Gary Johnson on Civil Rights

Libertarian presidential nominee; former Republican NM Governor


It's racism to judge others by their birth, like Trump does

Q: Trump is looking at replacing Muslim TSA employees who wear hijabs, the traditional head scarf, with military retirees--with veterans. What did you make of the comment?

JOHNSON: He has said 100 things that would disqualify anyone else from running for president but doesn't seem to affect him. That statement in and of itself it really is--it's racist.

Q: You feel that his statement is racist, or do you think he is racist?

JOHNSON: Well, when it comes to Mexican immigration and that he would call immigrants from Mexico murderers and rapists--look, that's just not true. They are more law-abiding than U.S. citizens and that is a statistic. The stuff he is saying is just incendiary.

Q: Incendiary, but do you think he himself is racist?

JOHNSON: Based on his statements, clearly. I mean, if you look up the definition of "racism," calling a U.S.-born Hispanic a Mexican and his inability to judge others [because he is Hispanic, that's racist].

Source: CNN 2016 State of the Union Q&A with presidential hopefuls , Jul 3, 2016

Individual liberty includes supporting gay marriage

Johnson said the party advocates less government involvement and more individual liberty. "People should be able to make choices in their own lives. Always come down on the side of choice," Johnson said.

[Johnson was interviewed along with Vice-presidential nominee William Weld.] Both men described themselves as fiscally conservative but accepting of social differences. They are pro-gay marriage and support protecting a woman's right to abortion.

Source: Eric Duvall on UPI on 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jun 22, 2016

States have the right to display the Confederate flag

Source: 2016 presidential hopefuls: iSideWith.com "Confederate flag" , Jun 17, 2016

Workplace discrimination against gays is like race in 1960s

Source: 2016 presidential hopefuls: iSideWith.com "Gender identity" , Jun 17, 2016

Each state has right to display Confederate flag

Should states be allowed to display the Confederate flag on government property?
Source: iSideWith analysis of Confederate Flag , May 2, 2016

Yes, equal pay for equal work, but hesitate on legislation

One [difference between Libertarian candidates McAfee,] Johnson & Petersen was the question of the so-called gender pay gap. Johnson sounded like a progressive echoing the "equal pay for equal" work line but said he would be hesitant to sign any equal pay legislation because "the devil is in the details." Petersen explained why the gender pay gap is a progressive myth. McAfee argued that if a person doesn't like how much they are being paid they are free to look elsewhere.
Source: TheLibertyPapers.org on Stossel Forum Libertarian debate , Apr 5, 2016

No, bakers can't deny a wedding cake to same-sex couples

Q: The wedding cake debate: Should a baker be forced to make a cake for someone or forced not to discriminate against gay couples getting married?

A: Well right now you can't discriminate. Right now. So you would basically be changing the fact that now you can't discriminate. So am I going to advocate for your ability as a business owner to be able to discriminate? I'm not going to advocate for such. I see that as harm to the individual. And I see [discriminating based on] religion as a black hole. It's not like you don't have shoes on; it's not a whole bunch of reasons a business owner would normally refuse you service. I'm going to refuse you service because of religion?

Q: That might be dangerous?

A: It would be very dangerous. It would provide a segregated America. So back to the wedding cake, and the ability of the business owner to discriminate, I think there's somehow this belief that business currently has that ability. They don't. Court case after court case shows they don't.

Source: J. Wilson interview of Johnson, aLibertarianFuture.com , Apr 4, 2016

Denying gay couples the right to marry is discrimination

Gary Johnson said he's "disappointed" with President Obama's position on gay marriage. Obama told ABC he would let each individual state decide the gay marriage question instead of seeking federal protection of the right to marry. Johnson noted that more than 30 states already ban same sex marriage in one way or another.

Johnson said, "Instead of insisting on equality as a US Constitutional guarantee, the President has thrown this question back to the states. When the smoke clears, Gay Americans will realize that millions of Americans in most states will continue to be denied true marriage equality."

Johnson, once a long-time supporter of civil unions, has also "evolved" on the gay marriage question. "As I have examined this issue, consulted with folks on all sides, and viewed it through the lens of individual freedom and equal rights," he said in December 2011, "it has become clear to me that denying those rights and benefits to gay couples is discrimination, plain and simple."

