Queer Individual Liberty Letter, Vol. 1, No. 1, February, 1993
A publication of Gays and Lesbians for Individual Liberty
LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
Kelly R. Young
Gays and Lesbians for Individual Liberty celebrates its second
anniversary this month, and we are pleased to announce some
exciting changes. Though we have always been committed to the
market liberal philosophy, GLIL begins 1993 with a focus on new
programs, new outreach, and new ideas. Over the past two years we
have built a base of support in Washington's gay and lesbian
community, and we appreciate the opportunity to bring the ideas of
market liberalism to this important constituency. Through these
changes, however, we hope to expand that support, both for GLIL and
market liberal ideas. (For more on market liberalism, see "What is
Foremost among the changes at GLIL is this first edition of
_The Quill_, our bimonthly newsletter. Under the editorship of
Dave Edmondson, we will publish _The Quill_ every other month to
inform you about upcoming GLIL events. _The Quill_ will also carry
articles on the latest ideas in market liberal thinking and other
items of interest to gay market liberals, including book reviews,
news briefs, and announcements. If you would like to receive _The
Quill_ or contribute material, please see "What Is _The Quill_?" on
A second important addition to the GLIL network is our Program
Series. Over the past two years we have seen our speeches,
debates, and panel discussions well received by those who are
interested in the ideas and policies that affect our lives. In
fact, our debate on gay marriage between Andrew Sullivan of _The
New Republic_ and Tom Palmer of the Institute for Humane Studies
was remarkably successful, gaining television coverage for an
increasingly important issue. As well, we have been proud to
sponsor events on hate crimes legislation and the platform for
April's March on Washington. These issues, and many others, are
important ones for our community and deserve serious attention.
To give that much needed attention, we have inaugurated the
GLIL Program Series, a schedule of monthly events that focus on
various issues of interest to our membership and beyond. We begin
the series this month with Richard Sincere's "Political Alterna
tives for the Gay Community." Mr. Sincere, the chair of the
Libertarian Party of Virginia, will discuss many of the popular and
not so popular political alternatives that are available to gay men
and lesbians. In March we continue the series with a speech by
David Boaz, Executive Vice President of the Cato Institute, on "Our
'New Democrat' President." Mr. Boaz, a market liberal policy
expert, will discuss the new administration's commitment to change
and its understanding of market institutions. For times and
locations, see "Upcoming GLIL Events" below. Future programs will
be announced in _The Quill_ and the _Blade_ as they are scheduled.
A third activity that has gained the support of many members
is our Happy Hour, held from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on the first Tuesday
of each month. This monthly (previously biweekly) get-together at
Trumpets, 17th and Q streets, N.W., gives members the chance to
socialize with each other and informally discuss issues and ideas.
It's also a wonderful opportunity for non-members to learn more
about market liberalism and to meet other gay men and lesbians who
are interested in these ideas.
In addition to _The Quill_, program events, and happy hours,
GLIL also contributes to the community as the opportunity arises.
In 1993, we will participate in the March on Washington and the
Washington Pride Day Festival as we continue to promote market
liberal ideas in the media through letters to the editor, op-eds,
and advertisements. If you would like to be a part of GLIL and
help us bring market liberalism to the gay and lesbian community of
Washington, please join us. Come by the next happy hour or program
meeting, write us at PO Box 65743, Washington DC 20035-5743, or
give us a call at 703-920-4023. We welcome everyone who is
honestly committed to principles of individual liberty, personal
responsibility, and voluntary interaction upon which market
liberalism stands. I hope we can on you for support, and I look
forward to welcoming you at our next event.
LIBERTARIANS PLAN EVENTS FOR MARCH ON WASHINGTON
Libertarians for Gay and Lesbian Concerns (LGLC), a national
Libertarian organization, has the following events planned for the
March on Washington weekend, April 24-25. Unless otherwise noted,
all events will be at the Channel Inn, 650 Water St., S.W., near
7th and Maine Av. More information will be available in April's
_Quill_ and in _The Washington Blade_.
Saturday, April 24: Libertarian brunch and hospitality suite,
1747 S St. NW, time TBA (call 202-483-1311). LGLC business
meeting, 4:30-6:00. Cocktail hour, 6:00-7:00. Fundraising dinner,
7:00-9:00; David Boaz will speak on "One, Two, Three, What Are We
Marching For?" Those wishing to attend the dinner should send a
check for $30.00 to LGLC, PO Box 447, Chelsea MI 48118-0447, and
specify their choice of fish, beef, or chicken.
Sunday, April 25: Persons marching with LGLC should meet at
BRAZIL AND THE U.S.: A STUDY IN CONTRASTS
Starting a conversation with a stranger is difficult enough;
maintaining an intelligent exchange is, almost always, next to
impossible. Different ideas are usually stonewalled not by
arrogance, but by fear. I was lucky enough to have a very
enlightening conversation with a young man from Brazil. His
perceptions of gay life and culture in America were unique to this
First: We agreed that America is still a very Puritan nation.
