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Free Minds & Free Markets

A Libertarian-Gay Divorce?

Government-sponsored discrimination is nearly eradicated. So what's left to work together on?

Jason KeislingJason KeislingJust one day before the Supreme Court ruled that states must recognize same-sex marriages, Cato Institute Executive Vice President David Boaz took to the website of The Advocate, a venerable national gay publication, to remind readers about the long history of libertarian support for gay rights. The Libertarian Party, Boaz noted, has called for decriminalizing gay behavior and treating gay people equally under the law since the organization was founded in the early 1970s.

Many other libertarian organizations (including reason) have been taking such positions for just as long or even longer. And since then, the United States has seen the abolition of sodomy laws, the end of officially sanctioned government discrimination against gay employees, and now—with the Obergefell v. Hodges decision in June—the end of government non-recognition of same-sex marriage.

So: Is that it, then? Is the gay movement ready to declare victory and go home?

Don't bet on it. Now that government discrimination is largely tamed, gay activists are going after private behavior, using the government as a bludgeon. After a long alliance with libertarians, the two camps could be settling into a new series of conflicts.

Libertarians and gay activists were aligned in the pursuit of ending government mistreatment, but libertarians draw a bright line between government behavior and private behavior, arguing that the removal of state force is the essential precondition for private tolerance. Many gay activists believe that government power is a critical tool for eliminating private misdeeds. What many activists see as righteous justice, libertarians see as inappropriate, heavy-handed coercion.

Now that gay marriage is a settled matter, it's worth taking an inventory of political issues frequently raised within the LGBT activist community to see where the two groups' values line up and where they conflict.

Job Discrimination

Historically, employment discrimination, not marriage recognition, was the big political cause for gay leaders. It would be easier, the logic went, to convince Americans not to discriminate against gays than to convince them to let gays marry.

That isn't how things worked out. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), introduced and reintroduced in Congress repeatedly over the last 20 years, has never passed; the closest it came was when it passed the Senate in 2013 by a vote of 64–32 but was not considered by the House. Meanwhile, gay marriage went from a pipe dream 20 years ago to the law of the land.

Workplace discrimination is clearly where the gay movement wants to pivot next. There is no federal protection against private anti-gay discrimination, and many states don't have laws against it either, so in 18 states gay citizens can get fired by their bosses for getting married. "A gay employee could be congratulated by a coworker for his upcoming nuptials and the next day find a pink slip on his desk," Robert P. Jones wrote in The Atlantic this June.

But the workplace push is largely based on the theoretical possibility—and a much earlier history—of discrimination: The fear is that unless a law explicitly prohibits an unwanted thing from happening, it will happen. Yet there's been a huge culture shift these past two decades in support of letting gay people live their lives as they choose. Big corporations with products to sell celebrated gay pride in June, openly marketing themselves to gay customers and their allies. So where is the evidence that anti-gay employment discrimination in 2015 is a widespread phenomenon requiring urgent government intervention?

Solid numbers aren't easy to come by. In 2007, the Williams Institute at University of California, Los Angeles, which researches sexual orientation and gender identity issues, aggregated a bunch of studies starting from the 1990s that rely on self-reported claims of workplace discrimination. The numbers vary widely, from 16 percent to 44 percent of gay people claiming everything from being denied jobs and promotions, to abuse or harassment, to unequal pay. But the institute itself warns about data based on self-evaluation.

The Williams report also looked at how many complaints have been received in states with laws against sexual-orientation discrimination. California, the biggest such state at the time, had all of 154 complaints throughout its history until 2002, compared to 8,232 complaints of gender discrimination. (Granted, the gay discrimination number would naturally be smaller because of the smaller population of gay and lesbian citizens.)

A 2011 study by a Harvard researcher used fake job applications, with some resumes boasting similar skills and experience, but differing by indicating involvement in a college gay group. It found a gap of up to eight percentage points in callback responses to candidates who indicated involvement in a gay organization when compared to the control group, depending on what state they were applying in.

What none of this social science can determine is a threshold over which it should be considered justified for the government to intervene in private employment practices. In general, libertarians and gay leaders have been united against anti-gay discrimination by government employers, such as the military. As the government answers to (and takes tax dollars from) all citizens, including the gay ones, the government should logically and ethically treat people the same regardless of sexual orientation.

But in the private sector, there should be something more than an ever-shrinking number of unpopular hiring decisions before asking Leviathan to step in. It used to be that the biggest enemy of gay people in the workplace was the federal government itself, which in past years actively purged gay employees from its rolls (and encouraged private contractors to do the same). As culture shifts, it would be more appropriate to use social media campaigns, boycotts, bad publicity, and other forms of influence to bring about changes in private sector hiring practices.

Religious Freedom

Another major divide between libertarians and many gay activists—with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and state-level civil rights commissions coming down on the latter side—involves religious business owners who don't want to provide their goods and services for gay weddings. We're now seeing additional concerns that religious colleges could be punished for not accommodating gay couples, and some have floated the idea that churches that pursue such policies shouldn't have nonprofit status anymore.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    One doesn't become an activist to push a live and let live agenda. Fining or imprisoning those who think differently on the subject is simply the growing pains of tolerance and cultural acceptance.

