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Charles Ballay, M.D., Libertarian, Statement #2 on LGBTQ Rights

As a proud New Orleanian, my leadership and governance style is deeply rooted in the city's vibrant tapestry of diversity and inclusion. Having grown up in a community known for its vibrant LGBTQ spaces and its culture of acceptance, I've cultivated a broad, open-minded perspective that cherishes and embraces individual differences. This personal connection to New Orleans is the bedrock of my views on the separation of church and state—particularly concerning LGBTQ rights—and I believe it resonates with many of you here today. Diversity will always be our strength. 

Throughout history, religious doctrines on issues of sexuality have undergone significant evolution, a testament to the fact that interpretations of faith can and do change with societal progress. Consider the strides made by many religious groups on issues like divorce and remarriage, reflecting a broader understanding of personal and societal needs. Similarly, there's been a heartening shift among some religious communities towards accepting and affirming LGBTQ individuals, with denominations that once barred LGBTQ people from clergy roles now welcoming them and others acknowledging and blessing same-sex marriages. This progress should inspire us all.

This historical context of evolving religious doctrines underscores the critical need for a clear separation between church and state. As your potential president, I am unwavering in my commitment to ensuring that our government policies are free from religious bias and that they champion equality and safeguard the rights of all citizens, irrespective of their sexual orientation. This commitment is not just a promise but a deeply ingrained value, nurtured by the inclusive ethos of New Orleans, a city that has taught me the value of welcoming diversity and fostering an environment in which everyone can live authentically and safely.

By upholding the separation of church and state, my administration will strive to prevent any religious viewpoint from influencing public policy. We will work to ensure that personal rights and freedoms are protected for everyone, making our nation fairer and more equitable. This approach aligns with our constitutional principles and the inclusive spirit of New Orleans that has shaped me.

Furthermore, while my administration will advocate for policies that ensure equality and protection for all, including the LGBTQ community, I also believe in the importance of states' rights in our federal system. Recognizing that communities differ and what works for one may not be workable for another, many issues should be decided at the state and local levels. Local values and opinions must be considered in governance, allowing states to navigate complex problems in ways that best reflect their constituents' beliefs and needs. Most in our nation do not want to be force-fed federal doctrine; such an approach does not foster acceptance but dissuades and detracts. I believe in a decentralized approach that respects the diversity of American life and supports the principle that one size does not fit all, especially in a country as varied as ours.

My vision for America is one where diversity is celebrated and we achieve unity through respect and autonomy. This allows individual and communal identity to thrive within the framework of our shared national values. This libertarian approach, which values personal freedom and communal respect, will guide my presidency, ensuring that the United States remains a beacon of hope and freedom for all.

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