The Instigator
LadyLover123
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
Drasai
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Drasai's premise for the illegalization of same-sex marriage

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
LadyLover123
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/14/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 581 times Debate No: 68359
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)

 

LadyLover123

Con

Drasai, you made the following statement: "This issue isn't about love or equality. I agree that most of the arguments against same-sex marriage are flawed, particularly those that reference the "ick" factor. But while the jury might be out on whether same or opposite sex couples make better parents, it is difficult to refute the position that children are generally better off being raised by their own biological parents, and both together as much as possible. If this wasn't the case, family courts and child protective agencies wouldn't view removing a child from her parents as a last resort.
If we accept this premise, that children are generally better off being raised by their own biological parents, and that this is the preferred situation for society as a whole, the question needs to be raised: should there exist a legally protected institution that encourages children and their biological parents to remain together, and if so, what form should this institution take?"

I would like to challenge this statement and put it to a debate. Do you accept?
Drasai

Pro

Before I begin, I'd like to thank my opponent for issuing this challenge. I believe the key aspect missing from the public debate over same-sex marriage is the lack of intellectual honesty on both sides of the argument, as opinions are misrepresented and the issues raised by one side are often ignored by the other side.

To ensure we are talking about the same thing, I am defining "state recognised marriage" (as far as the terms of this debate are concerned) as the legally or formally recognised union of two persons as partners in a relationship, as recorded in a registry maintained by the state. I, therefore, exclude from this definition de facto or common law relationships, since they are unregistered. This definition could, potentially, be extended to include more than two individuals, however, I submit that this is beyond the terms of this debate.

To state my position: I believe that marriage between same-sex couples should remain unrecognised by civil law in jurisdictions where this is currently the case, and revert to this situation in jurisdictions where this has recently changed. This position is the case regardless of the religious affiliation of participants, since state recognised marriage is not a religious issue but an issue of public interest.

My position is derived from the observation that, while two people wanting to celebrate their love for each other might be a great thing, it is completely irrelevant to the state. The celebration of mutual love is, essentially, a private affair and maintaining a public registry of couples who love each other is a waste of tax payer funds. Not only this, but is is also a violation of the principal of subsidiarity since and institution like the state and no place interfering in the lives of private individuals. If the state is empowered to keep a registry of couples who love each other, what is to stop it from being empowered from keeping a registry of people who are friends, or any number of other things? The reason the state should have no interest in the love between two people is because it has no economic benefit, i.e. goods and services that serve the public wealth aren't generated from it. Nor is the love between two people of public social benefit, i.e. it is love between those two individuals and doesn't proceed from them to the greater public. If said two individuals wish to sign a private contract between each other to remain together forever they may do so as a private contract, but it is of no business to the public and it should remain out of the public record. It would, therefore, not be "state recognised marriage" as defined above.

It would seem, from the previous paragraph, that I advocate for the abolition of all state recognised marriage, not just state recognised same-sex marriage. However, this is not the case. The case for opposite-sex marriage derives not from mutual love but from the procreative potency of opposite-sex relationships.

The reason that governments are interested in sex in the first place is because of its potential to generate children. If there was no correlation between sex and children, there would be no government interest in sex to begin with. However, since children are a product of sexual intercourse, and since the state has an interest in the welfare of its citizens, it becomes necessary for the state to issue specific legislation pertaining to sex. This is the reason that rape is a unique crime, and criminals of this nature are not simply charged with assault. If there was no association between sex and procreation, then there would be no need for a legal definition of rape as distinct from assault.

Since the state's interest in sex as derived from procreation, the next logical step is the state's interest in parenting. To be absolutely clear, my argument doesn't concern the competency of same-sex couples as parents vs opposite-sex couples as parents. While this may be a topic worth discussing, it is beyond the scope of what I am presenting. My argument, rather, centres on the inherent rights of children.