  • rocks||

    Exactly, or to put it another way once a group is defined as a separate entity to promote and gain benefits for, activists will continue to push for more and more benefits for the group even after equality is achieved.

    We've seen this with african americans and women before. After equality is achieved the group doesn't move on and live and let live, it simply screams louder over more and more trivial points until it becomes the problem itself. Gays are just following the pattern already set.

    It won't stop until people with common sense call out the nonsense and push back, but since doing so is racist or sexist or whatever the 'ist is of the day, no one pushes back out of fear.

  • DarrenM||

    Whenever any 'movement' is able to build a power base, no matter what the reason, there will always be those who seek to co-opt that power for their own use. All too often, they are successful. The original 'founders' of a movement move on leaving those who are emotionally vested in punishing their perceived enemies rather than merely achieving the original goals.

  • lovelydestruction||

    You make excellent points. I was horrified by the attitude that the baker/florist put out there, in front of God and everybody.
    The one group definitely deserved to be fined, if not worse, for putting the dox out after a bad review, encouraging their horrible followers to torment them. That deserved jailtime imo, but I couldn't help but wince over the rest of it.
    They should just watch their profits dwindle naturally by public opinion. Sure, it would take longer, but geez.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Well, thanks for the candor, Mr. Shackford, in at least acknowledging that the entire "anti-bullying" movement is simply an anti bullying gay students movement. I've never seen much evidence that they were particularly bothered by the bullying of any other group, either. And I can't help but conclude that that's all the evidence I need that libertarians and the gay rights movement aren't going to be much on the same page on this one, either. Libertarians want everyone to be free to live their lives without having their rights trampled on. The gay rights movement, as far as I can tell, is more interested in having gay students be an in group free to trample on others' rights.

  • ||

    The important question is, where are jesse.in.mb and tonio on these issues?

  • MC Guru||

    That's what we get for making alliance of convenience, and compromising with evil

    STRIKE
    THE
    ROOT

  • Swiss Servator||

    WHAT DID DAMON ROOT EVER DO TO YOU??!?!?!

  • Swiss Servator||

    I'd much rather see my peers embrace a world where we are all equally free to decide the terms by which we deal with each other, not one where we seize the same government powers that were once used to abuse us and use them to pummel our ideological opponents.

    If only...

  • Doctor Whom||

    One point that I like to make to other LGBT people is that it's possible to fall under the wheels of the juggernaut that you helped to build. We're already seeing this happen, as when radfem gatherings fall afoul of anti-discrimination laws or gay bars become ensnarled in zoning or ABC regulations. While the mainstream LGBT movement is emotion-driven, I do find a receptive audience with some people.

  • Doctor Whom||

    One point that I like to make to other LGBT people is that it's possible to fall under the wheels of the juggernaut that you helped to build. We're already seeing this happen, as when radfem gatherings fall afoul of anti-discrimination laws or gay bars become ensnarled in zoning or ABC regulations. While the mainstream LGBT movement is emotion-driven, I do find a receptive audience with some people.

  • Doctor Whom||

    The squirrels are engaged in homophobic discrimination against me.

  • Trump-o-Matic 5000||

    Most gay people I know are actually libertarians who just want to be left alone.

  • fredtyg||

    Not my experience at all. While they might want to be left alone, they have no qualms about not leaving others alone. Even my married lesbian next door neighbors, as sweet as they are, are at the very least functional authoritarians- that meaning, while they're very nice and peaceful themselves they support, and vote for, very oppressive legislation and politicians. And those politicians are what I consider philosophical authoritarians.

  • MarkLastname||

    And why not? To a liberated slave, becoming equal to his master is merely a step in the direction of becoming a master himself and making his former master a slave.

  • Foo_dd||

    while i appreciate the sentiment, and agree that the juggernaut should be stopped now that the important aspect has been completed....... gay bars won't be impacted, at all. straight people can, and do, go in.

  • QueerLib||

    "gay bars won't be impacted, at all"

    Au contraire. A number of people who have applied for bartending jobs at gay bars have sued under nondiscrimination laws, claiming that they were discriminated against for being female.

    There also have been a number of lawsuits against gay venues for not agreeing to host anti-gay religious events.

    You haven't read about those, because they don't inspire the same level of herpy "mah rightz is bein' VAH-lated" derp in conservatarian circles as, say, wedding cakes.

    That selective outrage is one reason why the "libertarian" brand is damaged with LGBTs. Too many of them watch "libertarians" be silent in the face of government oppression against LGBT rights to free association -- yet become outraged and vocal when the situation is reversed.

    They see "libertarians" like Ron Paul pass laws to restore "sodomy laws" and marriage bans.

    And they decide "hey, those guys are full of shit and their principles are phony."

  • ace_m82||

    There also have been a number of lawsuits against gay venues for not agreeing to host anti-gay religious events.

    While not right, turnabout is fair play...

    That selective outrage is one reason why the "libertarian" brand is damaged with LGBTs. Too many of them watch "libertarians" be silent in the face of government oppression against LGBT rights to free association

    When did this happen? Governmental discrimination is bad, period.

