Libertarian Senate candidate from Dallas backs marriage equality

John Jay Myers

John Jay Myers appears on the Nov. 6 ballot as a Libertarian in the U.S. Senate race in Texas. In a new ad that has begun airing on cable around the state, Myers says he favors marriage equality.

His YouTube page says that a $5 donation allows the ad to run once in one to two zip codes on cable TV. He already has money to air it 575 times.

His platform is “End the wars. End corporate welfare. Live as you see fit.”

“It’s certainly not the government’s business to tell you who you can marry,” Myers says in the last line of the 30-second spot.

Myers owns The Free Man Cajun Cafe & Lounge in Deep Ellum.

Democratic Senate candidate Paul Sadler also supports marriage equality. Republican Ted Cruz, the heavy favorite to win the race, opposes marriage and civil unions.

Watch the ad below.

—  David Taffet

Gary Johnson slams both Obama and Santorum on gay rights, will appear in Grapevine in Feb.

Gary Johnson

For those who’ve been watching the GOP presidential debates on TV and wishing they could attend one in person, here’s your chance. Well, sorta. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that the Texas Libertarian Party will host a presidential debate in Grapevine on Feb. 25. The debate is open to the public, and among the candidates who’ve confirmed their participation is former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson.

Johnson dropped out of the Republican race last month and filed as a libertarian. And, unlike some other so-called libertarians who are still seeking the GOP nomination, Johnson actually supports same-sex marriage. In fact, Johnson sent out a press release just the other day in which he managed to slam both President Barack Obama and anti-gay GOP candidate Rick Santorum for their positions on LGBT equality (alas, “at least [Santorum] is consistent”). We’re not sure why Johnson left out Ron Paul, but here’s an excerpt:

“Rick Santorum’s position is unconstitutional. The Constitution requires that all citizens be treated equally and makes no reference to gender in assuring those equal rights,” said Johnson. “By any fair measure, equal access to marriage for all Americans is a right — guaranteed by the Constitution. Senator Santorum’s claim that legally recognizing gay marriage would be no different than legalizing polygamy, child molestation or bestiality is repugnant and insulting to millions of gay Americans,” said the former New Mexico Governor.

Johnson had equally harsh criticism for President Barack Obama. “The New York Times reports that while President Obama gives lip service to gay equality, the President will not support gay marriage before the election because of the opposition of African Americans, as reflected in his polling, and the need to assure maximum support from African American voters in November,” said Johnson. “Instead the President sends out surrogates to imply that he will support gay marriage in a second term.

“President Obama did the same kind of dance around the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’. He promised to repeal it in his campaign, then dragged his feet on repealing it as President, even sending the Justice Department’s lawyers into court to defend it. Then when ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ was finally repealed by Congress, he claimed victory and a promise fulfilled.

“As for Rick Santorum, at least he is consistent. He not only opposed the repeal of DADT, he has promised to return our military to the Dark Ages and reinstate it, and claims that repealing such a discriminatory policy has somehow been ‘detrimental’ to gays.

“I, for one, am tired of seeing candidates for president – including the President himself, play political games with people’s lives and happiness. Perhaps it’s time for a president who leads based upon principle instead of polls,” he said.

—  John Wright

Libertarian Party: “Battered Gay Voter Syndrome” Hinders Equality

Box_libertarian_party_stickers_door_hangers-2This nation's political parties are rapidly realizing that the "gay vote" matters and are stepping up their efforts to woo LGBT Americans.

National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman John Cornyn, for example, attended a Log Cabin Republican dinner this week, a first for a GOP leader, and the White House continues to insist the President opposes Don't Ask, Don't Tell, despite a DOJ objection to judicial repeal.

It's no surprise, then, that the national Libertarian Party would also throw its hat in the LGBT ring. Their attempt, based on the "battered gay syndrome" that comes with voting Democrat, deserves, and earns, a double-take.

Highlighting the Democrat-led Congress' failure on gay equality, including its inability to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act and Don't Ask, Don't Tell, for which they hold Harry Reid accountable, the Party contends that gay voters must turn their backs on the party to break "battered gay voter syndrome."

"Like abused spouses who keep returning to their aggressors, gay voters keep handing their votes to the Democrats who abuse them," opens the statement. The next line echoes tones both of ex-gay and "blame the victim" sentiments: "The Libertarian Party (LP) wants to break this self-destructive behavior and offers LGBT voters a better alternative." Subtly isn't the party's strong suit, is it?

