The Instigator
bsh1
Con (against)
Winning
63 Points
The Contender
Zarroette
Pro (for)
Losing
28 Points

Gay Marriage should Not be Permitted

Do you like this debate?NoYes+27
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 16 votes the winner is...
bsh1
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 1/16/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 25,270 times Debate No: 68439
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (546)
Votes (16)

 

bsh1

Con

Preface

I thank Zarroette for this debate. I hope she agrees to accept, and I look forward to a cordial, engaging exchange of views. If she would like to alter any rules or formatting, she should PM me prior to acceptance. This is, of course, an issue that is important to me personally, and so I hope to defend my position well.

Due to the tendency for some users to cast ideological ballots on sensitive current-issue topics like this one, there is a minimum of 2,500 ELO required before a user may vote on this debate. I hope this will weed out some more inexperienced voters.

Full Topic

In a just society, same-sex marriages would not be permitted.

Terms

Just - based on what is morally or ethically right and/or fair
Same-sex Marriage (SSM) - a legally binding union conferring on two same-sex partners the same legal rights, status, and benefits that "traditional" marriage would typically confer upon opposite-sex couples.

Rules

1. No forfeits
2. Any citations or foot/endnotes must be provided in the text of the debate
3. No new arguments in the final round; Pro must go first
4. Maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere
5. No trolling
6. My opponent accepts all definitions and waives his/her right to add definitions
7. With undefined words, there will be no semantics
8. My opponent will not argue in favor of disallowing marriages in general, but only for disallowing same-sex marriages
9. The BOP is shared: Pro must uphold the idea that same-sex marriages ought not to be permitted; Con must uphold the claim that same-sex marriages ought to be permitted.
10. Violation of any of these rules or of any of the R1 set-up merits a loss

Structure

R1. Pro's Constructive Case
R2. Con's Constructive Case, Pro rebuts Con's Case
R3. Con rebuts Pro's Case, Pro defends Pro's Case
R4. Con defends Con's Case, Pro rebuts Con's Case and Crystallizes
R5. Con rebuts Pro's Case and Crystallizes, Pro waives

Thanks...

...in advance to Zarroette for what I am sure will be an intriguing debate.
Zarroette

Pro

Thank you, bsh1, for instigating this debate.


A1: Marriage is orientated naturally

Marriage is intrinsically related to procreation. This is not to say that marriage must lead to procreation, as this is extrinsic (result-orientated). The problem with the standard gay-marriage narrative is that it creates a false dichotomy. Either:

1) Marriage means procreation (extrinsic end)

2) Marriage is a partnership to express love

For the first point, understand that marriage is merely about the intrinsic link between marriage and procreation; it does not necessarily have to manifest extrinsically. It is about the intrinsic link that is oneness in flesh, of which makes them a single agent, much like lungs, the heart, veins etc. form a body. To put this in other words, “Unlike other forms of friendship, the marital community is structured by norms of monogamy, exclusivity, and the pledge of permanence, partly because of the intrinsic link between it and procreation” [4]. Procreation extends this relationship; it is not a requirement. Same-sex couples cannot enter marriage because they “can form sexual arrangements, and can also form alliances for child-rearing, but the one relationship is distinct and not inherently linked to the other” [4].

For the second point, I ask: why must the state become involved with this? Is it true that two people cannot be in love without the government saying that they are? No, of course not. Therefore, there is no reason for two loving people to engage in marriage since love does not require governmental consent in order to exist or be recognised. Therefore, this is not unjust, much like it would not be unjust for the state to refuse a pair 4 year olds or a giraffe and a man marriage licenses.

With this understood:

1. Heterosexual union is the indispensable means by which humans come into existence and therefore has special social value (indeed, the greatest possible social value because it is the first precondition for society).

2. The indispensable means by which something of special social value can occur itself has special value.

3. What has special value to human society deserves special social recognition and sanction.

4. Civil ordinances which recognize gay marriage as comparable to heterosexual marriage constitute a rejection of the special value of heterosexual unions.

5. To deny the special social value of what has special social value is unjust.

6. Therefore, gay marriage is unjust [9] [12].


A2: Homosexuals make for poor parents


I. Non-biological parents

Part of the problem with homosexuals raising children is that they are not the biological parents. This relates to a serious problem commonly known as the ‘Cinderella effect’. This is a by-product of evolution, wherein a lot of resources are spent on raising children, so the parents that took best care of their own children were the ones that continued their lineage [2] [3]. From the first source:

“Genes producing effects that increase their replicative success will replace other genes, producing evolution over time. Adaptations are selected and evolve because they promote inclusive fitness.”

