Darryl Perry: Against Legislating Morality

Presidential candidate Darryl Perry  posted the following editorial at Free Press Publications on January 10, 2016.

Perry is an author, radio host, and political activist who owns and edits Free Press Publications.  He served as the chairman of the now-defunct Boston Tea Party and is an announced candidate for the 2016 presidential nomination of the Libertarian Party.  The Saturnalian does not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the letter below.

There is a question that often comes up in a variety of ways, and boils down to: “Should any government legislate or attempt to legislate morality?” Most people would answer in the affirmative. However that’s where the disagreements and the question of “who’s version of morality is to be used?” begin.

One current attempt in New Hampshire to “legislate morality” – or at least what one co-sponsor of the bill calls “respect for a woman and her innocence and decency” – has made international headlines after an online discussion involving some members of the NH General Court turned into personal attacks. The bill would make is a misdemeanor for a woman, other than a breastfeeding mother, to purposely expose her “areola or nipple… in a public place and in the presence of another person with reckless disregard for whether a reasonable person would be offended or alarmed by such act.”

In New Hampshire, every piece of legislation gets a committee hearing and the legislature then votes to accept or reject the committee recommendation. The Laconia Daily Sun reports Republican majority leader Dick Hinch moved to remove the bill to outlaw female toplessness from the bills to go to committee.

The Sun writes, “Hinch told the House the bill was ‘too controversial’ and noted that the question of public toplessness is before the court, a reference to the case of Heidi Lilley, who was issued a citation by the Gilford Police after baring her breasts on the town beach last summer, which is pending in the Fourth Circuit Court, Laconia Division.  A roll call vote to scuttle the bill failed, 186 to 160.”

Rep. Brian Gallagher, the prime sponsor of the bill, described the ploy by the leadership as “suppression of free speech.” Which is ironic given that his proposal is itself a blatant violation of free speech! The bill, HB1525, provides no exemption for art or acts of protest, both recognized as legitimate forms of freedom of expression.

Aside from the free speech concerns, this is bad policy as it blatantly violates equality under the law.  Amanda Bouldin, an opponent of the bill who made the aforementioned headline grabbing facebook post, says, “We shouldn’t be introducing new legislation that only applies to women. If we had any laws that started with the sentence ‘women should not,’ they should have been repealed by now.”

Why should a woman face the possibility of spending up to one year in jail for being in public without a shirt while her male counterparts face no such penalty? This bill is just one more piece of legislation that attempts to enforce one persons morals on everyone else and punish people for an offense that does not cause unjust harm to anyone. Legislators should repeal the countless pages of laws that violate human freedom, and people should legally be allowed to do anything they want, provided only that they not initiate (or threaten) violence against the person or legitimately owned property of another.

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3 thoughts on “Darryl Perry: Against Legislating Morality

  1. Darryl has no chance of getting the LP nomination; no radical libertarian has.
    Why doesn’t he join with me and others to revive the BTP?
    Maybe call it the Lexington Green Party.
    He would have a chance with that.
    And why isn’t McAfee showing any interest either?

  2. Here are the answers I gave to the questions asked by the Skeptics Network on IPR:

    1. Yes. The biggest issue here is global climate change. Scientific consensus is clear. I will follow it. Global climate change will soon make the Earth unlivable. If it were possible to reverse, the negative externalities from the large scale activities required to raise the funds for necessary research & technology would offset any benefit. Plus it would require complete international agreement which we all know is impossible. I propose fracking Siberia in a joint effort with Russia to raise the funds to research and ultimately terraform Mars for future human relocation (Americans and Russians first). The negative externalities from raising the funds would not affect the ultimate end product: a terraformed Mars. Based on science, here’s how the process will look: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terraforming_of_Mars#/media/File:MarsTransitionV.jpg

    We should also follow the scientific view on homosexuality that Dr. Konstantin Monastyrsky explains at Gutsense.org https://www.gutsense.org/constipation/anal_sex.html

    2. Yes. Let me speak on this issue because a few months ago my friend fell for scam pills that claimed they would increase the size of his penis. The pills did nothing at all. This is fraud. It is not Libertarian. It needs to be stopped. My friend should be able to sue the fraudsters easily and put them out of business. Plain and simple, it is theft.

    3. Sure. But we need to work together in order to ultimately relocate everyone to Mars.

    4. Like most agencies, the FDA ought to be abolished. The money allocated to it and other nonsense government agencies should be reallocated to research terraformation and space exploration.

    5. We need greater innovation in food technology, particularly in learning to grow food on Mars as Matt Damon did in The Martian. I would impose no bans or limits on genetically engineered crops or other technology to improve production of food.

    6. No. I was not in New York during the 9/11 events and I was not present at any mass shootings. I do not suppose to know what actually happened then and I have no reason to campaign on those events when we’re facing the possible extinction of the human race.

    7. I believe that on Earth, it should be up to the parents and not government whether children should be vaccinated. Of course, it will be a requirement for the relocation to Mars.

    8. Yes. Any money wasted on those nonsense topics should go toward research and development of the space exploration and Martian terraformation.

    9. Yes.

    10. I’ll say no so that McAfee has to eat one of his shoes. Remember the Laurence Fishburne meme: What if I told you, McAfee is the virus!

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