Monarchy. One of the most common examples of this is in the case of marriage. While the constitution may clearly state who should be allowed to marry, there have been many changes over the years to the definition of marriage itself. The basic idea is that two people should be recognized as one in order for them to legally marry each other. However, not everyone agrees with how this is set up, and this test example can help you decide if your marriage is viewed correctly under the legal system.
Ethnicity. Just as the constitution refers to the “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” so does the legal system. While it is not uncommon for there to be different legal systems for different groups, it is essential that those who belong under one minority do not have the same rights enjoyed by all other minorities. This test example is especially true when it comes to gender issues within a marriage. Men are considered to be the majority in certain societies, but they are not considered to be the majority in the legal system.
Personhood. A very similar concept to the above is personhood. Personhood refers to the right of an individual to have the basic human rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as mentioned in the Declaration of Independence. However, there are some viewpoints that disagree on what this means, and the resulting arguments often center on whether or not one person has the right to behave in a certain way as compared to another person.
Racism. There are many legal pluralists who believe that all groups within society, including the gay community, suffer from racism. They feel that such an argument is valid because all groups have been subjected to a history of abuse and prejudice. In addition, many see such an argument as being an attack on the freedom of individuals to live as they wish without having to worry about discrimination from others.
Monogamy/Polygamy. Another legal pluralism example is polygamy/monogamy. It is believed by legal pluralists that people should be allowed to have more than one spouse. However, polygamy is also an example of a violation of the equal protection and application of law under the law. Opponents of legal pluralism believe that allowing people to have more than one spouse gives them too much power and makes it nearly impossible for a couple to ever have any children.
Citizenship. The concept of legal pluralism is extremely controversial among many people, especially those who see it as establishing a hierarchy within society. This can be seen quite clearly in the debates that occur over gay marriage. There are also many people who believe that the concept of gay marriage is not only an example of legal pluralism, but also a violation of the equal protection and application of law under the law.
These three examples are not the only legal examples of legal pluralism that are being debated throughout the country. There are many others, both contemporary and historical. Legal pluralists believe that all citizens should have their civil rights protected. Legal pluralists also believe that the political system is designed to prevent one group from oppressing another. Whatever the view of legal pluralism may be, the question of legal rights for a person does remain a part of America’s ongoing debate.