Why libertarians and conservatives should support gay marriage

Libertarians and conservatives alike should welcome same-sex marriage as a celebration of individual autonomy and the institution of family.

By David Kraft, Political Editor.



Opposition to gay marriage is inconsistent with fundamental libertarian values. How people choose to construct the legal nature of their relationships with each other is a matter for the parties themselves and no-one else. Whatever we may personally think of how other people choose to lead their lives, a fundamental principle of libertarianism is that we do not assume any right to impose our beliefs on others (from this also follows that libertarians do not support any law that compels non-state institutions to perform gay marriages if they do not want to).

The primary focus of this piece will therefore be to try bring some reluctant conservatives around to supporting the legalisation of same-sex marriage. In doing so I wish to prompt them to examine three assumptions that typically underpin their resistance: (1) It is inconsistent with religious belief; (2) It will devalue the institution of marriage; and (3) It will corrupt and deprave. Continue reading

Was Enoch Powell A Libertarian?

Enoch Powell

by Séamus Martin, Political Editor

Enoch Powell (1912 to 1988) was many things - poet, writer, speaker of twelve languages, a classical scholar who became a full Professor of Ancient Greek at the age of 25, a staff and intelligence officer in the British army in World War II who attained the rank of Brigadier in his early thirties, Conservative cabinet minister and Tory leadership contender and lastly an Ulster Unionist MP. Continue reading

Ayn Rand and Objectivism

Ayn Rand

I have been – with some qualifications – a fan of the late Ayn Rand and her writings since I first came across her as an undergraduate student in the UK back in the late 1980s. I have read pretty much everything she wrote, even the more obscure of her non-fiction pieces, and have followed some of the scholarship and activism associated with her name. (I have also read two biographies of her and am well aware of the controversies about her life although I am also aware that some of the facts about her life and behaviour are fiercely contested by some. Just as there are Rand worshipers, there are, equally, Rand-phobes. I sometimes find the latter more repellent than the former.) Continue reading