Pride Toronto And The Libertarian Party of Canada

Dave Killion — July 15, 2012

Katrina Chowne, leader of the Libertarian Party of Canada, has posted an article; “Defending the Libertarian Party’s attendance at Toronto Pride“. Here’s a sample –

“… this was a no-brainer.  Just as you would expect the Libertarian Party to stand upto apartheid, we stand up to those that discriminate based on gender.  No one chooses their gender in the same way we do not choose eye colour, skin colour, height or ear size.”

I’m sorry, but this does not follow. I would have expected the LP to oppose apartheid not because we are opposed to discrimination, but because we are opposed to the initiation of force. Apartheid was the state using violence (and the threat of violence) to force people to discriminate, and so libertarians had to oppose it. But libertarianism requires no tolerance beyond that which is required to avoid violating the natural rights of others. Beyond that, freedom of association prevails.

Not being well versed on the subject, I don’t know if the Canadian government discriminates against homosexuals, but I am certainly opposed if they do. In fact, though, as far as I know homosexuals not only enjoy the same rights as all other Canadians, they also receive special protection from ‘hate’ speech and private discrimination. It is also my understanding that Pride wishes to expand and increase these benefits, which come at the expense of the rights of straight people. If that is the case, then the LP must oppose their efforts. If Pride is merely a celebration of the LGBT community, then there is no reason to expect any libertarians to support it merely because we are libertarians. At best, Pride seems like an event some individual libertarians might wish to support, but unless the state is violating the natural rights of LGBT community members, the LP has no business taking part.


Jeremy Maddock says

Also, keep in mind that most of the funding for such events is not raised voluntarily but expropriated from taxpayers, many of whom find the activities in question objectionable. That alone is reason enough for libertarians to boycott the “pride” parade.

It sounds to me as if Canada’s Libertarian Party has become infested with social liberals who would rather shill for special interest groups and promote “alternative lifestyles” than promote a simple message of individual liberty for all.

— July 16, 2012

Zed says


Libertarianism is not only about the opposition of initiation of force, on the other side of the same coin, it is also about supporting consentual relationships. I see the pride parade as the support of one type of consentual relationship. Although libertarians don’t have to participate in this relationship, it is important to recognize the relationship is consentual and that we should support the value of consent in relationships.

Jeremy, although you are correct funding for the pride parade is inconsistent with the principles of the pride parade (using a non-consentual exchange to gain awareness and support for the non-shame in consentual relationships), I think the language ‘is reason enough’ might be too strong and imply incorrectly that libertarians don’t support otherwise voluntary events.

— July 16, 2012

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