Libertarian State Leadership Alliance

Liberty Issues -- Personal Freedoms

Liberty Issues

Getting the Government Out of

Our Bedrooms & Our Private Lives

Even in 1996, Local Libertarian groups were able to take clear stands on a wide variety of issues and propose libertarian sound solutions. This one from central Massachusetts provides an exemplary set of issues and libertarian answers.

A Statement of Objectives of the Central Massachusetts Liberty Coalition regarding your Personal Freedoms

The Central Massachusetts Liberty Coalition stands for low taxes, small government, the whole Bill of Rights, and individual responsibility. We celebrate the right of all people to live life as they see fit without harming others.

EDUCATION REFORM

Education proceeds from the home environment. For a growing child, there is no substitute for the parent who reads to his children, keeps books in the home, and gives her children a full variety of educational experiences.

The CMLC supports credits against the property tax for parents who are paying the cost of educating their own child through private or home schooling. Tax credits should also be provided to businesses and individuals who provide financial support for the education of children other than their own.

Providing college educations is one of Massachusetts' largest and most successful industries. The Commonwealth should cease to determine -- through the State Board of Higher Education - which private institutes, colleges, and universities may offer which degrees.

Parents are free to choose their childrens' doctors; they should also be free to choose their children's teachers. We condemn the assignment of children to particular schools or academic programs on the basis of the color of their skin or the shape of their eyes.

The CMLC supports the right of parents to choose private, parochial, or home schooling for their children. The Commonwealth should limit its education regulations to public school programs. The distribution of state aid for education to cities and towns should be determined strictly by the number of children enrolled in each school system, not by political deals in the State legislature. The State University system should stop forcing students to buy health insurance. We condemn the creation of mandatory student fees to support political lobbying organizations.

GOVERNMENT CENSORSHIP

The CMLC supports freedom of speech and of the press - including freedom for the electronic press. We condemn efforts of the Clinton-Gingrich combine to assert government rather than parental control of speech via the Internet Censorship Act, the V-chip, and all restrictions on sale and export of encryption technology. It is particularly futile to ban the export of encryption technology freely available everywhere else in the world.

The CMLC condemns Federal efforts to convert America into a European police state, in which people must present photographic identification in the form of a government document in order to fly on a commercial airliner. The request `your papers, please?' belongs in films about the German terror state and has no place in American civic life.

JUSTICE

The CMLC condemns civil asset forfeiture. No property should be seized by the government prior to civil or criminal processes in a court of law. Across America, every year "asset forfeiture" seizures tranfer more property than do all of the burglaries and robberies in the land. The CMLC condemns mandatory minimum sentences, and calls for their replacement with sentencing guidelines which lead judges or juries towards fair decisions.

The CMLC supports the passage of the FIJA Bill, which would require including a statement on jury rights in the next printing of the juror handbook. The statement would explain that juries have the right and obligation to judge both the facts of a case and the law under which the case is being tried.

The Fourth Amendment freedom from unreasonable searches belongs to all the people, not just well-to-do older suburban men with good attorneys. The CMLC condemns illegal and unconstitutional random police stops and searches in the absence of probable cause, especially `Stop and Frisk' searches that randomly fall only upon every youth whose skin is dark or who is wearing the wrong color of clothing.

The CMLC condemns warrantless searches and wiretaps. The CMLC condemns forced "dynamic entry" techniques, especially those supported by military devices such as distractors, hand grenades, automatic weapons, tanks, and gunfire from helicopters, except in the instance (almost never encountered except on television) in which innocent hostages would otherwise be likely to die. All too often such methods cause the death of innocent people, most horribly by frightening to death the elderly.

The CMLC condemns the death penalty. As Don Gorman (four-term state legislator, 2000 Presidential candidate) said: "I've been on the criminal justice committee. The only reason people are sentenced to death is because they're too poor, ignorant, or stupid to get a good lawyer.")

ABORTION

The CMLC supports a woman's right to choose whether or not to terminate her pregnancy. Abortion should be a legal medical procedure not restricted by the state, as by laws mandating waiting periods or compelling counselling. We call for the repeal of all state laws regulating or restricting access of women, parents, and families to abortion facilities.

The sale or use of contraceptives should not be restricted or mandated by the government. The CMLC opposes the public funding of contraceptive sales and distributions. People who do not condone the use of contraceptives should not be forced to pay for them through their taxes. Laws blocking the import and sale of RU486 should immediately be repealed.

