The Instigator
atheistman
Pro (for)
Losing
18 Points
The Contender
Chrysippus
Con (against)
Winning
29 Points

Gay Marriage Should be Legalized

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
Chrysippus
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/28/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 15,855 times Debate No: 9358
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (12)
Votes (8)

 

atheistman

Pro

Same-Sex Marriage should be legalized in every state because there is no reason for it to be illegal, as it doesn't hurt anyone. It is also a right given from the fourteenth amendment: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
Chrysippus

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for this debate, and for being willing to reason over what is often an emotionally charged topic.

As this round seems to be confined to opening statements, I would like to summarize briefly:
1) My opponent is arguing Affirmative that "Same-Sex Marriage should be legalized in every state because there is no reason for it to be illegal, as it doesn't hurt anyone" along with a supplementary proposition of the same being a right protected by the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution.

I would like to offer some definitions:

Same-Sex Marriage: "the practice of marriage between two males or two females." http://www.britannica.com...

Marriage: "a legally and socially sanctioned union, usually between a man and a woman, that is regulated by laws, rules, customs, beliefs, and attitudes that prescribe the rights and duties of the partners and accords status to their offspring (if any)." http://www.britannica.com...

For the following, I am using the legal definitions, as found in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary.

Privilege: "a right or immunity granted as a peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor." http://www.merriam-webster.com...

Right: "2 : something to which one has a just claim: as a : the power or privilege to which one is justly entitled " http://www.merriam-webster.com...

and, just for formality, as found on the Cornell University Law school page, the Fourteenth Amendment: http://www.law.cornell.edu...

I shall be arguing the Converse to his contention, namely: 1)"Same-Sex Marriage should not be legalized in any state, because there is a good reason to not make it legal, as it hurts people;" and 2)"The Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution gives no protection to supposed right."

I am unsure as to whether my opponent wishes his contentions to stand together, or separately; unless he clarifies this, I am assuming that I only have to cast doubt on one of his contentions.

I shall try to avoid splitting semantic hairs, even though it is great fun in a casual argument, and give a serious answer to all of my opponent's arguments. I await his opening arguments with anticipation.
Debate Round No. 1
atheistman

Pro

I would like my contentions to stand together. The burden of proof is on you to prove that same-sex marriage hurts people and that it is not a guaranteed right from the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Chrysippus

Con

I would like to remind my opponent that he has not yet argued in favor of his proposition, and that the burden of proof is on him for:
a) Making a universal statement in his main proposition. "(Same-Sex Marriage) doesn't hurt anyone;"
b) Propounding a change from the status quo; as Same-Sex Marriage is currently illegal in most states, and he declares it should by right be legal in all;
and:
c) Stating categorically that the Fourteenth Amendment (to the US Constitution) grants a right to Same-Sex Marriage.

I would like to point out also that for (a) to be true, there cannot be even ONE case, in all of history, that marriage between individuals of the same gender caused no harm to anyone. I ask my opponent how he intends to defend a universal negative?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Refutation
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My opponent's first contention:

"Same-Sex Marriage should be legalized in every state because there is no reason for it to be illegal, as it doesn't hurt anyone."

His syllogism, as I construct it, is as follows:

Same-Sex Marriage is a thing that does not hurt anyone
All things that do not hurt anyone are things that should be legal
Therefore, Same-Sex Marriage should be legal.

This is, I believe, a fair rendering of his statement into logical form. His second premise is implied in his sentence.

I will remind the voters and those reading that my opponent did not clarify anything in his second round; and left me, as it were, to my own devices. If I am treating his contentions unfairly, I apologize in advance; and ask that his third round argument set me straight where I have wandered from his meaning.

----------------

Taking this one piece at a time: "...doesn't hurt anyone."

I contend that Same-Sex Marriage may hurt people.

Same-Sex Marriage involves homosexual activity.

As per my sources, homosexual activity carries with it a higher risk of AIDS/HIV than heterosexual activity:
http://www.nytimes.com...
http://online.wsj.com...
http://news.bbc.co.uk...

