The Instigator
katieJ8
Con (against)
Losing
33 Points
The Contender
mrqwerty
Pro (for)
Winning
34 Points

Do Christians have the right to decide whether homosexuals can marry or not?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/29/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,156 times Debate No: 2298
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (19)
Votes (21)

 

katieJ8

Con

I am not a Christian. I am a lesbian. I do not agree that anyone has the right to tell me who I can love and marry. I don't tell people they can't be with someone because their race or belief. I may think they shouldn't but its not my place.

I realize that Christianity played a big part in the creation of this country but does that mean their beliefs supersede any others in this country which now is home to a myriad of beliefs and ways of life. Throughout history Christianity has bullied people into believing or death. Do you recall the Inquisition? Do you recall Salem? It was even sanctioned that the Knights of the Crusades kill Muslims in the name of god and an idealized homeland that none of British decent had claim.

Christianity in itself can be quite good. I have met several who do not judge me because I am different. It is people who use it as a hammer to beat down others and bend them to their own twisted beliefs.

So why do they get to say how I live my life?

When was it made their choice not mine?

Marriage is not purely religious it is a matter of state as well. One must be LEGALLY MARRIED to be married. Otherwise atheist could not get married. You don't need a priest or religious person to get married. You can do it before a judge. That was how my parents did it and my cousin.

People need to grow up and pay more attention to the really important issues. Who I marry is not important to anyone but me, that person, and those close to us. If I said I didn't approve of heterosexual unions you'd tell me to deal with it. Why don't I have that right?

Your turn. Have a nice day.
mrqwerty

Pro

Hello katieJ8. First off, it was difficult for me to choose this particular topic, since I am not homophobic and I am a supporter of gay marriage.

The reason I dissent from your opinion may be caused by simple semantics, or it may perhaps have to do with something else. You said that, "I do not agree that anyone has the right to tell me who I can love and marry" (1). People have a fundamental right to tell people what they think. Our founding fathers prevented the government from removing our rights in the American Constitution, "Congress shall make no law... bridging the freedom of speech" (2). Freedom of speech is an inherent right that we all have. They should be allowed to say what they want to say, and you should be allowed to marry whomever you want to marry.

You also said that, "Who I marry is not important to anyone but me, that person, and those close to us" (1). People are interested in different marriages, and that is a major reason that celebrity marriage is covered so prominently in our society (3). People have a right to have an opinion about your marriage, my marriage, or the marriage of anyone else for that reason, according to the United Nations, "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion" (4). You cannot just take away the right of Christians to have their own opinions about your marriage, whether they are supportive or otherwise. It is a violation of their fundamental human rights.

You made a remark that, "I may think they shouldn't [marry] but its not my place" (1). That is perfectly acceptable for you to think about that. So why shouldn't Christians be able to think whether or not you should marry? Is it also your place to decide whether or not they should make up their own minds about your marriage? There will always be people who will be against a particular thing and become quite vocal about it, but it is their right, as much as you have the right to defend yourself and tell them what you think.

All in all, they have a right to their opinions, and it is not anyone's place to tell people that they can't make up their own opinions and their own decisions.

Sources:
(1)http://www.debate.org...
(2)http://www.archives.gov...
(3)http://www.people.com...
(4)http://www.un.org...

Thank you very much. Enjoy your day as well. :D
Debate Round No. 1
katieJ8

Con

Thank you for excepting.

THATS NOT WHAT I MEANT! I am debating their right to make that choice on a state level for me when I don't even follow their beliefs. Everyone has an opinion. I believe people should have their voice. You don't agree more power to you. That does not make it right. Do they have the right to decide who I marry? Not do they have the right to object to the union. You should have just commented. Not taken the debate.

I support the rights
freedom of speech
freedom of religion
and the freedom of choice all humans have.
mrqwerty

Pro

I had some unforeseen circumstances come up in my own life, so I really will not be able to be here for the next couple days or so. I will try to post something tomorrow, if that helps. I'm sorry for the semantic issue,katieJ8, from what the opening statement and the title said, I was under the impression that you were debating the right of Christians to decide whether or not homosexuals can marry. The trouble is that there is not much room to disagree with, between you and me, but there is something I believe I can still say. I hope I do not come off as argumentative or hostile.

In democracy, there is a rule by majority. In the United States there is no provision for homosexual marriage (or any form of marriage) in the constitution (1). It can therefore be decided on by the individual states. The United States, with the exception of the presidency (2), is still is a country that makes statewide policy decisions based on a majority lead. In the United States of America, 76% of all Americans support Christian interests (3). A fairly sizable majority. According to the Princeton Survey Research Associates International in 2006, 55% of Americans are against gay marriage, and only 33% favored it, the rest unsure. The majority of Americans oppose gay marriage, and are motivated by the Christian faith.