As noted in my position statement, I submit that children are better off being raised by their own biological parents, and that this is the preferred situation for society as a whole. While there may be specific instances of children not being better of under the care of their biological parents, this is not the case in general, and the fact that a specific child is better with their specific biological parents should be assumed unless proven otherwise. Children have a right to know and to be raised by their own biological parents. Unless there is a specific case where this is inherently harmful to the children, neither the state, nor extended family, nor the parents themselves have the right to interfere with this arrangement. Let me be absolutely clear, I am arguing that the right of a child to be raised by their biological parents takes precedence over the supposed right of a parent to be in a relationship of their choice. Parents, therefore, have an ethical obligation to their children to make their relationship work.

If we accept the premise that law should be a reflection of ethics, the question needs to be raised: should the state recognise and register a legally protected institution that encourages children and their biological parents to remain together? I submit that it does. Such an institution ought to provide concessions (for example, through taxation) that incentivise couples to remain together, while penalising behaviour that would effect the stability of the relationship, or which might lead to procreation outside it (e.g. adultery).

Since the institution described above is what we call "marriage", it therefore follows that this institution must be restricted to use by one man and one woman, and that it must be indissoluble in nature.
Debate Round No. 1
LadyLover123

Con

I would like to thank Drasai for accepting my challenge and I look forward to our debate.

First, my opponent seeks to define "state recognised marriage [. . .] as the legally or formally recognised[sic] union of two persons as partners in a relationship, as recorded in a registry maintained by the state [. . .] potentially, [able to be] extended to include more than two individuals, however, I submit that this is beyond the terms of this debate." I agree with this definition of marriage as it relates to our debate.

My opponent's position, if I am interpreting it correctly, is that no gay-marriages should be legally recognized in the United States ("I believe that marriage between same-sex couples should remain unrecognised by civil law in jurisdictions where this is currently the case, and revert to this situation in jurisdictions where this has recently changed.") This position, to put his argument in a few words, is derived from his belief that the love between two people is not relevant to the government and that the only reason that the marriages of straight couples are and aught to be recognized is the government's interest in the offspring the couple may produce.

What follows is my rebuttal.

My opponent makes a sound and well-thought out argument, and for that I thank him. I will attack, however, his beliefs in several areas.

First, Drasai's argument that the sole purpose of legally recognizing marriage is to invest interest in children that might be generated by married couples MIGHT hold more weight if marriage was an institution that had only recently been created. However, marriage is an institution that is deeply rooted in the culture of all humans and has come to mean more than just its legal implications. To be married is to be respected as a serious couple within our society. To be married has social implications that affect daily life in a world where children are taught to think about marriage from a very early age in books and in movies and from the people around them. Marriage was built to be a rite of passage available to everyone, though long before it would be considered whether or not it was built for everyone to marry ANYONE, and was at one point not only a privilege but an expectation. There were few who could get away with not settling down and starting a family without being stigmatized and considered an unworthy member of society. Those who didn't marry, especially women, were considered hags, and through these beginnings, the ability to marry was established as an inexorable right in achieving social equality. More importantly, the government's investment is NOT only an interest in procreation. To be married is to form a family whether children are involved or not, and the government has an interest in FAMILIES, not just children. Members of families have legally recognized privileges when it comes to making decisions for other family members. One important example is the case of a sick spouse. Family members have the privileges of visitation and only a family member can make big medical decisions if the sick individual cannot speak for them self. In cases where a couple is not legally married, blood-related family members have legal precedence over ones' partner, which is especially problematic considering that many homosexuals come from difficult families situations because of rejection of their sexual orientation. Difficult decisions like whether or not to pull the plug on a sick individual falls to the closest blood relatives, whether they should be the one trusted with that decision or not, if their partner is not legally a member of their family.

There are other legal implications to marriage that simply do not come with the unrecognized couplings. Sources [1] and [2] list some of these benefits, a few notable ones being:

[1]:

"Creating a 'family partnership' under federal tax laws, which allows you to divide business income among family members."

"Receiving veterans' and military benefits for spouses, such as those for education, medical care, or special loans."