"Unlike the Democratic and Republican Parties, the Libertarian Party believes that gays and lesbians deserve equal treatment under the law," the statement later asserts, before celebrating the party's mixed bag of inclusion: "black, white, young, old, straight, gay, Christian, atheist, yuppie, hippie, rich, poor, greedy, generous, eccentric and just plain average." It's quite a roster of adherents, yes, and one the party attempts to address with their platform's "personal relationship" clause.

"Sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the  government's treatment of individuals, such as in current marriage, child custody, adoption,  immigration or military service laws," the party's platform declares. "Government does not have the authority to define, license or  restrict personal relationships. Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices  and personal relationships." But political platforms don't always translate to real life, civic practice.

Many LGBT voters are rightfully angry with Democrats at the moment The Libertarians, despite their state's rights stance and "get government out" proclamations, tend to lean more right than left when it comes to what we refer to as LGBT equality.

On the matter of the Boy Scouts of America's persistent exclusion of gay scout leaders, Libertarians favor the Scouts, arguing that neither the government, nor civil society, should infringe a private, member-based organization, and their critiques of the Democratic party are right out of the Republican play book. Take a look at their DADT attack on Reid, whose "procedural no vote" they blame for this week's failed repeal. 

The Libertarians write, "Reid claims he voted for [no] procedural reasons, but the whole situation seems calculated to look like they're trying to help, while making sure they don't actually help," while the LCR blasted Reid for "playing political games with the lives of the brave gay men and women serving in our military."

There's not necessarily wrong with leaning right, or Republicans for that matter, but the Libertarians don't necessarily offer a robust alternative. Gay voters need to be asking themselves, "Are the Libertarians the way to go?" And, more to the point, is the Libertarian Party's "battered gay" approach appropriate?

One thing's for sure: the Party's angle definitely got our attention.


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

Libertarian Party To Gays: Leave Your Abusive Democratic “Spouse” And Join Us

The Libertarian Party has launched a campaign to lure gay voters, saying, “Like abused spouses who keep returning to their aggressors, gay voters keep handing their votes to the Democrats who abuse them.” The statement continues:

The Libertarian Party (LP) wants to break this self-destructive behavior and offers LGBT voters a better alternative. LP Chairman Mark Hinkle said, “Exit polls indicate that Democrats get over 70% of LGBT votes in federal elections. Those voters must really love the Democrats’ rhetoric, because they certainly aren’t seeing any action. “President Obama and the Democrats had almost a year of complete control of the federal government: the Presidency, the House, and a filibuster-proof 60 votes in the Senate.

“They could have repealed ‘don’t ask don’t tell.’ They could have gotten rid of the Defense of Marriage Act. But they didn’t do either of those things. That’s a complete and total betrayal of all the promises they made to gay and lesbian voters for years. “After a carefully orchestrated failure in the Senate, the Democrats are now blaming Republicans for blocking the repeal of ‘don’t ask don’t tell.’ Of course, three Democrats just voted against it too, including Majority Leader Harry Reid. Reid claims he voted for procedural reasons, but the whole situation seems calculated to look like they’re trying to help, while making sure they don’t actually help.” Unlike the Democratic and Republican Parties, the Libertarian Party believes that gays and lesbians deserve equal treatment under the law.

The statement concludes that the Libertarian Party “neither supports nor opposes gay relationships.”

Obviously the Libertarian Party seeks to capitalize on LGBT disenchantment with the Obama administration and further splinter the gay vote to the benefit of the GOP. Nothing more, nothing less. Most self-described libertarian candidates, of course, actually run on the GOP ticket. (Witness today’s post about Colorado’s Stephen Bailey.) Very few officially Libertarian candidates ever become viable candidates in general elections. Talk about throwing your vote away!

But just for the sake of argument, let’s tick off the official Libertarian agenda as posted on their website:

1. Abolish welfare.
2. Abolish Social Security.
3. Abolish the IRS.
4. Abolish the FDA.
5. Allow insurance companies to exclude any disease.
6. Dismantle the public school system.
7. Allow machine gun ownership and open-carry anywhere.
8. End foreign aid to starving nations.
9. Sell all national parks to private groups.

To be fair, the Libertarian Party does have reasonable positions on immigration reform, privacy, and the war on drugs. But the essential takeaway from reading their platform is this: “If you are impoverished, starving, desperately ill, unemployed, or uneducated…tough shit. Don’t come to the government with your lazy unpatriotic hand out. Every American for himself. Get the fuck out of here.”

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright