ENG 112, 4141
17 September 2013
The Irrelevancy of Gender in Marriage
Gay Marriages: Make Them Legal is an article written by Thomas B. Stoddard, an executive director of a gay rights organization called the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. In the aforementioned article, he painfully illustrates the injustices and imbalance of the typical “traditional marriage” and its impact on average, devoted homosexual couples. More than just state his opinion on marriage between homosexuals, he emphasizes the injustice by accentuating real world situations. Not only does Stoddard denote the negative effects on loving gay couples, he illuminates the idea of gay marriage as something beneficial not only to gay partners, but society as a whole (722).
Thomas Stoddard begins the article by discussing the tragic case of Karen Thompson and Sharon Kowalski, two homosexual Minnesota women and the consequences of traditional marriage during the aftermath of Ms. Kowalski’s life debilitating automobile accident. Although Ms. Kowalski and Ms. Thompson traded vows and exchanged rings, they were never recognized by the state as a married couple. When Ms. Kowalski was struck by a drunk driver in November of 1983, her parents opposed Thompson’s appeal to seek sole guardianship over her life partner. The courts, in addition to denying her guardianship, passed it to her parents and allowed them to move the encumbered Kowalski to a nursing home three-hundred miles away and prohibited any visits between the two (Stoddard 721).
In the subsequent paragraphs, the author elaborates on the role of marriage in the state and in society. He reinforces that “Marriage, the Supreme Court declared in 1967, is ‘one of the basic civil rights of men’ (and, presumably of woman as well). The freedom to marry, said the Court, is “essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness” (Stoddard 722). The choice whether or not to wed belongs strictly to each individual person....
Cited: Stoddard, Thomas. “Gay Marriages: Make Them Legal.” Barnet, Sylvan, and Hugo Bedau.
Current Issues and Enduring Questions. 9th ed. Boston: 2011. pages 721-722. Print.
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