My correspondence with Ron Paul about gay rights

My initial contact (sent May 31, 2007):

Dear Ron Paul,

As a gay man, I would really like to see you take a strong stance on gay rights as you have done with the war and immigration. I read that you are a libertarian and when I googled that term this is what I found:

Libertarianism is a political philosophy maintaining that all persons are the absolute owners of their own lives, and should be free to do whatever they wish with their persons or property, provided they allow others the same liberty and avoid abusing their liberty.

How can you NOT support gay rights and equality if you truly believe the above statement?

Sincerely,
Brian

___________________________________________

Response from campaign:

Dr. Paul voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment, one of only a few Republicans to do so.

Thanks for contacting us,
[name removed]
Ron Paul 2008

___________________________________________

My response:

According to the research that I have done, Dr. Paul voted against the FMA only because he believes that federal law should not trump state law, not because he believes in protecting or expanding gay rights.

Sincerely,
Brian

I have not received a reply back from the Dr. Paul’s campaign. Here is an image of the email correspondence with the last names blocked out.

ron_paul_email

Author: Brian

Blogger. Bookworm. Michael Jackson fanatic. Lives in Kentucky with partner of 11 years and three fabulous felines.

145 thoughts on “My correspondence with Ron Paul about gay rights”

  1. I still like many of the things that he says, but there seems to be a disconnect somewhere in his views on equality.

    From Wiki:

    Paul has said that federal officials changing the definition of marriage to allow “same-sex marriage” is “an act of social engineering profoundly hostile to liberty.”[122]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_positions_of_Ron_Paul

    If he believes all people are equal under the Constitution, then how can he defend straight-marriage (DOMA), while speaking against same-sex marriage. It seems hypocritical.

  2. Exactly, because teaching children that marriage is something they should aspire to have in their lives is “social engineering”. Any value that gets passed down would be social engineering, yet paleoconservatives are so eager to criticize the “diversicrats” of teaching inclusiveness. I don’t know where the compromise can be.

  3. It will be a joyous day for me when Americans stop describing themselves as “something-American” rather than just saying plain American. I am a guy who just happens to be black. I am a heterosexual as well and I am left handed, and an engineer by profession. Can you imagine how many names or descriptons that can be ascribed to me? My thoughts are that we are born with our inalienable rights and as people there are only bad people and good people; no matter if we are black, white, yellow, gay, straight, or can’t decide who we are. We are on the slippery slope of discrimination today because we deceided years ago to categorize people and accord special “rights” to each category. The hate crime laws are good examples. Murder used to be a capital crime punishable my death. But today, if the murdered individual is black or gay, then we need a special murder category called hate crime, as if the victim is not dead enough under regular murder. We don’t even have the stomach to send people to death row anymore so what is the point of having special terms for such crimes? In the same time, how does one stand up for gay rights when there are no such rights? I we just followed the constitution and its intent we would be a lot better off today with our relationships to each other, for none of us are free of discriminatory thoughts ande actions. That is the nature of hemans and no amount of legislation is going to cause us to like or respect everyone equally.

  4. @ Dennis: You are correct that legislation will never force people to respect others. However, “hate crimes” by definition are crimes that are intended to terrorize an entire group of people, not just the unfortunate victim.

    I understand what you are saying and don’t necessarily disagree with you, but I do feel that a crime against a community is different than a crime against an individual.

    I also think it’s impossible to live without labels. We’d even have to get rid of our two-party system. ;)

  5. I agree with you Dennis. I don’t think we should call each other a such and such Americans either.

    Brian, Dennis Kucinich is going to be at the Ani DiFranco concert I am going to on Sunday. Have you considered supporting him or are you all about John Edwards now? Just curious. I’ll let you know if I get any insights on why Ani supports him.

