The Instigator
JustCallMeTarzan
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
Yraelz
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Gay Marriage Should Be Legal in the United States

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
JustCallMeTarzan
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/15/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,283 times Debate No: 8977
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (10)
Votes (1)

 

JustCallMeTarzan

Pro

The proposition on offer is that Gay Marriage should be legal in the United States.

For the purposes of debate, "Gay Marriage" will be held to mean marriage between two individuals of the same sex. This definition arises from two segments of relevant law common to most states. For example, from Illinois:

750 ILCS 5/201: Formalities. A marriage between a man and a woman licensed, solemnized and registered as provided in this Act is valid in this State.
750 ILCS 5/211(a)(5) a marriage between 2 individuals of the same sex.

Section 5/211(a) details prohibited classes of marriage. These laws are found at least in general form in many states.

Marriage shall be held to be in relevant part:

(1) The social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc.
(2) The state of being a married couple voluntarily joined for life (or until divorce)
(3) The ceremony containing certain legal formalities by which a marriage relationship is created

The three definitions show the traditional meaning, an updated definition concerning the state in which married people live, and the nature of the institution. Other definitions recognize marriage as between simply two individuals without legal sanction. Legally, a sanction is "The part of a law that is designed to secure enforcement by imposing a penalty for violation of the law or offering a reward for its observance." Thus, one can see that the institution of gay marriage has been socially recognized, but there is a lack of "reward" in social benefits like tax breaks, as well as a "punishment" in the form of no legal solemnization of the institution. This lack of sanction violates rights of individuals considering entry into a marriage.

****************************************
Some common objections:

1. Laws should not be passed if they are specifically in violation of the will of the people. The majority of people in the US are against homosexual marriages. Therefore, it does
not follow that we should permit same-sex marriages.

Once upon a time, the majority of people were against segregation. This obviously shoots down the notion that laws cannot be passed against the will of the people. Putting the rights of the people to the whim of ad populum is one of the things the founding fathers were most concerned about - tyranny of the majority.

2. It is reasonable to believe that homosexuality is sexual perversion. There is no evidenced gene, biological necessity, or evolutionary benefit for homosexuality.
To accept my opponent's argument of "innateness" is to also accept, by logical necessity, pedophilia, zoophilia, and other sexual abnormalities.

2. There is indeed evidence for homosexuality being caused by genetic factors. A recent "Psychology Today" has an article on these very concepts. Propensity towards homosexuality increases with each male child. Also, there is no danger to the argument in considering pedophilia, zoophilia, etc... to be innate because these sorts of behaviors are regulated by other, far more compelling concerns than the ones the regulate homosexuality.

3. Homosexuals have no more and no less rights than heterosexuals. The idea of any inequality existing in terms of rights is balderdash.

Homosexuals inherently have less rights if they do not have the same freedom of choice as heterosexuals - freedom of choice is in choosing your PARTNER - not choosing your partner's GENDER.

4. By virtue of permitting individuals to marry partners of the same sex, marriage will quickly lose meaning and purpose. Who is to stop a man (or woman) from marrying, not just one, but two (or three) partners? If the logic used to permit same-sex marriages is to be used, what logical reasons does one have for barring polygamy, polyandry, or even pederasty?

Marriage will loose its meaning if homosexuals are allowed to marry?? It seems to me that the meaning of marriage is far more about the love and joy that a couple share in spending the rest of their life together than about making sure a penis and a vagina share the same bed. The "dangers" of polygamy/polyandry (multiple spouses) and pederasty (sexual relations between two males, esp. a minor) are regulated by other concerns for tax laws and the familial unit, as well as laws concerning the age of consent.

5. We cannot say that sexual tendencies give people rights.

But a sexual tendency towards heterosexuality should be given the right to choose who to marry and to have social benefits like tax breaks and solemnization conferred upon them? This position is simply not salient.

