Why Socialism? Why not Another Way?

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At some point, people who are LGBT identified need to ask ourselves — why socialism?

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Chick-fil-A and Gay Marriage and — Government Overreach

Glenn Greenwald is one of those lefties I agree with on occasion, although his views on Israel are way off the mark. And, no doubt, he leans socialist. However, he is very interested in civil liberties, and in this — we at least approach agreement or sometimes even flat-out agree. Here, he brings up the recent Chick Fil-A business and how it is dangerous for a government to try and ban a business, simply because it does not agree with that business’s speech. It violates constitutionally protected free speech. And, I imagine that Greenwald, like me, is all for gay marriage. He believes that if you don’t like Chick Fil-A’s views on gay marriage, or their contributions to anti-gay marriage groups, write them a letter or don’t eat there. There are other ways to let them know you disapprove, and of course, you can ignore them and work for the side promoting gay marriage and drown their voices out with better, more articulate arguments. That works better in the long run, and — it keeps the anti-gay marriage groups from feeling, in this case justifiably, persecuted.

He writes:

“Should government officials be able to block businesses from opening or expanding due to disagreement with the political views of the business’ executives? Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel evidently believes he should have this power:

The anti-gay views openly espoused by the president of a fast food chain specializing in chicken sandwiches have run afoul of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and a local alderman, who are determined to block Chick-fil-A from expanding in Chicago.

“Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago values. They’re not respectful of our residents, our neighbors and our family members. And if you’re gonna be part of the Chicago community, you should reflect Chicago values,” Emanuel said Wednesday.

“What the CEO has said as it relates to gay marriage and gay couples is not what I believe, but more importantly, it’s not what the people of Chicago believe. We just passed legislation as it relates to civil union and my goal and my hope … is that we now move on recognizing gay marriage. I do not believe that the CEO’s comments … reflects who we are as a city.”

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I know this censorship (and that’s what it is, and in the constitutional sense) — is happening in Boston as well, thanks to the Mayor of Boston.

Rahm Emanuel’s Free Speech Attack

Greenwald points out to those on the left (or supporters of gay marriage on the right) who are still obtuse on this matter, that they most likely would object if a governmental body or agency decided to ban from the city or country any corporation or small business that supported choice, or gay rights or — (on the right) supported Israel. In Europe, I hear that governments are banning Israeli businesses, and this feels ominous to me as a supporter of Israel, but more importantly, it is an overstepping of the authority of government that we should never allow in this country. Let’s not be like Europe in this case, and I do think this is unconstitutional.

We do have protected free speech and just because it is speech that I don’t like, doesn’t mean I can get the Mayor of a major American city to ban it by banning the business. Since when does a government ban businesses based on their contributions to a cause? Plus, there is nothing more galling than a bunch of anti-gay activists feeling “oppressed”. Cry me a river. But in this case, they actually have a justifiable reason for feeling that way, and that’s just no good.

A new day for the GOP and the LGBT? Coulter at HomoCon, Log Cabin GOP

So, while I’ve been away in LA, at a certain book fair, the Grand Old Party has been continuing to build momentum toward a change, or at least a diversity of opinion, on the ever contentious issue of gay marriage. First, Ann Coulter’s highly anticipated and controversy causing appearance at HomoCon (for gay conservatives) was widely misrepresented in the liberal press as divisive. Looking for another perspective, I went to Coulter’s twitter feed to find out what she recommended as the real scoop, and found a link to the following article by Lisa De Pasquale of Human Events who reports:

“I was fortunate to be a guest of Coulter’s at a New York City cocktail party where she gave a short speech and did Q & A with GOProud, a group of conservative-minded gays. Unsurprisingly, Coulter stuck to her principles by defending traditional marriage between one man and one woman. They were completely charmed and loved every minute of the repartee. What’s a reporter to make of a crowded room of open-minded conservatives with Ann Coulter at the helm? Lie, of course!

Politico reported that there was “nervous laughter” when Coulter addressed the frequent argument that gay marriage is a civil right and akin to denying blacks their rights. Coulter pointed out, both with truth and in jest, “Gays have the highest income of any demographic group in America. Blacks must be looking at gay rights activists in bewilderment thinking, ‘Why couldn’t we be oppressed like that?’”

There was no “nervous laughter” except, perhaps, by a reporter unsure of the location of the 14th Amendment.

Toward the end of her speech, Coulter gave a reasoned argument for traditional marriage. She said, “The purpose of marriage isn’t for society to honor the strong feelings people have for one another, it’s solely and exclusively to provide children the best environment for developing into law-abiding, socialized, productive citizens—so they don’t end up on welfare or mugging us someday.”