  6. As a middle-class, Christian traditionalist and registered Republican, I am often grouped into that ‘right-wing Christian conservative’ bloc. I don’t fit the definition. There are probably lots more like me. I’m pro-life, but I support your right to make your own choice. I love my gay, lesbian, & trans. friends and relatives. I don’t care about anyone’s sexuality one way or the other, it’s simply no one’s business. I care only that you don’t infringe on the rights of others. I don’t believe anyone’s relationships are the governments business in any way.
    I chose my religion, my morality. I support your right, your liberty, to make that choice for yourself as well.
    Judge not, lest ye be judged.
    Do unto others as you would have done unto you.
    Love one another.
    Being Christian doesn’t prevent being truly libertarian. It supports it.
    Peace to all.

  7. Love this thread lots of great info. I started reading because I have a bunch of gay friends and I don’t want to vote them under the bus by voting republican. I’m a Democrat, but I just happen to think Ron Paul is the right leader for the America we have today. We’re struggling people… and I hate to say this, but its not all about who’s going to protect your gay rights.

    This man is in all senses of the word, a pascifist. Well… I take that back, he very aggressively believes in pascifism. As people have said above, that includes not meddling in gay people’s personal affairs. I believe he is a kind, good-spirited person from what I’ve seen. He may not protect your gay rights, but he will protect your human rights. (Which in-turn WILL protect your gay rights.)

    Everytime a touchy subject comes up, he takes it on straight forward and with honesty. I realized after watching him speak that that’s all our country needs to pull back together! We need someone who’s smart, honest, and brave enough to challenge the status-quo. I feel like I can trust this guy to do the right thing, he changed his stance on the death penalty after reviewing the facts and I think thats very brave of him. It takes guts to openly admit you’re wrong about something, or that your oponent in a debate makes a good point… Congressman Paul does this.

    I don’t think voting for Ron Paul will screw anyone over except the bankers who own this country. I hope you continue to investigate Ron Paul as I will, and continue to discuss this very exciting and REFRESHING candidate.

  8. Very thought provoking comments that have made me ponder something… Would a gov’t which takes no responsibility for promoting any sense of right and wrong (is amoral.. .is that a word? :) ) be better for the world and it’s people, worse or have not effect on it? Where does personal freedoms and protections stop and morality begin? For instance, I was a child when smoking was accepted in every establishment. Now, because of gov’t intervention, we have smoke-free buildings. I see this as a benefit to society, a “step up” in our treatment of each other and being better stewards of our planet. But this would not have happened without the gov’t dictating it. Is it the gov’ts role to set some tone- minimum standard? I’m conflicted about how I feel. Add to this, my belief that those in society who are NOT spiritual and do not follow any religious beliefs most often get their moral compass from the laws, it’s scary to think of the gov’t not having a role in promoting some positive behavior. I think more likely, many believe the gov’t has SOME role in being a positive infuence on society – it’s just that we just can’t seem to agree on what constitutes a “positive influence”.

    ps. I’m lesbian, Christian, liberal, conservative, american, fashion challenged and agree wholeheartedly that there are entirely too many labels. :)

  9. Having federal officials, whether judges, bureaucrats, or congressmen, impose a new definition of marriage on the people is an act of social engineering profoundly hostile to liberty.

    Ron Paul, July 22, 2004

    Source

  10. But Brian, Ron Paul is right. Marriage has been defined a certain way and redefining it would be social engineering. People who are married don’t always act married (yet they qualify for the benefits) and people who are not married sometimes do act married (yet have benefits withheld from them). What we all want is to be rewarded for our choices. You’ve chosen to be a partner in a committed relationship, and you want to be rewarded, but I don’t know that you’ll ever be “married”. Do you see what I mean? Would you have the rewards without the label? Or is the label what you’re fighting for?

  11. @ fightingwindmills: I used to think that having the rights would be enough, but the more I think about how ignorant it is to allow the rights but not the term “marriage”, the more determined I am to see full marriage for gays and lesbians.

    I think Ron Paul’s statement is rather absurd. First of all, allowing homosexuals to marry isn’t “imposing” a new definition of marriage on anyone. It’s simply opening it up to couples that are currently excluded. Allowing blacks and whites to inter-marry certainly didn’t redefine marriage, and neither would this. Secondly, he implies that allowing gay marriage would be hostile to liberty. That in itself is moronic.

    His statement was made in an attempt to get his bill passed that would protect states from being forced to recognize same-sex marriages from other states. While that may be understandable from a libertarian point of view, I think it speaks to his personal views about the issue.