6. 100% have the right to marry in the exact same way. We both can marry 1 person of the opposite sex.

This is the same way as choosing your partner how?

**********************************************

The position of denying homosexuals the right to marry is not legally tenable. I assert that:

1) The right to marry the partner of one's choosing is a fundamental right.
2) Homosexuals are suspect class.
3) Moral approbation of homosexuals violates Equal Protection.

Any of these considerations, if accepted places the burden of proof on CON to fulfill all three prongs of the strict scrutiny standard:

First, the law must concern a compelling government interest.
Second, the law must be narrowly tailored.
Third, the law must be the least restrictive means to the end.

Laws forbidding individuals from marrying a member of the same sex fail all three of these prongs.

AFFIRMED.
Yraelz

Con

I will begin my speech with a thank you to Tarzan and a quote from him:

"First, the law must concern a compelling government interest.
Second, the law must be narrowly tailored.
Third, the law must be the least restrictive means to the end.

Laws forbidding individuals from marrying a member of the same sex fail all three of these prongs."

My opponent, the illustrious Tarzan, is completely right. Laws forbidding individuals the right to marry those of the same sex fail all three of those prongs..... My opponent would like a better law, something that would allow gays to marry freely. But let us for a moment examine what the new law would be.

Law: Gay and straight marriage is legal within the United States. A couple of the same or opposing sexes may journey down to the courthouse and receive a license to marry.

Now let's look at the prongs:

"First, the law must concern a compelling government interest.
Second, the law must be narrowly tailored.
Third, the law must be the least restrictive means to the end."

Does the law concern a compelling interest? No, not particularly, in fact there are alternatives that are much more compelling.
Is the law narrowly tailored? Not particularly, in fact it's pretty broad and still excludes large swathes of the population.
Is the law the least restrictive means to the end? Not at all, in fact it restricts and mandates that they must get a marriage license.

In essence, my opponents case doesn't meet his own standards for this debate. That's going to be a bit of a problem for him because it means all I have to do is prove a compelling alternative. Here goes. ^.^ Haha

=======================
The best way to fully uphold equality in the United States and uphold the strict scrutiny standard is through abolishing legal marriage. The alternative is that the federal and state governments will no longer have a hand in marriage what-so-ever and will discontinue to recognize marriages as a legal entity. Any marriage contract via the government and two individuals is hereby illegal.

Contention 1: The most fair to all
======================
Why the government ever dabbled it's hand in marriage is a complete mystery to me. Marriage, as mandated legally, is a completely ludicrous idea. (Hey Ragnar_Rahl, I'm actually supporting a position that you might!) Marriage as it is today excludes large swaths of the population, gays being the example my opponent gives. But just legalizing gay marriage still excludes people. What of the trans gender society? What of people who are not born with a discernible genders? Or the people who have traits from multiple genders? This kind of law just further ostracizes them.

Our society often doesn't accept people like those mentioned above because they are not recognized through societal constructs. They don't have a place in society, they can't be married or do many other things because they are genderless or multi-gendered. In some cases our society performs extensive surgeries on them when they are born in order to correct the "problem". These surgeries result in pain and occasionally death.

Dismantling legal marriage allows for an even playing field for all. It dismantles a legal construct which stigmatizes individuals and flat out harms people. My argument is therefor that this would allow for greater acceptance and overall expression in our society.

Contention 2: The Religious, Religions and God
==============================
Your last opponent was mildly right on this one Tarzan. Marriages roots are definitely firmly embedded in religion. The Bible contains it's spcheel about how marriages are only between a man and a woman. It contains it's beautiful story about Saddam and Gamora (watch it here if you'd like http://www.break.com...). I don't necessarily agree with what the bible has to say on these subjects but I don't have to be a part of the church either. The church is it's own organization that can make it's own calls. The Federal Government SHOULD NOT be allowed to mandate what a church ritual must contain.