My syllogisms:

Same-Sex Marriage involves homosexual activity,
Homosexual activity carries a comparatively high risk of AIDS/HIV,
Therefore Same-Sex Marriage carries a comparatively high risk of AIDS/HIV.

Same-Sex Marriage may give people AIDS/HIV,*
AIDS/HIV is harmful (e.g. "hurts people");
Therefore, Same-Sex Marriage may harm people.

*(as in, "carries a comparatively high risk of AIDS/HIV")

I contend that Same-Sex Marriage may harm people, and thus the universal negative "Same-Sex Marriage...doesn't hurt anyone" may be false.

Further, I contend that to verify a universal negative, which this preposition is, one must have universal knowledge of the subject. This is impossible in such a broad, subjective subject; if there was even one Same-Sex Marriage in all of history that caused "hurt" to anyone, this preposition is false, and negates my opponent's argument.

----------------

A brief look at: "All things that do not hurt anyone are things that should be legal"
Again, quote from my interpretation of his reasoning.
His actual words: "Same-Sex Marriage should be legalized in every state because there is no reason for it to be illegal, as it doesn't hurt anyone."

So, he says:
Same-Sex Marriage should be legal, because there is no reason for it not to be legal.
There is no reason for it not to be legal, because it does not hurt anyone.

I would challenge this statement, and provide an impossibly vague definition for "hurt;" however, I am not here to fight with semantics. As so far I have provided all the definitions used in this debate, I challenge my opponent to provide a definition for "hurt" that will clarify his ambiguous statement.

----------------

My opponent's second contention:
Same-Sex Marriage is a right protected by the Fourteenth Amendment (to the US Constitution).

The text of the Fourteenth Amendment (to the US Constitution):
Amendment XIV

"Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

As found here: http://www.law.cornell.edu......

The issue boils down to those important words in the first Section: "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States..."

We have already defined a privilege as: "a right or immunity granted as a peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor."
http://www.merriam-webster.com......

This section is concerned with the states making laws infringing on the rights peculiar to American citizens. There are rights spelled out in the first ten Amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights, which pertain to all American citizens; but as the Tenth Amendment provides: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people." http://www.law.cornell.edu...

Thus, in areas that the US Constitution leaves open, the states and local governments may limit the rights of their citizens. Examples of these limitations would be gun control laws, traffic regulations, safety regulations, waste water controls, littering prohibitions, and so on.

Also included in this would be the issue of Same-Sex Marriage; hence the recent rush of State Legislatures to debate enacting laws concerning Same-Sex Marriage.

The Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution in its first Section forbids the States from making laws that deny the rights basic to US citizenship; it does not guarantee a blank slate of freedom from law. If it did there could be no state-made law, and my opponent's contention would fail, as he requires that "Same-Sex Marriage should be legalized in every state..."

Whether the right to Same-Sex Marriage is guaranteed in the first ten amendments is a separate debate; I only need prove that the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution does not give the right to Same-Sex Marriage for my contention to stand.

I contend the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution leaves the issue of Same-Sex Marriage to be decided by the States; and thus does not protect this proposed "right."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To summarize:
1) Same Sex Marriage carries a high risk of AIDS/HIV, and thus my be reasonably supposed to hurt people;
2) My opponent's argument contains unverifiable universal negatives, and thus is invalid;
3) The Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution leaves the issue of Same-Sex Marriage to be decided by the States; and thus does not protect this proposed "right."

I hold that my contentions stand as stated.

Again, I thank my opponent for this thought-provoking debate; I have enjoyed the exercise in logic so far, and look forward to reading his arguments.
Debate Round No. 2
atheistman

Pro

I'd like to thank my opponent for his relatively quick response. You claim I have the burden of proof for a few things, so here it is:

a) Same-Sex marriage does not hurt anyone, because a marriage ceremony does not hurt anyone physically, or psychologically.
b) Change the status-quo by making a federal law stating that no place which performs marriages can discriminate against homosexuals.
c) The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution grants equal rights to all citizens of the United States of America. It was created to stop segregation, 'Black Codes,' and other laws from discriminating against minorities. If no state is allowed to make discriminating laws against minorities, then that should also apply to sexual orientation.

