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Libertarian women’s history month: Lynn Kinsky

26 Mar
Lynn Kinsky (May 22, 194? – ) grew up in Hialeah, Florida, graduating from Hialeah High School in 1962, and going to college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  With her then husband engineer Robert Poole and attorney Manual Klausner she took over reason magazine from its creator Lanny Friedlander and helped expand it into what it has become today.  Kinsky wrote for reason in the 1970s, as well as for the Association of Libertarian Feminists.

In an interview on the early years of reason magazine, Kinsky said getting reason out on time placed stress on her marriage: “reason took up all of my free time. Bob was more efficient at working than I was. I got writer’s block. I wound up doing all the copy editing. At that time every Randroid and libertarian wannabe sent in their philosophical treatises, and my job was to make it readable. I’d come home from work—I was also going to grad school—and start copyediting. For four or five years I didn’t see any TV, didn’t have any life other than reason.

“When putting an issue to bed, we all got together, Tibor, me, Bob, Tibor’s wife at that time, Marilynn Walther, had a big social work session. Several times [academic philosopher and first Libertarian presidential candidate] John Hospers, who lived nearby, would bring us a big pot of borscht. Libertarians would show up from the community in Southern California.

“And we would meet our deadlines. That set us apart from the run-of-the-mill libertarian magazine. That was courtesy of Bob. It was stressful to our marriage, but it did get the magazine out on time.”

In an article “Defending Tolerance,” in the September 1975 issue of reason, Kinsky was an early advocate of marriage equality:

“…libertarians should try to develop a sympathetic comprehension of what being a homosexual in this society involves, and the sort of legal discrimination a homosexual encounters. For instance, a lesbian can be virtually assured of losing her children if their custody ever gets called into question (as in a divorce case)-her sexual orientation is considered by most courts to be prima facie evidence of her unfitness to be a mother. The marriage laws are obviously discriminatory and thereby deny to homosexual couples legal benefits granted to heterosexual marrieds-lower tax rates, immunity from being forced to testify against a spouse, etc. Probably the most blatantly homophobic institution in our society is the military and security establishment. The armed forces’ refusal to allow homosexuals to join or to stay in the military reaches beyond the issue of whether homosexuals should have a chance to receive the training, pensions, and other benefits their tax dollars are paying for-veteran status and an honorable discharge affect a man’s chances of getting a job, being admitted to a school, receiving preferential insurance rates, etc. (Note that I am not talking about a private business discriminating against homosexuals-libertarians certainly recognize the right to discriminate so long as no force is involved. I am talking about private business using a government certification and the government’s using some nonrelevant criterion in awarding it.) An inability to get a security clearance (even where they don’t present a security risk) can cut a homosexual off from employment in any company holding government contracts and in fact can close whole industries to homosexuals.”

In recent years Kinsky has become an equestrienne, riding in more than 2,000 competitive trail miles in 60 North American Trail Ride Conference events, all on Peruvian Pasos. More than 1,710 of those miles were logged aboard her black gelding, El Sinchi Roca (Sinchi). Today, she owns a dozen of the smooth- moving equines.  “I enjoy NATRC so much, because you get to ride beautiful wilderness trails, many not normally open to the public,” she says. “And at the same time, riders learn valuable lessons in horsemanship, how to take care of their horses over challenging trails, and how to lessen wear and tear on their horses.”


In early 2015 Kinsky suffered a stroke.