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Opening Arguments

Flip, meet flop

A sign of evolving attitudes?

Since at least 2006, the Indiana Republican Party's state platform emphasized that marriage is between a man and a woman while the Indiana Democratic Party was silent on the issue.

Not this year.

On Saturday, Democrats will vote on a platform during their state convention that for the first time says the party "opposes amending the Indiana Constitution to define marriage."

Last weekend, Republicans approved a platform that has no mention of same-sex marriage.

The reversal has surprised advocates in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community who see the change as a signal that attitudes are evolving and that same-sex marriage isn't the wedge issue it had been in past elections. But the move also has disappointed social conservatives who do not want Indiana to sideline this issue.

In part, probably. One member of the Republican platform committee was "an Indianapolis restaurant owner and lesbian" (what strange descriptive qualifiers we write these days) who thinks this was a big step for the GOP. But I also think part of the explanation is that Republicans don't need social issues this year -- they will do fine in the state and nationally running against Democrats on economic issues. Democrats, on the other hand, need every issue they can get to energize their base.

I think speculation like this, however, might be going a tad too far:

Political commentators are openly speculating whether President Obama will offer to legalise cannabis as part of his 2012 re-election campaign as a 'secret weapon'.

With the upcoming face-off between Mr Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney expected to be won in a few key swing states, Democratic strategists have long thought to be considering the highly controversial move in an effort to bolster their youth vote.

Well, could be, could be. Everybody wants that yoot vote -- it's even cited as a good reason for the GOP to lay off the gay marriage issue.