    They see "libertarians" like Ron Paul pass laws to restore "sodomy laws" and marriage bans.

    Looks like an ad hominem to me...

  • Trump-o-Matic 5000||

    I think this misses the point. Libertarians have always supported and will continue to support the position that person should be free to live his or her life as he or she chooses. The political alliance was between libertarians and the left. As government discrimination against homosexuals has declined, it's become increasingly clear that the left was never about "live and let live" but about using the force of government to impose their preferences on others. When gay rights shifted from non-discrimination to forced approval, that alliance ended.

  • PM||

    It is a humorous conceit to believe that anybody actually ever gave a shit what libertarians think about this or any other issue. Accidentally winding up on the popular side of an issue for once doesn't mean that the people with whom you coincidentally agreed can stand your opinions on anything else. Libertarians are simply too small in number to even have been useful idiots for this cause. To the extent you diverge with the "equality" bandwagon going forward, you get to go back to the customary libertarian position of being an irrelevant contrarian.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Nobody gave a rat's ass what the socialists and prohibitionists thought either. But looter political machines instantly caved in to their demands when their platforms and candidates got 3% of the vote. That saddled us with the communist income tax and mormon/methodist prohibition amendments. It was the libertarian party platform backed by hundreds of millions of votes these past 43 years--and nothing else--that ended government rolling of queers. Search out "the case for voting libertarian" when next tempted to publicly bray incomprehension.

  • PM||

    Nobody gave a rat's ass what the socialists and prohibitionists thought either.

    Yes, those constitutional amendments approved by the legislatures of 3/4 of the states were proposed, passed and ratified by "nobody". If libertarianism were 1/1000th as popular as prohibition remains even to this day, the United States would look like Galt's Gulch. You're delusional.

  • Hank Phillips||

    BUTTHURT REPORT: Mommie! That ignorant defeatist coward said I was "delusional" and dissed my kewl argument.
    MOMMIE: Go to The Libertarian Republic and listen to "Should Libertarians Learn to Fight." Then crush the bastard like I'll crush you if you bother me again.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Whichever meds you're on, take more.

  • DarrenM||

    The whole bottle preferably.

  • QueerLib||

    I'm a libertarian, and I agree with you.

    Way too many libs suffer from delusions of grandeur or representing some "silent majority."

    And way too many also suffer from immersion in a bubble of right-wing Republican Party rhetoric and talking points, which isolate them from a more nuanced and sophisticated world.

    If libertarianism is to be a relevant part of the American political dialogue, you need prominent and active libertarian African Americans, LGBTs, Hispanic people, etc.

    Instead, all you see are white nerdy virgin guys, tossing out Republican platitudes and huffing about how much smarter they are than everyone else. And they wonder why the libertarian political brand is not exactly surging.

  • QueerLib||

    I'm a libertarian, and I agree with you.

    Way too many libs suffer from delusions of grandeur or representing some "silent majority."

    And way too many also suffer from immersion in a bubble of right-wing Republican Party rhetoric and talking points, which isolate them from a more nuanced and sophisticated world.

    If libertarianism is to be a relevant part of the American political dialogue, you need prominent and active libertarian African Americans, LGBTs, Hispanic people, etc.

    Instead, all you see are white nerdy virgin guys, tossing out Republican platitudes and huffing about how much smarter they are than everyone else. And they wonder why the libertarian political brand is not exactly surging.

  • QueerLib||

    I'm a libertarian, and I agree with you.

    Way too many libs suffer from delusions of grandeur or representing some "silent majority."

    And way too many also suffer from immersion in a bubble of right-wing Republican Party rhetoric and talking points, which isolate them from a more nuanced and sophisticated world.

    If libertarianism is to be a relevant part of the American political dialogue, you need prominent and active libertarian African Americans, LGBTs, Hispanic people, etc.

    Instead, all you see are white nerdy virgin guys, tossing out Republican platitudes and huffing about how much smarter they are than everyone else. And they wonder why the libertarian political brand is not exactly surging.

  • MarkLastname||

    "If libertarianism is to be a relevant part of the American political dialogue, you need prominent and active libertarian African Americans, LGBTs, Hispanic people, etc.

    Instead, all you see are white nerdy virgin guys..."
    Often being right and being relevant are mutually exclusive.

    And why should we give a shit about appealing to these special groups you mention? Does the NOW ever consider what men think, or have a qualm about shitting on that half of the population? Does the NAACP hesitate to try to expropriate innocent white people of their property to compensate them for what a few of their ancestors' did?

    I'm really confused here: if you're behind all this identity politics bullshit where everyone gets together in their little groups and compete with each other for demanding special treatment by law, then why should predominately 'straight white male cis whatever' groups be the ones to care so much about those in the other groups?

    Maybe the prevalence of 'nerdy white guys' among libertarians isn't evidence of something wrong with libertarians or white people or males or straight people (as you racistly/sexistly/heterophobically suggest), but just because those are the only demographics left for whom it isn't socially acceptable to demand free stuff from the government at everyone else's expense?

    I know, I know, crazy to suggest that a place where straight white guys go to hang out isn't innately evil.

