Richard Lion for U.S. Senate
Name: Richard Lion paid for by Richard Lion Office Being Sought: United States Senate. www.lpct.org www.lp.org Street Address: 388 Hartford Rd. Manchester, CT. Hometown: Gifford PA. Phone: 860-913-3474 E-mail Address: Richard420Lion@gmail.com Please contact me for lawn signs. Date of Birth: April 16th, 1956 Occupation: Manufacture fishing lures www.VenusRoyal.com Family: Never Married, no children. Education: Smethport High, Smethport PA. Some college.
Hobbies: Stand-up comedy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRz_9qjwiKc Keeping my truck running https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySHkmZwqoWw Sailing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TFBKWgj-rI Civic Involvement: I served four years in the United States Air Force and ten years in the Connecticut Air National Guard. I have run for Mayor of Hartford twice and State Rep in the Hartford area three times, Board of Directors in Manchester in 2013 and 2015, State Rep District 9 in 2014. U. S. Senate in 2016 and 2018. This is my 10th time running for public office, I have never accepted even one penny in campaign contributions or public funding. I have served for five years as Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Connecticut (2003-2008). Meet Richard Lion in this interview. Issues: I'm Libertarian, I'm violet, a smart blend of red and blue.
Issue 1: Unalienable Rights. Unalienable Rights do not come from government. Unalienable Rights are endowed by our Creator, whoever each individual’s Creator may be. Therefore, everybody on the entire planet have the exact same Unalienable Rights. Among these, but not limited to, are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Governments are instituted to secure these rights. Our Government, like others, often becomes destructive of these ends. I will work to ensure our Government functions to secure and not to oppress our Unalienable Rights.
Issue 2: Ending the war on drugs. The war on drugs has not had any success in eliminating drugs. Drugs are common and extremely available. The war on drugs has succeeded in funding terrorism, creating crime on the streets, consuming millions of tax dollars and oppressing the American people. I will work to legalize all drugs, even the bad ones. The war on drugs is much more destructive than the worst drugs. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Silas Deane were hemp farmers. The Spanish word for hemp is marijuana. Today's laws would make them all criminals.
Issue 3: Eliminate gun laws. Whether it is Columbine, Virginia Tech, New Town or 9/11, we have our most horrendous murders in gun free zones. We have few or no murders at our nation's many gun shows. It’s simple math: Zero guns equals many murders. Many guns equals near zero murders. Americans have the right to protect themselves from any threat, not just in their homes, but also on the streets. You don’t need a religion permit to practice religion. You don’t need a speech permit to speak. You should not be required to have a gun permit to hold and bear arms. The criminals don’t have gun permits, yet they carry guns. Gun control supporters, you are puppets for the ruling class. The ruling class, A.K.A. the 1% control the most powerful politicians in the world. They profit from war, and keep us at war. They keep themselves surrounded with high powered guns because they know guns save lives. They want that safety for themselves. They support the drug war for corrupt profiteering and oppression of the masses. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and that is their quest. They use the media to misinform and scare you. They want you to support gun control. They want more power over you. Thousands of unarmed people at Occupy Wall Street, and the government sprayed them in the face with tear gas. That's power to the state. A handful of armed people at the Bundy Ranch, and the government backed down. That's power to the people. What law could have stopped the attack on Paris? There is none. Most of our gun violence is a result of the war on drugs, a product of the 1%. You live on a dangers planet. If danger finds you, you may have to fight for your life. Guns save lives. You better hope you have one to save your life, or another's life. The media is trying, and with some people succeeding, to brainwash you into having an irrational fear of guns. Guns are not as dangerous as the media propagates. Heed Benjamin Franklin's warning about giving up liberty for security. You are giving up your liberty to protect yourself. Support gun rights for the people, not gun control for the ruling class.
