Understanding Law In A Changing Society Essay


Why is denying same-sex couples the right to marriage incompatible with the principles of respect for autonomy and equality under the law?
What does Marshall mean when she says that the laws of civil marriage do not privilege procreative heterosexual intercourse between married people?
How is denying the right to marry between whites and blacks similar to denying the right to marry between same-sex couples?
How does Marshall respond to the claim that legalizing same-sex marriage will undermine the institution of marriage?


This piece of writing involves the identification of different parts of an argument and explanation of its various parts aiming to prove an overall claim. The article chosen for the argument is Article1, By Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall, Majority Opinion: Good ridge v. Department of Public Health (2003). The argument which can be drawn from the given article is ‘‘whether the Commonwealth will allow the security, benefits, and requirements granted by civil marriage to two persons of the similar sex who desires to marry’’. The people are aware that their choice marks an alteration in the olden times of the law of marriage. Several individuals cling to deep-rooted religious, ethical, and moral conviction that wedding should be restricted to the union of one male and one female, and the conduct of homosexuality is morally wrong (Dry, 2014). Several hold uniformly well-built moral, religious, and ethical convictions that the couples have the same sex are allowed to get wedded, and the homosexual individuals should be treated not in a different way as compared to their heterosexual neighbors. Our concern is with the Constitution of Massachusetts as a deed of authority for all individuals in a proper way within its reach. The argument adheres to the obligation to describe the freedom of everyone, not to direct the moral code (Bonauto & Esseks, 2015).

Whether the Commonwealth may make use of its formidable regulatory authority to bar the individuals of the similar sex from civil wedding is an issue which was not formerly dealt by an appellate court of Massachusetts. The decision, which did not unambiguously enlighten the legislature of the state how to hold the decision authorities, lawmakers, and authorized experts scramble to find out the options in which there is an existing shortage concerning with the legitimization of the marriage of the individuals of the same sex. The officials of Massachusetts had argued that primary purpose of the marriage was procreation. According to them, the heterosexual marriage was finest for child-rearing, and the marriage of the individuals of the same sex would enforce a financial encumbering in the state. The arguments had drawn on both the sides concern themselves whether the Massachusetts Commonwealth has a legal and rational awareness in the prevention of marriage concerning the same-sex individuals (Nice, 2012). Moral and Religious matters may figure significantly in the debate of public on the individuals who wish to marry the same sex partner, but they emerge to be inappropriate under the law. Marshall goes on to entail that the standard of procreation has been chosen specifically to rationalize the unfairness against the same-sex couples. There is no balanced relationship between the marriage decree and the proffered goal of the commonwealth for protecting the finest child rearing unit. It cannot be coherent under the laws, and certainly it is not acceptable to reprimand children by grudging them of the benefits of the state because the state condemns the sexual orientation of their parents (Altschuler et al., 2016).

This argument singles out the unbridgeable disparity between the couples of the same sex and the couples of the different sex and alters those differences into the essence of legal marriage in an effectual manner.


Altschuler, B. E., Sgroi, C. A., & Ryniker, M. R. (2016). Understanding law in a changing society. Routledge.

Bonauto, M., & Esseks, J. (2015). Marriage Equality Advocacy from the Trenches. Colum. J. Gender & L., 29, 117.

Dry, M. (2014). Same-Sex Marriage Controversy and American Constitutionalism: Lessons regarding Federalism, the Separation of Powers, and Individual Rights, The. Vt. L. Rev., 39, 275.

Nice, J. A. (2012). The Descent of Responsible Procreation: A Genealogy of an Ideology. Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review, Forthcoming.

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