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Outright Libertarians is an association in the
United States of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and other
self-identified "queer" (LGBTQ) people who are active in the Libertarian Party.
The group's motto is "From Liberty Springs Equality."
Outright Libertarians was created in 1998 by a group of
libertarian gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons that wanted to persuade
their fellow LGBTQ persons to support a libertarian perspective on gay rights
issues, and to support the United States Libertarian Party.
It is the third LGBT organization of the Libertarian Party, with
the defunct "Libertarians for Gay and Lesbians Concerns" being the
first, and the "Gays and Lesbians for Individual Liberty" being
largely inactive since 2001.
on LGBT rights
The group supports the Libertarian Party's positions (which have
remained the same since the party's first platform in 1972) on
including equal marriage and adoption, equal military service, and
the end of sodomy laws.
Due to its philosophical basis in libertarianism, the organization is
often in the position of having to oppose civil rights
legislation for involving what it contends are intrusive and
unnecessary government regulations into private affairs. This
opposition often places it at odds with proponents of so-called
expanded protections for sexual
laws – opposes sodomy laws as "unwarranted intrusion
into the private bedrooms of all consenting adults." Even
through the United
States Supreme Court has ruled that sodomy laws are
unconstitutional (see Lawrence v. Texas), Outright
Libertarians seeks to have states repeal the laws from the books,
such as the one in Utah.
- Marriage – The government has no role to play
in the relationships of people, other than possibly as a record
keeper. While there may be privately-provided benefits to
registering a new relationship with the government (lower insurance
rates, for example), there should be no law saying you must do so
or who cannot register. There ought to be no government-provided
benefits to such registration (such as Social Security survivor
benefits), but if such government benefits do exist (and there are
currently over 1100 of them), then distribution of those benefits
should not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or
gender identity (since LGBT individuals aren't exempted from paying
the taxes that fund these benefits). They support the eventual goal
of treating marriage and other personal relationships as private
contracts and repealing current laws and opposing future laws
defining marriage or assigning special benefits on the basis of
sexual orientation, both at the state and federal level.
- Adoption – The government shouldn’t have any
role in the adoption of children except as a record keeper; unless
the government itself has custody of the child or children
involved. Adoption, custody and legal guardianship are private
issues to be dealt with between the custodial parent(s) or agency
and the person or people who wish to enter into these types of
commitments. Neither the government nor the police should become
involved unless there is evidence of fraud, coercion or abuse.
- Civil rights – usually opposes both the
expansion of civil rights laws to include sexual
orientation or gender identity when they apply to
private entities. They feel that equal opportunity legislation
violates associative rights, and that hate crime
laws promotes legalized discrimination against the victims of some
violent crimes in favor of others.
- AIDS funding – opposes any usage of taxpayers'
money to help fund, treat or fight the AIDS-HIV pandemic.
All AIDS research, prevention, education, and treatment should be
private and voluntary because they believe the government's Constitutional
responsibilities are defense, maintaining law and order,
maintaining basic government infrastructure, and record keeping
only. Outright Libertarians state that according to the
government's own GAO reports between 60% and 80% of every
dollar given to any department or agency of the federal government
goes to pay for its overhead, salaries, and all the other expenses
of its existence and that only an average of about 30% of each
dollar actually gets used for the purpose stated. Since so much
money is spent for other uses, Outright Libertarians believe giving
to a research or charity organization that has little overhead
costs is better for fighting AIDS.
- Taxation – opposes most forms of taxation and
supports libertarian free market economics.
- Boy Scouts
of America – supports the right of private clubs and
organizations, such as the Boy Scouts, to absolute "freedom of
association," but is opposed to any form of government subsidy,
even for non-discriminatory clubs.
As a grassroots organization, Outright Libertarians frequently
hosts forums, participates in debates on LGBTQ issues, encourages
debate and discussion on its blog,
issues press releases and statements of position, and surveys
Libertarian candidates about their positions related to gay rights
The organization also conducts active outreach through
sponsorship of booths at major US gay pride events; they have appeared at pride
events in Boston, Atlanta, and San Francisco in recent years.
Outright Libertarians sent out questionnaires to every candidate
running for President from the Republican, Democratic, and
Libertarian parties. Of the 23 candidates who responded, five said
they support gay marriage – two Democrats (Dennis Kucinich
and Mike Gravel) and
three Libertarians (Christine Smith, George Phillies, and Steve Kubby). All of
the Republican candidates and the Democratic front-runners (Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Edwards) said
they do not support gay marriage. Democrats Edwards, Clinton, and
Obama said they support civil unions, as well as Libertarian
candidate Wayne Allyn Root.
Outright Libertarians endorsed George Phillies for