There was no booing. No haughty retorts. No one left the room in a dramatic huff. Members of the audience were tolerant not because they’re gay, but because they’re conservatives.

Coulter also offered a proposition that was well-received by the event’s organizers and the crowd. After reminding the crowd of the devastation of single motherhood on children, she said, ‘Instead of promoting something that’s a terrible idea, that everyone hates and that I know you secretly don’t even want anyway, my proposal is that GOProud demand that heterosexuals start taking marriage seriously.’ “

Here’s the story: Reporters Freak as Ann Coulter Meets Gay GOPers

I think it’s true that in many respects, the conservatives I’ve interacted with SO FAR, and I admit these are not too many since really, I am only beginning this journey, but the ones I’ve interacted with are generally far more tolerant of viewpoints not entirely in agreement with their own. I can discuss choice or gay marriage with people who disagree with my perspective, and not be maligned as a woman hating, moronic, sexist, insane, or — (insert nasty insult of choice). The person I am speaking with does not appear to be about to explode or evaporate with anger. I learn a lot from many of these discussions, and I feel the other party might also, or I hope so. My experience with the (far) left is far more contentious and I add, far less respectful of disagreement. I’m not talking about you moderates out there! In any event, I am not surprised that Coulter went over well, after all I doubt that anyone thought she was going to go to HomoCon and pitch gay marriage, but her perspective and humor was valued nonetheless.

The GOP is grappling with gay marriage anew, as I’ve written recently. This is fascinating to watch and of course, I am hoping personally for a real change or an opening here. I think it will be a mixed bag, but I do see a change occurring. After all, the case for gay marriage can be made principally from the perspective of liberty and individual rights; when marriage stopped being about marrying girls off to the highest bidder, about property or status, when people decided to marry for love as much as for pragmatic concerns, gay marriage became inevitable. Some people, after all, fall in love with the same sex, and not – the opposite.

Another story on this strange and unexpected sea change from the GOP here by Matt Lewis:

“Other conservatives even went so far as to argue that supporting gay rights is inherently conservative.

“Conservatism and gay rights are actually natural allies,” said S.E. Cupp, conservative columnist and author of “Losing Our Religion: The Liberal Media’s Attack on Christianity.” “Conservatism rightly seeks to keep the government out of our private lives, and when you strip away the politics of pop culture, it’s this assertion of privacy and freedom that the gay rights movement is essentially making.”

This is how institutions evolve and emerge within a conservative culture,” says Jon Henke, a libertarian-leaning blogger. “In time, gay people will be married, extending the valuable social institution of marriage to more people. In time, conservatives will argue that the positive impact that marriage has on the gay community is further evidence of the importance of the institution of marriage.”

National Review’s Dan Foster believes the changing attitudes are largely generational, but added that “a central thread of conservatism, going back to Edmund Burke, is . . . gradualism.”

Change has come gradually, and it’s worth noting that Coulter’s decision to speak at HomoCon is merely the latest example of prominent conservatives (of all ages) lending, at least, tacit support to the cause of gay rights.

Conservative anti-tax activist Grover Norquist serves on the board of directors for GOProud, and RightWingNews, the blog site run by conservative blogger John Hawkins, has agreed to co-sponsor HomoCon.

Meanwhile, Ted Olson, the lawyer who represented George W. Bush in Bush v. Gore, the case that resolved the 2000 presidential election, recently worked to overturn Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriages in California. Fox News host Glenn Beck recently said he thinks government should stay out of the gay marriage debate. And The Daily Caller’s Tucker Carlson is speaking at an event hosted by the Log Cabin Republicans.”

From this article by Matt Lewis: Ann Coulter Applauded by Young Conservatives for ‘HomoCon’ Speech

And, where does the notorious and populist Tea Party stand on this? Of course, the Tea Parties are not actually unified political parties, but they are swinging libertarian. An amalgam of political impulses, ideas, and passions, they are a work in progress and represent discontent with big government and a huge deficit more than a veering toward pushing government mandated traditional values. That’s not to say that social conservatives are not well represented at the Tea Parties, because they are, but these same social conservatives also share libertarian free market principles and appear presently, more engaged with pushing back what they believe is the encroachment of nanny state socialism and big government spending. Here, the founder of Log Cabin Republicans gives his take on the Tea Parties and LGBT politics in an interview on NPR with Linda Wertheimer:

Mr. TAFEL: Well, it was a big experiment in the Republican Party for a decade over a decade, which was the fiscally conservative, less government, free market party was going to become the family value, social conservative party. And it sort of switched identities. And I think, actually, the rise of the Tea Party and the loss of moderates and independents has been a signal to the party that hey, there’s a lot of people out there who’s issues are fiscal issues, less government, possibly the military issues, and probably pretty libertarian on a lot of social issues. Those folks have been lost and now they’re coming back in different ways, they’re finding their way back. And I think the social issues folks have lost.

