The fight for liberty for GSM (Gender & Sexual Minority) individuals has come a long way since the birth of the Libertarian Party in 1971. After the Supreme Court of the United States ruling last month, the GSM community and our Libertarian allies have been celebrating a hard-fought victory. Though the battle for marriage equality is won, the war against government involvement in marriage in far from over. And what of the other challenges facing the community? Jury nullification has been proposed as a possible solution.
Thanks in large part to the efforts of the Fully Informed Jury Association, many Libertarians are aware of jury nullification and the role of conscientious acquittal as a form of citizen’s veto over unjust law. What is far less well-understood is what a powerful tactic this can be for marginalized people, who are easy for prosecutors to demonize in front of a jury that is typically not truly their peers. Playing on stereotypes that arise from culture and class warfare - and together with the real-world impact of social stigmas and lived experience of disprivilege –totally harmless non-criminal people can find themselves incarcerated.
For example, trans* individuals know better than government what their needs are. A single trans* person or ally can use nullification to shield a defendant like Monica Jones from prosecution for the victimless crime of ‘walking while trans*'. This is just one of many examples of criminalized behaviors that disproportionately impact GSM people, for which repeal is unlikely to come soon. Until we achieve full abolition of institutionalized heterosexism, we can use nullification as a shield against the aggression of the state.
If you’re interested in learning more about this subject and its application in the context of LGBT liberation, Outright Libertarians and Fully Informed Jury Association have been working together for the past couple of months, putting together the material for an online discussion group entitled "Queering The Jury: Taking Back Decriminalization". Join us this Saturday, July 18, 2015 at 1pm Pacific to learn about this powerful tactic and why it's so important for liberation activists to participate as jurors.
Follow the instructions to RSVP on the Event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1091140057568195/
Additional details in these two videos:
Check Out Entertainment Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Outright Libertarians on BlogTalkRadio
Over at Reason.com, Scott Shackford asks if victory over marriage equality is where libertarians and the LGBTQ community part ways. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Outright has looked well beyond the day when marriage equality became a nationally guaranteed right. In fact, marriage equality is only the beginning. While Shackford acknowledges that there are still areas of agreement between Libertarians and the LGBTQ community, he omits far too many areas where government coercion is still harming our community:
· Abolish mandatory gender binary tracking and remove gender from federal documents.
· Grant asylum to persecuted LGBTQ individuals.
· Prohibit forced interventions; such as gender conversion therapies for minors
· Repeal Federal and State Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRA), and allow freedom of contract between LGBTQ and religious business owners/patrons
· Legalize sex work
· Allow HIV+ patients any chosen medical care
· Allow hate victims to defend themselves
Many other areas of government coercion against LGBTQ individuals still exist and often overlap with other libertarian priorities; For instance, we should allow the option of school choice for children who face bullying in the public school system. Also, there are still areas in the public sector that still have discrimination written into law, including but not limited to employment, housing, military service, and adoption. So no, this is definitely not where libertarians part ways with the LGBTQ community. Our long-standing tradition of radical liberation continues.