The following is a guest post by Senior Campus Coordinator Will Smith.
I’m an outspoken libertarian. I’m also bisexual.
To my surprise I have, on multiple occasions, stood and watched people’s faces contort in befuddlement as they try to reconcile these two aspects of my life. Many of my friends and colleagues in the LGBT community have stared at me, completely floored, as they ask me how I can possibly defend a party that hates gays. How can I work with people that want to take away my rights?
This disconnect stems from a basic misunderstanding about libertarianism. Libertarianism (with an emphasis on a small “l”) is not a party, it’s a philosophy. As an anarchist I don’t give the actual Libertarian Party much thought. They don’t represent me. (That said, it’s interesting to point out that the LP platform has supported gay rights since the 1980s, decades before the Democrats.) Libertarian philosophy holds as one of its basic pillars that individuals have the same rights regardless of race, religion, gender, or orientation; put simply, it treats people like people. Building up from that, any branch of libertarianism must have at its core a respect and defense of the rights of minorities, including the LGBT community. Quite simply, it is impossible to use libertarianism to defend any form of legal discrimination against anyone based on circumstances of birth. Once you understand this, the idea that libertarianism opposes the rights of the LGBT community is laughable and to claim otherwise is intellectually dishonest. That said, there are the unfortunate few among libertarians that “disagree with that lifestyle” or “love the sinner, not the sin” based on a distorted view of reality or their own personal bigotry, but, if they are truly libertarian, they would never defend using the gun of the state to promote their ideas.