Libertarians are challenging the view that Democrats are the only people who care about issues important to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. To explain why, Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate Dr. Mike Beitler has invited members of the LGBT community to meet with him Saturday in Greensboro.
The meeting will be at the home of Jack Register, Beitler’s campaign manager who is gay and a former Democrat.
Register said that the Democratic Party has had a shifting stance on gay rights issues. In contrast, the Libertarian Party has advocated equal rights in marriage, adoption, and military service, and the end of sodomy laws since 1976.
“What we’re doing is challenging the established idea that Democrats are the only ones who care about this community,” said Register. “We’re reaching out to those who are being disenfranchised by the mainstream parties.”
He said that most LGBT advocacy groups tend to stick with the Democratic Party, even when party doesn’t make their interests a priority. This “meet-and-greet” event is intended to reach out to individuals in that community to let them know that Libertarians are just as committed, possibly even more committed, to gay rights than Democrats.
One of the reasons Register said he was excited about Beitler’s candidacy is his stance on adoption. He said he was infuriated by the response he’s received from Democrats on this issue.
“Now that my partner and I want to adopt, the Democrats aren’t going to help us because it’s not politically expedient,” he said. “Instead, they have pat me on the head and said you need to wait your turn; the political atmosphere is not yet ready for gay adoption.”
“I am infuriated,” Register said. “My life is not built on other peoples calendars of when it’s OK to live!”
Equal rights for adoption is just one issue Beitler said he’s going to discuss. “There are institutional barriers in the areas of marriage, inheritance, healthcare, employment and adoption,” Beitler said. “Libertarians offer better solutions to the LGBT community than any of the other political parties.”
“Government shouldn’t be involved in marriage,” he said. “Marriage is an agreement between two individuals that does not need the approval of anybody else.”
He takes a similar strong stance on gays in the military. “The only question that should be a concern to our political and military leaders is if a soldier can shoot straight and not if they are straight.”
Beitler said his positions are based on the basic libertarian principle that people have the right to do anything they want, as long as they do not infringe on the rights of others. “Government should only intervene when somebody has infringed upon your rights,” he said.
Beitler has been a faculty member of the Bryan School of Business and Economics at UNC-Greensboro for 13 years. He hosts and internet radio show and has written two successful business management books.