On the recognition and respect due to people

On May
18, 1970 two students, named Richard John Baker and James Michael McConnell,
applied to county clerk, Gerald Nelson, for a marriage license. Nelson
denied the application because both applicants were men. Nelson didn’t agree
with same-sex marriage. Baker and McConnell sued Nelson. They claimed that Minnesota law made no mention of gender in their
marriage laws. The court was not impressed with the argument and agreed with
Nelson, the county clerk. When Baker and McConnell took the case to the
Supreme Court, they got rejected again. Baker v. Nelson had been used in other
states as a way to block efforts of marriage equality and same-sex marriage.

The Hawaii Supreme Court rules a legislation that states that they cannot deny
same-sex couples the right to marriage, unless they have a reasonable and
compelling reason to do so. The legislation later gets denied and an amendment
is passed that bans same-sex marriages. On
September 21, 1996 President Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act. The
Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, defined marriage as a heterosexual couple,
meaning between one man and one woman. It also allowed states to not allow
homosexual couples to be married in their state, although they were married in
another state. The Utah governor was the first state to sign the Defense of
Marriage Statute into their law. On May 30,
2000 United States rabbis approved gay partnership. The President of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, Rabbi
Charles Kroloff, said that “gay and lesbian people deserved the recognition and
respect due to people created in the image of God.” Belgium
was the second country, before the United States, to legalize same-sex marriage
across their country. New
York, one of United States most populated cities, ruled in favor of same-sex
marriage. They claimed that it was unconstitutional to
deny equal rights to those asking for union in marriage. Same-sex marriage was legally allowed in the United States of
America on June 26, 2015. Some
countries, like Italy and Mexico, still deny same-sex couples to get legally
married. Because of this large controversy, it is a
popular topic up for debate.

In
Martha Nussbaum’s article, “A Right to Marry? Same-sex Marriage and
Constitutional Law,” Nussbaum thoroughly explains gay marriage and the
constitutional view to it.

Nussbaum starts by defining marriage. She
defines marriage as “no single thing,” almost as if it was a concept. Then she states that the statute of marriage supports several
aspects of human life: sexual relations, friendship and companionship, love,
conversation, procreation and childrearing, mutual responsibility. Marriages can not exist without each of these.” Nussbaum then informs that states have granted marriage licenses
to those couples who are sterile, do not love each other, or do not plan on having
kids. If a marriage does not have all the components
it should have, then why do they get their marriage license? Nussbaum introduces
three aspects of marriage: civil rights, expressive and religious. The civil rights aspect deals with government and its effect on
marriage. Government “confers and administers benefits.”
She argues that just about anyone can get married: rapists, murders, convicted
felons, as long as they are the opposite sex. The
expressive aspect relates to the statement of love and commitment the couple
makes with witnesses present. Lastly,
the religious aspect deals with being accepted by relevant authorities in their
religion. According to Nussbaum, the debate is mostly
about the expressive aspect. She
asks some questions to think about: “Who has this liberty/equality right to
marry? And what reasons are strong enough to override it?”

James W. Skillen’s article, “Same-sex “Marriage” Is Not a Civil Right,”
denies same-sex marriage. Because
Skillen only says “same-sex marriage” twice throughout the article, it makes
the readers know that his thoughts on this are very dissenting. Both times, he puts the word, “marriage,” in quotation marks which
shows the readers that the marriage aspect of a same-sex relationship is a hoax. It is a concept. He
claims that the Constitution says nothing about what constitutes marriage. Skillen’s argument is based on the fact that a homosexual
relationship can not procreate children. Having
sex will not lead to pregnancy. Because
they can not get pregnant or make a child, their marriage is invalid. A homosexual relationship can not get granted their marriage
license because of their inability to reproduce. He
expresses his view on same-sex marriage by claiming that the government will
“mistakenly use the word ‘marriage’ to refer to two different kinds of sexually
intimate human relationships.” In
other words, any two people being intimate with each other can be married. Skillen mocks the social effects if same-sex marriage was
legalized by explicitly stating that if a mother and son decided to go to the
court and get married, they would the license granted because there aren’t any
legal grounds to say against it. He
compares a homosexual relationship to that of a father and daughter.

In
contrast, both authors have different ways to communicate with the reader. While Nussbaum is pro-same-sex marriage, Skillen is not. Skillen believes that a homosexual relationship can never be
considered “married.”
Because of his use of quotation marks and statements, the reader understands
Skillen’s thoughts. On the other hand, Nussbaum takes her time
explaining everything there is to know about marriage. She first goes into the three aspects of marriage. Then, she covers the difference between a “normal” couple and a
homosexual couple. Nussbaum takes her time evaluating every
aspect and consideration into the topic. Skillen
goes straight into the debate and does not give the reader the information
needed to have an even viewpoint on the topic.

            Same-sex
marriage will always be the hot topic that everyone talks about. It is a controversial subject. Many people have differing opinions on the
subject. Although the law to
make it legal was already passed, there are still debates on whether or not it
is constitutionally right or wrong or whether the current marriage laws are to
be considered for homosexual relationships too.