To express the gravity of this problem, a report by Martin Daly and Margo Wilson studied many different researches. Among them, it was found (Daly and Wilson, 2001) in several different countries, that stepparents “beat very young children to death… more than 100 times higher than the corresponding rates for genetic parents” [1]. Another analysis done in Canada found the rate to be 120 time greater [1]. Another study (Daly & Wilson 1994) found that in England & Wales in 1977-1990, 117 of children under five beaten to death were done so by 103 stepfathers [1]. In Australia, the estimate by the Australian Family Characteristics Survey data “exceeds 300-fold” [1].

On a separate but relevant point, a study in Tanzania (Marlowe, 1999) found that stepfathers almost never played with their stepchildren, there were elevated rates in accidental (neglect) injury and that overall, there was less investment in stepchildren’s education [1].

Finally, a study in Trinidad (Flinn, 1998) found that stepfathers, on average compared to biological fathers, spent significantly less time with their stepchildren (especially in the sense of play-time and anything but the minimum required time).

Clearly, giving children to homosexuals (since two gay men cannot reproduce together) encounters this monumental risk.

II. General problem with same-sex parenting [11]

In 2011, Sociologist Mark Regnerus was the lead investigator in a study by the National Family Structure Study (NFSS) which “surveyed 2988 young adults” to collect data about children “from various family origins” [8]. The young adults used were randomly sampled, which means that there was no control-bias in preselecting samples, which is commonly found in studies. So, from this study, it was found that children raised by lesbians were 3.5 more likely to be unemployed. Homosexual parents were more likely to raise criminals, and children raised by lesbian parents were the second highest involving risk of crime. As suggested by the “non-biological parents” arguments I made, homosexual parents were found to more likely abuse their children. Children raised by gay men were 3 times more likely to incur an STI in their lifetimes, twice as likely for children of lesbian’s. People raised by homosexual men had an increased likelihood of having suicidal thoughts.

For those of you who like visuals, here are the graph versions of some of the findings [10]:







On the contrary, ‘no difference’ theory has run into trouble on several occasions. Let me show you some trouble.

In a review of the APA statement on gay parenting, Sociologist Loren Marks found that 26 of the papers she looked at did not meet the scientific standards required to be research in which the APA could conclude upon: “[the] strong assertions, including those made by the APA, were not empirically warranted” [13].

Another review by Pscyhologist Tray Hansen found that researched produced by Pro-gay authored, addressing ages 14 and above studies all had “methodological flaws… including small, non-representative samples, lack of control groups, and non-longitudinal designs” [14]. Hansen concluded her review by arguing that “the research studies we have to date suggest that non-heterosexuals are far more likely to raise non-heterosexual children than heterosexual children” [14].

The research into homosexual relationships clearly indicates that homosexuals do significantly poorer in raising children, and in some areas, disastrously poorer. Also, the ‘no difference’ theory has been shown to be wrong, on several different levels.

A3: Religious Immorality


Christianity


In the Holy Bible, homosexual behaviour is considered immoral [6]. Examples include (New Living Translation):

“Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin” ~ Leviticus 18:22

“That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires… women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other… men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other… as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.” ~ Romans 1:26

As you can see, the act of homosexuality (e.g. gay marriage) is a sin against the will of God. However, God, in giving us free will, allows us the choice of homosexuality. God will always love homosexuals, but homosexual acts are a sin.


Islam

A similar condemnation can be found within the Qur’an as delivered by Allah to the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) [7]. Examples include:

“…For ye practice your lusts on men in preference to women: ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds…And we rained down on them a shower (of brimstone” ~ Qur’an (7:80-84)

“If two men among you are guilty of lewdness, punish them both. If they repent and amend, leave them alone” ~ Qur’an (4:16)

In His merciful forgiveness, Allah forbids us to engage in homosexual acts, yet as you can see in the latter quote, He gives you a second chance so long as you repent your transgression. Allah is merciful.



Conclusion

To summarise my arguments, marriage is intrinsically related to procreation. It is a special kind of bond that cannot, in the same sense, be replicated by homosexual couples. This is not to say that homosexuals cannot form relationships, but rather marriage cannot be based on love or friendship alone.