In the United States of America, all people are given an equal vote. You said that, "I am debating their right to make that choice on a state level for me when I don't even follow their beliefs" (4). To say that the majority shouldn't be able to decide things on a state or federal level is a violation of their vote. Even if they are Christian and you are Atheist and do not believe in their religious views, the simple fact that they are the majority while you are a minority (3) is a reason why they can decide things on the state or federal level. In short, what I said still stands, they can make policy changes due to their majority lead per state and you are forced by United States law to abide to those policies. If you are in a state that allows gay marriage, try as hard as you want to change things, but as long as you are a minority, homosexuals will still be able to marry each other. But, if you are in a state that disallows gay marriage, same-sex marriage cannot occur. This is a fundamental aspect about our nation, and this is why they can decide policies.

Sources:
(1)http://www.archives.gov...
(2)http://www.electoralcollegehistory.com...
(3)https://www.cia.gov...
(4)http://www.debate.org...
Debate Round No. 2
katieJ8

Con

You are still missing the point. I'm not debating their right to have a fracking opinion. I'm debating that they don't have a right to decide who I marry because of their beliefs. Like you said the constitution does not allow for church and state to mix. The idea that homosexuals can't marry is purely religious one. So though they have the right to disagree openly or other wise they do not have the right to take away my right to marrying a woman if I so choose. And for the record I am not an Atheist. I have a spiritual faith that says: 'harm none, do what you will'.
mrqwerty

Pro

First of all, thanks for your timely response katieJ8.

You said, "I'm debating that they don't have a right to decide who I marry because of their beliefs" (1). But I said that, "the simple fact that they are the majority while you are a minority is a reason why they can decide things on the state or federal level" (1). They still have a right to decide whether same sex marriage is legal in your state or not, like I had said before (1). If same sex marriage is illegal, then they have decided for you, unless you are willing to break the law in that state. They have a perfect right to decide, through their votes, for you who you can or cannot marry - since they can vote against gay marriage and the majority makes the decisions on the state level. They can vote for or against the legality of homosexual marriage, pure and simple - thereby DECIDING your ability to marry someone of the same sex or not.

"Like you said the constitution does not allow for church and state to mix." I don't remember saying that (1). According to the original United States constitution, the only part that involves the separation of church and state is, "...but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States" (2). In other words, this says that to be appointed to an office, it is not REQUIRED to be religious or a follower of a particular church. The other place where religion is mentioned is in the first amendment, where freedom of religion (3) is protected. There is no part in the constitution that explicitly says that church and state cannot mix.

"The idea that homosexuals can't marry is purely religious one" (1). That is untrue, there are non religious arguments against gay marriage, such as what marriage means on the scale of a definition(4). In addition to that, it is not the institution of church itself, but the beliefs of individual Americans that make same sex marriage illegal in some states. It is unrealistic to assume that religion and state can be totally separated. People will continue to have their own beliefs, from whatever source... and if they are a majority vote, they get to decide whether or not gay marriage is legal or not. These are the votes of individual citizens that decide whether the legality of same sex marriage, not a church that directly controls the US government. The separation of church and state is simply that - a separation of a large religious institution from the government.

I hope this argument clarified my last argument, if it didn't make sense. To recap:
1. People have a right to decide whether or not gay marriage is legal
2. Policies in a Democracy are made by the decisions of a majority.
3. Decisions in a Democracy are made by voting.
4. If the majority of people vote against gay marriage in a state, it is then illegal.
5. If gay marriage is illegal, then people can't marry of the same sex.
6. People can decide whether or not you can marry someone of the same sex legally.

Simply put, people CAN "have the right to take away [your] right to marrying a woman if [you] choose" if they decide you don't have that right in the first place. The only way you can prevent people from taking away your "right" is if you STOP them from voting in the first place. Voting is a constitutional right (5). They can decide whether you have the right to marry someone of the same sex or not.

Sources:
(1)http://www.debate.org...
(2)http://www.archives.gov...
(3)http://en.wikipedia.org...
(4)http://au.answers.yahoo.com...
(5)http://en.wikipedia.org...

Constructive criticism and feedback are (always) appreciated.
Debate Round No. 3
19 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by sethgecko13 6 years ago
sethgecko13
mrqwerty -

You did quite well; one of the best things that you did consistently was to cite your sources for the claims you were making. You also did an excellent job of framing your rebuttals. Really the only thing that wasn't optimal was the misconception about the main premise of the debate (and I've done that many times myself).
Posted by mrqwerty 6 years ago
mrqwerty
Sethgecko,

You bring up very excellent points. The cases you presented definitely establish marriage and other rights not mentioned in the constitution as different rights. I understand that the United States is a representative government, and I apologize for oversimplifying my argument.