"Receiving spousal or child support, child custody, and visitation if you divorce."

"Visiting rights in jails and other places where visitors are restricted to immediate family."

[2]:

"Employers who provide health benefits to their employees typically pay a portion of the premium " if not the entire premium. Currently, the Code provides that the employer"s contribution of the premium for health insurance for an employee"s spouse is excluded from the employee"s taxable income. An employer"s contribution for the domestic partner"s coverage, however, is included in the employee"s taxable income as a fringe benefit."

"Internal Revenue Code " 2056 exempts amounts transferred to a surviving spouse from the decedent"s taxable estate. For same-sex couples who are legally barred from marriage, this exemption is not available, creating an inequity in taxation."

Some anti-gay marriage activists argue that gay people should be satisfied with the allowances of legal unification they have, such as the ability to enter into a civil union. But even if the legal benefits of civil unions were exactly equal to those of marriages (they are not [3]), it would not be enough. By giving the marriages of same-sex couples a different name, huge openings would be provided for abuse and discrimination against same-sex couples. Using a different name implies that same-sex couples are somehow lesser, and their unions somehow within a lower legal standing. In fact, same-sex and opposite-marriages should be considered equal because they serve the same goal: to create a family. These families may be created with the intention of raising children as easily in either case. They may just as easily not be in either case.

Moving on, my opponent has insinuated that the government should only be interested in same-sex couples because only same sex couples produce offspring. This is simply not true. According to [2], "recent data shows that at least 1 million children are being raised by same-sex couples in the United States." This is a small number, and it is only so small right now because the hardships and barriers put in place to prevent same-sex couples from raising children are great. Some of these children ARE the product of the couple, when the members of the couple jointly decide to produce children and one of them becomes pregnant (in the case of lesbian couples.) Some are adopted. The government has an interest in these children and their relationships to their parents too, does it not? While no serious couple is legally obligated to include children at any point in its family dynamic, members of serious but unmarried couples are just as likely to have children as married ones, with married couples being far more stable than unmarried ones, according to TheGuardian.com [4]. This means same-sex couples too, with the only difference being the way in which those children find their way into these same-sex families. Some exist before and without the couple's involvement and some do not. So if the same-sex couples are going to have children no matter what, those children deserve the stability that comes with a legally recognized marriage.

Finally, my opponent made several claims to the effect that children should not be taken away from their biological parents to be raised by same-sex couples because this does not benefit the children. His exact words were, "[. . .] while the jury might be out on whether same or opposite sex couples make better parents, it is difficult to refute the position that children are generally better off being raised by their own biological parents, and both together as much as possible." Now, here's where Drasai's argument falls outside of logic and reason. I agree that children are far better off outside of the foster care system, and that those put into it suffer for it. But those children will be in the foster system regardless of the existence of same-sex couples. Same-sex couples are not GRABBING their children out of the hands of their opposite-sex biological parents. Those biological parents are already giving their children up, and the same-sex couples are providing a home. In the case of lesbian couples with one becoming pregnant, Drasai might argue that the child is being denied access to one of his biological parents. But Drasai offers no evidence to support the claim that genetic relation to parents improves the life of children. Is it, as Drasai argues, the lack of two genetically similar individuals that causes a child to suffer, or is it, as I believe, the process of being put into foster care at a young age that makes a child suffer? In the case of the above example, the child does not go into foster care: they are in a stable familial environment from the beginning.

Drasai also makes the argument that the government should put more protections in place to keep parents who may be considering putting their children up for adoption from separating themselves from their children. This point is unrelated, however, to the issue of same-sex marriage. Maybe their SHOULD be better systems in place to shrink the number of children put into the system, but the reality of the world is that there ARE large numbers of children in the system right now, and the existence of same-sex couples will in no way INCREASE the number of children put into foster care. If anything, as same-sex couples gain marriage and adoption equality, far fewer children will be without families.

