The Instigator
Logos
Pro (for)
Winning
67 Points
The Contender
Araj
Con (against)
Losing
52 Points

Allow gay marriage

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/15/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,947 times Debate No: 500
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (15)
Votes (37)

 

Logos

Pro

The question of gay marriage is fairly simple one, given that there are no real arguments to not allow it. What makes one marriage less valid than another? More to the point, what makes the government qualified to say whose marriage is valid and whose marriage isn't? And by what standards does one determine which marriage is valid and which one isn't? Is there a litmus test for how much people love each other? (Love is clearly not the issue, as people of opposite genders can get married for money or sport in this day in age.)

Consider for a moment, the slipper slope outlawing gay marriage presents. If the government can say "Two men cannot marry," what is to stop them from saying "Blacks cannot marry whites?" Or even "Blacks cannot marry?" Once the government begins passing laws in an area, their power will expand exponentially. This is why our government has specific limits on what it can do. None of those limits encompass the government passing standards on who can marry. So by what right do they bar certain groups from marrying?
Araj

Con

My arguement is not to prove that gays SHOULD NOT be allowed to live together, or function as a family unit. Instead, I beleive that there should be a different word for a "gay" marriage.

The DEFINITION of the word marriage, REGARDLESS of WHERE YOU LOOK IT UP at, is "the social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc. "

By DEFINITION, gays CANNOT be married, as it is not a TRUE marriage.

Unless you change the definition of the word, this is not an arguement you can win, by any means. And we're not changing the definition.
Debate Round No. 1
Logos

Pro

According to Merriam-Webster online:
Marriage: 1 a (1): the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2): the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage b: the mutual relation of married persons : wedlock c: the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage

So long as you accept that gays have an equal right to co-habituate, to raise children, and "function as a family unit," your argument becomes nonexistent. The fact is, unless a homosexual "civil union" is given the identical status as a traditional marriage (in name and in the eyes of the law), gay couples will always receive the short end of the stick in some way. As it currently stands, people in homosexual relationships cannot file joint tax returns as a "family unit," cannot serve as consent-givers in medical situations, and are often passed over in estate disputes when a will is not present. You have already said that gays should be given equal status, but we know from experience that "separate but equal" is never actually equal.

You have also failed to address one of my initial points: government power. By allowing the government to say that gays are not entitled to marry each other, you are allowing the government to define which groups of people are allowed to marry. I reiterate that once the government has the power to say gays are limited to a "civil union," they have the power to say that any group, for any reason, is also not eligible to truly marry. The Constitution does not grant the government this power, and no free society could give the government the power to legislate relationships and still call itself free.
Araj

Con

I suppose you are right, and I apologize for my misinformation. The only reason that I had cited it, was because I can recall a few years back when this debate began to make headlines, that the only definition referred to traditional unions.

It does greatly disturb me however, especially considering that the word itself is derived from nothing other than religious contexts, and that our government (and many others) chose to use it as our word for union.

I would argue that if they wish them to be equal, they no longer call them marriages at all. Only civil unions. Marriage in itself IS between a man and a woman, and the ONLY reason that Webster's changed it's definition was because of the way was currently being USED in pop culture. The definition itself, in ORIGIN, from nearly every religion in the world, STILL refers to a male and a female bound together in holy matrimony .

If you can find me at least ONE mainstream religion where marriage refers to same sex unions in the least,then I would have learned something NEW today. If not, then the true definition is held by those who originally used the word, not Webster's.

As for your comment on the "Civil union", and that being discriminatory towards gays, the fact of the matter is, the government should not have the power to change the meaning of a religious sacrament, such as marriage, to appease those who don't qualify for the title by definition.
Debate Round No. 2
Logos

Pro

"Marriage" as a word may or may not come from religious origins, but in its current state, as recognized by the state, it is purely a legal contract. Any religion can still choose what groups qualify for marriage, but this debate is solely on whether GOVERNMENT should make such a decision.

You say you do not want to change the definition of the word, yet you admit that the definitions vary, and THEN propose the state CHANGE its word for marriage!

Under the law of the land, marriage is a contract. The contract allows the two people who agree to it to share property, and offer special legal status as "spouse," with benefits I previously mentioned. Now, what you must prove is WHY this status should be granted to heterosexual couples, and not homosexual couples. You have already said "My arguement is not to prove that gays SHOULD NOT be allowed to live together, or function as a family unit." That is EXACTLY what a marriage contract does!