Issue 4: Gays in the Military. Would George Washington allow a gay to serve in the Continental Army? He did! Friedrich Wilhelm Augustin Ludolf Gerhard (Frederick William Augustus Henry Ferdinand) von Steuben also referred to as the Baron von Steuben was a Prussian aristocrat and military officer. Steuben's Prussian army career ended in scandal when he was alleged to be gay. No other European army would take him. He came to America and joined the Continental Army. He served as inspector general and Major general of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. He is credited with teaching the Continental Army the essentials of military drill and discipline. He wrote the Revolutionary War Drill Manual, the book that became the standard United States drill manual until the War of 1812. He served as General George Washington's chief of staff in the final years of the war. If gays in the military is OK with George Washington, it's OK with me. Don't ask, don't tell; is an oppression of freedom of speech.
Issue 5: Abortion. I’m glad I wasn’t aborted. I believe very few people wish they were aborted. A pregnant woman may not want to have a baby, especially if she is pregnant because she was raped. However, the baby should not be given the death penalty because its father committed a crime. Making abortion illegal would not make abortion go away. It would make it more dangerous. I am pro choice, and I would like pregnant women to have more choices when they have an unwanted pregnancy. I once saw a show on Animal Planet or the Discovery Channelor other educational television network. This show had to do with zebras having low population. To increase zebra population, female zebras were allowed to get pregnant by male zebras. Because zebra is a breed of horse, veterinarians wereable to remove the fetus from the zebra and put it in another breed of female horse, such as Arabian. The Arabian horse would then be pregnant with the zebra’s baby and the female zebra could get pregnant again in a short time. If this can be done with horses, then maybe it can be done with humans. The fetus in the woman with an unwanted pregnancy may be able to be put into a woman who wants to have a baby. It would require medical science and social services to make this choice a reality.
Issue 6: Government bailouts and corporate welfare. The concept of "too big to fail" is ridiculous because it is small businesses that provides most of the jobs. The money for the bailout must come from somewhere. If it comes from taxing businesses that make a profit, many of them small businesses, then their profits may be reduced and jeopardize more jobs than were saved with the bailout of a "too big to fail" business.
Issue 7: Gay and unorthodox marriage. I support anybody's right to marry as they see fit. Whether someone wants a spouse of the same sex or multiple spouses, it's not the government's business. Clergy have a right to refuse to provide service.
Issue 8: Balancing the budget. Deep spending cuts is the only way. Over taxing anyone, including the rich, is immoral. Spending benefits whoever is the recipient of the spending. For example, building Rentschler Stadium for UCONN football benefitted whoever got the contract to build the stadium. I was born and raised in Pennsylvania, therefore, by law, I am a football fan. However, I would have opposed public money being used to build the stadium. If somebody wanted to spend their own money to build a stadium, that's fine, but it is not the state's job to fund such endeavors. I will only support spending that I deem to be proper and necessary. I will also work to simplify the tax code, for within the complexity hide the tax breaks for the few. Issue 9: Health Care IS a right. Health care is one of the Unalienable Rights not mentioned in the Declaration of Independence. Some people believe that having a right to something means that you get it for free or that the Government pays for it. If this were true, then we would get free guns because of the fact that gun ownership is a right. Because freedom of the press is also a right, we would get a free printing press. The government neither owes us free guns, nor free printing presses, nor free health care. A right to something means that the government may not stand in the way of us acquiring these things in an honest, non violent way, even if it means medical marijuana. The fact is, that the government does stand in the way of us using medical marijuana. This is an oppression of our Unalienable Right to Health Care. Issue 10: Defending America from foreign military invasion. On September 25, 2012, China launched their first aircraft carrier ever in their history. That is ninety-eight years after the British had their first aircraft carrier. Of the 196 countries in the world, only nine have aircraft carriers, and most of them are considered our friends, like England, France, and Australia. Of the nine countries that have aircraft carriers, only one has more than two. That country is the United States. We have twelve in service and one in reserve. We got two brand new aircraft carriers under Obama, at thirteen billion dollars each. We are expecting to spend $1.5 trillion for the F-35 multirole fighter plane over the 55-year life of the program, despite the fact that the Air Force has more airplanes than they can fly, and park hundreds of extra in the desert. This excessive military spending that the