    Many states didn’t want to allow interracial marriage, but the Supreme Court forced them to. One has to wonder what Ron Paul’s view on that might be, given that he always thinks the state’s wishes should be honored.

    Try to imagine yourself in my shoes. I work, pay taxes, and obey the law. I simply want to bind myself with the one that I love through a simple ceremony that is legally binding and provides important benefits to both partners. The fact that my government limits me to one particular sex, the one I’m not attracted to, is quite frustrating. It’s simply not the way things should be done in a society that values personal liberty.

    Sorry for the rant. I’m not ranting at you, just at the world in general. ;)

  12. It’s okay, Brian. Your frustration is understandable and I’m glad that you are able to express yourself so well. I guess it’s hard to find “the right” to be married in the Constitution, but I did look it up and I am thinking about it. Thank you for helping me think about it!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_v._Virginia

    I live in Virginia and I’m married to someone who has dark skin. I didn’t even know that I would have been going against “Almighty God” according to the judge of the Lovings’ case in 1959. How easily we forget our history lessons.

  13. The same God that motivates the majority to fight against allowing me to get married is the same God who asks of me no less than He asks of them. He asks this of me and my fellow man prevents it. There is no question as to Who I believe and how I will live my life. The more appropriate question is “does one persons faith trump anothers?”. Some churches don’t allow divorced people to marry, some don’t allow people outside of their denomination to marry members, etc.
    Do these same people have the right to tell my church who they can and can’t marry?
    Is this religious freedom?
    Is this equality?
    For my religious brothers and sisters – What do you think is the bigger sin in His eyes? To make this judgment yourselves and prevent me this choice OR allow me the choice and have Him indeed think it’s a sin.

    None are easily answered without reflection.

    “Might” doesn’t equal “Right”. The two concepts, while often used by americans to justify the abuse of power, have no inherent relationship to one another. The plethora of stories in the Bible talk to this very point.

    Peace.

  14. While I like much of Ron Paul’s libertarian leanings, there are a few issues I am concerned about.

    1. If he believes individual rights are the most cherished, and that capital punishment is an appropriate form of punishment for certain crimes, and that the federal government should not be involved in health care, then his personal perspective on abortion should not even be a point of discussion for him. His being staunchly pro-life is a moot point if his political principles are to be trusted.

    2. If the constitution intended to ensure individual rights of all people, then Dr. Paul should be saying “loud and clear” that marriage between any two people should be embraced and that all tax law, asset protection, death benefits, and personal freedoms associated with any marriage should be uniformly recognized.

    3. I disagree with Dr. Paul regarding “Don’t ask, don’t tell” It does not work because it imposes a code of secrecy that, by it’s nature, “protects” one “group” from another (protects hetrosexuals from homosexuals). Neither “group” needs protection, they simply need full freedom to live honestly.

  15. I think all of this talk about NOT allowing gyas to marry actually is a cover up for Paul’s homophobia.
    Citing all these reasons why Gays cannot be allowed into the same institutions is excluding to the extrems. If indeed he will not allow gays to marry because marrige doesn’t belong in the governmental sphere, is he then seekign to exclude marraige from government? I think not….he is only excluding marriage for Gays.
    Questions: does Ron Paul favor allowing gays to serve in the military? If he says no….then I believe that his talk of “freedoms” is a cover for simple homophobia.

  16. Why don’t we email Dr. Paul, direct him to this blog post and ask him to reiterate his official opinion? Brian’s comment #41 seems sufficient to me, but to others commenting here it does not seem sufficient. Dr. Paul lives his definition of family values, but at the same time he doesn’t think Americans need government to morally steer them in any direction in matters of religion and family values.

  17. Brian, I wish you peace and happiness.

    I don’t have an opinion either way (I know you’re thinking – awww c’mon everyone has an opinion – and really I don’t at this point in my life). I “used” to have an opinion until I realized that God doesn’t live in a box. Now my opinion is more based on what is right for me and what I will have to answer to the Lord for MYSELF.

