Quick, somebody check on Rick Santorum’s marriage!
Gay marriage and recreational marijuana have been legal in Washington state since 12:01 AM Thursday and the world still seems to be spinning on its axis, much as it was the day before.
In November’s election, Washington was one of three states that became the first to pass marriage equality by a popular vote and it joined Colorado as the first states to legalize small amounts of marijuana for recreational consumption.
An overjoyed 85-year-old Pete-e Petersen and her partner, 77-year-old Jane Abbot, were the first line at King County’s auditor’s office to receive their marriage license — they have to wait three days before they can have their wedding.
“We waited a long time. We’ve been together 35 years, never thinking we’d get a legal marriage. Now I feel so joyous I can’t hardly stand it,” said Petersen.
Advice columnist and outspoken LGBT activist Dan Savage was also among the first to get his license.
Washington, Maine and Maryland are joining six other states — New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont — and the District of Columbia, where gay marriage is legal due to legislation or a court ruling.
Social conservatives like former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum have long argued that gay marriage threatens “traditional” marriage, but have never been able to offer any evidence of such a phenomenon. They take it as an article of faith while dismissing the idea of climate change, which is accepted by about 98 percent of the world’s climate scientists.
Marijuana, however, may have actual secondhand effects.
Hundreds of residents of Seattle gathered at the Space Needle on Thursday night to celebrate the legalization of recreational marijuana, defying the law’s provision against public consumption. Police threatened violators with $100 fines, but only verbal warnings were issued. For some reason, everyone was reasonably mellow.
The law intends to regulate marijuana like alcohol. However, it presents an awkward challenge for the Obama administration, as the plant is a Schedule 1 controlled substance, thus illegal under federal law.
The New York Times is reporting that the feds are considering “…plans for legal action against Colorado and Washington that could undermine voter-approved initiatives…”
Such action would surely infuriate liberals who supported both legalization and the president in November’s election.
Photo credit: AP Photo/Rachel La Corte
Copyright 2012 The National Memo