Adoptions should be made easier. Current laws keep orphans from the happy homes they deserve. Restrictions on the racial or religious identity of adopting parents should be ended.

THE RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS

The CMLC supports the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms to protect themselves, their families and property, and their freedoms. Detailed modern studies show that broadened firearms ownership would avert thousands of rapes and murders each year.

The CMLC favors the repeal of the Bartley-Fox law requiring mandatory prison sentences for carrying or possessing arms without the proper license.

The CMLC favors repeal of Massachusetts laws requiring licensing for carrying non-lethal self-defense devices such as pepper spray and mace.

The CMLC calls for passage of so-called 'Vermont-style' concealed carry laws for the Commonwealth. Under Vermont-style concealed carry, any adult who has not been convicted of a violent felony may legally carry a concealed weapon for self-defense. Self-defense is particularly important for members of groups subject to random acts of violence, such as professional women walking from office to car, homeowners, gays, parents, and African- Americans.

The CMLC calls on Massachusetts' representatives in Washington to work for the repeal of all Federal firearms laws.

WELFARE

The CMLC supports private charity that cares for the unfortunate. The CMLC opposes public welfare programs that transfer money from taxpayers to the undeserving but politically well-connected.

We call for the end of corporate welfare, that transfers hundreds of billions of dollars via subsidies, special tax rules, and outright gifts to corporate supporters of political parties. We call for the end of agricultural welfare, that enriches donors to special PACS at the expensive of every person in the United States.

We call for the end of defense welfare, which supports an enormous military machine that faces no serious enemy. The Federal defense and intelligence budgets should be cut be at least 50%. Defense welfare encouraged foreign military adventurism in Panama, Somalia, and Bosnia, and lures thousands of our best scientists and engineers into totally nonproductive careers.

We call for the end of bond welfare, under which the United States has borrowed five trillion dollars, on which it (properly) pays interest. The national debt is the largest single income-transfer scheme in government, moving money from every worker and taxpayer to the holders of the national debt.

We call for the end of welfare for the idle ablebodied, which entices millions of foreigners to cross our borders illegally to take advantage of our charity.

If, twenty years ago, someone had plotted to destroy the medical insurance industry, they would probably failed to find something as destructive to your medicare care as cost transfers, under which hospitals are compelled to provide medical care for the indigent, and have no alternative but charge those costs to the insured sick. Cost transfer doubles the cost of your medical care. It should be repealed.

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

The CMLC stands for freedom of religion, the right of individual Americans to worship in any manner as they see fit, as protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. We call for a legal prohibition forbidding the introduction of or reference to a person's religious beliefs in any civil or criminal court procedure.

Marriage is, among other things, a religious sacrament. The state, in recognizing marriages, is obliged to honor the decisions of various faiths as to which adults may marry. The CMLC specifically condemns the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which transparently violates the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution and which impinges upon the religious freedom of all Americans.

THE INSANE WAR ON DRUGS

Marijuana has medical value for the alleviation of conditions related to AIDS, glaucoma, asthma, and cancer. Massachusetts laws forbidding physicians to recommend the use of marijuana for medical conditions should be repealed. Massachusetts should follow the lead of Arizona and allow the use of marijuana on recommendation of a physician.

The CMLC calls for an end to the War on Drugs. The War on Drugs is the primary cause of gang wars, drive-by shootings, illegal money laundering, and murders in the United States. Just as the end of alcohol prohibition ended mobster involvement in liquor bootlegging, so also will ending the War on Drugs end gang violence for control of drug markets.

Currently half of all law enforcement money, state and Federal, is spent on marijuana prohibition. Efforts to proscribe the use of marijuana are a near- total failure. The CMLC advocates the immediate decriminalization of the possession or cultivation of marijuana.

PERSONAL FREEDOM

The government has no legitimate business in the bedrooms of consenting adults. We support an immediate end to all laws restricting private, personal behavior between consenting adults. We oppose seat belt laws, compulsory motorcycle helmet laws, and compulsory car airbag laws. These choices are best left to the individual.

We support the legalization of gambling and the elimination of the state lottery monopoly. The CMLC calls for an end to the ban on tattoo parlors in Massachusetts, which are now legal in almost every state in the Union. The current law serves most effectively to move money out of Massachusetts into neighboring states.