United States is obsessed with is not making us safer, and it may be putting us in greater danger. Consider the very beginning of World War II. France had the largest standing army in Western Europe, at great expense to the French taxpayer. Germany didn't care and invaded them. England had the largest navy in the world, at great expense to the British taxpayer. Germany didn't care and bombed them, and planned on invading them. Switzerland had a very small military, saving the Swiss taxpayers a fortune. To defend their country, they had, and still have today, a well regulated militia. Despite Switzerland having a common border with Germany, Germany refused to invade them. Excessive military spending doesn't make us safer, it makes a handful of people incredibly rich, and the masses much poorer. We do it because most elected politicians serve the incredibly rich. The politicians fabricate reasons for war overseas and war on Americans with the war on drugs. They get reelected, and the incredibly rich get incredible richer, and the poor get poorer, and many people suffer from the wars, especially the poor, but seldom the rich. We need to recall most of our overseas military and redeploy them in the United States. This would beef-up the economies of the communities in the area of the bases. If need be, military personnel could be assigned duties in the United States such as border patrol, customs support, road construction, along with conducting military training exercises. The largest military in the world is China's with 2,300,000 troops. Not that they could get them all over here to invade us, but if they did, the number of gun owners in just the State of Pennsylvania would outnumber them by more than two to one. Throw in the rest of the country and we crush them. We need to organize the well regulated militia into the fighting force our founding fathers intended it to be. We should give tax deductions to people who buy guns that have military applications, and tax deductions for money spent on ammo and training. I am convinced that we can phase our military spending down by about 75% in about four years, without jeopardizing our security. Issue 11. Change the name of Columbus Day. Let's face it, the Vikings got to North America long before Columbus, so why should it be called Columbus day in the first place? I think we should change the name of Columbus Day to Canadian Thanksgiving. This will force Canada to celebrate Thanksgiving on that day, rather then when it is supposed to be celebrated. This will punish Canada, and they need to be punished. Look at a map, they're always sitting on top of us. Like excuse me? I don't really like a lot of Canadians. I don't like Justin Bieber, I don't like Ted Cruz, I don't like Private School Jewel. I take that back. I do like Private School Jewel. But the rest of the Canadians must celebrate Thanksgiving early! Issue 12. Some people can't tell when I am joking and when I'm not. Take Issue 11 for example, some people thought I was serious. Issue 13: Dealing with isolated threats and violence such as rape, terrorism, home invasion, robbery, battery, and the like. Non-isolated violence would be war, which I discussed in issue 10. The ruling class have several body guards following them around. This makes them safer. Common people can not afford to hire body guards. These people must be their own body guard. We need to encourage gun safety and use training, starting as young as kindergarten (not necessarily with guns). This will help people overcome their irrational fear of guns. People on a daily basie handle things more dangerous than guns. Gasoline for example. One gallon of gasoline has the explosive power of fourteen sticks of dynamite. We have no restrictions on buying gasoline. You can be any age, and you don't need a background check. Gasoline fumes can be inhaled to get high. Gasoline is a bomb and a dangerous drug, but we let anybody buy all they want. Despite how dangerous gasoline is, we do not have an irrational fear of it. Watch this video, see how guns, when used properly save lives. When faced with a dangerous threat, calling 911, will not always get help on time. By becoming trained to more safely use guns, people have a better chance to protect themselves. Government needs to encourage gun use, not restrict guns to good people. Nobody wants violent people to have guns. Most criminals buy their guns on the black market, not through some gun show loophole. I will support efforts to stop black market gun sales. I will support laws to force gun wholesalers to keep records of gun sales. Are they selling to legitimate gun stores and dealers, or are they selling to the black market? While the gun grabbers fight to close the imaginary gun-show loophole, I will work to close the real black market loopholes. Issue 14: Provide for the general Welfare. Some of my Libertarian friends will cringe when they read this one, but here goes. I am not a huge fan of raising the minimum wage, however I am not staunchly opposed to it. I want salaries of the masses to go up. Prices are controlled by supply and demand. The supply of labour jumped dramatically when women entered the workforce. This helped to push the price for labour down. The demand for labour drops with every technological breakthrough. Think about a car company having engineers drawing plans on paper using T squares and compasses rather than computer aided design (CAD) and the factory building cars with no robots. Imagine stores having to put price tags on every item, with no cash register adjusting inventory with each sale. Imagine banks keeping track of your account by writing it in a book with no computer and then they mailed your cashed cheques back to you. Supply of labour has risen and demand for labour has dropped, therefore the price of labour is too low for many people to live on what they make. To raise the price of labour, we must increase demand. We can do this by changing the 40 hour workweek to 30 hours. After 30 hours you would be paid overtime. To avoid paying overtime, employers would have to hire more people, increasing demand for labour, thus raising wages. Rather than eight hours a day five days a week, the standard may be six hours a day. Issue 15: Free College. I am happy about your privilege to take advantage of free college at https://www.khanacademy.org/ You may also find other free college opportunities if you search the internet. A story about me: The Trinity Tripod News Trinity College, Hartford, CT. Mayoral Candidate: Marijuana Key to Reviving Economy Libertarian Focuses on Small Businesses By Brendan McGowan Published: Monday, October 27, 2003 Updated: Friday, April 15, 2011 17:04 Richard Lion wants your vote. A Hartford resident, Lion is a Libertarian Party candidate looking to unseat Eddie Perez in the upcoming mayoral election. Judging by precedent alone (in 2001, Lion received 260 votes of 13,463 cast winning just under two percent of the vote) he may be a longshot. Nevertheless Lion is actively spreading the Libertarian gospel in overwhelmingly Democratic Hartford. Lion is running on a solidly pro-marijuana platform. Although Lion would not technically be allowed to decriminalize the drug in the city, he would not enforce the laws currently on the books. "The stigma [against marijuana] is created by television ads run by our government," he said. "[The ads] don't mention the medical use, they don't mention that you can power your automobiles with it, running your car virtually pollution-free and at less than what we are spending now on gasoline. They don't mention George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew it, and that the textile advantages of it [are] making paper and how many acres of forest it would save if we used it for paper ... I think most teenagers find the [anti-drug] ads offensive or insulting and because teenagers tend to be rebellious, they rebel against it and smoke marijuana." Lion's campaign is entirely self-funded. "I do not accept even one penny in campaign contributions," he said. "I am spending up to a thousand dollars of my own money but I do not accept campaign contributions out of principle." Lion faces some real challenges as he makes political battle with Eddie Perez and his $183,000 war chest. Hartford's poverty, Lion said, can be abated with the introduction of more jobs into the community and the changing of local laws. "To create jobs," he said, "you've got to do two things. One is to lower taxes, towards especially small businesses, so that they have more opportunities to grow and make a bigger profit ... Step two is legalizing marijuana. I mean, people travel all the way to Amsterdam to use marijuana, where it's legal. And if we legalize marijuana here in the city of Hartford - or, basically, decriminalize it - we would be able to get people coming from New York City, from Boston, from Albany, New York, coming here on weekends and extended weekends and things to be a little bit like a mini Amsterdam. And they'd come here and spend money and that would create jobs." Lion believes that the two-party system has to be changed, on local and national levels. "The Democrats and Republicans in general ... know about the benefits of marijuana yet they continue to pursue this war on drugs, more than likely to protect the profits of the major oil companies, or the DuPont Corporation and others synthetic fabric manufacturers so they don't have tocompete with industrial hemp [or medical marijuana]." Lion sees the major political parties as part of a Faustian pact with corporate America, one that protects the free-enterprise system at the "expense of the environment, and at the expense of increasing terrorism." In government ads decrying marijuana use, Lion explained, drug sales are said to fund terrorist groups. It would be much better if those dollars went to American farmers who could grow marijuana plants legally, he said. When asked about his arrest during the Libertarian Tax Day Protest in April 2002, Lion described a scenario in which he stood up to the government and maintained his principles. The protests are made annually by local Libertarian Party groups to protest the government reaching into the wallets and pocketbooks of private citizens. "[We were] basically handing out Libertarian flyers, and a police officer came and looked though a flyer and then said 'You've got to go.' ... I'm on public property, and I said 'Well, I'm not leaving.' So I kept handing out the flyers, and he said 'Well, if you hand out one more of those flyers, I'm going to arrest you.' ... I handed out two or three more, and he said 'Alright, you're under arrest.' So, he put the handcuffs on me, and basically read me my rights and led me to jail." Lion was charged with trespassing and obstructing traffic. Rather than agree to face a minimal punishment of raking