Justice from Four Perspectives: Family, Community, State, and Nation

SOC 331 Week 2 DQ 1

  Ashford 3: – Week 2 – Discussion 1

Justice from Four Perspectives: Family, Community, State, and Nation

In Chapter 2, the author urges students to “look at justice through the lens   of reason” by developing “frameworks that permit careful analysis and   evaluation of competing views” (Dreisbach, 2013, Section 2.1). He provides an   example of such a framework by analyzing how the concept of justice varies   when viewed from the different perspectives of family, community, state, and   nation. In this discussion, you will apply this framework to analyze justice   issues arising from demands for the legalization of a traditionally   prohibited behavior in the United States – same-sex marriage. Before   responding, carefully read the discussion question below:
According to the revised 2010 Census, in the United States there were 131,729   same-sex married couple households and 514,735 same-sex unmarried partner   households. As of December 2012:

  1. Thirty-eight states have        state constitutional provisions or other laws restricting marriage to        one man and one woman;
  2. Nine states and the District        of Columbia issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples;
  3. One state recognizes        marriages by same-sex couples legally entered into in another        jurisdiction;
  4. Eight states provide the        equivalent of state-level spousal rights to same-sex couples (civil        unions) within the state; and
  5. Two states provide some        state-level spousal rights to same-sex couples within the state (e.g.,        domestic partnerships, designated beneficiaries).

Consequently, in at least 30 states same-sex couples are denied the many   legal and economic benefits that are available to married heterosexual   couples. Additionally, in 1996 Congress enacted and President Bill Clinton   signed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which:

  1. Defines marriage, for the        purpose of receiving federal legal and economic benefits, as the legal        union of one man and one woman; and
  2. Permits a state not to        recognize a marriage legally entered in another state between persons of        the same sex.

Analyze both the distributive and commutative justice of this complex   situation from each of these different perspectives:

  1. A same-sex couple who was        legally married in one state but whose private sector jobs require them        to live in another state that legally restricts marriage to traditional        hetero couples.
  2. The highly urbanized and        socially liberal community in which that same-sex couple lives, where        the city government grants city employees who are registered domestic        partners (regardless of sex) the insurance and other fringe-benefits it        grants to legally married (heterosexual) couples.
  3. The mostly rural state where        they live, which some observers characterize as being part of the        “Bible-belt”.
  4. The nation of the United        States of America which is governed by President Barack Obama who has        instructed his Department of Justice to not defend DOMA when its        constitutionality is challenged in the federal courts (several of which        have held parts of the law to be unconstitutional).

Your initial post should be at least 300 words in length. Support your claims   with examples from at least two other scholarly resources, and properly cite   any references. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7   whose viewpoints are different from yours. Each peer response must be at   least 125 words. Stimulate critical thinking by contrasting your perspective   with your classmate’s and explaining yours, or by asking your classmate a   question and explaining why your question is significant.

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