    You know in your heart what is right and what you will have to answer for. Fight for THAT. Fight for your HEART.

  18. Brian,

    I’m gay too and found this thread because I am also searching for the answer you seek. He is dodging the issue and while I understand he is doing so because he doesn’t think it is a federal issue at all, that doesn’t make it alright to do so.

    If he is going to dodge the issue because he believes marriage should be left up to the states, then he should dodge the issue altogether regarding everything to do with marriage, which includes adoption.

    As for the belief that the current “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy seems to be working well, I think slavery worked pretty well for the white people, too. The problem that needs to be address is that it is NOT working out well for gay people and “don’t ask, don’t tell” is the tip of the iceburg.

    If he is up for leaving marriage to the states, then all federal laws that have anything whatsoever to do with marriage should be invalidated. It is unreasonable to think that is ever going to happen. Now that we are in the situation we are in, what is Ron Paul going to do to provide me equal rights until it is that our Federal government gets out of the marriage business completely?

    I don’t want special rights. I want equal ones.

  19. I started reading more about Ron Paul. On the issue of gay rights, I feel like Dr. Paul is neither particular supportive nor unsupportive of gay rights. He supports concepts and principles.

    About gays in the military – he said he supported addressing disruptive behavior be it heterosexual or homosexual, but not the blanket policy over a particular group.

    Regarding the Texas sodomy laws: he said Texas should be able to do what it wants, including enforcing the sodomy laws on it’s books, because that is a state’s right.

    Therefore I strongly believe ( not knowing if he’s actually said this ) that if a state decides to recognize same-sex marriage, Dr. Paul is going to say: Ok great that is your right to do so.

    This is in stark contrast of say, the current admnistration, that constantly imposes it’s own radical right-wing will over States’ own pursuits and decisions.

  20. carson grey, I think you are right about him. He feels the same way about abortion. For example, the New York State Assembly passed a law in 1970 making abortion legal in New York State–that is the state’s right. That is the way the system is designed. It doesn’t have to matter what the president himself opines.

  21. @ Carson Grey: I shudder to think of the state of civil rights in this country if each state were allowed to define their own laws regarding racial equality. That’s more than enough reason for me to support rulings by the Supreme Court.

    Its easy for someone living in a liberal state to agree with RP’s views on state rights, but a little more difficult for those of us planted in the south.

  22. Some candidates state their beliefs and positions and make a clear connection between the two. I believe this is how most people connect with candidates and relate to them. Some candidates are fearful that their beliefs will make them less popular, so they are evasive about their personal feelings and instead talk about policy positions. They are being purposely evasive and disengenious. When I recognize this in myself and others, it becomes easy for me to see who is an advocate for me and my life and who isn’t. (admittedly, there aren’t a lot of candidates who are). IMHO, our beliefs are what will dictate our actions most often and is the best indicator of how a person will behave in office. Huckabee and Hunter have been consistent in conveying how they feel on the subject of homosexuality and have been consistent in every issue related to this. We know they will fight against ANY attempt to normalize homosexuality. I respect them for being principled and consistent. I see this as truth. Ron Paul, like Guliani, Thompson and McCain all refuse to state their beliefs but rather make their position on homosexuality clear by their absence of clarity. They are uncomfortable with normalizing homosexuals but don’t want to offend or appear too religious (too right).
    I think as homosexuals we need to be honest about who our advocates are and stop looking so deeply for threads of information that we weave into reality. With so few advocates running, it’s easy to play that game but it leads us away from the truth. Kucinich, Hunter and Huckabee are the only ones who have made their beliefs clear and are consistent in their proposed policies. Scariest of all is Romney who has so convincingly played both sides!
    There is always hope but it is not truth. In the vein of hope, i think of Edwards who has been the most forthcoming with his personal struggle between his beliefs on homosexuality, where they came from and the idea of civil rights.
    I’m not advocating for any one candidate as I have no idea who I think is best to run this country. I just think, in light of the discussion on Ron Pauls stand on homosexuality, we can be more honest about it. I don’t get the gay warm and fuzzys with Ron Paul. I don’t get that he is struggling with his beliefs. I get that he doesn’t want to offend me. (not there’s anything wrong with that!)

    peace.