leaves for a day, he spent $1,400 dollars of his own money to hire a lawyer. He won the case. Professor of Political Science Clyde McKee hosted Lion earlier this month in his American National Government class. According to McKee, the candidate "is an individual who I think has had considerable experience with government. When he spoke to my class, one of the questions I asked was 'Why are you a Libertarian?' He said 'I'm an angry person ... I've been lied to by various presidents.'" McKee noted that Lion had been in the military, and had served during Operation Desert Storm. "Then he [Lion] said that presidents had made commitments and promises that they didn't keep." Richard Lion believes in vouchers and homeschooling to allow for greater choices in education. He is against affirmative action in city government "in principle, but in reality we probably do need some degree of it." Lion asserts that the Patriot Act "should be called the Un-Patriot Act" and, of course, sees marijuana not as a threat but as an economic and even social good. This is an essay I wrote for English Composition class at Manchester Community College: Same Sex Marriage, a Libertarian Perspective. By Richard Lion The issue of same sex marriage is controversial to many. To me, it’s just so simple. If you don’t want to be in a same sex marriage, then don’t get into one. My viewpoint is a product of my pronounced Libertarian beliefs from which I am unable to divorce myself. For many years I have been heavily involved in the Libertarian Party, as a voting citizen, as a candidate for public office, and as a party officer, including, but not limited to, Connecticut State Chair. Not only do I find it impossible to divorce myself from my libertarian views, I find it difficult to understand why all people don’t have a libertarian view on most subjects, including same sex marriage. The argument over same sex marriage would have some legitimacy if the question was “should all marriages be same sex, or should all marriages be opposite sex?”. That argument would be legitimate because it would be two sides, each trying to push their vision of marriage on others who have a different vision. The logical outcome to that would be for both sides to agree that all are free to marry as they choose. That is not the argument. The argument is one side is saying that all are free to marry as they choose, and the other side is saying all must marry the way we see fit. Rosa Parks never made the claim that white people had to give up their bus seat to black people, only that black people did not have to give up their seats to white people. History has sided with Rosa Parks as it will side with marriage diversity. The libertarian viewpoint on most issues is the rights of the individual must be respected. Many believe that we are missing the bigger picture of wants of the society over rights of an individual. I believe that the big picture is made up of many smaller pictures. All of society is better off if we respect the rights of all the individuals. Few reasonable people will argue that society is better off with slavery because it brings down the cost of textiles. We are all part of the animal kingdom, and we evolved our physical bodies and our behavior to facilitate survival. All species do this in a way that best suits them. Survival of the individual and of the species are both essential. For the individual to survive it needs food, water and such. For the species to survive the individual must reproduce within its life span, and ensure that the offspring can reach maturity. Most birds mate for life with one female and one male, both working to raise the offspring. This is much like what I will call a traditional marriage for humans. Not all species do this. Most cats are loners. The female cat gets pregnant by a male cat and the mother raises the young by herself. The African lion, on the other hand, has a pride, a group of cats working together. That pride is frequently two adult males, about five females, and their offspring. Humans also evolved to facilitate survival of both the species and the individual. The heavy workload required for a woman to raise a child on her own must have been too much for most women. Those who attempted it did not survive, or the offspring did not survive. As evidence, I point out that our most common family unit is one male, one female, and the children. Women wanting life to be as easy as possible would choose a mate that was a good provider. A male that was an exceptionally good provider could attract more than one mate, hence the harem. The average male could only support one mate, so the common family unit of one man and one woman and the children evolved and became part of the culture of our society. Society, in its simplest form, is several individuals and groups of individuals, such as families and neighborhoods, coexisting in various states, ranging from harmony to chaos. Society does not recognize marriage in a legal sense, it recognizes marriage in a social sense, and it can change with the wind. Governments recognize marriage in the legal sense and makes laws accordingly, sometimes driven by the political winds of society, and for good or bad. Governments are instituted to secure rights, including property rights and other unalienable rights. A government’s relationship to a family is not to dictate who may or may not be in a family, but to secure the rights of the