  • epsilon given||

    Of course, neither NOW nor the NAACP are in the business of advocating Liberty for All, so they don't have any particular motivation against attacking men, or white people, or whoever else they might deem the Enemy of the Day.

    Advocates of liberty, however, should have no compulsion whatsoever reaching out to as many people as possible. Having said that, there are a lot of white, nerdy virgin libertarian types who spout Republican platitudes and huff about how smarter they are than everyone else, who are unwilling to reach out even to non-libertarian white, nerdy virgin types who spout Republican platitudes and huff about how smarter they are than everyone else!

    Having said that, I can think of at least three prominant black libertarian-leaning people: Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell, and Clarence Thomas. We would do well to find more...

    But we also need to convice more whites that liberty is the way to go: without as many people as possible, we simply can't win.

  • Foo_dd||

    a majority of people think gay marriage being legal is right, and a majority of people also think that business owners should have the right to refuse to service a gay wedding. when you take out those registered with reps or dems, there is about 30% of the population that believes these two things, simultaneously. die-hard libertarians, and those registered as such, might be a small number, but the libertarian mindset is much wider spread than people think.

  • Hidebehindyourcause||

    That may be true, but we're still a huge minority. I personally tend to agree a little bit more with Republicans and fiscal and gun rights issues, but that's where it ends. The influx of rabid socons have made them just a center-right(ish) progressive party where fair and calm politicians with a nice new small government vision (aka Rand Paul) fall to the wayside.

  • Number 2||

    Please explain this notion of "assigned" sex. Who assigned me my sex? The doctors? My parents? I am myself a parent, and as I recall, I had damn little choice in the matter of my daughter's sex. If not us, then who? The president? The great pumpkin? Surely you are not referring to a Spirit in the Sky.

    I understand that there cases in which a baby is born with both sets of genitals and a decision is made as to which sex to assign. In those limited cases the term makes sense. But I have seen the term used far more broadly than this. So I ask again: who is the Great Assignor?

  • Arisuka||

    Even in those cases it does not make sense. There are ways to find out what sex a baby with ambiguous genitalia is. No one but yourself assigns YOUR OWN gender and sex. Just because you decide that you aren't what you aren't later in life doesn't change that FACT.

    And would these "activists" stop equating gender with gender roles already?

  • Robert||

    Yes!! & Sex w gender too.

  • QueerLib||

    "who is the Great Assignor"

    That's easy. Just do ANYTHING that is non-conformist with relation to your gender in almost any environment outside of a major coastal city, and watch the reaction.

    If you're male, wear a dress and mascara and go through TSA security.

    If you're a woman, walk around topless.

    You'll quickly learn the answer to your question. Anyone who disagrees is completely out to lunch.

  • Robert||

    But the problem there is not w the assignment, it's w the rxn.

  • Hank Phillips||

    It's not like Scott to overlook the religious faith that justifies the use of force to take values from others. The graduated income tax preached in Psalm 2 of the gospel of Marx and Engels does indeed rob straight and bent alike to feed "unproductive hands." The capitation income tax shifts the liability for unlimited government spending from artificial corporations and their lobbies by bringing deadly force to bear on individuals, whose lives can be taken hostage to impose servility. Eliminating the personal income tax will free some well-off but ill-informed gay people I know from the shame of voting Republican to stave off looters. The original LP platform welcomes their scrutiny, and our spoiler vote are what changed those superstitious laws. Freeing individuals from the income tax will clearly benefit all of our small businesses.

  • DenverJ||

    So what's left to work together on?

    Well, here in Colorado we've now got legal pot and Mexican ass-sex, so I think we're done.
    Also, you know who else something or other?

  • Notorious UGCC||

    You know who else talked about Hitler a lot?

  • DenverJ||

    FDR?

  • Cyto||

    The public accommodation laws are not as simple as "an inconvenience" if the group is a small enough minority and ostracized enough that there are no businesses willing to serve them.

    There was a time when unmarried couples couldn't rent a hotel room. Or when interracial couples couldn't buy a house or eat in a restaurant. In most parts of the country there are enough businesses who don't give a rat's ass about your proclivities and just want to sell their widgets. But one could posit a tiny minority that gets completely excluded from modern society because of their beliefs or lifestyle. There's certainly no shortage of progressives who would refuse service to a white supremacist wearing a rebel flag and sporting swastika neck tattoos.

    Polygamous families face some level of discrimination, even if they eschew official marriage to avoid bigamy laws. I"m sure there are other groups that are even more marginalized. Like the sex offenders in Miami who are not allowed to live in any housing anywhere in the city and are huddled under an overpass - although their persecution is at the hands of the state, rather than individuals.

  • Arroway||

    I'm a gay atheist libertarian, and scrolling through the leftist echo chamber that is my Facebook feed, I can confirm a few things: The concept of liberty, to be extended even to those who hate us (as long as no force is involved) is an idea that is fading fast, and is often openly dismissed. I blame two things for this: public schools soaked in Progressivism, and plain old petty tribalism. Well, three things: the word "Liberty" has been used largely by socons (Liberty University), and much like the perfectly good word "progressive", has come to have negative connotations in the minds of those who are on the opposite side of the issue.