  23. Fightingwindmills – while you original post was from November on employeers and their comfort, I wanted to respond, as it was a very surprising question. I think of it this way, for the longest time the executives of companies were all men, they did not want women to become executives because they were uncomfortable with women in managerial positions. Whether justified or not, they did not feel women could do the job. The reason for having job discrimination protection is so that people can work and are not held back due to issues beyond their control. Someone who does a desk job, but is in a wheel chair might make people uncomfortable, should they not have any opportunties because of others’ prejudice. I understand that people often allow religon be an excuse for discrimination, but I find it unreasonable to force people not to work or for them not to have jobs because of their religion. Sure in a big city they may be able to find other work, but there are many towns in this country where no out gay person would get a job anywhere due to “comfort”. Should they be forced to move? If the shoe were on the other foot and people refused on a regular basis to hire a person simply because they are Christian, is that acceptable?

  24. Mark, thanks for addressing what I said. I believe in social justice, however I think it is difficult to legislate someone into being comfortable. There are situations that I am uncomfortable in until I have a change of heart due to close proximity with someone or an epiphany due to something I’ve read or heard. Do you see what I mean? A law will not take my prejudice away. It is not the kind of “fix” that heals society’s injustices. I think employers should be able to decide when someone is not a good fit for their business.

    When my husband first immigrated to the US he wasn’t hired because he was timid in interviews and he kept pushing the applications over to me to fill out for him rather than trying to do it himself (he doesn’t like to write because he’s left handed and his English wasn’t good at the time). He didn’t get hired until we learned the right way to present him to employers and found an employer that was sympathetic to Hispanic immigrants. But we didn’t cry foul and take it to the court system. There were things that he was able to change so maybe that’s not a good comparison to an out gay person who can’t change. But nevertheless he takes the prejudice that he faces head-on by being friendly and hard working and forming personal relationships with co-workers who are interested in getting to know him. There aren’t special rules in the company that apply only to him. That’s what I meant–I don’t know if special legislation that protects employees is the correct way to overcome prejudices. I accept that you may disagree with me. I hope my comments do not come off as offensive since they are not intended to be.

  25. fightingwindmills, japan daphne here. This blog was my introduction to you and your thoughtful and expressive views which led me to your wonderful blog.
    Your comment regarding legislating “comfort” is an interesting one and I agree with it. Though when I was reading about your husbands struggle getting a job, I couldn’t help but think that his skillset was the sticking point and not so much the immigrant part. You sounded as though you were sensitive to this part and I am wondering if you had contemplated the other possibility? I may have read you wrong and apologize if I did.
    I also do not want or feel its appropriate for the gov’t to get into the business of legislating “comfortable”… but… I believe the gov’t should DEFINITELY be in the business of legislating justice – and one persons justice is another ones comfort :O. I feel it’s important to make the distinction between private vs public and allow private organizations, businesses, etc. to discriminate (favor is an alternate way of saying it) if they want to, with the hope that people will ultimately be the force of change. A private golf course should be able to exclude women if they want. A public course that benefits from gov’t incentives, breaks and funding, should not. Being a woman imho, is not a comfort issue but a justice one.
    This view does however get sticky when it comes to religion – which is precisely why I feel that the separation between gov’t and religion is important. Churches have tax favored status, but have been conferred a legal right (right to perform legal marriage) AND they discriminate regularly… which is where I am conflicted. Somehow, a churches view on who is suitable for marriage is what is dictating the law. It saddens and hurts me deeply that my church cannot marry me though there are over 1000 churches where I could go that would welcome this request. Is this an issue of justice or comfort? Morality or opinion?
    This is why I am somewhat concerned about Ron Pauls view on homosexuality. (and you thought I was off topic!) I’m a Christian and I believe the athiest should be treated with the same respect and fairness as me under the law. Not all Christians believe this and that scares me on so many levels. There are no simple answers to this and a thousand differing opinions. Hope … and pray.

    So… I think I’m done for now. Whew. I’m tired. :)
    Oyasuminasai and HAPPY (and safe) NEW YEAR!!!!!

