Libertarians find themselves in a moral quandary: should they vote for the pro-market party or the pro-sodomy party? Duncan Frissell points out the obvious, that if interference in sexual matters and private life is the test of libertarian rectitude, then Democrats lose on that score too—witness comprehensive sex ed, initiatives to abolish the patriarchy and replace the family, and various regulatory schemes that take effect within the home or otherwise interfere with private acts among consenting adults. Put them all together and they constitute a much more extensive regime of interference than anything Republicans associate themselves with, or indeed anything anyone dreamed of until very recent times. If abolishing sex roles and doing away with moral judgments about sexual activity isn’t interference with private life, what is?
All our deep thinkers are convinced that the sexually indiscriminate society is the free society: as long as we treat everything having to do with sex as a matter of private taste—with all tastes treated equally—we’ll be able to stand on our own feet, run our own lives, and resist the overreaching of the powerful. Or so they say.
What possible reason is there to believe them though? If liberty and private life are the issues, I would think the first concern would be the strength and stability of small-scale institutions like the family that enable private life to go forward independently of the state. As a practical matter, I would think that concern would show itself as government acceptance and support for the attitudes and habits that have grown up to support, order and guard such institutions—traditional sex roles and sexual morality, for example.