Source: Reason Magazine on 2016 presidential hopefuls , May 10, 2012

Supports separation of religion and state

Q: Do you support separation of religion and state?

A: Yes.

Q: You oppose gay marriage, though you favor civil unions. Why?

A: I wouldn't say I oppose gay marriage as a matter of public policy. The government shouldn't be in the marriage business. I would not be opposed to belonging to a church that supports gay marriage.

Source: Interview by Scott Holleran on scottholleran.com blog , Aug 21, 2011

Prostitution is safer when legal and regulated

Q: You have unorthodox takes, for a member of the GOP, on prostitution.

A: Prostitution? I have no intention of enlisting the services of a prostitute. But if I were, where would I want to do that? Well, I'd want to do that I think in Nevada where it's legal and regulated. I think I would be safer in enlisting those services. I would have the least chance of contracting HIV or Hepatitis C or any communicable disease in Nevada.

Source: Tim Dickinson in Rolling Stone Magazine , Jun 15, 2011

I support gay unions; government out of marriage business

Gary Johnson brings his libertarian leanings into a still-fluid Republican field. On ABC's "Top Line" today, Johnson, R-N.M., told us that he'll be concentrating his campaign on "Live Free or Die" New Hampshire, in the hopes of vaulting into prominence.

Johnson isn't shy to discuss areas where he may break with GOP dogma. "I support gay unions. I think the government ought to get out of the marriage business. And then for me as governor of New Mexico, everything was a cost-benefit analysis. There weren't any sacred cows--everything was a cost-benefit analysis. What are we spending money on and what are we getting for the money that we're spending? So in that sense, the drug war is absolutely a failure."

Source: Rick Klein, ABC News, "Obscurity to Prominence" , Apr 22, 2011

No affirmative action in college admissions nor state jobs

Indicate the principles you support concerning affirmative action. Should state government agencies should take race and sex into account in the following sectors: College and university admissions?

A: No.

Q: Public employment?

A: No.

Q: State contracting?

A: No.

Source: 1998 New Mexico National Political Awareness Test , Nov 1, 1998

Support principles embodied in the Equal Rights Amendment.

Johnson adopted the National Governors Association policy:

In 1976 the National Governors Association expressed support for ratification and implementation of the Equal Rights Amendment, which would constitutionally guarantee full citizenship rights and opportunities for women. In 1982 the drive for ratification fell short, and efforts to initiate the amendatory process were taken.

The National Governors Association reaffirms its support for the principles embodied in the Equal Rights Amendment, i.e., that equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on the basis of gender.

Source: NGA Executive Committee Policy EC-14: Equal Rights Policy 01-NGA1 on Feb 15, 2001

Overturn CA Prop. 8: Let gays marry.

Johnson signed AFER amicus brief and Daily News coverage

[Many] conservative leaders are signatories to an "amicus brief" calling on the Supreme Court to overturn Prop. 8. Enacted in November 2008, Proposition 8 eliminated the fundamental freedom of gay and lesbian Californians to marry. The American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) prepared an "amicus," or a "friend of the court" brief: a letter to the Supreme Court outlining a position on a pending case. AFER prepared this amicus brief, in support of gay marriage, and the "amici" signed it prior to sending to the Supreme Court.

"Many of the signatories to this brief previously did not support civil marriage for same-sex couples; others did not hold a considered position on the issue," the brief said. "However, in the years since Massachusetts and other States have made civil marriage a reality for same-sex couples, amici, like many Americans, have reexamined the evidence and their own positions and have concluded that there is no legitimate, fact-based reason for denying same-sex couples the same recognition in law that is available to opposite-sex couples."

AFER is dedicated to protecting and advancing equal rights for every American. As the sole sponsor of the federal court challenge of California's Proposition 8, now known as Hollingsworth v. Perry, AFER is leading the fight for marriage equality and equality under the law for every American. Building bi-partisan support has been part of AFER's mission ever since the filing of its federal constitutional challenge to overturn Proposition 8.

Source: AFER amicus brief 13-AFER on Apr 1, 2013

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Page last updated: Oct 29, 2016