Having non-biological parents is far, far worse than having biological parents. The Cinderella effect tells a sad tale of people who ignore this fact. There are also many, many other problems associated with homosexual parenting, as indicated NFSS and the other studies I mentioned. ‘No difference’ theory is so clearly incorrect, too.

Finally, for every Christian or Muslim, I have quoted your Holy books appropriately.

Over to you, bsh1.

References

[1] http://www.cep.ucsb.edu...

[2] http://emilkirkegaard.dk...

[3] http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu...

[4] http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com...

[5] http://news.rpi.edu...

[6] http://christianity.about.com...

[7] http://www.thereligionofpeace.com...

[8] http://www.markregnerus.com...

[9] http://wisdomandfollyblog.com...

[10] http://www.familystructurestudies.com...

[11] http://www.debate.org...

[12] http://www.debate.org...

[13] http://www.sciencedirect.com...

[14] http://www.drtraycehansen.com...

Debate Round No. 1
bsh1

Con

Thanks to Zarroette. As per the agreed structure, I will lay out my case now.

HOMOSEXUALITY IS NOT A CHOICE

P1. Being Gay cannot be "Untaught"

Learned behavior can be untaught. [1] Something that is innate cannot be untaught. For example, no psychologist could teach me to turn my blues eye brown or teach me how to turn my white skin chocolate, but they could teach me to not bite my fingernails when I am nervous. In this same way, homosexuality cannot be untaught, and thus is an innate trait. The APA, America's premier psychological association, has found that homosexuality cannot be "cured" and cannot be undone via therapy. [2] Other psychological experts concur. [3, 4] Even groups that have tried to unteach homosexuality have acknowledged their failures [5] and some studies supporting homosexuality as a choice retain only dubious credibility at best. [6]

In fact, "since the 1970s, the consensus of the behavioral and social sciences and the health and mental health professions globally is that homosexuality is a normal variation of human sexual orientation...Consequently, while some still believe homosexuality is a mental disorder, the current research and clinical literature demonstrate that same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors are normal and positive variations of human sexuality, reflecting the official positions of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association." [7]

P2. Biological Predisposition

There are four biological factors I will identify that independantly show a biological basis for homosexuality.

1. Epi-marks. "Researchers from UC Santa Barbara and Uppsala University found a biological basis for same-sex attraction, locating the origins of homosexuality in the womb. Epi-marks, the genetic switches that regulate how our genes express themselves, can be passed down from mother to son or father to daughter while the fetuses gestate, the researchers found, adding that certain 'sexually antagonistic' epi-marks may also be involved." [8]

2. Pheromones. "Gay and straight men respond differently to two odors that are believed to be involved in sexual arousal. The research showed that when both heterosexual women...and gay men are exposed to a testosterone derivative found in men's sweat, a region in the hypothalamus is activated. Heterosexual men, on the other hand, have a similar response to an estrogen-like compound found in women's urine. The conclusion is that sexual attraction...operates similarly on a biological level." [9]

3. Fetal Development. "The likelihood of being gay increases by about 33 percent with each additional older brother...One of the leading explanations is called the maternal immunization hypothesis...When a woman is pregnant with a male fetus, her body is exposed to a male-specific antigen, some molecule that normally turns the fetus heterosexual. The woman"s immune system produces antibodies to fight this foreign antigen. With enough antibodies, the antigen will be neutralized and no longer capable of making the fetus straight. These antibodies linger in the mother"s body long after pregnancy, and so when a woman has a second son, or a third or fourth, an army of antibodies is lying in wait to zap the chemicals that would normally make him heterosexual." [10]

4. Neurological Differences. "The hypothalamus is the portion of the human brain directly related to sexual drive and function. In the homosexual brains examined, a small portion of the hypothalamus, termed the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), was found to be twice the size of its heterosexual counterpart." [11]

P3. Homosexuality in Animals

Since animals would lack the higher-order cognition to make a choice between heterosexuality and homosexuality, it seems that if animals are homosexual, homosexuality is involuntary. Several animals have been observed to exhibit homosexual behavior, including Dolphins, Dragon Flies, Bonobos, and Rams. [12]

INJUSTICE

P1. Discrimination

People should be held accountable for their actions and choices, not for their immutable characteristics. It is inherently unfair, for instance, to deny employment to blue-eyed employees just because they're blue-eyed; in fact, most people would see the absurdity in this example, as being blue-eyed has nothing to do with one's value as a person. The same is true of discrimination based on gender, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.

