Sunday, April 29, 2012

Classical Liberalism's Gay Past?

Is classical liberal history devoid of gay people? Given the prominence of gay people in the modern libertarian movement, it would be odd indeed if this were the situation. But, as it often the case with the histories of the private lives of individuals living in intolerant eras, it is harder to document such relationships. I would like to suggest two gay couples in the history of classical liberal thought. The first is that of Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850) and Felix Coudroy (unknown to me). The second is that of Etienne de la Bo├ętie (1530-1563) and Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592).

I'm relatively sure, that Frederic Bastiat was probably gay. He married, but in a very odd way. The woman was wealthy and he needed the funds at the time for the family property. They married and then basically never saw one another after that, she pretty much disappears from his life. I believe he may have written her some notes now and then, but they never live together as man and wife. It was a property arrangement, as was often the case for the more wealthy individuals of the time.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Libertarians are Winning the Culture War

The so-called culture war is being settled by independent voters and the winner is—libertarians. A recent Pew survey shows growing support for marriage equality, gun rights, and steady support for legalized abortion. In all three areas independent voters support the libertarian position.

The Left is losing the gun debate. Conservatives are losing the marriage and abortion debates. The only group that wins in all three areas are libertarians.

Read more here.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

All Men Can Be Husbands

Without getting into the debate on war and military participation, I think this short video will appeal to some people.

The issue is equality of rights before the law to enter marriage contracts. And this serves that purpose.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Libertarians and Bullying

Kenneth Weishuhn
The Sioux City Journal did the unusual. They published an editorial that they considered so important they devoted their front page to it. The issue at hand was bullying and the recent suicide of 14-year-old Kenneth Weishuhn.
By all accounts Kenneth was a happy boy. He was friendly and looking forward to life. Kenneth’s various Internet pages show this to be the case. But all that changed almost over-night. Kenneth told his friends he was gay. In rural, conservative, very religious Iowa, that turned out to be a mistake. While many teens find acceptance Kenneth was quickly rejected. Worse, he was insulted and threatened. They called him on the phone, they left messages on the Internet.

In four short weeks he went from being friends with everyone to being an outcast. And when you are 14, living in a small town, that can mean everything to you.

The Journal notes that the school system doesn’t seem to actually take bullying seriously. According to them only “2 percent of their students are bullied in any given year.” Surveys among students show the rates of bully to be significantly higher.

So what exactly do libertarians have to contribute to the debate?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

City Limits: a libertarian comedy

City Limits is a publicist’s nightmare: a comedy that makes you cry and a drama that makes you laugh. It has mystery, philosophy, politics, and religion wrapped up in camp humor. It’s a touch of everything, but it works.

Nothing is what appears to be, at least not when it comes to San Francisco. That is the first lesson that two young men, fresh out of a Kansas high school, learn when they arrive in the City by the Bay. Soon after arriving, Tony and Brian are faking reality with the best of them when they find it advantageous to pretend they are a couple.

However, there are always consequences to faking reality. Their charade puts the boys in hot water, endangering happiness of one of them, while leading the other to new levels of self-discovery. Along the way they encounter mobsters, drag queens, “exgays” and Ayn Rand. Finally, everything comes to a head when the Billie Ray Lee Evangelistic Crusade and Healing Caravan comes to town.

Absurd? You’d think so. But some of the strangest parts of this hilarious novel are based on real events. In San Francisco anything is possible. City Limits is hilarious tribute to the City by the Bay and the unique characters who make living there an unforgettable experience. Paperback, 223 pages. Save on the Amazon price by ordering here.

"I found it a delightful read and I highly recommended it." J. Tiritilli, San Francisco.

"This is a beautifully crafted story. It took me into a world I knew nothing about and then whipped me around on an extremely fun ride. I was left with an overwhelming sense of well-being and a renewed appreciation for the diversity of mankind. I read this in a single sitting on the front porch on a sunny fall day roughly a year ago. I laughed out loud, I read for pages on end with my mouth literally agape, and on more than one occasion I sobbed like a baby. When done, I sat quietly in bliss watching the wind in the trees with a huge grin on my face. It was as if the entire world were giving me a big warm hug." Frank, New Jersey.

"The author has a David Sedaris-like touch with humor, but it's not just a comedy. In a way it's a triple love story—there's a romance, there's the love story that is San Francisco—and for anyone who has ever lived in that city, it was like reading a tribute to a dear friend, and there's the love story of friendship. As the story unfolded, I don't know what I did more, laugh or cry. The characters are wonderful—I loved the smothering mother, Eunice, the marvelous Stella Delish, the limo driver, lovely Lizbeth, and both the young boys. I loved the crazy string of adventures that resulted from a well-meaning lie, and especially the surprise ending." E. Young, Vermont

Creationism and the Marriage Debate

One of the more prevalent arguments waged against marriage equality is historically equivalent to creationism. Creationists ignore science and argue, based entirely on their reading of Bible mythology, that the world is 7,000 years old and that species don't evolve. For them, reality has to fit their theology, not the other way around.

One of our projects at the Moorfield Storey Institute has been the fight for marriage equality. To do that, I've had to do something that opponents of equality fail to do: research. I've read a dozen or so decent histories of marriage, countless papers on the situation regarding the laws, and contemporary looks at what really does happen when marriage equality is realized.

In that study I realized that marriage and the origins of life are similar. There are two basic views. One assumes that marriage was created pretty much as it supposedly existed in 1950s America. There was a husband, who was a wage-earner, with a stay-at-home wife and 2.1 children. For good measure, there was a dog, a cat, and grandparents who provided babysitting when Mom and Dad had to attend a business dinner.