Sources:
[1] http://www.nolo.com...
[2] http://www.hrc.org...
[3] http://www.legalmatch.com...
[4] http://www.theguardian.com...
Drasai

Pro

I thank LadyLover for her respectful rebuttal, and beg pardon for my continued use of British-English spelling and turn of phrase.

My opponent has interpreted my position to be that no gay-marriages should be recognised in the United States. However, I wish to point out that my argument applies to all jurisdictions, both within and beyond US sovereignty. I believe it is important that the argument remain independent of specific jurisdictions, as to do otherwise creates anomalies for persons who travel between them. For example, a same-sex couple may marry in Hawaii and live together as they interpret married life. If they later migrate to New South Wales, however, their marriage will not be recognised by the law of that jurisdiction and they will have the same legal recognition as any de facto couple. More importantly, keeping this issue independent of nation means that arguments, both for and against, can apply universally and not remain locally or culturally specific, promoting International discourse on an issue that is not specifically an American issue. I declare that my own interest in this matter is how it plays out in Australia, however, I have strived to keep my arguments as independent of country as possible and confess my ignorance of American law.

My opponent states: "To be married is to be respected as a serious couple within our society. To be married has social implications that affect daily life in a world where children are taught to think about marriage from a very early age in books and in movies and from the people around them." I agree that this is the case, and rightly so. However, my opponent hasn't delved into this matter far enough.

If I may respond by analogy: I am lead to understand that, in the United States, it is customary in many places to provide a standing ovation to uniformed personnel of the armed services. A standing ovation, in all Western cultures, is considered to be a high level of respect indeed, therefore, by this action, Americans civilians indicate that they hold their armed servicemen and servicewomen in the greatest level of respect. To an ignorant outsider, it might seem that if someone joins the US armed services and wears the uniform publicly that they are owed respect. I contend, however, that this isn't the case. An American patriot knows that the reason these people are held in such high esteem is because of the sacrifices associated with their occupation. These people may have seen combat, or might be en route to a war zone. At any point, they could be called upon to give up their lives in defence of the ideals they are sworn to protect. It is not because of their uniform that they are owed respect, but because of the sacrifice the uniform represents. Nor do they have a right to wear a uniform, since to wear one is not a right but an act of duty.

I contend that the same situation holds true to marriage. Society and literature does not hold married couples in esteem just because they are married. Rather, marriage is respected because of the sacrifice it represents. By becoming married, a person agrees to put the other before their own desires. They don't just promise to remain true to each other in good and healthy times, but to endure the tough times together, too. But to what end to they do this? If someone promises to remain true to a particular person for all time, then they may be owed respect by that person, but why should wider society owe them respect? I contend that the only reason marriage is held in esteem by society and culture is because of its historical association with procreation. If marriage becomes disassociated from procreation, only the historical overdraft of its prior association with procreation will maintain its respect, and once that account has run dry, being married will be socially no different to being BFFs. If anyone can get married to anyone for any reason and have it recorded in a state registry, then why isn't my friendship with my BFF recorded, especially if the friendship we share together is deeper and more profound than the relationship between most married couples? If my friend and I are willing to lay down our lives for each other, surely we deserve respect and legal recognition more than the couple who are using each other for tax exemptions? I declare that marriage disassociated from procreation looses its desert of the respectability currently associated with it.

Further, my opponent does not address the point that maintaining a state registry of couples who love each other is a violation of the principal of subsidiarity. If I love someone, why should it be the business of government? The government may have an interest in knowing my income so they know what to tax me, but why should they care who I want to declare my undying love to? My opponent might be quick to respond, "uh huh! Because state marriage is voluntary," but I point out that consent is irrelevant to the principal of subsidiarity.