Denying gay couples marriage rights is discrimination, insofar as civil unions are a separated by unequal substitute. "The institution of civil marriage confers a social status and important legal benefits, rights, and privileges...Same-sex couples who enter into a civil union are denied equal access to all the benefits, rights, and privileges provided by federal law to married couples...The benefits, rights, and privileges associated with domestic partnerships are not universally available, are not equal to those associated with marriage, and are rarely portable." [13] In fact, "the federal government denies legally married same-sex couples more than 1000 federal rights and benefits associated with marriage." [17] There are myriad benefits, like paid leave, tax benefits, spousal privilege, other legal benefits, etc. that are denied to gay couples. [14, 15, 16] These benefits are particularly useful for those gay couples raising children. It can also be said that by denying such rights to gay couples raising children, that society unfairly discriminates against those children being raised by LGBT couples, and not just against the couples themselves. You don't choose your parents or guardians; they shouldn't be held against you.

P2. Social Stigma and Otherization

Marriage equality is not merely an issues of having the right to found a family with our partners, but is significantly also about gaining equal status in society. Marriage equality, as I and others can attest, would be a symbolic gesture affirming the equal rights and value of homosexual unions, of homosexual love, and of homosexuality in general. Psychological evidence illustrates the powerful effect legalizing gay marriage can have on the esteem of gay people: "Psychological distress is lower among lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals who are legally married to a person of the same sex, compared with those not in legally recognized unions. The study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, also has implications for understanding mental health disparities based on sexual orientation: There were no statistically significant differences in psychological distress between heterosexuals, and lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons in any type of legally recognized same-sex relationship. A large body of research has shown that lesbian, gay and bisexual people generally experience higher distress levels than heterosexuals due to social exclusion, stigma and other stressors. Research also shows that, on average, married heterosexuals experience better mental health outcomes than their unmarried counterparts. Since most lesbian, gay, and bisexual people are denied the opportunity to legally marry a same-sex partner, they are potentially denied the positive emotional benefits of the institution of marriage." [18, for further reading, see: 19]

Ultimately, "restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples is an expression of stigma" [20] in society, and that stigma is unjustified. There is no reason to treat homosexuals as "other;" yet that otherization persists through formal differences in treatment, including lack of marriage equality, great ease with which employers can fire gay workers, and so forth. Striking down any of these barriers would send a symbolic message that this kind of stigma is unacceptable.

Furthermore, the denial of marriage equality not only stigmatizes LGBT people, but also the children they might be raising: "San Antonio-based federal judge Orlando Garcia stated that the ban 'causes needless stigmatization and humiliation for children being raised by the loving same-sex couples being targeted.'" [21] This is, again, fundamentally unfair.

SOURCES

1 - http://www.mentalhelp.net...
2 - http://www.sgn.org...
3 - http://www.mens-wellbeing.com...
4 - http://communities.washingtontimes.com...
5 - http://www.speroforum.com...
6 - http://www.scientificamerican.com...
7 - http://en.wikipedia.org...
8 - http://news.yahoo.com...
9 - http://en.wikipedia.org...
10 - http://www.slate.com...
11 - http://allpsych.com...
12 - http://listverse.com...
13 - http://en.wikipedia.org...
14 - http://www.hrc.org...
15 - http://en.wikipedia.org...
16 - http://www.nolo.com...
17 - http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
18 - http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu...
19 - https://actionaids.org...
20 - http://www.apa.org...
21 - http://gaymarriage.procon.org...

Thanks! Over to Pro...
Zarroette

Pro

Thank you, bsh1. As dictated by round rules, I will rebut Con’s case.



HOMOSEXUALITY IS NOT A CHOICE


Here, my opponent has severely blundered by making several irrelevant arguments. The rejection of homosexual marriage does not come from the means of homosexuality, rather the end of homosexuality. In other words, homosexuality is not wrong because people choose homosexuality, rather it is wrong because marriage is orientated towards bringing one man and one women closer together whom can properly raise children their union produces, and these facets are ones which homosexuals do not possess, regardless of whether homosexuality is a choice.