  26. Daphne, Thank you for the compliment. :) I agree with you about my husband’s situation. It was not about his ethnicity, but rather about his lack of skills and experience. That’s what I am getting at. People who perceive themselves as victims will say “I didn’t get hired because I am (fill in the blank)” but people who perceive themselves as fully human and worthy of a great life will keep trying. I thought that Ron Paul saw everyone as equal and deserving of equal enforcement of our laws. Maybe his campaign is all an illusion. I hope not. I know it is an extremely complicated and sensitive issue. I agree with you that ultimately people interacting with people bring about change.

  27. @ Daphne: Very eloquently stated! Do you have a blog? I’d like to read some more of your writing.

    @ fightingwindmills: I totally understand what you’re saying, but I am still convinced that we need laws protecting minorities in the workplace.

    Imagine if a business refused to hire your husband simply because he is Hispanic, even if he is more qualified for the position than any other applicants. That should be illegal. The reluctant business owner may still come up with some excuse to keep from getting in trouble, but at least the public would be aware that the government has taken a strong stance against racial discrimination in the workplace.

    Now, consider my own situation. I worked at my place of employment for several years before coming out to my coworkers and employers. Considering they were (and still are) devout Christian conservatives, I ran the real risk of being fired for revealing my true sexuality. I remember the overwhelming sense of relief when my boss said that I didn’t have to worry about losing my job. Others aren’t so fortunate, and I believe there should be laws protecting homosexuals from such discrimination.

    Ron Paul certainly sees things differently. Although he claims to see everyone as equal under the law, we all know that isn’t reality. Unless your white, Christian, male, and heterosexual, the odds are stacked against you.

    Great conversation, guys! :)

  28. Unfortunately, “states rights” can’t explain away Ron Paul’s support for the Defense of Marriage Act. DOMA does two things:

    1) Says Alabama doesn’t have to honor Massachusetts marriages (arguably federalist or “states rights”), and

    2) Says the federal government (IRS, INS or ICE or whatever they’re calling Immigration this week, etc.) doesn’t have to honor Massachusetts marriages — definitely anti-federalist and anti-states rights.

    Even the author of DOMA, former Republican Congressman Bob Barr, admits that this second part of DOMA is anti-federalist. But Ron Paul still refuses to make the same admission. Instead, he says he would have voted for DOMA had he been in Congress in 1996.

    I disagree with Ron Paul that “states rights” and liberty are synonymous. But I could at least respect his “states rights” excuse if he came out for a partial repeal of DOMA (the part that bans federal recognition of Massachusetts marriages), as most of the Democrats have now done.

    Of course the Libertarian candidates support a total repeal of DOMA, as you can see in the Outright Libertarians candidate scorecard:

    http://www.outrightusa.org/OL2008Scorecard.pdf

  29. Because of the dangers to liberty and ***traditional values*** posed by the unexpected consequences of amending the Constitution to strip power from the states and the people and further empower Washington, I cannot in good conscience support the marriage amendment to the United States Constitution. ***Instead, I plan to continue working to enact the Marriage Protection Act and protect each state’s right not to be forced to recognize a same sex marriage.***

    States’ rights and sodomy laws
    Ron Paul has been a critic of the Supreme Court’s decision on the Lawrence v. Texas case in which sodomy laws were ruled unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment. In an essay posted to the Lew Rockwell website he wrote

    “Consider the Lawrence case decided by the Supreme Court in June. The Court determined that Texas had no right to establish its own standards for private sexual conduct, because gay sodomy is somehow protected under the 14th amendment “right to privacy.” Ridiculous as sodomy laws may be, there clearly is no right to privacy nor sodomy found anywhere in the Constitution. There are, however, states’ rights – rights plainly affirmed in the Ninth and Tenth amendments. Under those amendments, the State of Texas has the right to decide for itself how to regulate social matters like sex, using its own local standards.”[164]

  30. Here’s an excerpt from the Ron Paul Newsletter, published in the 1980’s and 1990’s with RP’s name across the header. He now claims that he didn’t write the articles slamming blacks, gays, and Jews, but since most of the material went uncredited, most readers would assume that he wrote them.