My opponent goes on to explain the legal privileges available in the United States to couples who are legally married. However, as I explained earlier, I have tried to keep my argument free from the restrictions applied by particular jurisdictions. In many places, such as New South Wales, married couples have no more privileges than de facto couples, including same-sex de facto couples. Does this mean that the arguments for redefining marriage carry less weight in places where there is no legal distinction? The course of the public debate would indicate this isn't the case. I would further point out that, since the legal discriminations mentioned occur in some jurisdictions and not others, the more elegant solution would be legal reform in those jurisdictions which are unfairly discriminatory, rather that the broad redefinition of marriage across all jurisdictions. If socio-legal definitions are working great in one jurisdiction, why should it need to change something because an unrelated jurisdiction has legal contradictions?

LadyLover claims that I have "[...] insinuated that the government should only be interested in same-sex couples because only same sex couples produce offspring [sic]. This is simply not true. According to [Human Rights Campaign], 'recent data shows that at least 1 million children are being raised by same-sex couples in the United States.'" My opponent's argument is ingoratio elenchi, in equating "produce" (although I prefer the term "procreate" for the sake of precision) with "raise". As I've previously said, the relative competency of same-sex and opposite-sex couples to raise children is not relevant to my argument. If I may rephrase my position, it is that the purpose of marriage is to incentivise couples to raise their own biological children.

My opponent goes on to provide a counter example of lesbian couples, who choose to have and birth children. However, I must protest that an argument over the ethics of artificial and engineered fertilisation (which would be my next logical step in this argument) would expand the terms of this debate too greatly to address in a 1,000 character limit, and also draws the argument beyond the socio-political realm and into the bio-ethical. If, however, my opponent wishes to challenge me to a separate debate on that topic, then I would be delighted to accept.

Finally, my opponent makes that accusation that I "[...] made several claims to the effect that children should not be taken away from their biological parents to be raised by same-sex couples because this does not benefit the children. His exact words were, '[...] while the jury might be out on whether same or opposite sex couples make better parents, it is difficult to refute the position that children are generally better off being raised by their own biological parents, and both together as much as possible.'" I vehemently protest that my opponent has taken my quote quite out of context! My position is not, nor was it ever, that if same-sex couples were allowed to marry, that they would end up poaching children from biological parents, an argument which I myself consider to be quite absurd. While it might be a related question, we are not arguing about the relative rights of couples to adopt. The premise my opponent has pointed to is, rather, a simple declaration that biological children have the right to be raised by their biological parents. Indeed, our society and culture already implicitly acknowledges this to be the case. This is why, for instance, courts and other social agencies will only remove children from their parents as a last resort. Indeed, if being raised by one's biological parents was not an ideal, and undeserved of privilege, then adults and children would live in pooled communes as a matter of course. However, the simple observation that hippy communes have mostly died out of popular appeal and never became anything near mainstream should make this clear. The very fact that nearly everyone in the world, independent of culture, lives as part of biologically related family rather than a pooled commune gives testimony to the fact that biological relationships are a priori of greater relative importance than non-biological relationships. Hence the proverb: "blood is thicker than water".

The above quote my opponent has miscontextualised from my Round 1 argument was part of a premise to the conclusion drawn in the following paragraph: that there ought to be a social institution that encourages children to remain with their biological parents. Indeed, this was the culmination and pinnacle of my argument. While my opponent has tangentially addressed the matters surrounding it, she has not yet levelled an attack against it. I reiterate that this is entire point of my argument and look forward to my opponent addressing it in the next round.
Debate Round No. 2
LadyLover123

Con

I thank my opponent for his rebuttal. In this iteration of my argument I will be addressing mainly Drasai's position that "the purpose of marriage is to incentivise[sic] couples to raise their own biological children." With this phrase having clarified the main focus of his argument, I now believe that I understand the core of his position.

