Tuesday, September 25, 2012

LGBT politics and libertarianism: Where is the love?

People often comment that libertarianism seems like a natural fit for LGBT people and express an inability to understand why more LGBT people do not see it that way. A recent study on the moral psychology of libertarians (press release here; full study here) sheds light on the disconnect. According to one finding in the study,
In combination with low levels of emotional reactivity, the highly rational nature of libertarians may lead them to a logical, rather than emotional, system of morality....

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[W]e found strong support for our second prediction, that libertarians will rely upon emotion less – and reason more – than will either liberals or conservatives.

That is not exactly a good match for the hyperemotional approach to politics that characterizes the LGBT orthodoxy. If, as often thought, gay men tend to be especially emotionally expressive, and lesbians tend to be even more so, such emotionality sets up an inherent tension with a reason-based political philosophy.

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