    …Gays earn plenty of animus in Paul’s newsletters. They frequently quoted Paul’s “old colleague,” Congressman William Dannemeyer–who advocated quarantining people with AIDS–praising him for “speak[ing] out fearlessly despite the organized power of the gay lobby.” In 1990, one newsletter mentioned a reporter from a gay magazine “who certainly had an axe to grind, and that’s not easy with a limp wrist.”

    In an item titled, “The Pink House?” the author of a newsletter–again, presumably Paul–complained about President George H.W. Bush’s decision to sign a hate crimes bill and invite “the heads of homosexual lobbying groups to the White House for the ceremony,” adding, “I miss the closet.” “Homosexuals,” it said, “not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities.”

    Source

  31. When we talk about marriage, we’re talking about two things: the RELIGIOUS institution of marriage, and the CIVIL (legal) institution of marriage. These two things should be separate. Religious traditions vary widely, and their specific (largely illogical) moral commandments on things like marriage often conflict each other. If we are truly to be a land of religious freedom, we must be a land that keeps church and state away from each other completely.

    Thus, it is perfectly logical that one of two things should be done, in the name of individual rights: either
    a) gay marriage should be a legally protected right, thus guaranteeing that everyone can marry
    or
    b) marriage should not be a legally protected right at ALL, and people should not receive marriage benefits.

    Since Mr. Paul hasn’t chosen Option B, why isn’t he choosing Option A?
    I think it’s fairly clear that he’s a conservative homophobe with the rest of them.

  32. Excuse me, Anja Flower, but Dr. Paul believes that social movements shake up the status quo much more effectively than legislation does. If you believe in gay marriage you should talk to people in your circle of influence about it and do your best to spread your message socially rather than counting on a politician to legislate your way of life. First comes our society’s acceptance of the idea, then later comes the repeal of current legislation which favors heterosexuals. Since Dr. Paul wants to eliminate the IRS that will do a lot to even the score, don’t you think?

  33. fightingwindmills:
    Leaving Ron Paul’s Libertarian views on government finances aside, but mob rule is no kind of justice at all. It is our government’s duty to legislate and enforce law according to what is RIGHT, not what is popular. Surely Dr. Paul would not approve of a politician in the 1800s who sought to keep slavery legal, simply because it was popular with his constituency? Surely he would not be happy with a politician in the ’60s who opposed civil rights legislation simply because a significant part of The People was against it?

    Ah, but he would.
    And that is what frustrates me about this view: The People do not always know what is best for them, and are rarely willing to vote for anything that scares them but makes their neighbor’s life much, much better. This is why we have representational, not direct, democracy. It’s a flawed and frustrating system, but it works better than the alternatives.

  34. i guess if i don’t need a federal goverment as Ron Paul proposes then i don’t need a president so why should i vote for him. He has some valid points but i think his approach does not support unity but rather a “everybody doing whatever they want” mentality which often causes more division then people coming together to solve major issues. If he is so in love with state goverment he should stay out of the presidential race which -i hate to say is a federal thing that effects every person regardless of which state you live in— he is full of contradictions but i wish him well as an individual but not as my president.

  35. It seems Brian that you are somewhat biased against Dr. Paul. You agreed with Matt and the others in the first paragraph: and that is essentially libertarianism philosophy. You had only kind words to share in that philosophy and those words are the personal philosophy of Ron Paul that he has expressed through out 20 years. However throughout the course of the thread, you tried to dig up little pieces of evidence to try to discredit Dr. Paul’s believe in Libertarianism and miss the forest for the weeds. It didn’t matter how many Ron Paul supporters tried to explain to you that it “IS NOT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S BUSINESS TO TELL YOU HOW TO LIVE.” In an age when the government is growing far to large.

    Hypothetically, if he did have a personal preference, he still has shown over many years that it is the human right that is of utmost importance and he has also shown that your personal business is not the business of the federal government. It is even obvious that he feels it is not his business as a representative of Congress either.

    Your rights as an American are more relevant than the scope of our governments’ interference.

