The Instigator
Tatarize
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
beem0r
Con (against)
Winning
35 Points

5a. Civil Unions

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/24/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,364 times Debate No: 5803
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Tatarize

Pro

Any rights which the government deigns to give to the citizens being governed by that government must be given to all citizens. There are at present hundreds of rights which exist for couples by way of the government and they must be universally applied for gay couples as well. If a couple wishes to enter a civil union it should not be for the government to say that you can't have rights because we don't allow those rights except for parties of opposite genders.

We can understand the arguments against marriage from the point of view of society. But, there's a significant issue when it comes to the rights given by the government to the citizens being governed. The fact that I could enter into a union with a woman and were I to die, all my affairs would be dealt with automatically. Children would switch custody, property would be transfered, decisions about my remains and care would be made.

There is no excuse for denying couples rights you give to other couples. It is injustice in its purest form. We aren't talking about approval, acceptance or endorsement rather we are talking about the basic rights of every individual. The requirement of government is to be fair in all regards. Without granting the same governmental rights as marriage to every couple that fairness is violated.

Civil unions are basic fairness.
beem0r

Con

Thanks for the challenge, Tat.

I'll go ahead and respond to my opponent's claims.

My opponent starts out, "Any rights which the government deigns to give to the citizens being governed by that government must be given to all citizens."
*Buzz* WRONG. I can hardly count how many levels that's wrong on. First, the government doesn't GIVE rights to you, they TAKE rights away. With no government, what rights would we not have? The government does stop us from infringing on each others' rights, but surely they do not GIVE us rights. That is equivalent to saying we are some sort of slaves.
Even looking past that problem, my opponent's first statement still has some problems. All people do not have certain rights. For example, kids don't have the right to drink alcohol. This is because the Government has taken this right away. But not everything is a right. We are talking not about a right, but about a priviledge - something that does not exist except because the government makes it.

For example, it is not a fundamental human right to be able to run for President. This is simply a privilege some people get due to the system of Government we live under. Specifically, US-Born citizens who are at least 35 years of age. Of course, our political system needs a president.
Another privilege is legal marriage. Marriage brings with it certain benefits that are not given to the following groups: single people and couples who are not married. Note that this second group contains both straight couples and gay couples.

To say that we should give gay couples 'civil unions' is ridiculous. If gay couples should be given the rights of marriage [which is debatable in itself], then we should simply amend the definition of legal marriage and let gay couples get married. It makes much more sense to do it that way.

Even so, the answer is not necessarily to do that. There are other possibilities as well. Here are some cases, and what we should do in either case.

1. If both committed straight couples and committed gay couples deserve the rights given by marriage, gay marriage should be legal.
2. If only committed straight couples deserve the rights while gays do not, then the status quo is fine. This would be the case where these extra rights were given because of the likelihood of the straight couple to have children or pass on their genes, or something like that.
3. If neither committed straight couples nor their gay counterparts deserve these rights, legal marriage should be abolished and marriage should only be a service given by private organizations, with no public value placed on it.

As you see, no matter what the case, civil unions need not be created. Thus, I don't even need to argue for one case over the others.
I'll respond to the rest of my opponent's case now.

RE: "There are at present hundreds of rights which exist for couples by way of the government and they must be universally applied for gay couples as well."
Like I said, they're not rights. There is no right to get tax breaks. There is no right to whatever other special treatment married couples get. And like I said, even if this is true, it just means broadening the definition of marriage. Having legal marriage for straight couples but civil unions for gay couples is advocating 'separate but equal' treatment. I'd think history would teach us that such thinking is an insult to human rights.
And we also mustn't forget that it could also be the case that the ability to breed is why married couples are given this special treatment.
Nor can we forget the possibility that perhaps no one deserves these special benefits that single people and unmarried couples don't get.

RE: "If a couple wishes to enter a civil union it should not be for the government to say that you can't have rights because we don't allow those rights except for parties of opposite genders."
See the same point on broadening marriage rather than making a separate thing for gays. Also, it is often the government's job to decide who gets to do what. Like I brought up earlier, anyone under 21 isn't allowed to drink alcohol in the US, people under 18 can't vote, and people born outside the US or under 35 can't run for President.
Even so, perhaps these restrictions should not be there. Perhaps this is what he meant, that there shouldn't be arbitrary criteria to determine what benefits we can have and what benefits we cannot. In this case, though single people should be given all the same benefits as married people. Why should people get rights simply for being together? It's another arbitrary way to determine who gets what and who doesn't. So if my opponent's argument for gay being given these benefits is right, then by the same logic we should allow single people and unmarried couples there benefits as well.

RE: "We can understand the arguments against marriage from the point of view of society. But, there's a significant issue when it comes to the rights given by the government to the citizens being governed. The fact that I could enter into a union with a woman and were I to die, all my affairs would be dealt with automatically. Children would switch custody, property would be transfered, decisions about my remains and care would be made."
See my argument for broadening the legal term marriage rather than using a separate but equal legal term for gays. Also, why should couples who aren't married not be able to get all these services? All they should have to do is make it known that they want to have all these things done automatically [custody changes, etc].

RE: "There is no excuse for denying couples rights you give to other couples. It is injustice in its purest form."
Unmarried couples are not given the same benefits as married couples. To say that all couples deserve the same benefits is to say marriage should be abolished. And if marriage is abolished, Civil unions no longer have any meaning either, since all couples should be given these benefits simply on account of being a couple.

RE: "We aren't talking about approval, acceptance or endorsement rather we are talking about the basic rights of every individual. The requirement of government is to be fair in all regards. Without granting the same governmental rights as marriage to every couple that fairness is violated."
If these are basic rights of every individual, then unmarried couples AND single people should get them. Civil unions would be unfair.

RE: "Civil unions are basic fairness."
I believe I have shown otherwise.
Civil unions are a 'separate but equal' of marriage. If committed gay couples deserve the benefits of marriage, we should allow them to get married, not make some special thing made just for them.
Civil unions give benefits to people based on arbitrary criteria, just like marriage. To argue that marriage's arbitrary criteria [a straight set of exactly two people that seek a certain level of commitment] are wrong because you can't justify the criteria, but then suggest criteria just as arbitrary for civil unions [a set of exactly two people who seek a certain level of commitment], that is not a sound argument.
My opponent has constantly referred to equality. But really, there is no equality. Like my opponent said, married couples get hundreds of benefits. Why should straight people not have these benefits, just because they don't have someone else? Why should unmarried couples not have these rights, just because they're not committed enough to 'deserve' them?

Civil unions are a sham.
Debate Round No. 1
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Vote Placed by Tatarize 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by studentathletechristian8 8 years ago
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