Religion is separate from state, and rightfully so. Whether one religion or another makes use of the word "marriage" is irrespective of how GOVERNMENT uses it. If your church forbids two people of the same gender from marrying, then they do not have to recognize them as married. But government does not and should not have the power to forbid two adults from legally contracting on the basis of what one religion or another says.
Araj

Con

The fact still remains that government used the word already used and coined by countless religions. Goverment is merely borrowing a pre-existing word, a pre-existing bond, created BY religion. And it is BECAUSE of this that they simply cannot change the meaning of the word. And it is BECAUSE of that, that it is simply IMPOSSIBLE for two men, or two women, to become "married"

Can you imagine what would happen if government tried to change the definition of the word, or start applying it where it cannot be applied? I will give you a hint. It happened. And your religious fanatics flipped. Now YOU may be an atheist, but there are millions of people in this world ready to die for what they believe in. And to have their faith tread on by the government would not paint a pretty picture. As I said before, America was founded on Christian belief's. Which is likely why they adopted the word "marriage" to begin with. They cannot change the word without serious repercussions, and I do not think you have fully thought through how that would pan out. So they do their best, they call it a civil union.

Because of this, it is more likely, and probably a better idea altogether, that the word itself is returned to the religions from where it came, and all current marriages are simply recognized as civil unions. They can still be recognized as marriages within the community of the religion, and...wait...perhaps we have been missing the point?

Are you sure that the title marriage was not simply adopted from a pre-existing rank held within a religious community as a form of public title? In fact, that is exactly what it is. Just as "Father" can be an official title (adopted from the Christian priests), the word marriage can be adopted in the eyes of the government. However, those who simply do not have that title cannot just pull it out of thin air, it must be obtained! And while ALL marriages happen to be civil unions, not all civil unions can be marriages.

It's simply a matter of origin, although I can see where you are coming from.
Debate Round No. 3
Logos

Pro

You said:
"Because of this, it is more likely, and probably a better idea altogether, that the word itself is returned to the religions from where it came, and all current marriages are simply recognized as civil unions."

But you ALSO said:
"And we're not changing the definition."

You cannot have both.

To say that the government cannot use a word of religious origin is somewhat absurd. Many religious texts predate American government, and to suggest that THEIR definition of a word should hold sway over GOVERNMENT simply by virtue of their's being here first is unfeasible, pointless, and all around ludicrous.

If I am understanding your argument, you are saying that the word "marriage" is one that belongs solely to religion, and should not be used by government. You do not aruge that both homosexual and heterosexual marriages should enjoy the same rights, only that BOTH should be rechristened "civil unions."

Therefore, you would agree with the statement "Both gay and straight couples should be allowed to enter a legal contract that grants the same benefits as the one currently known as "marriage."

If your argument is that they should have equal rights, but the relationship would bear a different name, you are arguing for a "separate but equal" approach to marriage, an approach the Supreme Court has ruled cannot be applied to ANY public institution. (And an approach whose flaws are clearly demonstrated throughout history.)

If your argument is that they should NOT have equal rights to contract, you are saying that the government should be granted power to decide which consenting adults should be allowed to contract with others. Again, this approach is in no way acceptable in a democracy.

The only remaining argument that could be made against allowing gays the same access to marriage contacts is that marriage is a religious institution, and that government cannot tread on religious ground. By THAT appalling logic, you are saying government cannot pass laws regarding the legal status of women (who are not allowed to even leave the house in some Muslim faiths), could not allow the use of alcohol (Mormonism and other faiths forbid alcohol),could not FORBID the use of alcohol (Catholicism and other religions use wine as a sacrament), or even outlaw SLAVERY! (The practice of slavery is mentioned and condoned in many religious texts.) Practice religion how you choose, but no law can be passed or changed because of what a religious text says.

The term used for a contract is irrelevant. If a government uses the same word as a religion, so be it. So long as the law does not forbid someone from worshiping as they choose, religion has NO impact on matters of state. Least of all on phrasing, which seems to be the only facet of gay marriage to which you have raised any sort of debate.
Araj

Con

Well, this post will probably be quite long, considering I have to quote EVERYTHING you just said and explain how it was not only pulled out of context, but not even close to what you tried to warp it to in the first place.

"Because of this, it is more likely, and probably a better idea altogether, that the word itself is returned to the religions from where it came, and all current marriages are simply recognized as civil unions.:

"And we're not changing the definition."

Now I must ask, where did I say that we should change the definition of the word? Simply to stop using it does not by any means mean to change the definition! In fact, the true definition could only be changed by the people who actually created it. While the Websters' dictionary DOES have slang in it, our government does not. I doubt that they would use a slang word of marriage to encompass ALL civil unions, regardless of the sexes of those bonded together!

I will say again, the government is simply using a pre-existing title handed to a man and a woman who are bound in matrimony as a form of reacknowledgment.

You said: "To say that the government cannot use a word of religious origin is somewhat absurd. Many religious texts predate American government, and to suggest that THEIR definition of a word should hold sway over GOVERNMENT simply by virtue of their's being here first is unfeasible, pointless, and all around ludicrous."

