About IGF CultureWatch
IGF CultureWatch emerged from the Independent Gay Forum project, 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 two decades since the original IGF was launched. Gay legal equality and social inclusion are now very much a part of mainstream sensibilities. The left-wing has lost its once exclusive grip on gay culture—although resistance to libertarian and center-right viewpoints within LGBT organizations and media remains a challenge, and political correctness is too often wielded to stifle dissenting perspectives. Meanwhile, many social conservatives still work to deny gay people equality under the law and to exclude us from conservative circles.
Nevertheless, gay people have taken their place at the American political and cultural table. 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 CultureWatch.
We still hold the following goals and values:
- We support the full inclusion of gay men and lesbians in civil society with legal equality and equal social respect.
- 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 gay men and lesbians pose any threat to social morality or the political order.
- We equally oppose “progressive” claims that the only authentic LGBT position is to support increasing the scope of government, believing this is often at the expense of individual liberty, civil society and voluntary action.
- We share an approach, but we disagree on many particulars. We include libertarians, limited-government conservatives, moderates, and classical liberals.
The views expressed on IGF CultureWatch 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.
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. He also is a contributor to The Volokh Conspiracy blog.
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.