Let's take an analogy, perhaps I form club. This club has a charter which will only allow cats to join it. Now say the federal government came to my door one day and demanded that dogs also be allowed. This would be quite a bit above the governments rights.

In much the say way marriage has been defined by many religions as meaning one thing. When the federal government steps in, takes the idea, and then demands it be different, it oversteps it's boundaries.

The ultimate argument here is that there would be backlash. I would even go so far as to say that there would be violent backlash by followers of certain churches if the government were to do this. On the other hand if the government abolishes marriage then the church can go on doing it's thing. The church can accept or reject gays if they want to but gays still have the ability to be recognized by the rest of society. And to go back to my analogy, the gays don't have to join my club, they can make their own if they feel like it.

The Marriage Stigma
=======================
My argument here is easy. Marriages have been given special recognition by the government. People in a marriage currently receive slightly different rights, tax breaks, etc.... In fact, in our current society, it's often looked on as strange if two people are "together" for a long time but not married. People occasionally assume that there must be some sort of problem with that couples relationship. In much the same way people often assume that marriage is somehow needed in our society and should be attained.

My argument is that by abolishing marriage we as a society can reduce this stigma. I'd tell you that in a world where there is no "legal marriage" that has advantages and is condoned by the government, then people will be less likely to be together for any purpose other than that they like each other. The stigma that marriage is some life conquest to be attained would become seriously degraded.

Ultimately this would mean that there would be less fights, less domestic violence, and just more thoroughly thought out decisions when choosing someone to spend significant amounts of life with.

The Bottom Line
============
My opponent is right, not allowing gay marriage is flawed. But my opponent is also wrong, legal marriage, in itself, is inherently flawed. My opponent offers a better alternative than the status quo but his alternative is still harmful to society. I offer an alternative that alleviates the harms my opponents presents and simultaneously solves the harms of his advocacy.

Having said all of this, I hope this is a great debate round. Enjoy!
Debate Round No. 1
JustCallMeTarzan

Pro

My opponent's position, while interesting, doesn't actually fall under the terms of the debate. We are not figuring out what the best way to preserve equality is - we are arguing about whether or not a specific set of laws is unconstitutional and should be changed.

I believe part of his position stems from a misunderstanding of the strict scrutiny standard. The SS standard does not apply to the institution of marriage itself, but rather the laws that govern regulations on that institution. So instead of asking whether or not a law is compellingly related to marriage, one must ask what the desired end is to be achieved by a certain set of laws, and whether or not that end is compelling.

My opponent has mistaken the negation of he resolution as "Marriage should not be legal in the United States." Obviously, the proper negation of the resolution is "Gay marriage should not be legal in the United States."

Another small problem exists with my opponent's position... since the formal institution of marriage is not codified in federal law, it cannot be abolished at the federal level. Restrictions on the state-created institution can be made at the federal level, however. Plus, all laws concerning marital benefits, legality of church marriages, etc... would have to be changed at the federal level...

In short, my opponent's position is not salient, as it is ridiculously unfeasible. We may as well say that we will grant gay marriage, but on if it takes place on the third Tuesday after the second vernal equinox that is not in a leap year, but only if it is also a new moon.

So as far as the resolution is concerned, my opponent has conceded ("My opponent is right, not allowing gay marriage is flawed.").

*************************************************************

However, my opponent does bring up a couple interesting points...

>> "But just legalizing gay marriage still excludes people. What of the trans gender society? What of people who are not born with a discernible genders? Or the people who have traits from multiple genders?"

The correction of law to allow gay marriage would be necessarily done as a freedom to choose one's partner, regardless of gender. The trans- and ambiguously gendered would not be ostracized at all. In fact, a genderless selection pool would include them to a much greater extent.

>> "Dismantling legal marriage allows for an even playing field for all."

So does allowing partner selection that has nothing to do with gender...

>> "The Federal Government SHOULD NOT be allowed to mandate what a church ritual must contain."

