Monday, June 25, 2012

Delaware Libertarian Candidates stand for marriage equality. Where are the Dems and GOPers?

The Delaware Family Policy Council has decided to try to twist arms at Leg Hall on 30 June to get legislators to sign their so-called Delaware Marriage Pledge.

Here's some of their propaganda [in which you can see the fine ghost-writing skills of a Dover City Councilman]:

Each year hundreds of people descend on Legislative Hall to ask their two representatives to support families. This year, we are asking them to sign the DELAWARE MARRIAGE PLEDGE.  
The whole team of Delaware Strong Families and DFPC will be there to welcome you and give you instructions. We make it as easy as possible for you to get involved and make a difference!
Use this bulletin insert and have this event announced at your church each Sunday until June 30! Appoint a coordinator from your church, arrange for transportation, then see our team when you arrive. It's easy!

They are organized, and they are quite qilling to "give you instructions."

Here's the plaintive email I received this morning on a Delaware LGBT mailing list:

We just found out about this (see below)...
Are we (PFLAG, CAMP, Stonewall, Equality Delaware, etc) doing anything united to counter this rally?
Just wondering.
 While the LGBT community is "just wondering," the politicians they count on to support the idea of marriage equality equivocate.

As I noted yesterday, Equality Delaware proudly lists individuals like Tom Carper and John Carney on their masthead, even though neither the Senator nor the Congressman have ever issued a positive statement on marriage equality--even after President Obama got his act somewhat together (he's OK with marriage equality if it happens, but because he doesn't think marriage is a civil right, he's not going to get off his ass and go do anything about it).

In fact, only one political entity in this year's election actually stands proudly and unequivocally with the LGBT community on the marriage equality issue.  From Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson, down the to slate of local Libertarian candidates in Delaware, we stand for the idea of marriage as a civil right, and we challenge our opponents either to chicken out and knuckle under to the right-wing "family values" noise machine, or to join us in this statement:

Libertarians would prefer to get the government out of the marriage business all together, but today’s reality is that marriage confers social, economic, and legal advantages on the couples whose unions are recognized by the State.
We thus agree with Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson that marriage is a civil right, and that the so-called Defense of Marriage Act is an unconstitutional attempt to deny the civil rights of some Americans in favor of the religious and social beliefs of others.
As citizens of Delaware we applaud the incremental move toward marriage equality in the legalization of civil unions, but this is only a necessary first step.
As Libertarian candidates for State and local office, we take the uncompromising position that Delaware should make the enactment of marriage equality a priority, and we pledge to work toward that end if elected.
We challenge each of our respective opponents, and all candidates in this year’s election, to make an unequivocal statement regarding their position on marriage equality, so that Delawareans in November will enter the voting booth knowing exactly where they stand.
Yours in Liberty,
Margaret Melson, candidate for State Representative, 14th District
John Machurek, candidate for State Representative, 16th District
Will McVay, candidate for State Representative, 32nd District
Wendy Jones, candidate for State Senate, 6th District
James Christina, candidate for State Senate, 7th District
Scott Gesty, candidate for US House of Representatives
Andrew Groff, Green/Libertarian candidate for US Senate
This statement has already been nationally published at Outright Libertarians and in other LGBT venues, and copies have been sent to organizations like Delaware Pride, Equality Delaware, the Delaware Liberty Fund, and Delaware Right to Marry.

This year, if the Delaware LGBT community really wants to see who stands with it, and if that community really wishes to make a statement, then it is time to support the Libertarian candidates who support marriage equality as a civil right.

It is time to get over the "spoiler" idea, or the Governor Markell "I'm for it but have no timetable" bullshit.

It's time to say, "You don't get my vote, you have to earn my vote."


Andrew R Groff said...

Here is the link on FaceBook for the counter demonstration being organized: .

Jesse McVay said...

In recognition of the fact that some diversity of opinion is allowed in Libertarian circles, I'd like to point out that I am a Libertarian candidate for office in Delaware as well, and my name does not appear on the preceding list. I'd like to explain why. My thoughts on the subject are pretty much summed up by the very first phrase of the statement, "Libertarians would prefer to get the government out of the marriage business all together," The provision for civil unions addresses the equal rights aspect of this issue. I don’t support further marriage legislation. In my view, insisting upon the use of the word marriage is a thinly disguised attempt on the part of gays and lesbians to claim some form of quasi acceptance of their lifestyle from people who do not approve or accept that lifestyle. They have a right to demand equal rights under the law. They don’t have the right to demand social acceptance from those who do not wish to offer it. Get government out of the marriage business. It should be regarded as a civil contract. There is plenty of law and precedent on the books to continue to treat it a such. If churches wish to further consecrate marriage as a holy rite, as has been their tradition, that is their business, and they can choose to bestow it as they choose. Government doesn’t decide who gets baptized or confirmed, and they should stay out of marriage decisions. Some churches will embrace gay marriage. Some won’t. That’s for the churches and their parishioners to decide. Progress happens one funeral at a time. I believe we are well past the tipping point where gay couples are generally accepted by society. Those who cannot accept this are fast becoming an increasingly marginalized. minority.

Dana Garrett said...

Is this marriage as a civil right stance new for the Libertarian Party? I thought you all were hyper about the 10th amendment.

Anonymous said...

The feds and the states both take advantage of the power to violate human rights. The 10th Amendment is only libertarian when the states act in a libertarian manner. Giving preferential treatment to some unions and not others is not libertarian.
In any case, this is not being presented as a 10th Amendment issue, because this is about Delawareans who prefer equal marriage within Delaware. It is not being framed as a federal issue. Of course, the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the US Constitution does guarantee that state ceremonies such as marriages performed in one state must be recognized in all other US states - so it is inherently a federal matter.
And, as long as the federal government grants any recognition to any type of marriage whatsoever, whether for taxes or for immigration, marriage has become a federal issue. That has happened for quite some time. If we prevent the federal government from recognizing any marriage whatsoever, then matters would be different.

tom said...

No Dana, it's not new and you should know that. Quoting Wikipedia:

"Gay activist Richard Sincere has pointed to the longstanding support of gay issues by the party, which has supported marriage equality since its first platform was drafted in 1972. Many LGBT political candidates have run for office on the Libertarian Party ticket,[45] and there have been numerous LGBT caucuses in the party, with the most active in recent years being the Outright Libertarians.

Anonymous said...

As I noted yesterday, Equality Delaware proudly lists individuals like Tom Carper and John Carney on their masthead, even though neither the Senator nor the "Congressman have ever issued a positive statement on marriage equality--even after President Obama got his act somewhat together."

EQDE was formed to pursue Civil Union Legislation, not gay marriage. Your questions will be germane if they push into marriage equality next. I don't know where they are on that issue.

Of course, those same pols may not have come out in favor of civil unions either ...

Dana Garrett said...

Tom, thanks for the info, but I don't understand why I should have known it. I'm not psychic.

Steven H. Newton said...

Dana, I do understand Tom's comment. You routinely comment to pose rhetorical questions and to tell us what Libertarians think about this issue or that issue. It therefore becomes quite difficult to separate the genuine questions from the straw men.

tom said...

Perhaps I gave you too much credit Dana. You seem like a reasonably intelligent person who might actually try to understand whatever subject you are talking about.

Given that information about the LP's platform and Libertarian philosophy in general is so readily available, anyone who put forth even the most minimal effort should know the LP position on basic issues like this.