Cato’s David Lampo: Incorporate Gay Rights Into the Republican Platform

I have written extensively before that the libertarians should abandon the Libertarian Party and join the Republican Party for a variety of practical reasons. That said, the Republican Party needs some serious reform to be more inclusive of libertarian ideology, and that includes ending the War on Drugs, rethinking hawk foreign policy, and supporting gay rights. The Cato Institute released a book last year exploring why conservatives and Republicans should incorporate the latter concern. A Fundamental Freedom: Why Republicans, Conservatives, and Libertarians Should Support Gay Rights by David Lampo is a refreshing exploration of why now is the time for Republicans to change their platform to stay consistent with their beliefs and hold the party together.

Frankly, I think that any time is a good time for freedom, but Lampo does a good job identifying existing current separatism on gay rights issues within the Republican Party—including evangelicals, Tea Party-ers, and conservatives—and why each subsection should individually support gay rights. His argument goes something along the lines of:

  • Quit quoting the Founding Fathers as a basis for the United States to be a Christian nation. They intentionally did not found a Church of the United States nor mention the Bible or Jesus anywhere in our founding documents. Separation of church and state has always been the Founding Fathers’ intention. To accuse them of wanting anything otherwise is misappropriating their name.
  • Christian scripture never points to using the state to proselytize. Christians don’t need to use the government to promote and spread their faith. The power of persuasion, if the cause is noble, should be good enough. Also, mixing religion and politics is a double edged sword. Don’t forget that Democrats have been doing it for years to justify the welfare state.
  • You have to consider gay marriage from a licensing standpoint. Nowhere does a marriage license enforce procreation, faith, or “holy union.” True “traditional” marriage would have to account for polygamy, harems, and child brides. Lampo argues that the money spent fighting against gay marriage should be used to strengthen the institution of marriage itself, by addressing high divorce rates and children born out of wedlock. But frankly, I don’t think these people should be involved in anyone’s marriage unless invited.
  • Americans support gay marriage. In fact, as of May this year, the percentage of people supporting gay marriage climbed over 51%. That is a majority, my friends, and it would be political suicide to ignore it.
  • Hey conservatives, if you really believe in the free market and limited government, stop trying to enforce morality. This only grows the government and manipulates incentives to allow choices to occur naturally.

If the Republican Party wants to avoid more crushing defeats, and yes, I’m looking at 2016 as well, they have to start appealing more to the American people and less to the Religious Right minority. Gay rights is a first step to keeping the GOP alive and well for this generation and the next.

If you believe in the Constitution’s promise to the American people to protect freedom and justice for all, gay rights activism will prevail. Next week, the Supreme Court will likely rule on DOMA and Proposition 8, and my bet is that the Court is going to rule on the right side of history. Republicans should consider getting on board.

Screen Shot 2013-06-21 at 10.12.52 AMA Fundamental Freedom: Why Republicans, Conservatives, and Libertarians Should Support Gay Rights is a fast and enjoyable read, and it’s quickly becoming a part of LGBT canon. I’d recommend it to anyone who has a free Saturday afternoon and an open mind. Check out David Lampo’s book on sale at Amazon.