Elected Libertarian leads repeal of anti-homosexual law in Missouri

From LP blog:


From Doug Burlison, Libertarian city councilmember in Springfield, Missouri:

On September 8, at my urging, our City Council (of which I am a member) repealed a local ordinance that prohibited homosexuals from “soliciting” each other. In other words, it was O.K. to put the “heterosexual moves” on a member of the opposite sex, but if you’re gay, any talk about sex could’ve invited punitive measures…until now.

The measure was added to some other items which were repealed as a package, it was basically a legal “housekeeping” ordinance. It was a unanimous vote by all councilmembers in attendance.

Afterwards, it seemed to be a rather subdued reaction. This issue was not of the highest profile, whereas we are intently working on solving the underfunded status of our Police and Fire Pension System. Building up to the vote, however, we received quite a few e-mail messages pro and con. The quantity of the “pro” messages exceeded both the quantity and the civility levels of the “con” messages, which included threats of lawsuits and future electoral failure. Speaking for myself only, I can tell you when someone issues a threat to me, I will not respond the way that they desire. I did receive a few congratulatory e-mails and expressions of gratitude, which helps to defray the numerous complaints that you hear in a job like this (which is an unpaid, volunteer position, by the way).

This would not have been addressed if I had not initially pushed the issue. My awareness of this ordinance came about at a local Pridefest earlier this year, when I accompanied local Libertarians who manned a booth at the event. Across the street, several neo-nazis and white supremacists were protesting the event, with some signage that recommended death and hell for gays. At one point, a local pastor, Dr. Roger Ray, took the stage and made a speech which highlighted and condemned the homosexual solicitation ordinance that we still had in our city code. To hear a man of the cloth reading a portion of our city law that targeted a specific population, and that the exact language of the law was very pornographic in tone, coupled with the sounds of fascist protests in the background; I knew what needed to be done. Dr. Ray even handed me his copy of the ordinance so that I could reference it. This was a great opportunity for me, in that a large part of my motivation for getting into politics was and is to fight against oppression wherever it raises its ugly head. My libertarian background also equipped me for this particular fight as well. In the end, I also had the support of my colleagues on the council, as was evidenced by the final vote. Sometimes, things do work out all right.

17 thoughts on “Elected Libertarian leads repeal of anti-homosexual law in Missouri

  1. Eric Dondero

    ATTN!!

    Tom Knapp and I are among only 3 Federally Appointed Selective Service members in the United States who are also Libertarian Party members.

    It’s relatively easy to get on a SSA local Board, most especially if you are a Veteran or known Community Activist.

    And in the age of Obama is doubly important to keep young men from being Drafted into National Service.

    If anyone is interested in learning how to get an appointment (and it’s a 20 year deal), send me an email.

    Thanks!

    Eric Dondero, Selective Service Board Member
    Houston Region

  2. paulie Post author

    Tom Knapp and I are among only 3 Federally Appointed Selective Service members in the United States who are also Libertarian Party members.

    Who’s the other one?

  3. Eric Dondero

    Paulie, some guy up in Connecticut. I talked with him a couple times about a year ago. Nice guy. Not sure if he’s an LP member, but definitely RLC.

    I could track down his emails to me if required. Though, I actually think he might also be listed on a couple lists of elected and appointed Libertarians in the US.

    Italian-sounding name if I remember correctly?

  4. scatterbrain

    Do you ever get a feeling of surprise these days when a “libertarian” does something libertarian?

  5. OH BROTHER

    WHO CARES About the homo’s right now, we have bigger issues to be concerned with. Want a winning, get a libertarian in congress and the senate and do away with the irs, itrusive government. People making a big deal with gays and small crap, this is ridiculous.

  6. Steven R Linnabary

    An excellent action taken by a real Libertarian!

    And, one to draw the attention of the LGBT community. However, because feminists might be considered a “gay friendly” community, and can be rather influential, this jumped out at me:

    …I accompanied local Libertarians who manned a booth at the event.

    I can just imagine these women reading this news release with approval, until this terminology suddenly made their collective hearts sink.

    I really hate to be hyper critical, but wouldn’t it have been better to have “staffed” the booth?

    PEACE

  7. Thomas L. Knapp

    Doug’s doing some really good work as a Springfield, Missouri city councilman.

    There are now TWO LP members on that council (it’s a city of 150,000, third largest in Missouri), and a couple of others serving on appointed boards and advisory bodies.

    PS @12 and @13:

    There’s no mechanism for kicking anyone out of the party at the national level. If you’ve signed the pledge and not repudiated that signature, you’re a party member in perpetuity. Some state parties have bylaws that allow for expulsion.

  8. paulie Post author

    WHO CARES About the homo’s right now,

    Hmmm let’s see. Where to start.

    People who are not bigots.

    People who have some sense of decency and fair play.

    Anyone who is gay themselves.

    Anyone who has friends and/or family who are gay.

    Does that sound like anyone you know?

    Oh yeah, I guess you care since you commented?


    we have bigger issues to be concerned with.

    Then go concern yourself with those instead of concerning yourself with what other people concern themselves with.

    Want a winning, get a libertarian in congress and the senate and do away with the irs, itrusive government.

    Newsflash: this was a Libertarian who concerned himself with intrusive government and put a stop to it. Actually won. Well done!


    People making a big deal with gays and small crap, this is ridiculous.

    You’re ridiculous.

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