individuals to freely form families, and to secure the rights of members of that family to property owned by that family. You may argue that governments do dictate who may or may not form a family as governments issue marriage license. Marriage license were created in the middle ages by the Catholic Church. It served as another way for the church to make money. Marriage license became popular in the United states to keep black people from marrying white people. It also serves as a revenue stream for governments. Marriage license are not required everywhere, therefore they are not truly needed anywhere. I can only guess why some people are heterosexual, some bisexual, and some homosexual. My guess is that we are intended to be heterosexual, but whatever happens in our bodies to make us heterosexual does not develop correctly in some people. This is like a birth defect that we cannot see. I know I did not choose to be heterosexual. Heterosexuality was thrust upon me by Mother Nature, and I can do nothing about it. I am forced by something inside of me to desire women. I do not believe anyone chose their sexual orientation. A birth defect is not the fault of the person with it, and sexual desires, in my opinion, are not the fault of the person with the desires. In preparation for this essay, I went on the internet and watched videos and looked at web sites produced by people in opposition to same sex marriage. I wanted to hear their concerns on this issue. One of the most common concerns and objections to same sex marriage was that it conflicted with their religious views. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council FRC.org in the documentary, "The Problem with Same Sex Marriage" interviews several people troubled by same sex marriage. Dave and Tonia Parker, a married couple with a child in a Massachusetts school are interviewed for the documentary. They said that their five-year-old son Jacob came home from school with a diversity book bag, with a book titled, Who's in a Family? by Robert Skutch. That book introduces children to same sex households. Dave claims the intention of the school was to affirm the relationships and gay marriages in the minds of children. He went to the school and requested parental notification when these issues are brought up and the option to op-out of this type of indoctrination. They claim that they were told that this is not a parent notification issue because same sex marriage is legal in Massachusetts. Tonia claims that “Our Judeo-Christian beliefs are precedent, and that which is a sin [was] presented as it is not a sin, and we cannot allow that”. The Parkers's filed a law suit. Federal Judge Mark Wolf dismissed the case claiming they did not have a right to notification. David says the school is teaching children that “...it is OK to be gay and, in fact, you could be gay too”. Rob and Robin Wirthlin, another Massachusetts couple interviewed for the documentary have a similar story. Their seven-year-old son was read a book in school about a prince who marries another prince. That book, King and King, introduces children to same sex marriage as something that is good and right and the way things should be. "We were shocked!", claims Rob. Robin adds, " He is seven, in second grade!" "[They read this book to him] in a formal classroom, with his teacher as an authority figure, presenting this concept as something that is good and right and the way things should be." I can sympathize with these two married couples. When I was a young boy, I was taught evolution in school. My father was outraged! He complained to the school to no avail. He wrote a letter to the editor of the local newspaper, complaining about the incident. He assured me that God made us and we did NOT come from apes! But public schools are just that, public. You cannot expect a public school to teach one point of view, and one point of view only! They must cover a variety of viewpoints. One of the first books my school introduced me to was Fun with Dick and Jane, a book about a young white boy named Dick, his white sisters, Jane and Sally, his white parents, Mother and Father, their dog and cat and his white neighbor friends. I would bet that the books that outraged the Parkers and the Wirthlins were not the only books that the school introduced their children to. If parents don’t like the curriculum of the public school, the parents have the right to pull their children out of school and put them into a private school, or to home school them. In this country we have a right to freedom of religion. Not all of us have the same religion. Some of us have no religion. If same sex marriage is in conflict with your religion, then you have a right to not marry someone the same sex as you. Two people presented as experts in this documentary were Brian Camenker, President of MassResistance.org, a pro family group in Massachusetts, and Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council. Brian Camenker shows The Little Black Book, Queer in the 21 Century found at Brookline High School pushing the gay agenda in that school. The book is" so disgusting" Brian claims that he can't even read it to us, “It tells how to have safe gay sex and how to meet other gays. It was published by public money and because same sex marriage is legal you can't stop us from talking about it!” The fact that Brian finds it disgusting is irrelevant, in that Brian is not being