My opponent goes on to claim same-sex marriage can hurt people, but confuses same-sex marriage with homosexual intercourse.

'Same-Sex Marriage involves homosexual activity'

A marriage ceremony and a legal document do not involve homosexual intercourse, and married homosexuals may even chose not to engage in homosexual intercourse. Also, homosexuals can engage in homosexual intercourse without getting married.

'Homosexual activity carries a comparatively high risk of AIDS/HIV'

Though homosexual intercourse has a higher risk, heterosexual intercourse also has a risk. The risk of HIV/AIDS can be reduced by using protection, and it is the partners' choice to take the risk of getting an STD, but that is beside the point because homosexual intercourse is not the same thing as same-sex marriage.

'I contend that to verify a universal negative, which this preposition is, one must have universal knowledge of the subject. This is impossible in such a broad, subjective subject; there was even one Same-Sex Marriage in all of history that caused "hurt" to anyone, this preposition is false, and negates my opponent's argument.'

It may not be possible to examine every same-sex marriage in history, but it is common sense that a marriage ceremony does not physically, or psychologically hurt anyone.

'I would challenge this statement, and provide an impossibly vague definition for "hurt;" however, I am not here to fight with semantics. As so far I have provided all the definitions used in this debate, I challenge my opponent to provide a definition for "hurt" that will clarify his ambiguous statement.'

The rights the Fourteenth Amendment protects are 'life, liberty, and property.' A marriage ceremony obviously does not hurt anyone's life, liberty or property, and legalization would actually increase one of those: Liberty.

'Thus, in areas that the US Constitution leaves open, the states and local governments may limit the rights of their citizens. Examples of these limitations would be gun control laws, traffic regulations, safety regulations, waste water controls, littering prohibitions, and so on.'

It is true that individual states can make limit some things, but a state cannot decide to discriminate african-americans from voting. The basic freedoms such as freedom from being discriminated based on race/religion/gender etc. are enforced in all states, and can not be restricted by individual states. Discriminating based on sexual orientation would also apply, so that would have to be a federally enforced law.

To summarize:
1) Same Sex Marriage is not the same thing as homosexual intercourse. While homosexual intercourse does carry a risk of STDs, so does heterosexual intercourse, so it is up to the consenting partners to take the risk.
2) My opponent's arguments contain fallacies.
3) The Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution prohibits discriminating based on race/religion/gender/and sexual orientation in all states.

I would also like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate, as it it 'thought-provoking.'
Chrysippus

Con

I regret that my worthy opponent waived the opportunity to post arguments in favor of his contentions in the first two rounds. This late in the debate, it is difficult to have any real discussion if only one side has argued in favor of its contentions. Most debates on this site, from the many I've read, seem to have BOTH parties posting arguments in the first or at latest second rounds.

In my second response, I asked him to provide proof for his statements, as the burden of proof does fall on him in certain areas (as listed in my post). He lists three points, corresponding to the areas; but they are restatements of his contention, rather than proof of anything. c) is the closest he has gotten yet to an argument supporting his contentions; but no proof has been offered. He refers us to the Fourteenth Amendment; he does not explain why it supports his contentions.

To deal with his first three points, in order:
a) "Same-Sex marriage does not hurt anyone, because a marriage ceremony does not hurt anyone physically, or psychologically."

-See the definition of Marriage, as posted earlier. We are not talking merely about the ceremony; Marriage as defined for this debate refers to the union "regulated by laws, rules, customs, beliefs, and attitudes that prescribe the rights and duties of the partners." The ceremony is not the only thing being discussed here, obviously. If he had wished to discuss the ceremony, he had ample time to clarify this in his first two rounds. He did not do so, and cannot fairly do so at this point in the debate. My opponent has introduced a straw man; and has still failed to provide any proof that Same-Sex marriage does not hurt anyone.

b) "Change the status-quo by making a federal law stating that no place which performs marriages can discriminate against homosexuals."