There is no such thing as 'the perfect family environment.' Should low-income partners be disallowed or disincentived, to/from marrying (because they'd likely raise children in a low-income environment)? Should interracial couples not be allowed to marry (because they would likely produce interracial kids, who are more prone to being teased and ostracized)? In fact, should no black people marry (or those who are considered most underprivileged in the countries in which they reside, since they would likely create children of the same race, who would, because of their culture or the color of their skin, be underprivileged?) It is perhaps true that at a fundamental level, children have an invested interest in being loved by their biological parents, as stated here [1]. And in the grand scheme of things, my opponent's argument seems to imply that that which is of the greatest benefit to the children is or should be of the sole or majority interest to the government when it comes to legal marriage. However, since that which most precisely, purely, and holistically benefits individual children is both highly subjective and debatable, and potentially impossible, one must focus instead on what benefits the greatest number of children to the greatest degree. Since the fact of life on Earth includes a large number of parentless, adoptable children, I believe it is fair to assume that the overall benefit to children of allowing gay couples to marry, therefore encouraging them to have children (and we know that gay couples are a group highly likely to adopt[2]), far out ways any potential harm it might inflict on individual children's lifestyles, if we were to, for a moment, agree that creating the optimal living environment for children IS the primary directive of legal marriage.

Now, should that be and is that the only purpose of marriage, legal or otherwise?
I argue that it is not and should not be. Marriage is healthy[3]. In general, freedom, so long as it can be assumed to not cause a great or significant amount of harm, is healthy. Certainly, acceptance is healthy, with the legalization of gay marriage being a hefty step towards the goal of social acceptance for marginalized sexual orientations. Health for individuals is healthy for the society of which they are a part. The freedom to express love, when it causes little or no harm, is generally a happy and healthy thing. Healthy and happy people mean more productive people. People who feel that they are being afforded the rights they deserve and should have are, logically, less likely to rebel and disrupt the flow of society. So the act of bearing and/or raising children is not the only benefit of marriage as it relates to the state of societies and the governments that rule them.

To raise another point, the purpose of marriage has changed over time. Marriage was at one time far more about sharing and uniting land and power and forming and perpetuating alliances, and far less about procreation and its optimization, according to [4]. With this being the case, why is it impossible to imagine that now might be a good time to reconsider the purpose of this internationally prevalent activity once again? Marriage is a solely human institution created solely for the benefit and desires of humanity and those who wish to engage in it. I feel that enough of those within the world's population now see marriage as achieving goals other than 'the regulation of reproduction' for a serious reconsideration of its primary purpose to be necessary. Perhaps we will come to conclude that marriage's primary purpose is now simply to foster happiness and freedom to express love and commitment in healthy and socially recognized ways. Laws that serve no purpose other than to provide a service to those who want it exist: for example, the legal ability to change ones' first name. In most cases this is simply the appeasement of an individual's desire to be officially viewed by society in a new and different way. It's legality does not nor needs to serve a greater purpose. Simply, it exists because people want it and there is no great argument for why they shouldn't have it. Simply, same-sex marriage should exist because people want it and there is no great argument, including Drasai's, as I feel I have aptly illustrated, for why they shouldn't have it.

Thank you.

I thank my opponent for his intelligent rhetoric, and hope that you the voters will choose he who came to the most logical and correct conclusion. Vote for me, and for all the hot n' heavy same-sex love times to come.

Sources:
[1] http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com...
[2] 27.2% of same-sex couples with children have at least one adopted child, compared to 9.2% and 12% of married and unmarried opposite-sex, child raising couples respectively: http://www.lifelongadoptions.com...
[3] http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
[4] http://www.livescience.com...
Drasai

Pro

I thank LadyLover for her respectful and eloquent rebuttal. In this final round I will return to the debate topic LadyLover set, which was her opposition to my premise for the illegalisation of same-sex marriage. The debate itself, therefore, is over whether my premise has fallen to her attacks, or weathered them away.

I will begin with her assertion, that "["] the purpose of marriage has changed over time. Marriage was at one time far more about sharing and uniting land and power and forming and perpetuating alliances, and far less about procreation and its optimization, according to [LiveScience.com]". The error my opponent (and her source) make is confusing a thing"s purpose with its utilisation. A particular thing can have one purpose and a different utilisation.