Good call. But marriage the religious rite and marriage the legal institution are two different things.

>> "And to go back to my analogy, the gays don't have to join my club, they can make their own if they feel like it."

True, but the problem remains that members of your club get fancy benefits from the government - benefits people can't get if they make their own club. It's like if Mom only visits the no-girls-allowed clubhouse with cookies and refuses to give cookies to any other clubhouse....

******************************************************

In a closing note... Yraelz - you know perfectly well what the debate is about... stop beating around the bush.
Yraelz

Con

Yraelz forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
JustCallMeTarzan

Pro

>> "I don't know how I managed to miss that round, sorry Tarzan. Any interest in calling this a three round debate?"

I don't really have much choice, given that you haven't given an on-topic rebuttal yet :p
Yraelz

Con

Sad to say it but my opponent has made a few fatal flaws that will cost him this debate.

He begins his speech by saying that we are not arguing about how to preserve equality but rather about what laws are constitutional. I understand this and completely agree. He is arguing that Gay Marriage being legal is constitutional, I'm arguing it's not.

My opponent goes on to state that my position stems from a misunderstanding of the strict scrutiny law. In fact he goes on to say that it applies to not marriage as an institution but the laws that govern marriage. I completely agree, I understand strict scrutiny rather well and that's exactly what I'm arguing......

As a final point in this overview section my opponent argues that my case could not happen because federal law does not deal with marriage. Then he goes on to say, "Plus, all laws concerning marital benefits, legality of church marriages, etc... would have to be changed at the federal level..." I realize of these things which is why my case says:

"The alternative is that the federal and state governments will no longer have a hand in marriage what-so-ever and will discontinue to recognize marriages as a legal entity."

Notice two things. First I'm focusing solely on marriage as a legal entity not as an institution. Secondly I'm focusing on both the state and federal levels. This allows for the laws on the federal level concerning marital benefits etc to be thrown out on the federal level and for the states to play their own role on the state level. Yay.....

In short my case is pretty salient. And I have not conceded; while not allowing gay marriage is flawed under the current system so is allowing it simply because of the system.

So let's check out these contentions:
=========================

Contention 1: The Most Fair to all
======================
My opponent makes two responses onto this entire contention. Let's take a look at those:

"The correction of law to allow gay marriage would be necessarily done as a freedom to choose one's partner, regardless of gender. The trans- and ambiguously gendered would not be ostracized at all. In fact, a genderless selection pool would include them to a much greater extent."

and

"So does allowing partner selection that has nothing to do with gender..."

My response to the first argument... LOLOLOL There is absolutely no way that you're changing the resolution that easily. My opponents positions is quite clearly: Gay marriage should be legal in the united states. That is the position he is constitutionally advocating for. There is absolutely no mention in that sentence of anything to do with transgender or other marriages. What my opponent would like to do is switch the resolution it's current state to something to the affect of: Freedom to a marriage of ones choice should be legal in the United States. Or perhaps: Transgender, Gay, and ambigously gendered marriage should be legal in the United States.

These are doubtlessly not what the resolution says. If my opponent can just change the resolution at his will there is absolutely nothing I can do to win this debate. He would always just be able to change it in order to avoid my arguments. Don't let him do this.

Having said that his plan suffers from all of the things that he argues against in the first speech. He says gay marriage should be legal because otherwise people would be unfairly excluded and it would not meet the scrutiny standard. This rational is exactly why he will lose this debate. Having straight and gay marriage unfairly excludes people in much the same way. My argument is that gay marriage is UNCONSTITUTIONAL in exactly the same way that straight marriage is. This means that I negate the resolution by saying that no part of the United States should uphold legal marriage. I'm saying that laws in the United States regarding marriage should be abolished. The institution can stay on the church level. But the laws get abolished. This means that nobody gets unfair benefits and that everyone is equal. EVERYONE. People of course could still draft legal contracts but those are also gender neutral. =) Sweet.