-Why? My opponent, on the third round, has yet to offer a reason to change the current state of the law. He has neither offered any benefits of Same-Sex marriage, nor has he offered reasons for his claim that all things not harmful should be legal. His point is not backed up by anything said so far.

Also, as many wedding take place in churches, and many churches beliefs still forbid homosexuality (and Same-Sex marriage by extension), to require them to violate their closely held and sacred beliefs would constitute a interference with the exercise of religion. Such a law would violate the First Amendment to the US Constitution:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"
http://www.law.cornell.edu...

c) "The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution grants equal rights to all citizens of the United States of America. It was created to stop segregation, 'Black Codes,' and other laws from discriminating against minorities."

I disagree. The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees, not grants, equality for all US citizens in the privileges granted them by the US Constitution and its Amendments. It grants one right that I can find:
"...Nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

By this, we all have the right not to be killed by the state, thrown in jail by the state, or have our property seized by the state; except if it is done according to the legal procedure for doing so. Examples of these procedures: Death Row, the various state judicial systems, and eminent domain. For a complete explanation of this right, (albeit very technical):
http://www.law.cornell.edu...

But it is not, and cannot imply, a right to marry, regardless of "sexual orientation"

Continue: "If no state is allowed to make discriminating laws against minorities, then that should also apply to sexual orientation."

Question: Why should people with a "sexual orientation" be considered a minority? As far as I am aware, everyone has a "sexual orientation;" I need a reason to grant a label, but my opponent does not give any reasons for this point. Why should it apply? Reasons?

------------

So, in his first three points, my opponent has:
~Re-defined the terms we were using,
~Introduced the straw man that he proceeds to bash throughout the remainder of his statements,
~Misinterpreted the Fourteenth Amendment
~ And offered yet more statements unsupported by any source, or even by rational argument. If he has such backing, he needs to provide it; as it stands, these points are inadequate.

~~~~~~~~
Refutation:

"My opponent goes on to claim same-sex marriage can hurt people, but confuses same-sex marriage with homosexual intercourse."

There is no confusion in my mind on this point. I understand one is not necessarily the same as the other.

"A marriage ceremony and a legal document do not involve homosexual intercourse, and married homosexuals may even chose not to engage in homosexual intercourse. Also, homosexuals can engage in homosexual intercourse without getting married."

Here is the straw man again. We are not discussing the ceremony solely, but also the marriage proceeding from and continuing after the ceremony. We are also not arguing whether or not some Same-Sex marriages remain celibate, nor the extramarital proclivities of the participants; we are only arguing whether or not Same-Sex marriages can hurt anyone.

"Though homosexual intercourse has a higher risk..."

I thank my opponent for conceding the point that "homosexual intercourse," and therefore the marriages that contain same, have a risk for harm. Same-Sex Marriages can hurt people, and thus my contention is sustained.

"...Heterosexual intercourse also has a risk."

Granted, but irrelevant. The argument was not in any way about the possible dangers of heterosexual relationships.

For lack of space, I will not address the remainder of his paragraph, as he declares it to be irrelevant.

"It may not be possible to examine every same-sex marriage in history, but it is common sense that a marriage ceremony does not physically, or psychologically hurt anyone."

This is irrelevant, as we are not merely discussing the ceremony, but the whole marriage. His universal negative remains unproven.

"The rights the Fourteenth Amendment protects are 'life, liberty, and property.' A marriage ceremony obviously does not hurt anyone's life, liberty or property, and legalization would actually increase one of those: Liberty."

His point is irrelevant to our debate. As I demonstrated above, this clause in the Fourteenth Amendment has nothing to do with marriage. Also, we are not merely discussing the ceremony, but the whole marriage.

"It is true that individual states can make limit some things, but a state cannot decide to discriminate african-americans from voting. The basic freedoms such as freedom from being discriminated based on race/religion/gender etc. are enforced in all states, and cannot be restricted by individual states. Discriminating based on sexual orientation would also apply, so that would have to be a federally enforced law."

Again, why? I have discussed this already, earlier in this response, and refer my opponent to my argument there.

I have dealt with all of his summary already, except one point: 2) "My opponent's arguments contain fallacies."
Will my opponent please point these out and explain why each is fallacious, perhaps in the comments section? I want to learn from this debate. I place a very high value on correct logic, and am sincerely grateful for anyone who will take the time to check mine.