    Of course, at no time in our history has liberty been fully extended to all people in all cases. We have a spotty track record of living up to our ideals. Still, at least the idea was given lip service. Even that is changing. The positive consequences of liberty are downplayed or never even mentioned (to say nothing of the philosophical underpinnings of the concept), while the negative externalities are cynically highlighted. So in popular discourse, "Liberty to make a living/practice free enterprise" becomes "The freedom of businesses to screw customers over" and "The freedom to starve when you fail in a free market". "Liberty to choose one's associations" becomes "The liberty to exclude others and hurt their feelings (which has now become a form of violence)".

    The obvious solution? A Mommy And Daddy For Grownups: The Government.

  • DarrenM||

    If you have a position that people should be free and your opponent holds the position that is statist and in favor of controlling you, you end up having to become more statist yourself just to oppose your opponent. Statism wins either way. It becomes a habit, self-reinforcing, and habits can be hard to break.

  • Arroway||

    I regard the relationship between statism and liberty to be generally the same as the relationship between religion and atheism. Atheism is not another form of religion, it is the absence of religion. I regard liberty as an absence of statism, though a minimal legal framework is needed to maintain this natural state because not everyone respects the rights of others. I am not an anarchist.
    I get what you're saying, though I don't reach the same conclusion. Yes, those who value liberty must become more involved and adept at navigating the world of politics, and yes, we must organize to use force to keep the control freaks at bay. But as long as the goal remains the PREVENTION of the creation of laws that impinge on liberty, leaving only the minimal rule-of-law framework, we may be able to avoid becoming that which we fight against.

  • Hidebehindyourcause||

    Well-said.

    You're basically a pretty fair person who tries to be open-minded. You have your reasons not to follow a religion, just as I have reasons to be a Christian.

    I actually think about what I read in the Bible, and libertarianism makes more sense than social conservatism. I can have my personal moral world view, but it's clear in the Book that I shouldn't try to force any of that on others. This is what really, really ticks me off about the majority of Republicans who claim to be Christian. They listen to certain activist groups, that want government to make laws... to shun LGBT folks and remove their personal liberty.

    I am not an activist, never have been. I desire to have equal rights for everyone, but that's where I stop. Give each citizen the ability to carve out their own destiny free of government interference.

    A fair and compassionate to all view, unlike the crap that both of our major political parties are presenting us with.

  • Cloudbuster||

    I have gay-fatigue. My ability to empathize with the victimhood of a sector of the population that is more wealthy than average, more highly-educated and over-represented in the media, is just gone.

  • QueerLib||

    1) The idea that "libertarians" and "LGBTs" are separate and not overlapping, intertwined groups is a great example of how collectivist thinking dulls the brain.

    2) There is plenty to work on. I personally think that one reason why Second Amendment rights are so significantly under threat in the USA is due to the right-wing social conservative dominance on this topic -- when LGBTs are among the most-often-targeted groups for violence.

    3) Bullying is about physical assault AND the public education system that facilitates oppression against people who are different. That's a big libertarian story that libertarians -- being mostly in total fealty to the GOP -- have been quiet to tell.

    4) The gay wedding cake stuff is bullshit, but it's also out of the LGBT mainstream. The average gay person doesn't want to force anyone to make them a cake for their wedding.

    5) The idea that "gays are better educated, richer, etc." is also malarkey. But even if it was true, it doesn't justify the abrogation of the rights of people by government.

    6) The dismissive tone that many libertarians use in referring to LGBTs is inappropriate, especially considering that if just half of all LGBTs voted Libertarian Party in a presidential election, the vote count would increase four-fold or more.

    7) Most of the "special protections" crowd isn't actually LGBT -- they're straight Democrats who are trying to commandeer our identities to push a boilerplate socialist agenda.

  • EMD||

    "6) The dismissive tone that many libertarians use in referring to LGBTs is inappropriate, especially considering that if just half of all LGBTs voted Libertarian Party in a presidential election, the vote count would increase four-fold or more."

    IF.

  • ||

    Not to mention that point 7 is bullshit as well, with homosexuals identifying overwhelmingly as non-conservative and often describing themselves as 'independent' but polling consistently Democratic on non-LGBT issues.

    *If* half of LGBTs suddenly voted Libertarian next election, the libertarian party would suddenly become (more) friendly to 'free shit', 'taxed into equality', and other similar 'pro-human rights' policies.

  • QueerLib||

    What are many "libertarians" doing to make point 6 a reality? Oh, yeah, insulting the people they claim they want to vote for them.

    As for point 7, of COURSE most LGBTs don't identify as conservatives. Conservatives were busy trying to get them fired from their jobs, banned from military service, banned from adoptions, banned from entering the USA (if non-citizens) and even arrested and imprisoned for having sex inside their own homes.

    Numerous small-l "libertarians" have quietly gone along with this conservative agenda for years, yet then seem shocked (SHOCKED, I tell you) when LGBTs who have been targeted by all this Republican crap tell those of the GOP persuasion to fuck off.

    I'm one of those LGBTs, incidentally. I just found the LP. I'm sure as hell not going to waste my time with Republican conservatives, nor am I going to blame the average queer person from avoiding the GOP for the next half century.