In response to the second argument. My opponents case does not allow for partner selection that has nothing to do with gender. It allows for partner selection between gay and straight people nothing else. This means it's not as equal as just abolishing marriage laws. However, even if my opponents case allowed for completely gender neutral marriages it still wouldn't be a better idea than simply abolishing the laws. If you'll recall I have an entire contention on how "marriage" is a church creation and that would unfairly fringe upon their religion.

Contention 2: Religious, Religions, and God
=============================
My opponent makes two arguments,

"Good call. But marriage the religious rite and marriage the legal institution are two different things."

"True, but the problem remains that members of your club get fancy benefits from the government - benefits people can't get if they make their own club. It's like if Mom only visits the no-girls-allowed clubhouse with cookies and refuses to give cookies to any other clubhouse...."

To the first argument. I realize that they are two different things. My case abolishes the marriage legal institution while leaving the marriage religious rite in tact. My only argument here is that the legal institution emerged and was based off of the marriage religious rite. This means that the United States government has taken a religious institution, turned it into a legal one in part and is now attempting to change it under my opponents case. This is devastating for religious people because it's doing the exact opposite of what their doctrine says. My argument therefor is that if we simply abolish marriage as a legal institution we can avoid the entire fiasco. There won't be protests and nobody's religion is being infringed upon by the government, everyone wins.

To the second argument. Here's where we see the real problem with this debate. My opponent misunderstands my case. In a world where marriage as a legal institution is abolished there are no longer perks to being married. Marriage simply defaults to a religious ceremony for those who care to. But people who are married would no longer receive any benefit over those who are not. This means mommy isn't giving cookies to just one club house.

Contention 4: Finish Him
================
My opponent wants to examine this debate in a legal way. He introduced the strict scrutiny standard to decide if not allowing gay marriage is constitutional. Under our current system, it is not. However what my opponent failed to do was apply the strict scrutiny standard to the world in which gay marriage is allowed.

My opponent assumes that there are only two alternatives, either have gay marriage or not. If this was the case then the strict scrutiny standard would apply. However there are quite a number of alternatives thus it fails.

Neither gay nor straight marriage concerns a compelling government interest. Equality does concern a compelling government interest. The best way to achieve it is by abolishing legal marriage. Extend my entire second and third contentions here. Gay marriage hurts religion and marriage in general hurts society. These are compelling government interests against allowing marriage in the United States.

Additionally neither gay nor straight marriage laws are narrowly tailored or are the least restrictive means to a goal. The best way to achieve both of these prongs of the strict scrutiny standard is by abolishing marriage as a legal institute.

For these reasons gay marriage is just as unconstitutional as straight marriage and should be rejected under the strict scrutiny standard.

***********************
Closing note: Yeah I do know, and I'm definitely not. Check the literature. ^.^
Debate Round No. 3
JustCallMeTarzan

Pro

In order to make his argument salient, Yraelz must show that marriage is unconstitutional. Unfortunately, the only grounds he posits - that it imposes a legal structure on a religious institution. There are several problems with this position.

1) He never states what the imposition actually is.
2) Legal marriage is based on procreation, paternity, child/spousal support, familial stability, & survivor's rights (http://www.usconstitution.net...)
3) None of these issues actually fringe upon religious practices.
4) Religious marriage is certainly possible sans marriage licenses.
5) It is religion that has co-opted civil marriage by requiring marriage licenses to obtain religious marriage - not the other way around.

My opponent has argued that civil marriage is unconstitutional on the grounds that it violates one's first amendment right to religious exercise. The First Amendment reads, in relevant part: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" (http://www.usconstitution.net...). In order to make his position salient, my opponent must show how civil marriage impedes one's religious exercise.

In order to do so, he must satisfy the prongs of the Sherbet Test from Sherbert v. Verner (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com...). The test prongs are:

1) The religious belief must be sincere.
2) Government action must place a substantial burden upon that belief.

