Justice from Four Perspectives; family, Community, State, and Nation

Commutative justice ensures that there is fairness in exchanges and
transaction in the society. It calls for the respect of for the dignity
of the parties entering into a given agreement or transaction. Every
person or entity in a transaction or contract gets value for his or her
input or resource. Distributive justice on the other hand calls for
equal benefits to individuals subjected to similar situation (Jiwel,
DOMA defines marriage as a union of two persons of opposite sex. This
implies that the only marriage that is recognized by the law would be
one between one man and one woman (Samuel, 2006). Distributive justice
calls for equal treatment where individuals are in a similar situation.
The similar situation here is the institution of marriage and such a
same sex partners should be a similar environment just like their
counterparts. Based on the principle of distributive justice, failure to
recognize same sex marriage in a given state should not be an adequate
ground to discredit and deny same sex partners a favorable environment
to exercise their right of marriage.
Intense opposition against same sex marriage in a community that is
characterized as being part of a Bible belt would be expected since the
Bible teaching warns against any other form of union apart from that
joining a man and a woman. Distributive justice calls for equal
treatment and this poses a big challenge. Faith plays a big role in
shaping the life of individuals professing that faith and extent to
which the same sex marriage is acceptable in such a setting would
invariably depend on the versatility of the community.
Commutative justice requires that there is fairness in any transaction
or contract and in the case of the insurance company giving equal fridge
benefits to both married heterosexual couples and same sex partners,
commutative justice is be upheld. By failing to accord equal benefits
to both forms of marriages, the insurance company would be alienating
same sex partners and favoring a heterosexual couple, which is against
the principle of commutative justice (Samuel, 2006).
The federal government has limited authority and as such cannot
establish the legal definition of marriage. This has been the main
reason why DOMA restrictive definition of marriage as a union between
two heterosexual partners has faced many setbacks since its validation
(Samuel, 2006). President’s instruction to department of justice not
to enforce DOMA signifies the protection of distributive justice that
considers every marriage equal, regardless of the sex of partners.
Constitution guarantees equality for all and failure to recognize same
sex marriage would be justifying unequal treatment to a class of
individuals in the society.
Jiwel, C. (2006). The two faces of justice. Cambridge: Harvard
University Press.
Samuel,F.(2006). A Short history of commutative and distributive
justice. Washington, D.C: NASW press.

Close Menu