Mar 27 2013

Libertarian Party of Virginia Supports Marriage Equality: Urges the U.S. Supreme Court to Overturn both DOMA and CA Prop 8

Source: Libertarian Party of Virginia

(FAIRFAX) – The Libertarian Party of Virginia (LPVA) strongly supports marriage equality.

National LP platform (1.3 Personal Relationships):

Sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the government’s treatment of individuals, such as in current marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration or military service laws. Government does not have the authority to define, license or restrict personal relationships. Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships.

Chuck Moulton, LPVA chairman, exclaims “The Libertarian Party already demanded marriage equality in its platform 30 years ago – while the big debate in this country was over gay imprisonment! In contrast the Democratic Party only added a marriage equality plank in 2012.”

“Democrat Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) into law,” Moulton notes, “and banned openly gay, lesbian, or bisexual persons from military service with Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT). Democrats are late to the parade… Libertarians advocated for gay rights long before it was popular.”

The 2012 Libertarian Party candidate for President, Governor Gary Johnson, signed on to an amicus curiae brief for the American Foundation for Equal Rights in support of overturning California Prop. 8.

Although Libertarians would prefer government out of marriage entirely, if the state issues marriage licenses, then it must issue them to all loving couples regardless of sexual orientation. Lindsey Bolton, a LP candidate for VA HoD (48 – Arlington area) and a tax attorney, observes “Marriage is a fundamental right under the 14th amendment recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court in past precedents such as Loving v. Virginia.” (Many Libertarian legal scholars believe marriage belongs under the umbrella of unenumerated rights guaranteed by the 9th amendment.) Bolton continues, “The Constitution doesn’t grant or create rights; it recognizes and protects rights that inherently exist. Marriage is one such right.”

Jonathan Parrish, a LP candidate for VA HoD (23 – Lynchburg), clarifies, “The Libertarian Party’s view on same sex marriage is like our view on anything else: what you do in your home is your business.”

Justices are likely to draw heavily from the precedent Loving v. Virginia for both cases currently before the U.S. Supreme Court: United States v. Windsor (a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act) and Hollingsworth v. Perry (a challenge to California Proposition 8). In Loving, Mildred Loving (a black woman) and Richard Loving (a white man) violated Virginia’s anti‐miscegenation statute, the Racial Integrity Act of 1924, by marrying each other. The 1967 unanimous decision recognized a fundamental right to marriage and ended all race‐based legal restrictions on marriage in the United States.

The Racial Integrity Act of 1924 (in part):

5. It shall hereafter be unlawful for any white person in this State to marry any save a white person, or a person with no other admixture of blood than white and American Indian.

Laura Delhomme, a LP candidate for VA HoD (47 – Arlington area) and Virginia director of Outright Libertarians (a LP caucus advocating for LGBTQ issues), remarks “We all should be embarrassed that interracial marriage was still prohibited 50 years ago – and Virginia was so committed to that backwards position that it asked the U.S. Supreme Court to sanction its bigotry.” Delhomme puts Virginia’s gay marriage ban in the same category, continuing “The 2006 Marshall‐Newman Amendment to the Virginia Constitution, which excludes homosexual and lesbian couples from the definition of marriage, is just as stupid. Virginia is on the wrong side of history. 50 years from now our grandchildren will look back on this same‐sex marriage prohibition and think we were nuts!!”

Virginia Constitution §15‐A. Marriage (Marshall‐Newman Amendment, ratified 11/7/2006, in part):

That only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions.

Libertarians support marriage equality both in Virginia and nationwide. Robert Sarvis, a LP candidate for Governor, declares “I am campaigning to repeal the state constitutional ban on gay marriage and recognize same‐sex marriages from other states.”

Virginia’s antiquated puritan streak isn’t limited to oppression on the basis of race and sexual orientation. Even straight couples aren’t safe from the nanny state that believes government should dictate your personal choices. Until February 20 of this year, cohabitation by unmarried couples – or simply extramarital sex – was a misdemeanor (1st offense: $500, 2nd offense: $2,500 + 1 year in jail).

If you believe your personal relationships should be your choice without government interference, vote for Libertarian Party candidates. “I can’t believe [gay marriage] is even a question up for discussion,” Laura Delhomme summed it up, “Let’s bring marriage equality to Virginia!”


Questions about the Libertarian Party of Virginia’s position on marriage equality may be directed to:

LPVA chairman
Chuck Moulton

VA Governor candidate
Rob Sarvis

VA HoD (23) candidate
Jonathan Parrish

VA HoD (47) candidate
Laura Delhomme

VA HoD (48) candidate
Lindsey Bolton


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