For example, a hand shovel is fabricated for the purpose of digging and lifting soil, coal, gravel, etc. and serves this purpose well. A shovel also makes an effective bludgeoning weapon due to its sturdy construction and long, easy to grip, haft. Although its use as a weapon is (normally) not intended by its manufacturers, the same qualities that make it suited to its intended purpose of shovelling soil and coal are what make it effective as a bludgeoning weapon.

Similarly, with marriage, while its utilisation may have changed through the ages, its purpose as a natural institution has remained unchanged. Yes, marriage was utilised in past (and not so past) ages to cement alliances, as well as consolidate land and power. Similarly, as my opponent identified in her Round 2 argument, it us usable today to grant respectability to a couple. However, as I previously mention, its usability derives from its purpose. Just as a couple only gains respectability from marriage because of marriage"s prior association with procreation, so, in ages past, marriage was a useful tool in the consolidation of power because of its association with procreation. When a couple got married, it was assumed this marriage would last for the duration of their lives, and that their children would have some share of the inheritance. Thus, if our children were to marry, our ties would be drawn closer because we have a common interest in our shared grandchildren. If, on the other hand, a marriage failed to bare children, the alliance it represented was prone to failure. For example, when Mary I of England died without offspring, the alliance between the Kingdom of England and the Spanish Crown faltered and, ultimately, unravelled. The only reason the alliance worked in the first place was because of the possibility of a child being procreated and raised from the marriage union between Queen Mary and Phillip II of Spain. To sum up this refutation, while the way marriage has been utilised has changed over time, its purpose, that of the procreation of children, has not, and indeed, its various utilisations depended entirely on the stability of its purpose.

My opponent"s other arguments are that the good of marriage as an institution for maintaining the union of children with biological parents "["] is both highly subjective and debatable, and potentially impossible ["]"; and that "The freedom to express love, when it causes little or no harm, is generally a happy and healthy thing" and "So the act of bearing and/or raising children is not the only benefit of marriage as it relates to the state of societies and the governments that rule them." These argument appear to strike at the heart of my premise. For, indeed, if, generally, children are not better off being raised by their biological parents and, if an institution that formalises a couple"s mutual love makes them happy and healthy; then there is no need for an institution that keeps children with their biological parents, and an institution that recognises and celebrates mutual love is in the public interest.

But does my opponent"s objection hold up? LadyLover commits a classic cherry picking fallacy in basing her argument around exceptions. For example, in the United States in 2001, about 2.5% of children were adopted.[1] While 1.5 million is a large number, this statistic implicitly tells us that up to 58.5 million children were not adopted. Even if we eliminate from this the roughly 35% of children raised by single parent families,[2] we are still left with up to 37.5 million children being raised by biological parents. Now, while we can"t prove that all 37.5 million of those children were happy and well off, my opponent would be hard pressed to prove that most, or even a significant minority, of those would not be better off where they currently are. While I"m happy to concede that "["] the fact of life on Earth includes a large number of parentless, adoptable children ["]", I will not concede that the solution to this problem requires changing the fundamental definition of an institution that currently benefits as many children as it currently does without studying the impact such a change will have on future generations.

Further, common opinion also tells us that children born outside wedlock don"t perform as well in school, and are more likely to suffer mental illness or have substance abuse problems.[3] These considerations alone tell us that there is great social need for an institution that keeps children with their biological parents. Therefore, my opponent has failed to disprove the need for this institution in society.

Now, before I draw any conclusion, I would like to make absolutely clear the effects the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples will have on society. Essentially, as my opponent admits in her previous argument, it is about the co-occupancy of an institution, currently called "marriage", which exists for the purpose of keeping children united with their biological parents, and overlaying it with an additional either/or purpose of the "freedom to express love". Now, while my opponent might make a case for the need for an institution that fulfils this second purpose, she has not made a case for why it should co-occupy an existing institution that serves the first purpose, or that doing so will not undermine this purpose.