INJUSTICE


P1. Discrimination


I. Recognising actual differences

My opponent’s incorrect assumption here is that the differences between homosexuals and heterosexuals is irrelevant, in regards to marriage. In actuality, the differences are very important and when applied to marriage, avoid the charge of discrimination.

To use an analogy, take a brain-dead person. This brain-dead person applied for a job before she became brain-dead. Since becoming brain-dead, an employer rejected the brain-dead person’s application on the basis of the person being brain-dead. Is that discrimination (i.e. denying human rights based on discrimination)? No, the person does not have a “human right” to the job. Is that unjust? Not at all, because the business needs competent people to do the job, and the person is clearly unfit. It is merely differentiating between people based on actual differences. Jobs require people to have functioning brains. Similarly, marriage requires the presence of the intrinsic ability to procreate.

As highlighted in my initial A1 argument, marriage is intrinsically related to procreation. Homosexual couples do not have the intrinsic ability to reproduce. Thus, there is no discrimination here because homosexuals simply do not have what is required for marriage. Much like it would not be discrimination to deny a pair of 4 year olds or a giraffe and a man a marriage license, due to them lacking the requirements, it is not discrimination to deny homosexuals on the same grounds. In actuality, it would be unjust to allow these non-marriages marriage status because the standards for what a marriage is are being disregarded.


II. Governmental benefits

As to why the government gives all of these benefits to married couples: same-sex marriages does not have the positive benefits that heterosexual marriages have, thus there is no reason to incentivise gay-marriage. In other words: society does not exist without procreation, yet society can exist without homosexual unions. Things like paid leave obviously exist so women can bear children yet not lose out on vital income. All these benefits exist to make child-bearing and child-rearing easier for married couples. They are NOT human rights. Again, the function of marriage is the intrinsic capacity for reproduction. Not love. Not to give people human rights. My opponent, as the paragraph continues, then begins to beg the question as he says that all these things would benefit homosexual parents, as he has failed to provide evidence to show that they should be parenting in the first place. In fact, I have given arguments why they should not, but remember that my opponent has the burden of proof to show that they should. Please refer to my A2 arguments and my P2 II. counter-argument this round to see why they should not.



BUT EVEN IF these counter-arguments are unconvincing to you, even if you still think that gays should be allowed to raise children and should be entitled to all these tax breaks and financial advantages (despite my substantial evidence that shows that, on average, homosexuals make for noticeably inferior parents), homosexual marriage is still unjust due to the nature of marriage. It is the crux of my affirmation in regards to the resolution: marriage is intrinsically related to procreation. This special, social value is indispensable and can never be replicated by homosexual unions, hence the term and meaning involved with marriage always being unjust when used to label homosexual unions.



P2. Social Stigma and Otherization

“Marriage equality, as I and others can attest, would be a symbolic gesture affirming the equal rights and value of homosexual unions, of homosexual love, and of homosexuality in general”

This will highlight the fundamental problem with my opponent’s arguments here. Marriage is not about “homosexual love”. Marriage is not about “homosexual unions”. Marriage is not about “homosexuality in general”. What marriage is about is, as I argued under A1, is the intrinsic ability to procreate – to bring opposite genders together in this valuable union. Not only that, but homosexual parents are statistically far worse at parenting than heterosexuals parents are. The fact that my opponent thinks marriage should is about these selfish ideals shows a complete disregard of the value in intrinsic procreation and the statistics that would clearly leave children under much poorer conditions. Homosexuals can have unions, love and acceptance of homosexuality in general without demanding that homosexuals can become married.



I. Marriage would lower “psychological distress”


My opponent merely quotes the supposed findings, rather than important things methodology (i.e. was the sample selected? Was the sample controlled for demographics?). Furthermore, I cannot access the full reports for either of my opponent’s sources here (have to log-in as a paying member or “request” the text), so no one but my opponent has any idea of the legitimacy of the studies (which is not fair).

Anyway, the most damning evidence against the idea that marriage helps homosexuals is that suicide seems to not decrease amongst homosexuals. A collaborative paper, by Mathy, Cochran, Olsen & Mays (2011), found that the generally accepted three/four-fold (~2 for lesbians, ~6 for gay men [11]) suicide rate between homosexuals and non-homosexuals leaped to eight-fold for gay men in institutional partnerships. Note that this is not suicide attempts, but actual suicides. If homosexual men experience less psychological distress, then why are they killing themselves at 8 times the heterosexual rate, which is an increase from homosexuals outside of marriage [9]?