If these are met, then the government must show:

1) Compelling state interest.
2) That it has pursued the interest in the least restrictive means possible.

Unfortunately, due to my opponent's forfeit, I cannot respond if he makes a case for a sincere and substantially burdened religious belief. However, it is difficult to imagine how the existence of civil marriage burdens anyone's religious beliefs. Furthermore, in the case of gay marriage, it is completely impossible that two gay persons getting married burdens anyone else's right to religious exercise. Nothing about Joe and Bob tying the knot makes it harder for Bill and Susie to pray, does it?

Oh... and by my opponent's argument, if thee is a sincere religious belief that gay marriage is an acceptable religious institution, prohibition on gay marriage would infringe upon the free exercise clause, which would satisfy the resolution.

I have shown above that there are several compelling state interests (procreation, paternity, child/spousal support, familial stability, & survivor's rights) that civil marriage addresses. An additional one to consider is the public's desire for the institution - so the government has specific duties and protections it confers upon people. In fact, these are helpfully enumerated in the supreme court case Goodridge v. Department of Public Health (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com...). It states... "The benefits accessible only by way of a marriage license are enormous, touching nearly every aspect of life and death..." It goes on to list two pages of non-religious civil benefits and duties of marriage.

Thus, with the constitutionality of marriage itself clear, we can actually turn to the topic at hand.

My opponent makes several contentions about the legality of gay marriage. Unfortunately, most of them have now been exposed as erroneous. However, they are:

1) However what my opponent failed to do was apply the strict scrutiny standard to the world in which gay marriage is allowed.

The strict scrutiny standard does not apply to civil marriage's constitutionality. Marriageable people do not constitute a suspect class, and as I have shown above, civil marriage does not infringe a constitutional right.

2) My opponent assumes that there are only two alternatives, either have gay marriage or not. If this was the case then the strict scrutiny standard would apply. However there are quite a number of alternatives thus it fails.

My opponent has identified only one alternative - abolish marriage. I have undermined his grounds for doing so, and this his position remains unsalient. I should add that things like civil unions for gays present a textbook separate-but-equal challenge.

3) Neither gay nor straight marriage concerns a compelling government interest. Equality does concern a compelling government interest.

This statement is self-refuting. The crux of the issue surrounding gay marriage IS EQUALITY. And as I have shown above, and as the court has stated in Goodridge, there are a plethora of compelling government interests.

4) Gay marriage hurts religion and marriage in general hurts society. These are compelling government interests against allowing marriage in the United States.

Actually, only the second one would be compelling if it was true. The contention that gay marriage hurts religion is immaterial - lots of laws hurt religion. Take Yoder, Sherbert, Roe, Gobitis... all these supreme court cases deal with the supremacy of law over religious concerns - cases where something "hurts" religion. Too bad - equality is more important than the free exercise of religion. Ask yourself if religion should be exercised in a discriminatory way? Should laws protect slavery if it's a religious practice? The statement that marriage hurts society is an interesting contention - one that does not seem to be backed by the legal benefits, privileges, and duties espoused in Goodridge, or by society's desire for the institution itself. In short - this is an unsubstantiated claim.

4) Neither gay nor straight marriage laws are narrowly tailored or are the least restrictive means to a goal.

When the goal IS civil marriage, it's hard to see how you can have a less restrictive means to the goal than codifying... civil marriage. My opponent's aside concerning transgendered and non-gendered persons is kind of moot, because the rectification of prohibitions on gay marriage would either remove the same prohibitions for these individuals, or provide the legal basis for doing the same. And in order to hold that marriage is not the least restrictive means to a goal, my opponent must provide an example of a less restrictive system that secures all of the benefits mentioned in Goodridge. All two pages of them.

