The repeal in Maine of legislatively enacted same-sex marriage is a deeply disturbing development. Equal marriage rights for all is the civil-rights priority of the 21st century, just as rights for African-Americans and women were the banners of progress behind which people of humane temperament rallied throughout the last century.
The nullification of same-sex rights in California last year demonstrated that this is a fight that will not easily be won, particularly since fear-mongering from right-wing America gained traction soon after the election of Barack Obama.
Still, a glimmer of hope shone in Washington State on Election Day. There, voters endorsed a legislative measure sanctioning civil unions. Known on the West coast as “almost marriage,” it does not guarantee full rights to all. But it is a step in the right direction, not a step backward.
The tiny Colorado ski town of Breckenridge voted to legalize personal possession of pot. The action is largely symbolic, since possession is still illegal throughout the state, but does add a bit more buzz to the national movement for saner drug laws.
: The Editorial Page
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