WERTHEIMER: So Glenn Beck says that gay marriage is not a threat to the country. Ann Coulter, who is a conservative political commentator.

Mr. TAFEL: Um-hum, um-hum.

WERTHEIMER: Speaks at a gay Republican event; Senator John Cornyn who is a Republican chairman of the Republican Campaign Committee in the Senate speaking at your fundraiser for the Log Cabin Republicans. It’s beginning to sound like you’ve won.

Mr. TAFEL: Well, we’re not there yet. I always felt like we were going to win because I spoke to so many young people in the ’90s.

And, no the GOP is not there as the recent “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” vote shows, but time will tell, and — I have a feeling that a lot will change simply because – as Tafel describes in this interview later, the culture itself has changed.

The interview is included here in an audio clip and the transcript:

GOP Shifts Stand On Homosexuality Issues

As a heterosexual trans man, this is not actually even my fight. But, I am not foolish enough to believe that denying gay and lesbian people their right to create intimate partnerships is going to help make my rights any more secure. I understand that gay marriage represents a radical change, I won’t deny this, however, people universally have experienced many radical changes in the last few hundred years. Some have not worked out, and others are working just fine. The time has come to loosen the bonds that restrict people’s ability to choose who they marry or partner with . People are doing it any way, as Glenn Beck has pointed out, gay people are “marrying” for all intents and purposes. Marriage or at least, civil unions with the same rights as civil marriage, can only create more stability for society as it secures and strengthens the idea that people make commitments that have consequences and responsibilities, as well as privileges. I actually agree with Coulter when she said that gay people should try and make heterosexual marriage stronger, how about some no-fault divorce? Or, an automatic opt-in for such for couples with children. Of course people may be discouraged from having children, which would not necessarily be a good thing. So, I’m not sure about this issue people, but I do think we have to free people to create lasting partnerships, if they wish.

I just believe ultimately in individual liberty.

Instead of Mosques – more sex stores! A Gay Libertarian Palin Supporter Speaks

Trawling about on the web, you find all kinds of gems. Here’s a funny, irreverent post from someone I just discovered, Alex Knepper, a pro-Palin, libertarian-conservative, gay Republican according to Libertarian Republican .

And, right from Knepper’s article in the Daily Caller, I quote:

“First of all, I like sex. I don’t like Islam and Islam doesn’t like sex, so I figure I’m striking two blows against religious puritanism with such a proposal. America’s refusal to censor pornography and sexual expression is glorious. Contrary to the overtones of the self-righteous neo-Victorians of the left, complaining about “sleaze,” there’s really nothing wrong with strip clubs or sex stores. Would Ayman al-Zawahiri frequent the Pussycat Lounge?

I’m not being facetious. I loathe this proposed mosque. The imam is clearly a “moderate” only insofar as he doesn’t want to blow up buildings, and, as an atheist, I don’t exactly oppose Islam on the grounds that Muslims need them some Jesus. Moreover, I’m a proponent of what pretentious academics call “low culture” — the fast-food joints, sex clubs, and novelty shops that are such “eyesores” to Nicolaus Mills of the Christian Science Monitor. Remember Britney Spears’ recent #1 hit “3″ — a song about a one-girl/two-guy threesome — with its immortal line “Livin’ in sin is the new thing”? That’s what Islam needs.

It’s not just Mr. Mills of the Monitor who is engaging in this nonsense. Run a simple Google search and you’ll find thousands of supporters of the mosque project complaining about the strip club. The right can take solace from this fact, I suppose: beyond allowing their teenage daughters to use birth control, the left is basically as sexually hung up as the right is. But the fact that there are strip clubs near Ground Zero is precisely why we shouldn’t promote mosques nearby. What an ugly contrast: a shrine to an ancient book of myths juxtaposed with sexual freedom. What better way to demonstrate our differences with Islamic totalitarianism than to declare proudly that we, as a culture, are okay with sexual expression? Let’s ditch this mosque and build another sex store.”

Read more: Daily Caller – Instead of Mosques Build More Sex Stores!