-time than the womb-owner chooses to give. Just as giving blood does not obligate the donor to also give the next transfusion the patient may need, even so, giving you a short life inside my body does not obligate me to also give you a longer one. Your short life from conception until abortion is just so much gained for you and does not entitle you to make further demands.

  36. Sorry Libertarians, but same-sex couples do not have the same rights as a married man and woman, they do not have a right to procreate offspring together. Congress should ban attempting to create a person except by joining a sperm of a man and an egg of a woman.

    1. Sorry Libertarians, but same-sex couples do not have the same rights as a married man and woman, they do not have a right to procreate offspring together.

      I’m not sure how this works in the Outer Elbonian Hinterland, where you are obviously from, but in the US, you don’t actually need to be married to procreate; everybody has that right.

      Congress should ban attempting to create a person except by joining a sperm of a man and an egg of a woman.

      Not that that has anything to do with gay marriage, but the Constitution gives Congress the right to enact such bans… where? As far as I can tell, Congress doesn’t have the right to ban human cloning or human genetic modification.

      1. LoseTwink won’t be happy until everyone’s made gay by gene splicing. Not getting enough action, LoseTwink? That’s why everyone must be gay for you to be happy?

        1. “That’s why everyone must be gay for you to be happy?”

          Gay means happy…..so, yeah, when you are happy you are gay. When you are gay, you are happy. Any questions?

          Now, on the other hand, if you are homosexual…you may be happy or gay or not.

  37. Actually, the issue increasingly with homosexual marriage is whether or not Christian small business owners will be forced to participate in a rite that they consider a fraud on Biblical grounds. In that sense, the liberal stance is far less libertarian than the conservative stance, particularly given that homosexual marriage generally isn’t banned, merely not officially recognized by the state.

  38. Why do homosexuals want so very much to be married? Does anyone need a contract for anything? So far from asking for tolerance, anti-discrimination laws ask the state to “establish” beliefs, which is opposed to freedom of religion.

    1. Why do homosexuals want so very much to be married?

      Because there is a vast set of government benefits and laws that are given only to married couples.

      So far from asking for tolerance, anti-discrimination laws ask the state to “establish” beliefs, which is opposed to freedom of religion.

      Anti-discrimination laws already do that by forcing businesses not to discriminate based on religion. I don’t see why forcing a Catholic-owned business to cater a gay wedding is any worse than to force a protestant business to cater a Catholic wedding.

      By all means, get rid of all anti-discrimination laws. But to argue against anti-discrimination laws based on sexual orientation while accepting anti-discrimination laws based on religion is inconsistent.

      1. You should change your handle to LoseTwink. The Velvet Mafia will still pay you 50 cents per demonizing post.

    2. “Why do homosexuals want so very much to be married? Does anyone need a contract for anything? ”

      It’s probably a phase for some – but others, especially those who raise children, do need the blessing of the state to assure their rights.

  39. Rand Paul’s stated position is the same as mine. You have to try a little hard to agree with me, as the opposite conclusion is more facile. But since when has that been a problem for libertarian thinkers?

    1. The marriage thing, I mean.

    2. “But since when has that been a problem for libertarian thinkers?”

      A little dope at 2am combined with an all-male debate team and it certainly is no problem!

  40. Paul’s opposition to abortion?a stance that seems to be a prerequisite for winning the Republican presidential nomination but also one that Paul shares with his father, who is widely viewed as more consistently libertarian?can be defended on libertarian grounds too, provided you accept the premise that a fetus is a person with a right to life.

    Nope, sorry. Even if a fetus were a person, it wouldn’t have a right to compel another person to carry it to term.

    Of course, a fetus isn’t a person anyway.

    1. Gay liars, so hot right now.

    2. “Nope, sorry. Even if a fetus were a person, it wouldn’t have a right to compel another person to carry it to term.”

      Not only carry it to term – but also to be responsible for it for it’s entire life….and, based on the libertarian way of thinkings, that responsibility should be total and complete and not rely on any silly gubment handouts.

      In effect a “sentence” of 20-30 years and costing of about 1/2 million…..just because “she asked for it” or he didn’t wear a condom.

  41. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.netjob80.com

  42. The whole point of voting libertarian is–to the extent we are not taken over by National Socialists (conservatives) and Soviet Socialists (“liberals”)–is to change the laws by voting for freedom instead of coercion. Ron Paul wrote me personally in the 80s that he favored coercion to prevent abortion, and has programmed his son accordingly. Collectivists are programmed to recite “people not profits” and vote for grinning looters. I always vote libertarian against impostors, infiltrators, fakes, imitations and insincere seekers of power. If it were not for the LP these “modern” actors would still be trying to re-outlaw beer and revive conscription, miscegnation and sodomy laws.

    If Republican party dupes are abandoning superstition and nonsense (or faking it), it is because libertarians voted for real freedom with uncompromising integrity for over 40 years. Every bad law repealed is our victory. Accepting no substitutes works for me.

    1. Ron Paul wrote me personally in the 80s that he favored coercion to prevent abortion, and has programmed his son accordingly.

      That’s such a great bit of mystifying BS, is this another Dave Weigel handle?

  43. Can Eugenics be reconciled with Libertarians views?

    Well, the answer is probably the same! That is, ANYTHING can be reconciled…that’s the beauty of modern Libertarianism. It starts with these great talking points about anti-war, personal freedoms, etc. and then quickly we find out it’s really about the almighty dollar and rules of those who have them.

  44. Here is the acid test question I’ve asked every self-described libertarian who claims to be pro-life:

    If abortion is murder, then it is specifically a conspiracy of first degree murder between a woman and a doctor. If proposed penalties for this are short of those for the same crime against an adult, it undercuts a claim of humanity for the fetus.

    I’ve never gotten an answer. Ever. Now I know Rand does not claim to be a libertarian, but some on this forum do. How SHOULD the state punish or react to an admitted act of abortion?

  45. I just got paid $6784 working off my laptop this month. And if you think that?s cool, my divorced friend has twin toddlers and made over $9k her first month. It feels so good making so much money when other people have to work for so much less. This is what I do…

    http://www.jobs73.com

  46. I think it’s ridiculous to claim that a fertilized egg is a human being, but I also think it’s ridiculous to claim a nine-month fetus isn’t a human being. I know a lot of libertarians hate to compromise on anything, but this is one case where both the uncompromising positions defy reason.

    I would draw the line at brain activity, which is consistent with how we decide when a person has died. If someone’s brain is gone, and their body is just being kept alive on a respirator, we don’t consider that person alive, even if their heart is beating. Conversely, if someone is in a coma, but still has brain activity, we consider them alive, even though they can’t communicate or survive on their own.

  47. Comment section is badly in need of a lesson on epigenetic primordia.

  48. I am so much like of the gay, many with pleasure he give me

    1. but for not misunderstand, much may be painful in entry

  49. Most Libertarians ignore that a pregnancy involves not just the body of the mother but also that of another person. The unasked question is ‘when does the ‘right to life’ begin’?

    On the issue of Gay Marriage, the key term here is marriage. Marriage IS a religious institution. Being a libertarian I can accept that homsexuals want a contractual relationship. fine, I have no issue witha “civil union’. But it’s clear that is not all they want, it may be what they say but what they want is ‘justification’! By compelling the religious to accept their relationship as a marraige they somehow in their minds condone their behavior before God! So I find the whole drive towards gay marraige to be a farce, lie, an attempt to justify by force! Otherwise the gay marraige would not be the issue, but rather civil union!

    I believe these comments reflect the views of bith Paul’s.

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