Outright Libertarians is a United States association of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and other self-identified "queer" (LGBTQ) people who are active in the Libertarian Party. The group's motto is "From Liberty Springs Equality."
Outright Libertarians was created in 1998 by a group of libertarian gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons that wanted to persuade their fellow LGBTQ persons to support a libertarian perspective on gay rights issues, and to support the United States Libertarian Party.
It became the third such organization to exist, with the defunct "Libertarians For Gay and Lesbians Concerns" being the first, and the "Gays and Lesbians for Individual Liberty" being largely inactive since 2001.
Position on LGBTQ rights
The group supports the Libertarian Party's positions (which have remained the same since the party's first platform in 1972) on including equal marriage and adoption, equal military service, and the end of sodomy laws.
Due to its philosophical basis in libertarianism, the organization is often in the position of having to oppose civil rights legislation for involving what it contends are intrusive and unnecessary government regulations into private affairs. This opposition often places it at odds with proponents of so-called expanded protections for sexual minorities.
- Sodomy laws - opposes sodomy laws as "unwarranted intrusion into the private bedrooms of ALL consenting adults." Even through the United States Supreme Court has ruled that sodomy laws are unconstitutional (see Lawrence v. Texas), Outright Libertarians seeks to have states repeal the laws from the books, such as the one in Utah.
- Marriage - The government has no role to play in the relationships of people, other than possibly as a record keeper. While there may be privately-provided benefits to registering a new relationship with the government (lower insurance rates, for example), there should be no law saying you must do so or who cannot register. There ought to be no government-provided benefits to such registration (such as Social Security survivor benefits), but if such government benefits do exist (and there are currently over 1100 of them), then distribution of those benefits should not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity (since LGBT individuals aren't exempted from paying the taxes that fund these benefits). They support the eventual goal of treating marriage and other personal relationships as private contracts and repealing current laws and opposing future laws defining marriage or assigning special benefits on the basis of sexual orientation, both at the state and federal level.
- Adoption - The government shouldn’t have any role in the adoption of children except as a record keeper; unless the government itself has custody of the child or children involved. Adoption, custody and legal guardianship are private issues to be dealt with between the custodial parent(s) or agency and the person or people who wish to enter into these types of commitments. Neither the government nor the police should become involved unless there is evidence of fraud, coercion or abuse.
- Civil rights - usually opposes both the expansion of civil rights laws to include sexual orientation or gender identity when they apply to private entities. They feel that equal opportunity legislation violates associative rights, and that hate crime laws promotes legalized discrimination against the victims of some violent crimes in favor of others.
- AIDS funding - opposes any usage of taxpayers' money to help fund, treat or fight the AIDS-HIV pandemic. All AIDS research, prevention, education, and treatment should be private and voluntary because they believe the government's Constitutional responsibilities are defense, maintaining law and order, maintaining basic government infrastructure, and record keeping only. Outright Libertarians state that according to the government's own GAO reports between 60% and 80% of every dollar given to any department or agency of the federal government goes to pay for its overhead, salaries, and all the other expenses of its existence and that only an average of about 30% of each dollar actually gets used for the purpose stated. Since so much money is spent for other uses, Outright Libertarians believe giving to a research or charity organization that has little overhead costs is better for fighting AIDS.
- Taxation - opposes most forms of taxation and supports libertarian free market economics.
- Gays in the military - opposes Don't ask, don't tell policies. Supports allowing openly gay men and women to serve in the armed forces.
- Boy Scouts of America - supports the right of private clubs and organizations, such as the Boy Scouts of America, to absolute "freedom of association," but is opposed to any form of government subsidy, even for non-discriminatory clubs.
The organization is supportive of much of the work of the Pink Pistols, and is sometimes cited by the conservative authors at the Independent Gay Forum. As a Libertarian Party lobby, the group shares some positions, but also has multiple disagreements with, other partisan gay organizations such as the Log Cabin Republicans and Stonewall Democrats.
As a grassroots organization, Outright Libertarians frequently hosts forums, participates in debates on LGBTQ issues, encourages debate and discussion on its blog, issues press releases and statements of position, and surveys Libertarian candidates about their positions related to gay rights concerns.
The organization also conducts active outreach through sponsorship of booths at major US gay pride events, having a presence at pride events in Boston, Atlanta, and San Francisco in recent years.
Outright Libertarians sent out questionnaires to every candidate running for President from the Republican, Democrat, and Libertarian parties. Of the 23 candidates who responded, five said they support gay marriage - two democrats (Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel) and three libertarians (Christine Smith, George Phillies, and Steve Kubby). All of the Republican candidates and the Democrat front-runner candidates (Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Edwards) said they do not support gay marriage. Democrats Edwards, Clinton, and Obama said they support civil unions, as well as Libertarian candidate Wayne Root.
Outright Libertarians have endorsed George Phillies for President.