It’s a good night. The fact that President Obama has been re-elected is only part of it.
In our nation, right now, three states have moved forward in legalizing gay marriage, two more have moved towards legalizing recreational marijuana. While I do not consider the latter a civil right, the prior most certainly is. However, the two initiatives share a common message: it is time to lighten up. No longer can we, as a nation, rail against that which does not harm our people. It can be argued that marijuana is detrimental – but no more than, and perhaps less so, than alcohol. Gay marriage, by contrast, hurts no one. Of course, the religious right will argue that it does: that it redefines marriage as defined by the lexicon, and by antiquated doctrines. The fact is the only thing that gets hurt is the feelings of those who have been taught to be bigoted. Those bruises appear on the surface of zealous skins, or the skins of basic intolerance. The more we – as a nation of thoughtful people, a nation of people who willfully, and willingly, grant civil rights to our fellow Americans, despite our own feelings – the more we come together as a people. The more we come together as a people, the more a common vision comes into focus. The importance of this should be obvious: before we can tackle the issues of dollars and cents, we have to first be a unit of individuals, all with the same privileges and rights to fairness and happiness. Until then no truly common goal can be shared. Lightening up on the issues of marijuana and gay marriage is a good step. I am happy that marijuana is now legal in my own state. Not because I smoke marijuana – because, I don’t – but, because of what it represents. It shows that people have a voice to change uptight rhetoric and legislation. And I am happy for friends who can now have the same rights as everyone else in this nation, at least in three more states. It’s a start. And it proves our voices matter.