~~~~

I extend all my arguments, as they have not been adequately refuted, into the next round.

I thank my opponent for posting this debate, and await his last response.
Debate Round No. 3
atheistman

Pro

I'd like to thank my opponent for his quick response.

I figured the burden of proof was on you to prove why gay marriage shouldn't be legalized, but if you want me to explain my reasons for it to be legalized then I will. The reason I think it should be legalized is because I see no reason why it shouldn't be, I see it as an unnecessary law restricting the freedom of minorities. I see no reason why minorities shouldn't have the same rights as the majority.

'My opponent has introduced a straw man; and has still failed to provide any proof that Same-Sex marriage does not hurt anyone.'

A homosexual marriage itself, beginning with the ceremony, legal document, and continuing throughout the marriage, does not hurt anyone's life, liberty, or property anymore than a heterosexual marriage. I don't see how I can prove this to you without common sense, so the burden of proof is on you to try and prove it wrong.

'Why? My opponent, on the third round, has yet to offer a reason to change the current state of the law. He has neither offered any benefits of Same-Sex marriage, nor has he offered reasons for his claim that all things not harmful should be legal. His point is not backed up by anything said so far'

You haven't proven why there is any reason not to change the status-quo, since you accepted this debate, the burden of proof is on you to try to prove my claims wrong.

'Also, as many wedding take place in churches, and many churches beliefs still forbid homosexuality (and Same-Sex marriage by extension), to require them to violate their closely held and sacred beliefs would constitute a interference with the exercise of religion. Such a law would violate the First Amendment to the US Constitution.'

It would not violate the First Amendment, because same-sex marriage does not limit the practice of religion, it just ends an unfair practice done by churches: discrimination. Burning women the church felt practiced witchcraft use to be a practice by the church. Putting adulterers or non-virgins to death use to be a practice by the church. But traditions change. Giving equal rights to everyone and ending discrimination is a more important than sticking to the words of a 2000 year old outdated book.

'The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees, not grants, equality for all US citizens in the privileges granted them by the US Constitution and its Amendments. It grants one right that I can find:
"...Nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.'

The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees equal rights, and 'liberty' from discrimination. This amendment mainly deals with discrimination, which should also include ending discrimination of homosexuals.

'But it is not, and cannot imply, a right to marry, regardless of "sexual orientation"'

Why not? After all, that amendment was intended to end discriminatory laws against minorities.

'Why should people with a "sexual orientation" be considered a minority? As far as I am aware, everyone has a "sexual orientation;" I need a reason to grant a label, but my opponent does not give any reasons for this point. Why should it apply? Reasons?'

I'm sorry, but this made me laugh. I wasn't referring to people WITH a sexual orientation, I was referring to discrimination BASED ON sexual orientation.

So, in his three points, my opponent has:
~Asked for proof when the burden of proof was on him
~Claimed a perfectly valid argument was a 'straw man'
~Misinterpreted the Fourteenth Amendment
~Made an embarrassing error involving 'sexual orientation'

'There is no confusion in my mind on this point. I understand one is not necessarily the same as the other.'

So why argue it?

'Here is the straw man again. We are not discussing the ceremony solely, but also the marriage proceeding from and continuing after the ceremony. We are also not arguing whether or not some Same-Sex marriages remain celibate, nor the extramarital proclivities of the participants; we are only arguing whether or not Same-Sex marriages can hurt anyone.'

What my opponent claims to be a straw man, is that - essential what a marriage is - a ceremony and a legal argument doesn't hurt anyone, when he has failed to provide proof that it can hurt people.