  • ||

    What are many "libertarians" doing to make point 6 a reality? Oh, yeah, insulting the people they claim they want to vote for them.

    How awfully collectivist of you, thanks for reinforcing my point.

  • MarkLastname||

    "Be nice to us or we'll force you to give us money and special treatment on threat of expropriation or imprisonment." What a sentiment

    I'm tired. I just want my bank account to be left alone and I want to stay out of jail. Do I have to march in the damned parade wearing a mini-skirt and lip stick and a dildo up my ass to get that guaranteed?

    "nor am I going to blame the average queer person from avoiding the GOP for the next half century."
    Yet you clearly would blame the average self-sufficient white male for avoiding the Democrats for half a century.

  • Hidebehindyourcause||

    1. Agree
    2. I haven't seen that, but I'll accept your opinion.
    3. Depends. Does a libertarian vote using their conscience or vote for someone that will actually win? So fealty may not be the correct term, for real libertarians.
    4. Agree, and my friends who happen to be gay also agree.
    5. I know two gay guys and a few gay ladies, and yeah there's just like every other American in respect to their education, wealth, etc. They are really not all that much better or worse in those areas.
    6. I only know a few libertarians in real life, and all happen to be straight. None of us I'd consider to be dismissive of anybody, but to be honest we don't really talk about LGBT folks. Me and another gal thought it was right that the ability for gays to legally be recognized as married couples was the correct thing to do, but tbh the conversation didn't go past that.
    7. I'm not sure about this one. I see a lot of activists per capita in the LGBT community. The only time I care about anything an activist pushes for, is if it affects my rights. Then it becomes a problem.

  • Arthur45||

    Libertarian's big mistake was assuming that gay behavior makes logical sense. You have to
    be dumb as dirt to believe that whopper.

  • QueerLib||

    Actually, you have to be pretty dumb to not acknowledge that it is a standard human form of sexuality. You have to be dumber still to believe superstitions that say it's "bad" or should be banned. And you have to be dumb as plain old dirt to believe that government has a role in forcing people to adhere to your already-stupid views on sexuality.

  • Win Bear||

    Libertarianism isn't about determining what behavior makes sense; progressives do that.

    Libertarianism is about the freedom of people to make their own choices and live with the consequences, regardless of what other people think.

  • DarrenM||

    It found a gap of up to eight percentage points in callback responses to candidates who indicated involvement in a gay organization when compared to the control group, depending on what state they were applying in.

    This is not terribly impressive. 8 percent could be within the margin of error depending on the specifics. What companies were these sent to, for one? Has this been repeated? How many were sent out?

  • QueerLib||

    Nitpick if you like, but workplace discrimination is a reality for all sorts of different people.

    I happen to believe the solution doesn't include a government mandate (for ANYONE, including right-wing Christians).

    But acknowledging that in numerous parts of the country, an openly gay man isn't going to get the same shot at a job as a straight married guy with two kids and otherwise equivalent experience is just common sense. The same is true for a lot of other minority groups.

    The trouble with the "libertarian" obsession with participating in GOP politics is that such basic common-sense knowledge must be discarded to play, along with any commitment against statism. That's how you get "libertarians" who bemoan that LGBTs who have been under sustained legislative assault by conservatives for the better part of a century "aren't conservatives." Well duh.

    The culture wars, incidentally, are over. LGBTs won. Socially conservative attitudes towards LGBTs are rapidly approaching the point where racist viewpoints now reside on the spectrum of social acceptability.

    Either non-LGBT libertarians engage in this new reality, or they stick with the socons to extinction and then wonder why nobody's listening to them.

  • DarrenM||

    It's not nitpicking. 8% is just not that much. Plus this is "involvement in a gay organization", not just being gay, though I'd think it would be pretty weird to mention that on a resume anyway. You could probably get the same result for other types of organizations. There are other factors involved in not getting called back regarding a job. This study is just not that impressive. There is too little information.

  • toolkien||

    But acknowledging that in numerous parts of the country, an openly gay man isn't going to get the same shot at a job as a straight married guy with two kids and otherwise equivalent experience is just common sense.

    ----------------------------------------------

    That job isn't going to either of us (gay or straight) anymore - it's going to woman, preferably a minority. And the skill sets aren't even equivalent.

  • epsilon given||

    "But acknowledging that in numerous parts of the country, an openly gay man isn't going to get the same shot at a job as a straight married guy with two kids and otherwise equivalent experience is just common sense."

    Do you have solid statistics to back this up? It may very well be true, but I've come to distrust anything that we might accept as "common sense".

    To further complicate matters, sometimes a company wants a person who's going to work long hours, and would thus discriminate against the guy with two kids. Indeed, at least one workshop warned against having car seats in your vehicle when you go in for an interview, on the off chance that the company might send someone out to see how many kids you have...

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  • retiredfire||

    No, Government-sponsored discrimination is NOT nearly eradicated.
    It is still very much in existence and institutionalized throughout America.
    So long as there is one government encouraged, and/or mandated, preference program, euphemistically called "affirmative action", for any group, discrimination based on factors unrelated to the position applied for, will continue to be a blot on this nation and the Constitution.

