An openly gay Libertarian mayoral candidate in Washington, D.C., received an especially low rating from the district’s Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance (GLAA) because he espouses limited government and does not support taxpayer funding of the group’s special interests agenda.
Bruce Majors, the Libertarian candidate for mayor of D.C., has worked to advance the Libertarian Party and limited government in a district that has been dominated by Democrats.
Majors responded to the GLAA Questionnaire for D.C. Candidates. GLAA assigns ratings to candidates based on how supportive they are of government funding of their special interests agenda. A score of +10 is considered the highest possible rating.
Majors received the lowest rating of all the mayoral candidates, a +2, and the explanation for his rating is as follows:
Libertarian candidate Bruce Majors (+2) has an unusual response to many of questions. His and his party’s ideological distrust of government is at odds with policies and reforms favored by GLAA. Consequently, many of his responses were interpreted as non-responsive or negative.
GLAA gave its highest rating to incumbent Democrat Mayor Vincent Gray with the following explanation:
Democratic incumbent Vincent Gray (+10) agrees with GLAA on almost all issues and demonstrated a firm understanding. Mr. Gray’s accessibility, responsiveness, and follow-through have made him highly effective on LGBT issues. He has been a champion for transgender people, including with Project Empowerment job training. Our few differences were swamped by his total record of accomplishment. Mr. Gray is one of only two candidates in the April 1 primary to receive the highest possible rating of +10.
Some of the GLAA questions and Majors’s respective responses are below:
Will you act to ensure that the District provides transgender-inclusive health insurance to all D.C. Government employees, to include coverage for sex affirmation surgery (also known as sex reassignment surgery)?
Majors: As Mayor I will seek to increase all options for how District government employees can choose to use their own healthcare dollars, including increasing insurance options and reducing barriers to entry for insurance companies. I would oppose attempts by any level of government to tell D.C. government employees (or anyone else) what treatments or procedures they can pursue. I would not allow the government to define which reconstructive or cosmetic options are approved and which not, but would instead respect consumer sovereignty. I would oppose a precedent of having the D.C. government design a one size fits all health care plan or insurance policy for all D.C. employees.
Will you submit budgets that target funds to address health disparities in the LGBT population, including in mental health and substance abuse treatment?
Majors: I would ensure that funds budgeted for any area do not exclude or discriminate against any population. I would seek to allow each individual more choice in how they use the funds budgeted. Ideally where possible people eligible for these programs would have something like an EBT card or voucher and be able to choose their own care provider. I think it’s also important for gay activists to recognize that traditionally a major source of discrimination is the state sector, whether it is bullying at the school a child is assigned to with no choice, or in the past teachers being fired for being gay when exposure to homosexuality was thought to be inappropriate for children. Likewise today I think those incarcerated by the state, whether in government schools or in jail or prison, are among those most likely to be denied safe sex information, condoms, and freedom from bullying and sexual aggression. I favor liberating the incarcerated who have not committed a crime or have committed a “victimless crime,” but while incarcerating in a government institution they should not be denied mental health or substance abuse treatment or information about STDs and safe sex.
Will you require the Metropolitan Police Department’s gathering and analysis of crime statistics to ensure greater comprehensiveness and objectivity, including on LGBT-related hate crimes and intimate partner violence?
Majors: I do believe these statistics should be collected, and additionally statistics on bullying and types of bullying should be collected, by school and type of school (public, charter, parochial, private).
I also favor ending exclusive dependence on the MPD for protection – I favor removing barriers to legal gun ownership for LGBT people who do not have criminal records or other issues, especially those who have reasonable concerns about gay bashing in areas where they live or work. I think an LGBT group in D.C. should teach them responsible firearms storage, ownership and use and how to obtain a license and choose a firearm. Barriers to non-governmental groups establishing shooting ranges and clubs inside D.C. for training should be removed.
Will you budget funds to hire qualified trainers to provide LGBT-inclusive cultural competency training to all police officers, including in the handling of intimate partner violence?
Majors: I would ensure that the Metropolitan Police Department adequately trained its officers in all aspects of DC’s diverse populations and advertised job openings to and hired from all DC population groups. This would include training as needed on LGTB issues.
Beyond that I favor removing barriers to legal gun ownership for LGBT people who do not have criminal records or other issues, especially those who have reasonable concerns about gay bashing in areas where they live or work. I think an LGBT group in D.C. should teach them responsible firearms storage, ownership and use and how to obtain a license and choose a firearm. Barriers to non-governmental groups establishing shooting ranges and clubs inside D.C. for training should be removed.
Will you renew, enforce and update as necessary the Mayoral Order mandating explicit inclusion of every class protected under the D.C. Human Rights Act in all D.C. government agency nondiscrimination statements?
Majors: I would ensure that the DC government obey its own laws and treat all people equally without discrimination. In some sense the expanding list of “protected classes” under DC law, which under DC fair housing law is now over 20 classes, including such things as “matriculation” and “political affiliation,” may tend to dilute and make light of serious violence and discrimination against women, LGTB people, racial minorities and other groups. But the DC government should be required to obey its own laws, and Mayoral Orders mandating this should be issued. If the DC government finds a law it has issued too difficult to obey, then it should consider its impact on citizens in general.
Given the limited results from trans-inclusive Project Empowerment training, will you establish a project at the Department of Employment Services to increase government hiring from under-represented populations, and will you hire trans persons in your own office?
Majors: I would conduct a study of D.C. government agencies, including the Metro system and the public school system, to see if there are patterns of extreme over- or under-representation in hiring, and if so if there are problems with nepotism or discrimination in any particular agencies. As a Libertarian I am not surprised that a government program to help or promote trans persons did not work as intended. When I ran for office in 2012 I was contacted by people using D.C. government employment training programs who would complain of their complete worthlessness and ask me to help or advise them in some way. I would be happy to hire a trans person or persons who would be effective at a job, including a high profile job, and highlight the irrelevance of their sexual identity to their work.
Though Majors has been openly gay since 1980, belonged to GLAA briefly in the early 1990s, and has been supportive of gay groups, clubs, and activities, including publishing an essay last year at Doublethink in support of gay marriage, in the end his unwillingness to support big government and its alliance with the special interest LGBT agenda made the difference in what GLAA was looking for in a mayoral candidate.
Majors has worked for years to advance the status of the Libertarian Party in D.C.
For example, in 2012, Libertarians won permanent ballot status in the district when Majors’s congressional campaign received six percent of the vote and 16,700 D.C. residents voted with his party. Now, in 2014, with nine Libertarian candidates on the ballot in D.C., the first Libertarian primary will be held in the district in April.
“In some ways, I think the GLAA rating is hilarious and what GLAA has really done is rate itself into irrelevancy and given itself a failing grade,” Majors told Breitbart News.
Majors added that when he was a member of GLAA in the ’90s and participated in a candidate rating, in which no Libertarians were involved, he was upset to see they automatically gave incumbents extra points over challengers, as long as the incumbent had done anything at all in support of gay rights.
Observing the diminishing numbers of GLAA members, Majors said, “I think it’s clear the surviving GLAA members are statists.”
“They actually say in their press release on the scoring that they ‘interpreted’ my answers as ‘negative or non responsive’ because they don’t like libertarians, because it is an ‘unusual’ ideology that ‘mistrusts’ government,” he said. “Which this year of all years means the GLAA has shown themselves to be completely antiquated and out of touch with public sentiment.”