LTE published in the Bay Area Reporter

The Bay Area Reporter published in their May 31 issue a letter I sent them on letting alternative parties into the presidential debates, including my identification as LPSF Vice Chair:

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Open prez debates to all parties
Your April 12 editorial "HRC should call for prez debate" correctly pointed out that the Human Rights Campaign has come under fire for partisan bias by failing to publicly acknowledge Republican lawmakers who are supportive of same-sex marriage.

But the editorial itself makes a similar partisan faux pas by mentioning only Democrats and Republicans in the context of a presidential debate. Bipartisan is not the same as nonpartisan.

According to a November 2005 op-ed piece by David Lesher of the New America Foundation published in the San Francisco Chronicle , the number of independents more than doubled from 1990 to 2005, with 23 percent of Californians, and 28 percent of San Franciscans, registered something other than Democrat or Republican.

Those numbers, which are even higher today, far exceed the reputed 10 percent of the public who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. Like LGBTQ people, independent voters are an important minority who deserve to be heard and represented in the political process.

There are today three leading alternative parties in the United States: One to the left of the Democrats (the Green Party); one to the right of the Republicans (the Constitution Party, known in California as the American Independent Party); and one that sides with the left on civil liberties, social tolerance, military adventurism, immigration, and separation of church and state, and with the right on taxation, regulation, property rights, and self-defense (the Libertarian Party).

Allowing the nominees of these three parties into the presidential debates would significantly enhance diversity of choice, while preserving the current rough balance between the two established parties.

Neither HRC nor the Bay Area Reporter can occupy the high moral ground of fairness if they demand a presidential debate focused on LGBTQ issues without demanding that alternative party candidates be allowed into that debate. Candidates – and organizations – that support exclusionary debates are behaving undemocratically and do not deserve our community's support.

Starchild, Vice Chair

Libertarian Party of San Francisco