Monday, April 7, 2014

Fast and slow on changing views of formerly repugnant transactions: same sex marriage, and marijuana

Readers of this blog know that I've been following the change in public attitudes towards a number of formerly repugnant transactions. Recently two articles in the NY Times caught my eye, about the speed of change, and cautious attitudes even among supporters of change, regarding the legalization of marijuana, and same sex marriage. Basically both of these are gaining momentum, and mainstream politicians and corporate leaders sometimes feel caught in the middle.

Despite Support in Party, Democratic Governors Resist Legalizing Marijuana

"LOS ANGELES — California voters strongly favor legalizing marijuana. The state Democratic Party adopted a platform last month urging California to follow Colorado and Washington in ending marijuana prohibition. The state’s lieutenant governor, Gavin Newsom, has called for legalizing the drug.

But not Gov. Jerry Brown. “I think we ought to kind of watch and see how things go in Colorado,” Mr. Brown, a Democrat, said curtly when asked the question as he was presenting his state budget this year.

At a time of rapidly evolving attitudes toward marijuana legalization — a slight majority of Americans now support legalizing the drug — Democratic governors across the country, Mr. Brown among them, find themselves uncomfortably at odds with their own base."

And here's a recent column by Frank Bruni: The New Gay Orthodoxy

"TO appreciate how rapidly the ground has shifted, go back just two short years, to April 2012. President Obama didn’t support marriage equality, not formally. Neither did Hillary Clinton. And few people were denouncing them as bigots whose positions rendered them too divisive, offensive and regressive to lead.

But that’s precisely the condemnation that tainted and toppled Brendan Eich after his appointment two weeks ago as the new chief executive of the technology company Mozilla. On Thursday he resigned, clearly under duress and solely because his opposition to gay marriage diverged from the views of too many employees and customers. “Under the present circumstances, I cannot be an effective leader,” he said, and he was right, not just about the climate at Mozilla but also, to a certain degree, about the climate of America.

Something remarkable has happened — something that’s mostly exciting but also a little disturbing (I’ll get to the disturbing part later), and that’s reflected not just in Eich’s ouster at Mozilla, the maker of the web browser Firefox, but in a string of marriage-equality victories in federal courts over recent months, including a statement Friday by a judge who said that he would rule that Ohio must recognize same-sex marriages performed outside the state.

And the development I’m referring to isn’t the broadening support for same-sex marriage, which a clear majority of Americans now favor. No, I’m referring to the fact that in a great many circles, endorsement of same-sex marriage has rather suddenly become nonnegotiable. Expected. Assumed. Proof of a baseline level of enlightenment and humanity. Akin to the understanding that all people, regardless of race or color, warrant the same rights and respect."

1 comment:

dWj said...

On eating of dogs in Asia (written by someone who seems unable to fathom that anyone wouldn't oppose this):