I, therefore, conclude that my opponent has failed in her stated challenge, which was to undermine my premise that there should exist an institution that encourages children and their biological parents to remain together, and that this institution is what we currently recognise as marriage. While my opponent has cherry picked on the adoption issue, she has failed to demonstrate why this should change the way we view an institution that currently benefits the vast majority of biologically raised children, while ignoring the plight of the greater bulk of the category of children who are not raised by both biological parents (i.e. those raised in single parent families). My opponent has given me no cause to change my position (i.e. that the stated institution needs to exist), nor has she given a sufficient explanation as to why it should serve the dual purpose of also being an institution that provides the "freedom to express love".

I thank my opponent for her considered attempt to undermine my premise, and hope the voters will come to their own appraisement on her success in this endeavour.

Sources:
[1] http://www.pbs.org...
[2] http://datacenter.kidscount.org...
[3] http://www.telegraph.co.uk...
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Kreakin 2 years ago
Kreakin
I have reported shedevils vote as it is an obvious vote bomb and is also lacking the required RFD.
Posted by Drasai 2 years ago
Drasai
Perhaps the error was mine for not clarifying that I was engaging in a hypothetical comparison between where they are now, and had they not been born in a married environment like so many others.
However, I would like to remind my opponent, in interest of sportsmanship, that this debate is over. However, if she would like to challenge me or accept a challenge from me on one of the issues that has sprung from this debate, then I would be pleased to accept.
Posted by LadyLover123 2 years ago
LadyLover123
*arguing

Dumb iphone
Posted by LadyLover123 2 years ago
LadyLover123
"Those [children] would be better off where they currently are." They will be where they currently are. You need to be held accountable for these comments because you keep saying one thing about what you're segueing but then actually arguing a different thing.
Posted by Drasai 2 years ago
Drasai
To clarify LadyLover's criticism in her comment, I made no assertion that this issue would effect existing families. My argument is that LadyLover has not considered the impact on future generations, considering the status quo as a benchmark. My premise had nothing to do with the effect gay couples adopting children would have on existing families. In fact, I don't believe I raised this issue at all. My premise concerns the definition marriage as inseparable from procreation. If LadyLover has interpreted me as being anti-adoption by same-sex couples, then she hasn't argued against my premise.
Posted by LadyLover123 2 years ago
LadyLover123
Just some things I want to say:

First, in Drasai's fifth paragraph of his final rebuttal, he takes the quotes that he picks out of my previous argument severely out of context.

Second, he says "Now, while we can"t prove that all 37.5 million of those children were happy and well off, my opponent would be hard pressed to prove that most, or even a significant minority, of those would not be better off where they currently are." This is the very core of what's so wrong with his argument: he's acting as if the legalization of gay-marriage somehow affects families that already exist. Children that are already with their biological families are not going anywhere simply because some pair of dudes in Alabama can now get married. The argument for incentiving biological families to stay together has absolutely nothing to do with the question of gay-marriage. Gay people aren't going to go around stealing babies out of people's homes. Nothing about the way straight couples' families live will change (except that maybe some parents will starting accepting their gay kids once equal rights for MOGAI become more mainstream) when gay marriage becomes a thing. Like, wtf?
Posted by LadyLover123 2 years ago
LadyLover123
Good debate so far! I feel that Drasai and I are equal in our etiquette, command of the English language, and ability to make a good case for our position, so I hope that you will vote based on who's points ring the most true *ahem* mine *ahem*.

Luv ya! ;)

Good job!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Kreakin 2 years ago
Kreakin
LadyLover123DrasaiTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: I have voted against Drasai as alot of the arguments put forwards were rather unconvincing, comparing marriage to a shovel, etc. Several paragraphs were purely illogical & just obviously fallacious, whilst Cons were factual and logical. Whilst religion was not used it felt it was always just below the surface, regardless of if this is indeed the case the argument from Pro generally has a homophobic undertone, no matter how well veiled, it still came through. The comments about rape are also quite wrong and read as passive agressive to me hence the loss of the conduct vote. S&G is a draw. Source goes to Con as some of Pros links are 14yrs out of date yet still put forwards as current and valid.