'I thank my opponent for conceding the point that "homosexual intercourse," and therefore the marriages that contain same, have a risk for harm. Same-Sex Marriages can hurt people, and thus my contention is sustained.'

That point wasn't part of my actual argument for gay marriage, it was just a statement refuting yours about the STD risk of homosexual intercourse. Again, marriage does not mean homosexual intercourse, as homosexuals can have intercourse without marriage and vice versa.

'Granted, but irrelevant. The argument was not in any way about the possible dangers of heterosexual relationships.'

Another statement that made me laugh. The reason I made that point was because I was stating that there is no reason for homosexual intercourse to be illegal and heterosexual intercourse not, if heterosexual intercourse also has a risk of STDs. But if this argument isn't about either relationships, then your point about STDs has no place either.

'This is irrelevant, as we are not merely discussing the ceremony, but the whole marriage. His universal negative remains unproven.'

Again, the marriage ceremony and legal document are basically all the legal marriage consists of.

'His point is irrelevant to our debate. As I demonstrated above, this clause in the Fourteenth Amendment has nothing to do with marriage.'

That is actually a lot less true than you might have realized. The Fourteenth Amendment was a key reason for the end of interracial marriages being illegal. If it applies to equal rights for marriage, then that applies to same-sex marriage too.

Your arguments contain the fallacies of:

Claiming the Fourteenth Amendment protects against all discrimination except homosexuality.
Claiming STD risk is a valid reason against marriage.
Claiming the states can make laws discriminating against minorities.
And the embarrassing mistakes you've made such as the 'sexual orientation' one, and the one comparing homosexual and heterosexual relationships.

I'd like to thank my opponent again, for this debate.

And voters, I urge you, if you believe in equal rights and that "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States." as guaranteed by our Fourteenth Amendment, VOTE PRO.
Chrysippus

Con

Thanking my opponent for his swift response, I would like to remind the voters that my opponent stated the premise of this debate:
"Same-Sex Marriage should be legalized in every state because there is no reason for it to be illegal, as it doesn't hurt anyone. It is also a right given from the fourteenth amendment."

He had the burden of offering a clear, persuasive case for this, but never did so. He confined almost all of his remarks to attacking twisted versions of my arguments, and never gave a source or detailed argument for any of his contentions. It is not a question of what I "want," it is the point of the debate.
http://www.ddofans.com...
http://en.wikipedia.org...

It was never my responsibility to "prove why gay marriage shouldn't be legalized." For the purposes of the debate, my entire burden, as stated in my opening remarks, is to show that Same-Sex Marriage can hurt people and that the Fourteenth Amendment does not protect the supposed right to the same.
As he based his contention on the absolute statements "doesn't hurt anyone" and "is also a right given from the fourteenth amendment," and he stated in his first response: "I would like my contentions to stand together;" to negate his entire contention I merely have to prove one of these two absolute statements is not necessarily true in all cases.

I have done this for both.

To recap my refutations:

1:
Same-Sex Marriage involves homosexual activity,
Homosexual activity carries a comparatively high risk of AIDS/HIV,
Therefore Same-Sex Marriage carries a comparatively high risk of AIDS/HIV.

Same-Sex Marriage may give people AIDS/HIV,*
AIDS/HIV is harmful (e.g. "hurts people");
Therefore, Same-Sex Marriage may harm people.

*(as in, "carries a comparatively high risk of AIDS/HIV")

My opponent's remarks about the potential for STD's in heterosexual relationships are off topic, as are his speculations about protection and choice. Whether they choose a risk, whether it should be legal for them to choose that risk, and whether they were at risk before, all are not part of this debate. Only whether Same Sex Marriage can cause harm is relevant, and he completely ignores this.

He conceded that homosexual relationships carry a high risk of AIDS/HIV. It is only reasonable to assume that some Same-Sex marriages contain homosexual activity; therefore putting the members at risk from AIDS/HIV.
In other words, Same-Sex Marriages can indeed hurt people, and his contention is negated.