************************************************************************

Readers, I have shown that civil marriage itself is constitutional, and I have contended that prohibitions on gay marriage can be considered under the strict scrutiny standard on three different fronts. My opponent has simply contended that we should abolish all marriage, even though I have shown this position to be highly unlikely, and also that the grounds for his dismissal is unwarranted.

My opponent has not offered a legal argument against my actual contentions. Unfortunately, due to his forfeit, we can't really debate the issue at length, which raises a sticky situation for what points Yraelz can address in the final round - i.e. no brand new contentions. He must either show the unconstitutionality of civil marriage or rebut the notions that homosexuals are a suspect class, moral reprobation of homosexuality can be a violation of equal protection, and that marriage is a fundamental right.

AFFIRMED.
Yraelz

Con

Onto the final round.

I feel like there were some really bad choices made by my opponent in his last round. Let's examine those.

My opponents spends his first paragraph arguing that I must prove marriage unconstitutional. He additionally states that the only attempt I've made to argue such is through saying that legal marriage infringes upon legal rights.... Unfortunately for him that's not true....

"neither gay nor straight marriage laws are narrowly tailored or are the least restrictive means to a goal"

"Neither gay nor straight marriage concerns a compelling government interest."

"marriage in general hurts society." (second and third contentions)

"Gay marriage hurts religion"

I count... ummm.... 4.

Next my opponent launches into a five point attack on why I have lost my case, let's examine those points now.
"1) He never states what the imposition actually is."
>>Please re-read my last speech, the last three paragraphs summarize. Also see above argument.

"2) Legal marriage is based on procreation, paternity, child/spousal support, familial stability, & survivor's rights (http://www.usconstitution.net......)"
>> Please read the source my opponent has produced. My argument is that the government took religious marriage. Here is the third line of my opponent's source: "Because this religious rite had so many secular benefits, it became recognized by the secular world, and became subject to governmental definition and regulation." Adopted by government.

"3) None of these issues actually fringe upon religious practices."
>>Once again not my argument. I'm saying that the government has unconstitutionally taken an idea created by religion. This is conceded by my opponent through his source.

"4) Religious marriage is certainly possible sans marriage licenses."
>>Yes... I don't know how this applies...

"5) It is religion that has co-opted civil marriage by requiring marriage licenses to obtain religious marriage - not the other way around."
>>Once again yes, but this only proves my point. Religion wants to hold onto an institution that is there's.

Next my opponent makes an argument on how the only way which I can prove a law unconstitutional is via the Sherbet Test. While I respect his knowledge of legal issues this simply isn't the case. If the only way the supreme court could ever make a ruling was by using precedents already set then the supreme court would never have made a decision. The supreme court regularly passes laws that would be mutually exclusive in practice. My argument is that it would be completely plausible for the supreme court to rule against legal marriage.

However, my opponent faces a dire problem here. Even if you as a judge or reader feels that I must uphold the Sherbet Test my opponent will still lose this debate. He argues that the strict scrutiny standard does not apply because he has already proved marriage as constitutional:

"The strict scrutiny standard does not apply to civil marriage's constitutionality. Marriageable people do not constitute a suspect class, and as I have shown above, civil marriage does not infringe a constitutional right."

That would be a really sweet argument, but only if it was indeed true that my only argument against marriage was the anti-religious contention. Unfortunately for my opponent I also made three other arguments. One of those arguments was that straight marriage and gay marriage both infringe upon the rights of transgender and non-gender peoples. Those people are a SUSPECT CLASS. This means that abolition of marriage under my logic AND my opponents logic can be evaluated via the strict scrutiny standard. This is problematic for my opponent.....

I have all three planks of the strict scrutiny standard in my favor.

