Millions of Americans Denied Equal Rights on Valentine’s Day

Some States Provide “Separate But Equal” Policies While Others Still Practice Absolute Discrimination

Libertarian Party Press Release

14 February 2007

(Washington, DC)  Valentine’s Day is the traditional holiday where loved ones express their affection for each other through the giving of cards and gifts or the sharing of romantic dinners.  It is also the most common day for Americans to become married.  This Valentine’s Day is an appropriate time to reflect on the millions of Americans who are denied, by law, the same basic rights most people in this country enjoy.

At the federal level and in most of our states, lifelong homosexual partners are not allowed the same property and contractual rights as their heterosexual counterparts.  As gay couples in these states aren’t recognized as being married, it impacts their ability to obtain insurance, make health care decisions for each other in times of medical crisis, adopt children and inherit property.

Massachusetts is the only state in the country to treat gay people the same as everyone else.  Hawaii, California, Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey and the District of Columbia provide “Separate But Equal” policies in the form of civil unions or domestic partnerships.  Most states don’t honor same-sex marriages or civil unions granted in other states.

In addition to Valentine’s Day, both gay and straight people across the country are observing Freedom to Marry Week by focusing on the lack of equality in marriage laws throughout the country.  In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the last of the laws prohibiting racial intermarriage in the United States.  While miscegenation laws have been overturned, homosexual partners are still denied the same basic rights.

“There is a cloud of sadness hanging over the heads of countless Americans this Valentine’s Day,” said Libertarian National Committee Chairman William Redpath.  “It’s certainly more difficult to enjoy that bouquet of roses or box of chocolates from your partner when you realize that your government won’t accept your long-term relationship.  Hopefully, Americans will use Freedom to Marry Week to reflect on equality in marriage issues.  We’ve eliminated our racist marriage laws, but not those that discriminate based on sexual preference or identity.  Perhaps some day the government will treat all people, black and white and gay and straight, exactly the same.”

The Libertarian Party is strongly committed to the repeal of state and federal laws and amendments defining marriage, assigning special rights to people based on sexual orientation or gender identification, and laws which deny same-sex partners the rights enjoyed by others, such as adoption of children and spousal immigration.  Libertarians hope to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and adamantly oppose any proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

The Libertarian Party would like to wish ALL Americans a Happy Valentine’s Day!