  • Live Free or Die||

    Good article. I've already divorced myself from the LGBT community, despite once being supportive (I even attended Pride ceremonies as the token straight redneck guy). I supported ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell and supported civil marriage for same-sex people. However, I rapidly saw that hatred of many in the community towards conservatives and the lack of tolerance for people with different beliefs. The belief that Christians opposing same-sex marriage were no different from people opposing inter-racial marriages bugged me. I heard several people state that their goal was to force Christian churches and ministers to marry them and saw no purpose for the 1st Amendment's free exercise of religion. After all, those Christians were just hateful and privileged and had historically persecuted minorities. Hence, the time has come to respond in kind and persecute back.

    Instead of fighting for equal protection under the law, many in the LGBT community are now fighting for equal acceptance by all, which is contrary to the Constitution. If a Christian doesn't want to sell a cake to a gay couple or hire a transgender person, that should be their right. In a similar fashion, if a gay person doesn't want to hire a Christian person, that should be their right. Forcing a Catholic adoption agency to either place children with gay couples or close was the tipping point for me.

  • Robert||

    I'm in the same position. Now about the only thing making the libertarian movement attractive to homosexuals & vice versa is demographics, in the sense of the psychologic types that seem to be attracted to each. Libertarians are mostly male, as are homosexuals. Uncloseted gays & lesbians, like radical libertarians, have a high tolerance for nonconformity. On substantive issues in the advanced world, you'd have to be scraping the bottom of the barrel to find points to want to bring the groups in particular together. In the backward world, Muslim countries in particular but also many others, there's still a lot of work to do.

  • Robert||

    And transgenderism is such a mindfuck phenomenon that even bringing it up as a serious topic to address is ridiculous. It'd be as if instead of attacking race bigotry, people worked on getting acceptance of race conversions.

  • Win Bear||

    If a Christian doesn't want to sell a cake to a gay couple or hire a transgender person, that should be their right. In a similar fashion, if a gay person doesn't want to hire a Christian person, that should be their right

    But that is not what the actual political debate is about. In practice, many Christians, conservatives, and "libertarians" argue demand that Christians ought to be able to refuse to sell cakes to gay couples, and the fact that a gay business owner cannot discriminate Christians is, well, just an unfortunate accident that maybe will get fixed some time in the future. I'm sorry, but I see nothing principled or libertarian about that position.

    Forcing a Catholic adoption agency to either place children with gay couples or close was the tipping point for me.

    Why? Any non-Catholic adoption agency that discriminated against Catholics would be in deep trouble as well. When ordinary people have moral or other objections to government requirements or actions, they don't get granted exemptions. Why should religious objections be treated any differently from any other objections?

  • epsilon given||

    "Why? Any non-Catholic adoption agency that discriminated against Catholics would be in deep trouble as well."

    I don't see why this should be the case. As a Latter-day Saint, I would like any children I would place in adoption to go to a good Latter-day Saint home. Shouldn't I have the freedom to have *some* say in how my offspring should be raised?

    But I do agree that we should be free to discriminate for any reason. Laws against discrimination are laws that violate the First Amendment right to association. They are just as hideous and shameful as Jim Crow laws that *required* discrimination by all, even by individuals who would provide service to "undesirables".

  • Win Bear||

    So: Is that it, then? Is the gay movement ready to declare victory and go home? Don't bet on it. Now that government discrimination is largely tamed, gay activists are going after private behavior, using the government as a bludgeon.

    The idea that there is a single "gay movement" is absurd. There are may gay people, and they have all sorts of political beliefs and goals. Much of the shrillest voices "in the gay movement" these days seem to be feminists and SJWs looking for some other minority to use as a political shield.

  • Win Bear||

    involves religious business owners who don't want to provide their goods and services for gay weddings

    It seems only fair, given that non-religious business owners are legally obligated to provide their goods and services to religious believers and for religious services.

    Either eliminate both religion and sexual orientation as a protected class, or keep both. But giving special privileges to religion and denying it to others is unacceptable.

  • EscherEnigma||

    To answer the question in the title: no. Because Libertarians and gays were never *married*. At best there was flirtations there, but while Libertarians may have been on-board the "equal means equal" train before the major parties, they never really succeeded at moving anything. Sodomy laws, DADT, DOMA, and now SSM... not really much Libertarian or libertarian involvement in those fights.

    So divorce? You gotta be married first. And to Libertarians, gays were a fine dance partner, but never someone you took home to meet mother.

    That said, you should look at the Catholic Charities situation in Colorado. They threatened to pull out of the state if a Civil Union, which included explicit protections for them, was passed. So yeah... they're not interested in protecting their own rights, they are, and have been, using the religion card to bully others.

    And protections for religion? Fine. But when those protections become bludgeons against other people, you have a choice. Either give me the same protections, or admit you don't actually care about equal treatment.

    After all, the current situation is anyone can (under federal law, state law varies) refuse me service because of their religion. I, however, cannot refuse *them* service because of their religion. If you're fine with that, then you're not arguing for equal treatment, you're arguing for special rights. For religion.

  • retiredfire||

    Yeah, if religion deserved some kind of special consideration, they would have specifically included it in the Constitution.
    Wait.
    Wut?

