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Gay marriage, pot illustrate changing society - Comments (0)
Carole McWilliams - 1/2/2014
We seem to have reached a tipping point in national attitudes towards two things that have been sources of disapproval for decades – namely legalization of marijuana, and same sex marriage.
For marijuana, the tipping point already happened for the medical benefits of marijuana, despite an assertion by congress in the 1970s that marijuana had no medical value. That assertion was made, of course, with no scientific backing; and patients’ first person reports of medical benefits were dismissed as “anecdotal evidence.”
The Berlin Wall has already fallen there, even if the feds still don’t recognize it. Colorado and Washington state have started tearing down the next wall, for adult use of recreational marijuana. Implementation of that will be a big deal in 2014.
It’s about time. Any psychopath can have a military arsenal, but if they get caught with a joint…
Then there’s same sex marriage.
In the early 1950s, the British code breaker who helped the Allies beat the Germans in WWII was forced out because he was gay. That was illegal then. He committed suicide. Queen Elizabeth pardoned him just before Christmas. About time there too.
Even in recent years, gays were kicked out of the U.S. military even if they had much needed skills, like fluency in Arabic. President Obama eliminated “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” Gays who want to serve in the military no longer have to live a lie.
In the mid 1990s, congress passed and President Clinton signed the “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) to protect us from the galactic homosexual agenda. In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional.
Back in 1992, Colorado voters approved Amendment 2, which prohibited progressive local governments from banning discrimination against gays. That got ruled unconstitutional before it ever went into effect.
The pro-Amendment 2 argument was that gays were seeking “special rights” to not be singled out for discrimination. Now we have private business owners fighting for their rights to single out people for discrimination based on the owners’ religious beliefs. That one is having trouble too. Some of these cases involve services to same sex marriage couples.
Various states, including Colorado, have voter-passed bans on same sex marriage. That too could change in 2014.
National Public Radio reported last week that as 2013 started, 14 percent of Americans lived in states where same sex marriage was legal. By the end of 2013, it was 38 percent.
Recent court rulings have opened the way for gay marriage in our neighbors, New Mexico and Utah. Opponents of gay marriage howl the courts are going against the will of the people.
I’ve argued for quite some time that nothing in the Constitution says a majority of citizens can single out a population group and vote to legalize discrimination against them. That seems to be what these judges are saying.
The other argument against gay marriage is that it is destroying traditional one man-one woman marriage. I’ll be waiting eagerly in 2014 for any specific instances of that, since I haven’t seen it so far.