The original Bill of Rights, sponsored largely by James Madison, is now about 210 years old. Reinforced by the Fourteenth Amendment, which eventually applied many of its provisions to the states, it has served us well. It is time to re-evaluate our fundamental constitutional rights and to seriously consider their major renovation. This is my central proposal.
Are we ready to trust ourselves as individuals with the personal responsibilities that go with rights? When government defines personal moral values, we tend to take less account for not only our own actions but also our own underlying values, for those spiritual yearnings that make us, all unique people, who we are. We tend to lose interest in speaking for ourselves and tend to leave moral judgments to "experts" who get paid to pass judgment on all of us. I discuss a philosophy, often called libertarianism, of extremely restricted government. I present it from the personal perspective of a gay man who grew up in a period of enormous change and migration toward cultural individualism. My argument is intended for everyone, but I provide my own detailed perspectives on many issues.
- The parallel between draft deferments during the Vietnam era and the gays-in-the-military battle today
- How close the gay community, as we know it, came to total catastrophe during the early days of AIDS crisis
- What the "family values" debate is really all about
- Volunteerism and social obligations, and how both military service and parenting fit into these
- What "discrimination" is really all about
- How the "Don’t Tell" mentality interferes with political and social debate in many areas
- Why equal rights for gays is important for everybody
- A science of personal growth and why libertarianism is good for personal growth
The author edited The Quill, the newsletter for Gays and Lesbians for Individual Liberty, from 1995–1999. Today he moderates the “General Discussion” board of the Independent Gay Forum. He has also published in the Colorado Ground Zero News and in the Minnesota Libertarian.