  • EscherEnigma||

    Actually, non-discrimination laws aren't in the constitution. Those largely flow from the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

    Prior to that it was quite legal, and accepted, for businesses to discriminate based on religion. The government? Not so much. But we're not talking about government action here (which supposedly Libertarians and libertarians acknowledge shouldn't be discriminating against *any* citizen), we're talking about private action in business.

    So no. The constitutional protections for Freedom of Religion in the First Amendment aren't actually relevant here.

  • Hidebehindyourcause||

    It was all about government overreach, and stripping rights from decent law-abiding citizens to me.

    I was in agreement that gays should have the ability to wed in a civil union marriage deal if they want. Like-minded adults should be able to do that.

    Now that it's all legal, I have other things to worry about since my fellow Americans have the same rights as me.

    But unfortunately what I feared might happen looks like it could. The activists want more than what I have, and they can't shut up about churches that don't want to provide gay marriage services.

    My question for some of them would be, how is providing you deserved rights only to forcefully remove rights from another group even remotely fair?

  • EscherEnigma||

    My answer is thus: really dude? Name one church that's been sued over gay marriage. One.

    If you're gonna bring up Ocean Grove, I'm gonna have to cut you off. To be clear, it wasn't about a church, it was about a pavilion that the church had. And more importantly, a pavilion that the church had renovated using a tax break for which they explicitly said it would be accessible to the public.

    So to restate... they took government money saying the place would be open to the public, then reneged when they realized that the public included gay people. Oh, and it was about a commitment ceremony, not a marriage one (SSM wasn't legal in New Jersey for years).

    And if you're gonna bring up Couer d'Alene in Idaho, you're also out of luck. They were never sued, though they claimed they were an awful lot. And the town, when asked, said that since they'd re-arranged their business *before* SSM came to Idaho, the non-discrimination ordinance in question never applied to them anyway. In short: they lied about the whole thing.

    Got any others? I kinda doubt you do. For all the fear of gays suing churches and ministers it doesn't actually happen.

    Hell, even more broadly, there's been what, a half dozen relevant non-discrimination cases in the last ten years? Yeah, that's clearly an epidemic.

    I'd also like to point out a problem with your question: You ask how changing the status quo is fair, but you don't address the underlying problem: the status quo *isn't* fair.

  • Great+Grandma||

    Personally, I'm totally fed up with the determined to be over-sensitive section of our society who advocate that if their every thought and deed is not wholeheartedly accepted by everyone around them then they have the right to be horribly intolerant and discriminatory in totally uncivilized ways to their dissenters while screaming intolerance and discrimination to the government.

    In my view, they are the worst offenders of our laws against discrimination.

  • EscherEnigma||

    I can't actually tell who you're talking about.

    If you're talking about Christians, then I entirely agree. My entire adult life they've been making a noisy bother of themselves because they want the government to enforce their religious beliefs on everyone, and this doesn't look like it's going anyway anytime soon.

    If you're talking about gay people... heh heh, sorry lady, but seriously? There have been what, a half dozen LGBT-relevant non-discrimination cases in the past ten years? *That* is the "worst offenders"? If that's your "worst offenders" then you're pretty fucking selective.

  • epsilon given||

    "As a gay libertarian, I support the right of a baker to decline to produce a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, but don't expect me to buy so much as a cookie at their shop."

    Ah, so you're going to discriminate against a shop based on their religion! We need legislation to address this!

    Or, not. This illustrates two things:

    First, that no matter how much we bluster about requiring businesses not to discriminate about anything...yet, if we were to require the author of this piece to buy so much as a cookie from a Christian bakery, the howls would be very loud, and for good reason. We expect the Customer to have absolute freedom in deciding whether or not to buy from a given person or shop...yet we forget that, ultimately, Employees provide a service, and their Employers are Customers of those Employees. (Alternatively, a shop is an employee hundreds of employers, each who receive the shop's services a little bit at a time.)

    Second, in pursuing the belief that Discrimination is bad, we're going to get to the point where different discrimination classes clash with each other.

    How are we going to resolve such conflicts? We can't possibly let the people on the ground find the best compromises for each other! We can only fix this by legislation and litigation and executive order, because only Official Action can make things right! (Of course, much chaos is caused by Official Action, but that's just the side effects of doing the right thing...)

  • EscherEnigma||

    I think you think you're being funny, but I'd like to point out the "boycotts are censorship" post.

    So yeah, non-discrimination laws that include LGBT people are double-plus-un-good. So are LGBT people and their friends/families avoiding places and people that want to exclude LGBT people.

  • MHS||

    "As culture shifts, it would be more appropriate to use social media campaigns, boycotts, bad publicity, and other forms of influence to bring about changes in private sector hiring practices."

    But these tactics rely on stirring up public outrage, and thereby require that activists promote an atmosphere in which an individual's private beliefs and behavior are increasingly viewed as a valid reason to exert pressure on that individual's employer to fire them. That can't be good for the country in the long term if we want to avoid the erosion of freedom of thought, speech, and association as values. Government regulation of non-discrimination policies may be intrusive, but it offers a way to de-escalate conflicts over hot-button issues.

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