forced to read it. He is however, being forced to pay for it, in that public money is being used to fund it. It is common for public money to be used for things that individuals do not approve of. Antiwar people must pay for wars they don’t want. People who don’t drive must pay for roads. If Brian has a complaint about his money being used to fund something that he does not approve, he has a right to talk to his elected officials. He may be able to cut funding for it if he can get enough support from other voters. Peter Sprigg, asserts that homosexual activists claim that children raised by homosexual families are no different than children raised by heterosexual families. Sprigg claims the research shows otherwise. He says that if heterosexual parents raise children, 3.5% of the children become gay, but if they’re raised by gay fathers it’s 16-27% and by lesbian mothers it’s 22-57%. He claims that children raised by gay parents are five to fifteen times more likely to become gay as children raised by straight parents. On other web sites I read that girls who are raised by lesbian mothers become sexually active at a younger age. Even if Peter is right in his numbers, it is not showing that gay parents turn their children gay. It is possible that children of straight parents suppress their homosexual desires to please their parents. The number of gay children raised by straight parents may be inaccurate as gay children may “stay in the closet” for the sake of their parents. I don’t know how you could get accurate numbers on this. With regard to girls becoming sexually active at a younger age, and implying that this is automatically a bad thing is suspect. If a girl learns to ride a bicycle at a younger age, is it automatically a bad thing? Riding a bicycle and sex are both fun and dangerous. A girl having sex at a younger age isn’t necessarily having riskier sex than a girl who is older. A fourteen-year-old girl using condoms while having sex may be safer that a twenty-one-year-old girl having unprotected sex. The appropriate age for people to start having sex is debatable. A common argument against same sex marriage that I found on several web sites is that it could potentially lead down a "slippery slope,” ending with giving people the right to polygamous, incestuous, bestial, and other nontraditional unions. As a Libertarian I believe I do have a right to polygamy. It’s nobody’s business except those involved in the marriage. With respect to polygamy and incest, I can turn to the Bible to argue that both are acceptable with God. Several men in the Bible had more than one wife. King David, for example had more than six wives. The book of Genesis tells the story of Lot, a man of God, who after his wife is turned into a pillar of salt gets both of his virgin daughters pregnant. If religion can be used to argue against same sex marriage, it can be used to argue in favour of it. Even more so. We have a right to freedom of religion. You can’t use religion to force others into your behaviour as they may have a different religion than you, and you can’t stop them from exercising their own religion. On the somewhat absurd argument of bestiality, if I have a neighbor that wants to marry his dog, I would like to know so I can avoid him. If it is illegal, he may want to keep his romantic relationship with his dog a secret, and I may not know enough to avoid him. If it is legal, he may be open about his canine courting, and I will be alert to avoid him. It’s to my advantage that he be legally able to marry his dog. There is one final argument that opponents of same sex marriage often make. The use of the word marriage for same sex unions. They claim the word marriage somehow means a man and a woman. Wrong. Marriage means to join and divorce means to separate. In fact, the 49th and 94th words in this essay is “divorce”, as in my Libertarian beliefs from myself. I assume you did not call into question my right to use that word as I did. I have heard electricians use the word “marriage” to describe joining electrical circuits, and “divorce “ to describe separating them. Plumbers use the words in the same manner to describe pipe routing. Chefs use the word “marriage” to describe combining ingredients. This argument over use of the word “marriage” is an oppression of the right to freedom of speech. If you claim that those are different version the words and they are void of any sanctity from your god, that is fine. I will defend your right to believe that same sex marriages have no sanctity from your god. But the argument is not for sanctity, it is for marriage. Just as electrical circuits can be married, so can same sex partners, if everyone minds their own business. I am convinced that same sex marriage and many other issues can be peaceably resolved if more people would adopt the libertarian perspective, that government must secure the unalienable rights of each of us, to improve society for all of us. It’s not that I can’t see the forest through the trees, but that I know if you look at the forest closely, you will see that it is made up of several individual trees. WORKS CITED National Organization for Marriage (March 7, 2012), Studies: Children Raised by Lesbians Not Problem-Free http://www.nomblog.com/20186/ Perkins, Tony, Family Research Council (n.d.), "The Problem with Same Sex Marriage" http://www.frc.org/dvdvideo/the-problem-with-same-sex-marriage-30-minute-dvd