For further counter-evidence, in the Netherlands, the first country to legalise gay marriage [5], a large study found that homosexuals, on average, have higher levels of psychiatric disorders. Controlling for demographics, homosexual men suffered from higher rates of substance-abuse disorders, mood-disorders, and both homosexual men and women were far more likely to have psychological disorders [4]. Despite the legalisation of gay marriage, homosexuals still suffer from higher rates of all kinds of negative affect.



II. Children under Homosexual marriage


My opponent’s final point, under this section, refers to children raised by homosexuals being humiliated and whatnot. Let me make this abundantly clear: homosexuals should not be raising children. When it comes to raising children, homosexuals are clearly inferior, as I have argued under A2 and I will elaborate here. Furthermore, I could flip this point on my opponent and say that because of the increased risk to humiliation and whatnot, that this is further reason to disallow homosexuals to raise children.

To further bolster the evidence, research into Scandinavian marriages (which includes Sweden, another country which has legalised gay marriage [7]) found that “divorce risks are higher in same sex partnerships than in opposite-sex marriages, and that unions of lesbians are considerably less stable, or more dynamic, than unions of gay men” [8]. This further shows that homosexual marriages are unstable and therefore not as desirable for child-rearing.

Also, in Canada, where gay marriage is also legalised [6], children of married same-sex couples were less likely to graduate.



III. Homosexuals are a fraction of the population; heterosexuals make up the vast majority


In 2010, a representative survey of 238, 206 British people found that approximately 1.5% identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual [1]. In the U.S in 2010 and 2011, the United States Census Bureau and the Williams Institute found that 1.7% identify as lesbian or gay, 1.8% identified as bisexual [2] [3]. I challenge my opponent to find a statistic wherein the percentage exceeds 10%, let alone becomes a majority. This, of course, pales in comparison to the heterosexual populations in each country. For example, in Australia, it was found that 97.7% of women identified as heterosexual [10]. The 2010 Britain study (already cited [2]) found that 5% did not identify as heterosexual. It is quite obvious that an overwhelming percentage of any country’s population will be heterosexual. So, why should this sense of entitlement by a small minority be able to impose a mass reconfiguration of an institution that they have no right to?


References

[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk...
[2] http://www.census.gov...
[3] http://tinyurl.com...
[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
[5] http://www.businessinsider.com.au...
[6] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[7] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[8] http://www.baylorisr.org...
[9] http://www.mygenes.co.nz...
[10] Smith, A. M.; Rissel, C. E.; Richters, J; Grulich, A. E.; De Visser, R. O. (2003). "Sex in Australia: Sexual identity, sexual attraction and sexual experience among a representative sample of adults". Australian and New Zealand journal of public health 27 (2): 138–45
[11] http://www.fiercegoodbye.com...
Debate Round No. 2
bsh1

Con

Thanks, Zarroette!

PRO's CASE

A1. Marriage is Oriented Naturally

1. Pro commits an Is/Ought Fallacy. She writes: "marriage is merely about the intrinsic link between marriage and procreation." Therefore, Pro argues, a just society should continue to treat marriage in that same way. A great example of why this kind of logic is fallacious is this: "[t]he simple fact is that war is good for mankind, since the tendency to conflict is a human instinct." [1] Another example might be that "slavery happens, therefore it is justified." Clearly, just because something IS the case, doesn't mean it SHOULD be the case.

2. Pro needs to justify the inclusion of infertile, heterosexual couples in matrimony. The argument about having marriage "ordered" for Procreation is that marriage includes a class of people, i.e. heterosexuals, most likely to further its goal of procreation. However, if the goal is to procreate, why not restrict marriage even further, to a class of persons composed only of fertile heterosexuals?

3. Historically, procreation was not the most important part of marriage. Marriage used to be centered around forming alliances, strengthening family ties, getting economic resources, declaring love, etc. In fact, history tells us that procreation was not always the most important consideration in marriage: "'[t]he early Christian church...always took the position that they would annul a marriage if a man could not have sex with his wife, but not if they could not conceive.'" [2] This says something important: that while procreation mattered, stability, and perhaps other socioeconomic or religious concerns, trumped the goals of procreation. Similarly, in traditional African, Asian, and other cultures, same-sex marriages are permitted [3] as a means of preserving family lineage, gaining wealth, and/or as a way of keeping goods and property inside particular families. What matters here is that, historically, the claim that marriage is intrinsically or primarily related to procreation is a false one.