His contention is also automatically false, as it depends on an unsupported universal negative. He made no attempt to support this, or refute that it is a universal negative; but such a statement must have comprehensive proof to be valid. Again, my opponent's contention is negated.

2:
The Fourteenth Amendment is concerned with the states making laws infringing on the rights peculiar to American citizens.
http://www.law.cornell.edu...

There are rights spelled out in the first ten Amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights, which pertain to all American citizens; but as the Tenth Amendment provides: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."
http://www.law.cornell.edu...

Thus, in areas that the US Constitution leaves open, the states and local governments may limit the rights of their citizens. Examples of these limitations would be gun control laws, traffic regulations, safety regulations, waste water controls, littering prohibitions, etc.
http://www.law.cornell.edu...

More succinctly stated:

The 14th Amendment protects equality rights for citizens, but it does not confer any rights relevant to this debate, and it leaves open all rights not specifically stated to the states discretion.

My opponent claims: "The Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution prohibits discriminating based on race/religion/gender/and sexual orientation in all states."
He gives no sources to back up this claim, and expects us to take us unsupported word. I have linked a reliable source that gives clear examples of the Supreme Court's interpretation of this amendment, and specific cases where it was applied in a way consistent with my contention.

He also claims that making a federal law to enforce same-sex marriage in churches would not be violation of the First Amendment, because it would "not limit the practice of religion, it just ends an unfair practice done by churches: discrimination."
To back his defense, he gives a list of sourceless accusations against christianity. This is a red herring, as the protection of the First Amendment from government "prohibiting the free exercise" of a religion says nothing about a religion requiring any merit to warrant protection.
http://www.law.cornell.edu...

As my interpretation is the only one that is supported by anything other than bald claims, and my opponent's attempted refutation was a statement, not an argument, I hold my opponent's second contention is negated.

~~~~~

Because my opponent took the time to answer my response, I will address the remaining points of his final response.

"The reason I think it [gay marriage] should be legalized is because I see no reason why it shouldn't be, I see it as an unnecessary law restricting the freedom of minorities. I see no reason why minorities shouldn't have the same rights as the majority."

He gave no evidence, here or elsewhere, that homosexuals are a minority, or that they deserve consideration in the law. All he gives us here is his personal opinion.

"I'm sorry, but this made me laugh. I wasn't referring to people WITH a sexual orientation, I was referring to discrimination BASED ON sexual orientation."

I'm glad that I lightened his day! He clarifies his stance on this point, which I just dealt with.

"What my opponent claims to be a straw man, is that - essential what a marriage is - a ceremony and a legal argument doesn't hurt anyone, when he has failed to provide proof that it can hurt people."

I provided proof. He has failed to defend his contentions against my evidence, or refute my argument other than by attempting to change the definition of marriage used in this debate to only include the ceremony. I urge the voters to examine the definition accepted for this debate (it is in my first post); if they find that is only speaking of the ceremony, then I concede that my opponent's refutation is valid. However, if it is speaking of the whole marriage, from the ceremony (if there is one) onward, then my arguments hold and my opponent's contention is negated.

~~~~~~

I have addressed all the remaining remarks in my recap.

All that remains to be done in this debate is to thank my opponent one last time for posting this debate, and allowing me the pleasure of debating him.

I strongly urge a CON vote.
Debate Round No. 4
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Katiedozier 5 years ago
Katiedozier
this is funny
Posted by atheistman 7 years ago
atheistman
Non-virgins who hadn't been married yet, smartass.
Posted by Chrysippus 7 years ago
Chrysippus
Chuckle...
Going back though this, something caught my eye that I had not noticed while debating.

Atheistman claims, "Putting...non-virgins to death use[d] to be a practice by the church."

I don't think they made much headway with that particular purge, AM; all my ancestors were non-virgins, and I suspect yours were, too... :)
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
Chrysippus, You have no obligation to stick to the arguments that Pro presents in support of the resolution. The debate is about the resolution, not about what Pro has chosen to argue. Suppose I support the resolution, "All zoo animals should be immediately set free and allowed to roam the cities." and I the only argument I present is "more people will get to see the animals." Are you then obligated to only argue only that point? Of course not. You can present a negative case as to why the resolution should not be upheld. You could have presented a negative case in this debate, and I think you missed an opportunity by not doing so.