I am interested in becoming a better debater and I was wondering in some other advice you could give me. I recognize that it is important to realize what exactly the other side is arguing and at the very least have arguments in place for other possible sides and positions in case of a misinterpretation.

Thanks for the input. I'll try and learn from this mistake.
Posted by sethgecko13 6 years ago
sethgecko13
CP -

Mrqwerty was only right if one ignored everything but the LITERAL wording of the debate title.

If one paid attention to what KatieJ8 said in her first post framing the debate - they would have easily concluded that the debate was about the legitimacy of the bans on same-sex marriage, not on whether or not Christians literally have the right to freedom of speech.

There are a number of rights not specifically enumerated in the Amendments to the Constitution, so that's not really a valid argument that because marriage isn't specifically spelled out - gays/lesbians don't have a right to it. These unenumerated rights are cited in Griswold v. Connecticut. There are many legal precedents establishing marriage as a right (Loving v Virginia, Zablocki v Redhail, Turner v Safley, etc.)

If you want to get technical about it; the rights of gays/lesbians are being violated right now under the current system which is in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

Your states' rights argument only applies to states, which are not Christian entities. So if we want to argue along the narrow semantical lines that Mrqwerty was arguing - it's a violation of the Establishment Clause of the first amendment for Christians to presume to impose their religious beliefs on the entirety of society (that also wrongly presumes that Christians are monolithically-united against same-sex marrige which isn't the case). Actually - there are a lot of other Christian-based "blue" laws on the books still that are patently-unconstitutional.

Sidebar: It's endlessly hypocritical for the right to argue on the one hand that California doesn't have the right to regulate emissions within its state at rates higher than the federal government - but out of the other side of its mouth argue that states should be able to ban gay marriage if they wish. The right is only for states' rights when the states are enacting legislation congruent with their party line.
Posted by CP 6 years ago
CP
Blah ... got turned around. I meant the Pro argument.
Posted by CP 6 years ago
CP
Seth,
I must disagree. Mrqwerty actually stayed within the bounds of this debate and hit the nail on the head. The debate concerned the "right" (constitutional right) for "Christians" (the people) to "decide" (vote). He clearly stated that the people (yes, represented overwhelmingly by Christians) did, in fact, have the constitutional right to decide matters concerning their state. Since legal marriage is not a right granted by the constitution, the Tenth Amendment takes precedence and his claim is undeniably substantiated.

The Con argument was clearly the winner.
Posted by C4747500 6 years ago
C4747500
mrqwerty, If the government waited for a majority opinion from the populace every time a civil rights issue arose in America, we'd still have slaves.

The government is set in place partially to guarantee certain rights to *all* people. I find it ironic that the NYS Court of Appeals at least has declared marriage a 'fundamental right', that is, one deeply rooted in American history, but yet only if it is between a man and a woman.

It is the role of the legislature to seek out widespread discrimination and pass statutes that end it, not to accede to the demands of the majority. Court decisions and statutes change mindsets by the force of law, and if we don't have that, how would we ever stop discrimination?
Posted by sethgecko13 6 years ago
sethgecko13
mrqwerty took a weak stance that borders on a straw man; katieJ8 isn't arguing about the ability of people to VERBALIZE their opinions about same-sex marriage, she's arguing about the real, legal barriers that have been erected against the practice - and that was perfectly clear from the title of the debate question "Do Christians have the right to decide whether homosexuals can marry or not?"

The US is not a democracy; we're a representative republic. If you haven't noticed - we do not all vote on every piece of legislation that comes up in congress; our representatives do (and the various rules in place dictate that those measures often must pass by more than a sheer majority). Furthermore, we don't even elect our presidents directly through a popular vote - they are apportioned through the electoral collage.

mrqwerty's ignorance of the Establishment Clause aside, marriage as currently practiced has nothing to do with Christianity (I'm an atheist and it's perfectly legal for me to have a secular wedding, completely excluding the church) - and as a result, Christians shouldn't be able to dictate policy surrounding it.
Posted by FiredUpRepublican 6 years ago
FiredUpRepublican
Not all people are against it for religious reasons which seems to be the only argument that con has.
Posted by sccrplyr40 6 years ago
sccrplyr40
i personally believe that nobody has the right to tell someone who they can or cannot love and marry...separation of church and state anyone? i only voted for the Pro side of this debate because it was argued more effectively even though it wasnt how the topic was apparently supposed to be presented
Posted by Tatarize 6 years ago
Tatarize
I think "decide" is well understood. So I voted for Amanda Tapping face (Con).
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