4. Gay couples can contribute to procreation via artificial means. An infertile person may not even be able to do that much if they do not have sperm or eggs that can be artificially employed in the insemination process. In this case, gay couples are actually more ordered towards procreation than infertile couples, yet the former cannot marry while the latter can. This seems to contradict the whole intent of Pro's argument.

5. Gay couples can participate in child-rearing. I will touch on this more later, but, suffice it to say, that procreation alone is not sufficient if a couple refuses or is unable to raise a child. If gay couples can provide parenting to children in need of it, they are serving a useful purpose.

6. There is more to marriage than procreation, as I stated before. These benefits include socioeconomic teamwork, the forming bonds between families, etc. These types of unions, even if they don't produce children, benefit society by promoting the welfare of individuals and stability. Surely, society can incentivize marriage for those reasons.

7. Finally, even if marriage was designed for procreation, will including gay couples in the institution truly jeopardize those goals? Legalizing gay marriage won't cause straight married couples to stop having kids, and it may just benefit the gay couples in other ways (e.g. happiness). That's a net positive.

A2: Homosexuals Make for Poor Parents

Overview: Gay parenting will happen in either world, so this point is non-unique, meaning that these harms will occur whether or not gay marriage is permitted.

1. Non-biological Parents

1. Gay Parents are highly motivated. Unlike stepparents, who may fall in love with their partner, but not their partner's children, gay parents seek out the child, whereas the stepparent does not necessarily do this. In fact, "gay parents tend to be more motivated, more committed, and more thoughtful parents than heterosexual couples. That's because they usually have to work very hard, and plan very far in advance, to become parents, and so rarely do so by accident." [4,for further reading, see: 13] So, what may be true of stepparents is not necessarily true of gay parents.

2. Pro's argument is an argument against non-biological parents in general, not specifically against gay parents. Using Pro's logic, we could just as easily making remarrying when you have kids illegal. Since she is defending the status quo, her argument turns against her, not just me.

3. There are some issues with Pro's studies. Firstly, she does not show that it is likely that stepparents will hurt their kids (just "more" likely, but the scope of that increased risk is never defined in-round). Secondly, re: her Canada study: "Daly and Wilson's 1985 Canadian sample included cases of sexual abuse as well as cases of unintentional omission, such as not buckling a child's seatbelt in the car." [5]

4. There are alternative explanations for the Cinderella effect: "according to resource theory, individuals who contribute resources are granted authority, while individuals that lack resources are denied authority and more likely to resort to violence to obtain authority. It is therefore hypothesized that stepparents who are able to contribute resources to a family and have those resources be accepted by the family are less likely to be abusive." [5] So, the effect may have less to do with the biological relationship between parent and child and more with other factors.

II. General Problem with Same-Sex Parenting

1. There are severe methodological flaws in the Regnerus study, such that "this study was widely discredited by researchers." [6]

1a. The study examines children who witnessed their parent having a same-sex romantic relationship. It fails to consider important variables, including the length of the relationship (was it a day, a week, etc.), whether or not the child was raised by a same-sex couple or by a single parent, socioeconomic challenges, parental drug abuse, educational opportunities, parental harmony, geographic location, etc. In fact, Regnerus "admitted under questioning...that only two of the subjects in his study were raised from birth by committed same-sex couples and both had positive outcomes." [7]

1b. Regnerus has a long history of anti-gay bias [7] and his study was funded and supported by right-wing organizations seeking to advance that agenda. [8]

2. There are possible alternative causes to the effect described by Regnerus (if you believe his study). One such hypothesis is that the social stigma gay families suffer, as well as the fact that childcare benefits reserved for married couples are often withheld from gay households, may adversely effect the children. Thus, the cause of the children's adverse outcomes was not their parents, but rather that society systematically disadvantaged them.

