Step back and think about it for a minute. The President and head of the Democratic Party just announced his support for gay marriage. The Republican nominee basically said, "Yes, the states can give benefits to domestic partnerships, but I can't support marriage." No fire-breathing response. No rhetoric that Obama is ruining America's values. He basically said that people differ on this issue and left it at that. That is the remarkable thing about today.Even just eight years ago, in 2004, Republicans put anti-gay marriage bills on the ballots in key states because they knew that would bring more of their voters to the polls. Now, who knows how such bills would play out?
Sometimes it seems like it is impossible for the world to change, and the same battles are fought forever. But in my lifetime I have now witnessed two very profound social changes. I have watched women enter the paid workforce in such numbers that working mothers are now the norm, and a stay-at-home wife without children would seem downright weird. The far-reaching effects of this are still being sorted out, and so far some of them have been bad, but the basic right of women to be treated as fully human has been made more real than it has been in 10,000 years.
Now I have watched the world embrace gay people and welcome them as fully human. When I think about this, I feel optimistic about my species.