    Yet, still you reject Dr. Paul. It seems you should be honest with posters. You are simply pining for attention, not your personal support. (Which we would be honored to have.) If you are rejecting Lady Liberty because she is on t.v. calling for general public support, and not personally phoning you and flirting with you by telling you EVERY single thing you want to hear; you are STILL rejecting giving aid to Liberty.

  36. Actually, Athan, my original post shows that I was already feeling let down by Ron Paul’s stance on this issue. The more I read and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I did not agree with him. Still, I eventually decided to support his bid for the presidency and placed a banner in my sidebar, only to remove it a few weeks later when I came to my senses.

    And if having an open discussion about politics means I’m “pining for attention”, then I guess you’ve fallen into my evil trap. ;)

  37. Paul opposes federal efforts to redefine marriage as something other than a union between one man and one woman. Paul believes that recognizing or legislating marriages should be left to the states. For this reason, he voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2004. He spoke in support of the Defense of Marriage Act, passed in 1996, which limited the Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit Clause by allowing states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. He co-sponsored the Marriage Protection Act, which would have barred judges from hearing cases pertaining the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act. Paul has said that federal officials changing the definition of marriage to allow same-sex marriage is “an act of social engineering profoundly hostile to liberty.” Paul stated that “Americans understandably fear” the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage. He says that in a best case scenario, governments would enforce contracts and grant divorces but otherwise have no say in marriage.

    In 2005, Paul introduced the We the People Act, which would have removed from the jurisdiction of federal courts “any claim based upon the right of privacy, including any such claim related to any issue of sexual practices [or] orientation” and “any claim based upon equal protection of the laws to the extent such claim is based upon the right to marry without regard to sex or sexual orientation.” If made law, these provisions would allow states to prohibit sexual practices and same-sex marriage.

    In 1999, he voted for a House amendment (H.AMDT.356 to HR 2587) to prohibit the federal funding of joint adoption of children to individuals unrelated by blood or marriage. If passed, the amendment would have prevented same-sex couples adopting children in the District of Columbia because no government money would be allowed to be spent on vetting prospective same-sex parents or registering such adoptions.

  38. While I am speaking as a gay person as well, I am troubled by this fact as well. Dr. Paul has made statements that bode very well with me in terms of foreign policies and economic policies, among other things. But this is fairly troubling. I understand his christian faith has a lot to do with his view on homosexuality, but he also does give it fairly little leeway to determine his actual political policies on homosexuality. He bides by the personal freedoms as faithfully as many social libertarians I have met.

    However, the problem that I have is his near non-existant move to give gays actual protections. At the very least he will impose any restrictions enacted upon the group themselves, and for that alone he has my respect and, in a weird way, fascination.

    But, last I heard anyway, he still thinks Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is a ‘decent policy’. Understandably I do agree with his point that it is silly to single out homosexual affairs especially when heterosexual affairs in the military is so pressing. (high rape statistics are a real concern for women in the military)

    But what I don’t like, and this is where I lose track with many Libertarians, is that he like many others does not seem to be in full possession of the facts. I chalk it up to the fact that there truly are more pressing things to worry about. But what I disapprove of in don’t ask don’t tell is the countless members of the service are pushed out because of their sexuality who were outted, underline, against their WILL. Dishonorable discharges for servicemen and women for letting slip an I love you or two in correspondence with their lovers is caught in military monitoring of their communications and out the door they go. Men and women who would otherwise stand for exemplary employees of the military with valuable skills, at a time when we apparently need soldiers according to both democratic and republican fervor, are being lost thanks directly to this policy.

    So henceforth, I hope Dr. Paul considers providing badly needed protections to gays everywhere, rather than letting states turn dictatorial in matters regarding their lives. In many places, especially in the midwest, the gay grassroots are not large enough to compete with the popular stranglehold of christian fundamentalists who would undoubtedly pass into legislations that would undermine the rights of Gays and actively oppress or repress them within the states that they live. Virginia, most recently, is a good example of this with their stance against employment discrimination regulations to prevent homophobia.

    At the very least he has made an effort to at least strip away some of the antagonism and try to focus on more sensible issues.

Join the conversation!