This topic is debated frequently on ddo, and it's disappointing that the important issues are rarely presented.
Posted by jurist24 7 years ago
jurist24
I voted:
C: Tied
S/G: Con
CA: Con
RS: Con

Here's the deal, though: I agree with Pro's stance, but find his arguments unconvincing. There was little policy discussion, no comparative arguments, and, sadly, a misuse of the law. In fact, for the most part, Pro only offered restatements of contentions (which is occurring with an increasing frequency on this site). Pro should have also offered the definitions since he was the instigator and set the theme for the debate. Good job, Con.
Posted by Chrysippus 7 years ago
Chrysippus
@RoyLatham: "I think most of the key issues related to the topic were missed."
Yes, they were missed; you bring up several, and there are more that we also did not touch on. It was completely unnecessary for me to touch those, much as I would have enjoyed a more philosophical debate; in fact, it would have been off topic for me to bring them up.

I admit that this could have been a much more interesting debate if the premise had allowed it, but the contention was narrowed down to two points: 1. possibility of harm 2. constitutional right from one particular amendment. All other arguments, although potentially more instructive and/or enjoyable, were irrelevant.

That said, could people please give an RFD when they vote? Three people have voted on this so far without saying what they thought.

Thanks!
Posted by atheistman 7 years ago
atheistman
No, I know that it's genetic. The thing is, if it's a perfectly natural thing, then what's the big deal of changing the definition?
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
The whole point of redefining the word marriage is make all laws using the word apply immediately to gay marriage. That conveys all benefits.

California already has laws in place that guarantee equal legal rights and benefits to gay civil unions, but that is deemed inadequate. The Prop 8 controversy was 100% about use of the word "marriage" and nothing else.

There is no tradition regarding inter-racial marriage being called anything but "marriage." Even racists never claimed that. You just made that up.

Perhaps in some other societies there is a different tradition about marriage implying different genders, but in Western tradition it is heterosexual. The whole point is to remake society by controlling language, isn't it? That's what political correctness is all about.

Are you arguing that homosexuality is not genetic and is solely a matter of choice? I don't think so, I think it is genetic. If it is genetic then it is perfectly plausible that some modifications to the laws ought to apply to reflect those differences. I don't know whether there is or is not, but it ought to be allowed. Your denial is pure pseudo-religious faith.
Posted by atheistman 7 years ago
atheistman
Not necessarily, marriage wouldn't have to be funded by the government. Your points about calling it marriage are false, as calling inter-racial marriages 'marriage' does not cause 'pointless confusion for the sake of ideological political correctness.'
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
I think most of the key issues related to the topic were missed. The harm from expanding the definition of marriage is that the law then conveys benefits upon a new class that must be paid for by the taxpayers. All spousal benefits currently applied to traditional marriage are immediately mandated; this includes public benefits like Social Security and employer-provided benefits. Moreover, there is loss of freedom for employers in determining which benefits they offer to whom. It would also increase the number of immigrants allowed under spousal provisions. Saying that there are costs does not itself argue the costs are not worthwhile, but that must be argued.

Also, there is a cost in loss of the traditional meaning and intent of marriage. Whatever this is worth, it can be avoided by using a new word for "gay marriage" while conveying equal rights. For example, suppose the words "male" and "female" were abolished by law, with everyone being called "male." Would there be any cost? Yes, pointless confusion for the sake of ideological political correctness.

Finally, since homosexuality is genetically determined, as is heterosexuality, it isn't clear that traditional marriage laws are best suited to gay unions. The laws ought to be allowed to evolve separately to take this into account.

Anyway, while not too well argued by con, the burden of proof was on Pro. I give Con a slight edge in the arguments presented.
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Vote Placed by Invictus 7 years ago
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