– By Stephen Richer
Libertarianism is the motivating philosophy behind lots of pro-equality Republicans (including yours truly), so it’s disappointing whenever alleged libertarian standard bearer Rand Paul associates with anti-gay organizations and causes. But here we are again: The American Principles Project recently emailed that Rand Paul will be featured at the organization’s Second Annual Red, White, and Blue Gala at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, February 5.
American Principles Project is a creation of Robbie George, celebrated Princeton academic who is a former chairman of the National Organization for Marriage, a co-author of the anti-equality book “What is Marriage?“, and is just generally one of the loudest (and most respected?) critics of the anti-equality movement. A look at the organization’s “social issues” tab gives a good idea of where it stands (or perhaps just the fact that it has a “social issues” tab; it does, sadly, seem to be synonymous with anti-equality).
Rand Paul also recently appeared at the Values Voters Summit, a virulently anti-equality gathering.
I’m sure some of this is just playing politics. But still, it’s a major frowny face for me when I read this about the guy I generally think would be a very strong president.
More on this later.
By Stephen Richer
Following my Facebook posting of Matt’s Politico piece, my friends had a nice little debate over gay marriage (for the 100th time). The main opposition to gay marriage took the form of “gays-make-bad-parents…we’re-hurting-children.” I’m writing this post to offer my friend the response he deserves and to put this “gay-marriage-bad-for-children” baby to sleep.
Here’s some of the relevant parts of the opposing view. (I think it’s fair to quote from my wall):
… the best environment for children, the foundation of society, the role of government, or the meaning of religious freedom. …
but I find it entirely uncontroversial to believe that all things being equal, children are better off growing up with their biological parents married to each other, and having a mother and father in the home, vs two fathers. … Continue reading
By Matt Barnum
I wanted to briefly join the pile-on that Stephen and Walter Olson began against the ACLU for its position on the Elane Photogaphy case. I completely agree with both of them that it’s pathetic that the preeminent civil liberties organization in the country won’t stand up for the basic civil liberty of photographing whom you please.
But the ACLU’s stance is particularly bizarre when juxtaposed against their view that students have a free speech right to where antigay t-shirts in public schools. From a policy (rather than constitutional) perspective, this is insane to me. I think there’s a good justification for stopping students from wearing potentially disruptive and bullying shirts in a setting in which they obviously don’t have absolute speech rights. (They don’t, for example, have the right to interrupt the teacher or swear at the principal.) On the other hand, I see little state interest in sanctioning the photographer when there are many other photographers in the area who would presumably gladly accept a gay couple’s business.
What’s odd, though, is that the ACLU’s contrasting views on the two issues suggest that it’s not simply “doctrinaire Left-liberal” think – as Olson puts it – that’s driving their decision-making.
I’m not sure what is.
By Stephen Richer
We’ve written about the Elane Photography case a good bit on this site. It’s an instructive case for why the Republican Party needs to play a part in gay equality: so the progressives don’t pass a whole host of gay equality positive right laws that trump well-established civil and economic liberties.
Witness the ACLU, one of the country’s most adorably inconsistent supporter of negative liberties. In the Elane Photography case, the ACLU turned its back on two important Constitutionally protected civil liberties: the right to free expression/speech (choosing whom and what to photograph) and the right to free exercise of religion (including not being forced to do something that directly contradicts your religion when it is not critical to the state). Instead, the ACLU sided with the newly created positive right: gay Americans should be able to employ the services of any Americans they want. Continue reading
Since many of you are joining us here at The Purple Elephant for the first time (via Matt’s Politico article), I wanted to say:
- We appreciate your interest in our project, and we hope you’ll check back regularly for updates on the Republican Party’s movement (or sometimes lack of movement) on gay equality, and
- We’re recruiting more writers for The Purple Elephant project if this is a topic that you follow. Email Matt (firstname.lastname@example.org) or me (email@example.com) if you’re interested.
Politico just ran Matt’s awesome article about the Republican Party, gay equality, his story as a gay Republican, and The Purple Elephant project. Worth a read!!!
When the House of Representatives voted to repeal the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy several years ago, I watched with rising horror as a map on my screen showed nearly every Republican member voting against allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. armed forces.
This was my party. I’ve voted Republican my whole life, volunteered for Republican candidates, joined Republican groups. Yet of 173 voting Republicans, only five—about 3 percent—supported overturning a policy that discriminates against people like me.
I knew, of course, that my party was behind the time on gay rights, but I didn’t realize it was that bad. The question that ran through my mind that day was one I’ve often had to answer since: How could I be a Republican? Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2013/11/the-rise-of-the-purple-elephants-100061.html#ixzz2l9rzMBJa