IGF Culture Watch

IGF Culture Watch emerged from the Independent Gay Forum project. The original IGF project was created by a group of gay writers, academics, attorneys, and activists who felt dissatisfied with the then current level of discussion of gay-related issues. A great deal has been accomplished in the less than two decades since IGF was formed. Gay issues are now very much mainstream. The left-wing has lost much of its once exclusive grip on gay issues. Gays are now taking their place at the American political and cultural table, as equals, instead of as political pawns. With these advances, it was decide that The Independent Gay Forum should be downgraded from a formal 50(c)(3) not-for-profit organization to a watch-keeper blog site, IGF Culture Watch.

We still hold the following goals and values:

  • We support the full inclusion of gays and lesbians in civil society with legal equality and equal social respect. We argue that gays and lesbians, in turn, contribute to the creativity, robustness, and decency of our national life.
  • We share a belief in the fundamental virtues of the American system and its traditions of individual liberty, personal moral autonomy and responsibility, and equality before the law. We believe those traditions depend on the institutions of a market economy, free discussion, and limited government.
  • We deny “conservative” claims that gays and lesbians pose any threat to social morality or the political order.
  • We equally oppose “progressive” claims that gays should support radical social change or restructuring of society.
  • We share an approach, but we disagree on many particulars. We include libertarians, limited-government conservatives, moderates, and classical liberals. We hold differing views on the role of government, personal morality, religious faith, and personal relationships. We share these disagreements openly: we hope that readers will find them interesting and thought-provoking.

The views expressed on IGF Culture Watch are those of the authors alone, and of those who comment on their posts. These individuals are fully responsible for their own content.

Stephen H. Miller, IGF Blogger-in-Chief

Stephen H. Miller, a self-described “recovering progressive,” has been writing about gay politics and culture for the better part of two decades. During the ’90s, his former syndicated column ran in several gay publications and his writings appeared in the anthologies Bound by Diversity (Sebastian Press) and Beyond Queer: Challenging Gay Left Orthodoxy (Free Press), among others. As a former Christopher Street magazine contributing writer, he authored a number of controversy raising cover stories, including “Is Political Correctness Destroying the Gay Civil rights Movement?” (November 1993), “Who Stole the Gay Movement?” (October 1994) and “Is Manhood a Social Disease?” (June 1995), as well as book reviews including Masculinity Under Siege (January 1994). He also did a stint as the “Media Man” columnist for Genre magazine.

For five years beginning in the mid-80s, Miller served as a board member for the newly formed Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation in New York, where he was the group’s media committee chair and editor of the GLAAD Bulletin. He helped organize a number of high profile actions, some of which he now recalls with some embarrassment. He received the 1990 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Volunteer Services, but departed soon after over disagreements regarding the organization’s mission and politics.

Contributing Bloggers

David Link is a writer and attorney who has been working on gay rights in California since 1984.

Jonathan Rauch is the author of several books and many articles on public policy, culture and economics. His most recent book is Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America.

Dale Carpenter is an American legal commentator and Earl R. Larson Professor of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Law at the University of Minnesota Law School.

John Corvino is a writer, speaker and philosophy professor. He has been speaking and writing on moral subjects since the early 1990s.

Walter Olson is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and the author of several books about the U.S. litigation system, most recently Schools for Misrule: Legal Academia and an Overlawyered America (Encounter, 2011). On the web, he founded and continues to run Overlawyered.com, one of the most popular blogs on the law.