1. Compelling interest. My opponent makes an argument by citing a supreme court case. I believe that marriage can have the benefits my opponent cites. However, my opponent also concedes the two contentions I leverage against marriage. Not only does he agree that there is a marriage stigma in the U.S. but his case also allows for the disenfranchisement of transgender and the genderless. This is simply devastating for my opponent. While there are benefits of marriage those same benefits can be had through civil unions and simple contracts. "procreation, paternity, child/spousal support, familial stability, & survivor's rights", can all happen without marriage inside of civil unions and legal contracts. Additionally civil unions and legal contracts don't face the downfalls of marriage, they don't discriminate against groups of people, and they don't hurt the church in any ways. Abolishing legal marriage is the only things that completely upholds equality and is completely constitutional.

Also on this point my opponent argues that civil unions present a separate but equal problem for gays. If that were true then gay marriage would present the same problem. Additionally even if my opponent were right the lack of equality for the trans gender community with marriage would outweigh the separate but equal problem with civil unions. Finally my opponent never bothers to explain why this would be the case so I'm really just going to say, "no it wouldn't."

P.s. My opponent saying that marriage has all the great benefits is part of the marriage stigma I'm talking about. My entire contention takes his argument into consideration.

2. Narrowly tailored or the least restrictive means to a goal. My opponent starts the argument here with this: "When the goal IS civil marriage," That would be true except for the fact that the goal in this case is for equality not civil marriage. Which means that forcing civil marriage to grant equality is more restrictive. Additionally though even if the goal was for the benefits of civil marriage those same benefits could be less restrictively found via civil unions or simple contracts. Next my opponent argues that, I "must provide an example of a less restrictive system that secures all of the benefits mentioned in Goodridge. All two pages of them." This is once again a great example of the marriage stigma argument which I have already made. The fact that my opponent dropped the entire argument means that this mindset towards marriage is harmful and often untrue. But finally, I do reach the same benefits through the less restrictive system such as civil unions and contracts already in place outside of marriages.

Finish Him
============
The only way feasibly that my opponent could win this debate round would be to prove that allowing gay marriage would fix the transgender and non-gendered problems. Without proving this the fact remains that the transgender community is a suspect class and that we would have a compelling reason to reject marriage based on constitutionality. My opponent argues two things:

1. "the rectification of prohibitions on gay marriage would either remove the same prohibitions for these individuals"
>> First my opponent never explains how this happens. Second I gave an entire two paragraphs against this idea which he never refuted. Third this idea is completely false, the resolution states gay marriage not transgender and non-gendered marriage.

2. "or provide the legal basis for doing the same"
>> First, once again not explained. Second, this doesn't fix the problem. This would be like Ab Lincoln saying that we should allow African American men to vote because it paves the way for African American women to vote later. This is a bad idea if there is another means which would allow them to both vote right now. In this case my opponent is saying that we should allow Gays the right to marry and maybe it will help transgenders later. This is a bad idea because we can solve the entire problem NOW! Abolish legal marriage NOW!

Considering this contention alone there is no way my opponent could win the debate round. Vote to abolish.
Debate Round No. 4
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 7 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
Yeah... bleh.
Posted by Yraelz 7 years ago
Yraelz
I don't think this debate ever showed up on the voting page unfortunately....
Posted by Yraelz 7 years ago
Yraelz
Thanks! I'll respond tonight!
Posted by Yraelz 7 years ago
Yraelz
I don't know how I managed to miss that round, sorry Tarzan. Any interest in calling this a three round debate?
Posted by Yraelz 7 years ago
Yraelz
Lawl, funny rebuttal!
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 7 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
Yeah... nobody seems to actually want to address the legal side of it... I wonder why...
Posted by InquireTruth 7 years ago
InquireTruth
Looks familiar.
Posted by Yraelz 7 years ago
Yraelz
Hahaha! Oh yeahz, I've been needing to create this position for a while now. ~.^
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 7 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
um... allowed? Legal is pretty clear - two homosexuals should be able to go to the courthouse, get a license and be married by a judge.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
Define legal.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by JustCallMeTarzan 7 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
JustCallMeTarzanYraelzTied
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Total points awarded:30