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Libertarians: Pro-family means pro-freedom

Thomas L. Knapp
Center for Libertarian Press Information
May 19, 2009

As the struggle against marriage apartheid took center stage in New York this weekend, Libertarians lauded the progress America has made in the last year — and urged the federal government to roll back legal barriers blocking full recognition of same-sex marriage.

“Six states have already ended the practice of discriminating against gay couples seeking to marry,” says George Phillies, past chair of the Libertarian Party of Massachusetts and editor of Liberty for America magazine. “The trend is clear and unstoppable — within a few years, almost every state will adopt similar policies. It’s time for the federal government to catch up with the American people.”

Same-sex couples face numerous federal policies of discrimination, ranging from the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy to gender-based tax penalties. The Defense of Marriage Act, passed by a Republican Congress and signed by Democrat Bill Clinton, denies federal recognition to same-sex marriages. The Libertarian Party’s platform calls for change, asserting that “[s]exual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the rights of individuals by government, such as in current marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration or military service laws.”

“My gay clients, even those in states that permit same-sex marriage, pay higher federal income taxes,” says Less Antman, a CPA and former Libertarian Party candidate for State Treasurer of California. “They can’t freely mix assets without risking a violation of US gift tax laws, they’re limited in their ability to inherit from each other tax-free, they’re subjected to immigration restrictions not applied to heterosexual couples, and if they move to another state they may even find their marriages legally nullified.”

“As the fight for marriage freedom proceeds in the states, it’s imperative that we repeal DOMA and enforce the Constitution’s full faith and credit clause to protect the marriages of those who travel or relocate across the nation,” says Phillies. “It’s time for Washington, DC to get radically pro-family.”

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