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Lifestyle Choices

Adults must be free to make their own lifestyle decisions, including marriage, without interference by the government or any need for its approval.

The ACT Liberal Democratic Party:

  1. Believes private sexual activities and lifestyle choices voluntarily undertaken by adults are not matters for government intervention except to prevent coercion and protect children.
  2. Believes marriage is a private matter (assuming informed consent) and should be free from government rules and regulation, with the government’s role limited to providing a register.
  3. Believes those who perform marriages and provide marriage services should be free to discriminate in accordance with their own views of marriage.
  4. Believes children should be adopted into a loving, stable and safe environment, irrespective of the marital status, gender or any other irrelevant attributes of the adopters.
  5. Does not support, endorse or recommend any particular sexual preference or lifestyle.
  6. Would abolish the need for sex or gender being displayed on birth certificates.

Freedom is the right to choose; the right to create for yourself the alternative of choice.  Without the responsibility and exercise of choice a man is not a man but a member, an instrument, a thing. Archibald Macleish (1882-1982)

Adults must be free to make their own decisions without interference by the government or requiring its approval. Adults are not like children, who lack sufficient experience of life to make reasoned choices and cannot appreciate what it means to take responsibility for those choices. They do not need anyone to make their choices for them. They can choose where to live, which job to take, where to go on holiday and what to do with their money, and live with the consequences. Similarly, they can choose their particular lifestyle including such things as how to live, whether to live alone or with others, and who to live with.

In most countries these matters are taken for granted. In only a few countries, for example the former Soviet Union, Cuba and North Korea, have adults been compelled to work in certain jobs, live in assigned premises or go on holiday to designated locations. Similarly, in only a few countries are people forced to marry against their will.

Having such a right inevitably means some people will make silly or unwise choices that others find amusing, perplexing or annoying. It also means that some people will make choices of which others strongly disapprove. That does not entitle them to seek to interfere in those choices.

The role of the government is to ensure choices are freely made and do not result in coercion of others, and that responsibility for the consequences of choices is not transferred to others (for example by claiming to be a victim or by later arguing that the choice was made involuntarily).

If others can be prevented from choice, the same can happen to you!

Most people will fight vigorously to protect their own right to choose. However, many will quickly acquiesce to arguments that governments ‘do something’ to prevent people from engaging in activities of which they disapprove.

This is not only hypocritical but also dangerous. What they generally fail to realise is that if others can be prevented from making choices, the same can happen to them. Once government interference in the lives of others is accepted as legitimate, there is little to stop others, whether malicious or well-intentioned, from co-opting the government to control, manipulate or manage the lives of any individual or group they choose.

Although such interference is frequently justified on the grounds that it is in the best interests of those affected, those who do the interfering invariably have the loudest voices, greatest numbers or most political leverage and those who endure the interference are in the opposite situation.

The only safe principle is for the government to be prevented from interfering in the choices of individuals no matter what those choices might be, so long as they are freely made and non-coercive.

Private activities are not the matter for the government!

It therefore follows that private sexual activities and lifestyle choices are not matters about which governments have a right to intervene. In terms of regulation, except to prevent coercion, they are no-go areas.

This is particularly relevant in relation to the rights of LGBTI individuals. Discrimination by governments against LGBTI individuals (or even in favour of them) is not acceptable.

In most western democracies, government discrimination against LGBTI individuals is subtle relative to earlier times. A same-sex partner, for example, may be denied next of kin rights that a heterosexual partner would automatically receive. In areas such as immigration, welfare, inheritance, health care and workers compensation, LGBTI individuals may be subject to inferior treatment because they do not fit the standard male-female orthodoxy. That is discrimination.

The ACT Liberal Democrats do not support, endorse or recommend any particular sexual preference or lifestyle. It also does not consider governments should be seen as a source of rights to be granted. Rather, it views governments as a threat to pre-existing rights through its power to take them away.

Consistent with the principle of the principle of non-interference, the ACT Liberal Democrats acknowledge and respects the rights of others to make their own choices, provided they also accept responsibility for their consequences.

It considers the role of government to be limited to the prevention of coercion in the exercise of choice, including the protection of children, and to ensuring that the consequences of choice are not transferred to others.

In government it would repeal or amend laws that created disadvantage for LGBTI individuals on the basis of their difference from heterosexuals, to remove such disadvantage.

Recent arguments in the ACT regarding the changing of sex, as displayed on birth certificates, is a perfect example government overreach and a sad continuation of unhealthy identity politics.  What is clearly being missed in these arguments is: why have sex (or gender) on any government documents?  By removing this classification of an individual:

  • You do would not need a government permission slip, or stamp of approval, to change your “official” gender to whatever you are comfortable with.
  • The government would not have the data to make, discriminatory, gender biased policies. This would encourage the position that all citizens, regardless of how they identify, were treated equally.  Both under the law, and by their elected representatives.


The official page of the Liberal Democratic Party in the Australian Capital Territory. Authorised by Guy Jakeman, Florey, ACT, 2615