This is evidenced by the average parent's reaction to even the most
innocent sexual explorations of their children. Granted, with HIV,
AIDS, and STD's, safety is an issue -- indeed, a requirement -- but
sexual relations between adolescents did not begin in the 1960's.
Sex is a fact of life and has never been restricted to married
Second: America and other First World nations are at an era
in their history where basic survival is not an issue (for the most
part). More time can be spent on lofty and pretentious concepts of
morality; hence, we can fire employees because of their sexuality.
Paulo told me that the notion of an employer even caring that a
person in his hire is gay is ridiculous. With average wages in
Brazil about $100 per month, they have better things to worry
Third: Since sexuality is a private issue, homosexuals are
totally assimilated into society; therefore, gay culture or society
does not exist. Yes, there are gay bars, clubs, and saunas, but
there is no issue for gays to rally around and band together. Can
you believe that he said, "Gays are so united in America"? Doesn't
he know we fight amongst ourselves? And to say we are more
friendly than gays in Brazil was astonishing. "Most gays in Brazil
are arrogant," he told me.
Fourth: Sexuality in Brazil is equated with pleasure; in
America it is shaded by preference/orientation. He believed that
5% of the men are exclusively homosexual, that 5% are exclusively
heterosexual, and that a full 90% are bisexual. Adolescents, while
not actively encouraged, are fully expected to explore various
paths to pleasure. There is no shame or mantle of guilt associated
We talked for almost three hours, white-bread me and Brazilian
bronze-boy. I concluded that America should never be a melting
pot, one big cauldron of mush. We should be more like a pot luck:
distinct dishes that touch and complement one another, keeping
their own special significance.
UPCOMING GLIL EVENTS
Thursday, February 18: Richard Sincere, chair of the
Libertarian Party of Virginia, speaks on "Political Alternatives
for the Gay Community." St. Margaret's Church, 1820 Connecticut
Av., N.W., 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, March 2: Libertarian happy hour. Trumpets, 17th and
Q streets, N.W., 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Thursday, March 18: David Boaz, Executive Vice President of
the Cato Institute, speaks on "Our 'New Democrat' President." St.
Margaret's Church, 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, April 6: Libertarian happy hour. Trumpets, 17th and
Q streets, N.W., 6:00-8:00 p.m.
WHAT IS GLIL?
Gays and Lesbians for Individual Liberty, or GLIL, is an
organization of persons committed to the political philosophy of
individual liberty, both generally and as it affects lesbians, gay
men, and bisexual persons. As such, we welcome classical liberals,
market liberals, limited-government libertarians, anarcho-capital
ists, and objectivists, as well as persons wishing to learn more
about our views.
We believe that the source of sovereignty and the fundamental
unit of society is the individual and reject any higher secular
authority. We do not place the good of the "collective whole"
above that of individuals, since "the collective whole" is at most
a macroscopic averaging of individual actions. Nor do we accept
the majority as the final arbiter, since being a majority does not
confer ownership of the minority. Moreover, appeals to the "higher
good" are circular, since they presuppose a moral right to impose
one's view of the "higher good" on others.
From individual sovereignty we derive the *non-coercion
principle*, which states that no person has the right to initiate
force or fraud against another for any reason, no matter how
virtuous that reason may appear. This principle deductively leads
to "liberal" positions on some issues, such as as whether govern
ment should prohibit sodomy or drug use, and to "conservative"
positions on other issues, such as whether government should
redistribute wealth or protect us from our own foolishness.
We reject as arbitrary the distinction between "economic" and
"personal" individual liberties. If the individual owns herself,
then she must necessarily also own both her own body and the fruits
of her own labor, absent a voluntary alienation of either. Thus,
the two forms of individual liberty, often seen as being in
opposition, actually have the same source.
WHAT IS _THE QUILL_?
_The Quill: Queer Individual Liberty Letter_ is the bimonthly
newsletter of Gays and Lesbians for Individual Liberty (GLIL). It
is intended to include news of the organization, policy essays, and
other articles of interest to lesbian, gay, and bisexual Libertari
We welcome articles and letters to the editor. You may send
submissions for the April issue through March 15 to GLIL, PO Box
65743, Washington DC 20035-5743. Also, please ask about submis
sion by disk, e-mail, or fax.
If you would like to be added to the mailing list, please
write to GLIL at the address given above. While we do not
currently charge for _The Quill_, we should appreciate a contribu
tion to help cover the costs of printing and mailing.
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"Exalted Master, you told us that the world would end yesterday."
"My child, it did end yesterday, but you're too sinful to notice."