Thomas B. Stoddard "Gay Marriages: Make Them Legal"

Topics: Marriage, Same-sex marriage, Homosexuality Pages: 3 (786 words) Published: July 29, 2006
Marriage is universally understood to be the legal union between a man and a woman. This acknowledgement, however, has recently generated dispute and controversy in certain individuals, primarily homosexuals and supporters of homosexual marriages. This opposition, due to this mainstream view, exists because certain states such as Minnesota deny same-sex marriages. In Thomas B. Stoddard's article "Gay Marriages: Make Them Legal," Stoddard begins by defending homosexual marriages through partners, Karen Thompson and Sharon Kowalski. Both women were denied a legalized nuptial by the state of Minnesota even though they resided together and exchanged vows. On November 13, 1983, Kowalski was severely injured by an intoxicated driver and was inflicted with a coma. Kowalski's parents opposed Thompson's petition that she have custody over her companion. Thompson was furthermore forbidden all contact with Kowalski. Only after Kowalski had regained conscience was Thompson permitted to visit. Here, Stoddard appeals to his audience on an emotional level. A feeling of compassion, pity, and understanding is realized through the injustice and unfairness Thompson and Kowalski had to endure. Their account, however, provides little relevance in advocating same-sex marriages because their circumstance is exceptionally unique. Good laws are apt to harm some people and such was the case with these women. Stoddard claims that "the decision whether or not to marry belongs properly to individuals and not the government" and that "government has no legitimate interest in how love is expressed." In certain situations, however, marriage requires governmental regulation. Marriage is a vital component in the foundation of a healthy and productive society. Thus, it is the duty of the government to protect that foundation rather than defend the expression of love. Stoddard's commentary does not fully present an adequate assertion. Stoddard quotes, "…history alone cannot sanctify...
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