Monday, December 6, 2010

Stonewall Libertarians New York Accuses Libertarian Party In New York State Of Anti-Gay Bias, Discrimination & Defamation

Dallwyn Merck, President of Stonewall Libertarians New York, wrote to Mark Axinn, Chair of the New York Libertarian Party, on December 6, 2010 asking him to take steps to end bias, discrimination and defamation against Gays in the New York State Libertarian Party that has taken place for nearly a decade.

In a resignation letter to Mark Axinn, New York State Libertarian Party Chair and Manhattan Libertarian Party Secretary/Treasurer, Dallwyn Merck wrote:

I am sickened by the anti-gay comments and bias exhibited privately and expressed publicly during the past decade by a number of individuals in leadership positions in the New York State Libertarian Party and the Manhattan Libertarian Party.  I can no longer in good conscience remain silent while these activities continue to take place. This has been the primary reason I have not re-joined the State Party and as of today, I am resigning my membership in the Manhattan Libertarian Party.

I am sure you are aware of the bias, discrimination and defamation of which I speak since I am not the first person to raise this issue. Up until now, the only response you and the NYLP leadership have given again and again over the years is to deny that any such discrimination is taking place.

A number of single men who have been active in the gay rights movement have been viciously attacked and driven from their positions in the New York State Libertarian Party. In private back-water e-mails and in public party forums, such men, who were assumed to be gay, have been routinely called child molesters and pedophiles. They have been driven from youth leadership positions within the party on the grounds that their contact with young people might "open the party to possible liability" and when one such individual sought the nomination of the New York Libertarian Party for the office of Attorney General, party leaders explicitly spread rumors that said individual could harm the party and bring it bad publicity. These rumors were again based on the assumption that those perceived to be gay are all potential pedophiles and child molesters.

There has been a concerted effort over the years to harass these intelligent and charismatic individuals and drive them from the party. The fact that they stayed as long as they did in the party is a testament to their thick skin and their commitment to the cause of liberty. 

I know your response will be the same response you have always given. Deny. Deny. Deny. You will point to one "pet gay" and say, 'See, we treat that one in a friendly manner', or else you will claim that actions taken against Gay members of the party can be justified on some objective grounds. What you cannot do, however, is to deny the public defamatory statements that have been posted over the years to public party lists.

Just to give you one recent example, Christopher Cantwell, an At-Large Representative of the State Committee of the New York Libertarian Party who is currently in jail, said the following about a completely innocent individual active in the Queens LP who is perceived to be gay:

"If X was directly accused of raping little boys while he was in fact keeping company with little boys...I'd say this is rather serious. And given X's record in the LP of aggression, fraud, dishonesty, slander, and general sociopathic tendencies, I'm rather alarmed that we have kept company with him for so long. Maybe X's idea of Liberty is lubricating young Republicans. I also want to know if X has been using his position in the lure underage children into sexual encounters with him. So what is it X? Are you just a lying, cheating, sociopath? Or are you in fact a raping murdering agent provocateur too? In either case, this man is so filthy, his proximity to us alone is a serious problem...he needs to be shunned, we need to let the public know that we don't take kindly to raping, murdering, lying, cheating, agent provocateur, sociopaths who...make up organizations...for the purpose of luring innocent children into sexual encounters. In the end, it doesn't matter if X is a child raping murderer, or just a fraud and extortionist, he is a dangerous criminal with serious psychological problems either way."

This is only one example of hundreds that have been posted publicly over the years. You must take responsibility for this continuing discrimination and finally do something about it. 

Jeff Grizlo, Executive Vice-President of Rising Action and a former member of the NYLP and LPQC, responded to Dallwyn Merck's allegations by stating:

I am very pleased that someone has finally spoken out about the extreme discrimination that has been faced by Gays in the New York Libertarian Party.

I served as President of Stonewall Libertarians New York from August 4, 2006 until July 27, 2009 at which point Dallwyn Merck took over as President of the New York Chapter. During the time I was both a member of the New York Libertarian Party and Stonewall Libertarians, I personally observed the anti-Gay comments that were publicly made and I can confirm all of the facts that have been relayed by Mr. Merck to NYLP Chair Mark Axinn. However, I do want to say that Mr. Merck has whitewashed the situation as it existed and presently exists in the New York Libertarian Party. The fact is that the situation is far worse than he has described it to be. The defamation I have seen is actionable and the only reason people don't sue is, in my opinion, because they don't wish to bring further public attention to such outrageous claims and allegations.

I couldn't take it any longer and resigned my membership in the New York Libertarian Party. I have no idea how any Gays can stand being around such despicable people. This is the 21st century and intolerance of this magnitude belongs in the dustbin of history.

Stonewall Libertarians, founded on April 20, 1996, is an independent organization of libertarians who believe in being politically active to promote smaller government, lower taxes and more individual freedom. It exists to reach out to all libertarians who are perceived to deviate from the norms of society and to promote tolerance and equality in the Libertarian Party and in society at large. Stonewall Libertarians seeks to be a catalyst to expand the base of the libertarian movement in the United States by bringing together a vast coalition of those who believe in personal freedom.

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