They can borrow the word. They cannot change the definition of the word under the heels of the faithful, or they would be treading on dangerous ground. It is for that reason EXACTLY that the word will not be changed in definition-it would be taken as an offense to those who coined the phrase!

And as for your "separate but equal" approach (I will not quote it for reasons of length), the fact of the matter is that ALL marriages happen to BE civil unions. They SHOULD be called civil unions! However, it is not against our government's policies to adopt titles from other organizations. I have said it once, I have said it many times in this debate, they cannot change the definition of an adopted title! If there is an organization OUT there willing to give the title marriage (the government excluded, seeing as how they cannot open fire on such a religious debate) then I'm sure this would be a different scenario! However, to my knowledge, there is no organization OUT there willing to challenge the bulk of the religion's who strongly support the traditional meaning behind it!

And as for your comments about the Muslim faith, the government cannot endorse such behavior (locking women in houses and such), but the religion itself can. That is the beauty of America! And as for the comments about the wine? You do realize that it is legal for a minor to drink if it is provided to them by legal guardians? And the MORMON faith itself prevents it, not the government! AGAIN! That is the BEAUTY of America!

And if you believe that religion will not, or never has influenced our government...then the rest of my 5,000 characters remaining could not be enough to name the number of times it has. Again. The United States of America was founded on Christian beliefs. Almost every law we have is derived from the ten commandments.

And FINALLY back to the original debate...I do not even know what else to say. You have yet to successfully disprove WHY a religious title's definition (a definition that is still defended by the Vatican with a steadfast determination) should be changed by the government.

To enrage that many religions by perverting their idea of a SACRAMENT is horribly offensive, and I do not know how else better to explain this.

I will say again, perhaps it would be better that ALL current "marriages" were simply viewed by the government as civil unions, and the government stopped recognizing titles handed out by religious communities. Because the fact of the matter is, I highly doubt that religions (in general) will ever refer to a gay-civil union as a marriage. Because that is what the word means, that is where it comes from.

This is not the government's word to toy with, and the separation of church and state is simply more proof that they cannot change the definition without crossing many lines, and offending many people.

Because of this, two people of the same sex (while they can receive the same rights) will never be viewed as a marriage. It simply does not fit the definition of the word itself.

*exhale*
Debate Round No. 4
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by DeATHNOTE 9 years ago
DeATHNOTE
YES DEATH NOTE SYMBOLS!!!!!

DEATH NOTE IS AWESOME simpily awesome
Posted by Thrawn 9 years ago
Thrawn
I think Araj's point was very clearly made. I understood what he was saying immediately. Logos's point was also very concise but not compared to Araj's. <@;D LOL
Posted by Araj 9 years ago
Araj
Im disagreeing on the use of the word marriage. If you agree with me on the use of the word marriage, then you would also agree that they do not QUALIFY for the title. I agree that they should recieve the same rights, but not the same title.
Posted by Logos 9 years ago
Logos
OK, my view is that gays should get the same access to contract as straights. You agreed with me. Several times. Since this arrangement is CURRENTLY refered to as marriage, you agreed with my statement.
Posted by ibit05 9 years ago
ibit05
I'm going with Araj (sorry L!) because he IS right about the word itself, this debate (unlike most) is not about gays being allowed to be together. Simply the title
Posted by Araj 9 years ago
Araj
I agree, They can have civil unions with the exact same rights, but because of the origin of the word, should not be called "marriage".
Posted by Thrawn 9 years ago
Thrawn
This debate produced many lulz. But it really doesn't matter if the get married as long as they stay out of my business.
Posted by Araj 9 years ago
Araj
I agree with PreacherFred pretty much 100%. Webster's merely added the definition because of its increasingly common (mis)use of the word.

And I agree with Falcon Kick, when he so boldly states
"FALCON KICK"

However sethgecko, my quarrel lies with you. Did you read anything I wrote above? I did spent a good amount of time writing and editing, you could at least grace it with a glance over prior to posting.

And lets keep the applications of this word down to the relevance of this article, if we could. You can use any word in the English language as a metaphor, I'm pretty sure I learned that at some point between 2nd-5th grade.

As for Mdal, I hope I got your vote. If not, I would actually be interested in learning where I flawed out in this debate..

As for the other 30 people who voted, I can quite honestly say I cannot see where anybody is coming from if they still disagree with the origin and ownership of the word after reading the last argument. I would love to see your comments, unless you are the type of people who merely read the headline of the debate and judge from that.
Posted by PreacherFred 9 years ago
PreacherFred
Maybe Roger Marris should. He isn't trying to change any of the traditions of baseball. He just set a record of achievement of some sort within baseball.
Posted by sethgecko13 9 years ago
sethgecko13
The legal definition of marriage has absolutely nothing to do with religion: two heterosexual atheists can get married any day of the week.
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Vote Placed by thett3 5 years ago
thett3
LogosArajTied
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Logos
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