3. Many studies directly contradict Pro's claims. "Empirical studies comparing children raised by sexual minority parents with those raised by otherwise comparable heterosexual parents have not found reliable disparities in mental health or social adjustment. Differences have not been found in parenting ability between lesbian mothers and heterosexual mothers. Studies examining gay fathers are fewer in number but do not show that gay men are any less fit...than heterosexual men. Additionally...clinical research shows that 'children of gender-variant parents do not develop gender dysphoria...due to their parents' diagnosis with gender identity disorder." [6]

To site a specific study: "Crouch and his team surveyed 315 same-sex parents with a total of 500 children across Australia...Children from same-sex families scored about 6 percent higher on general health and family cohesion, even when controlling for socio-demographic factors...However, on most health measures...there was no difference compared with children from the general population." [9] This is the world's largest study on the subject. [10]

4. Pro gives a lot of preemptive rebuttals, but she needs to address my specific studies, not strawmans (which is what she does when she lambastes literature I didn't even cite, or when she attacks a genre of studies even when some of those studies might not be flawed.) Moreover, a simple google search [11] of Tray Hansen reveals his history of defending traditional marriage.

A3: Religious Immorality

1. "Freedom of religion...also protects those who do not follow a religion by shielding them from being forced to live in accordance with religious beliefs...they do not agree with. The legalization of same-sex marriage is consistent with freedom of religion in that it removes from marriage laws religious notions." [12]

2. Many religions, e.g. Episcopalians, permit gay marriage. In Pro's world, they would not be able to perform those marriages, restricting that faith's right to free practice of faith. I would not require all faiths to perform such marriage (no violation), but Pro would prevent faiths from following their beliefs (violation).

SOURCES

1 - http://www.txstate.edu...
2 - http://www.livescience.com...
3 - http://www.colorq.org...
4 - https://www.psychologytoday.com...
5 - http://en.wikipedia.org...
6 - http://en.wikipedia.org...
7 - http://thinkprogress.org...
8 - http://www.regnerusfallout.org...
9 - http://www.washingtonpost.com...
10 - http://thinkprogress.org...
11 - https://www.google.com...
12 - Source 17, R2
13 - http://www.livescience.com...
Zarroette

Pro

Thank you, bsh1. I will now defend my own case.

A1. Marriage is Oriented Naturally


My opponent essentially fails to address the meaning involved with intrinsic procreation and how it relates to marriage, hence the dropping of my 6 point syllogism and no reference to ‘intrinsic procreation’. A government has very good reason to regulate such a valuable union (the intrinsic ability to procreate is what allows societies to exist), but has no reason to regulate homosexual unions in the same way. As homosexual and heterosexual unions are fundamentally different, it would therefore be entirely unjust to treat them as the same.

1. No logical fallacy is committed here. In form:

1) Marriage can be linked to intrinsic procreation

2) Intrinsic procreation is special and of value, therefore it is good

C) Marriage is good when it is intrinsically linked to procreation, therefore it ought to stay that way.

*If* I had stated merely that "marriage is about intrinsic procreation, and you cannot defy definition", then that would be the is-ought fallacy. However, this is evidently not the case.


2. I need not do such a thing. As I pre-emptively argued, I made the clear distinction between *extrinsic procreation* (i.e. giving birth to children in reality) and *intrinsic procreation* (i.e. having a man and woman in a relationship). The end of childbirth (i.e. extrinsic procreation) need not be present in order to fulfil the requirements of marriage, thus my opponent’s demand is that only of extrinsic procreation, rather than the intrinsic procreation I argued.



3. To argue that procreation is not the most important part of marriage is nonsense. After all, all those that “gaining wealth and keeping goods” would not be possible to humans if they were never born! Besides, this debate does not hinge upon what people have seen marriage as in the past, and in all honestly, their position is not of consequence. I have given a systemic line of reasoning for what marriage is right now and why it should remain that way, of which pertains to the resolution. This tangent into debating historical customs does not.



4. Again, my opponent falters in coming to terms with the concept of *intrinsic* procreation, as opposed to his faulty interpretation of extrinsic procreation. No matter what kind of spin my opponent will impart, homosexual *couples* will never have the intrinsic capacity to procreate.



5. Yes, but again, my opponent fails to understand the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic procreation. My argument under this title explains the difference between the two types of procreation, not whether gay couples [should] participate in child-rearing.



6. There can be more to marriage than [extrinsic] procreation, but marriage cannot exist without *intrinsic procreation*, of which homosexual couples lack.



7. If the real standards for marriage are ignored (i.e. intrinsic procreation), then degeneracy begins. My opponent’s counter-argument here judges marriage by nothing of real value, and thus it can be reduced to mush via argument ad absurdum. Why stop a five year old couple from getting married? Why not a man, a spider and a snake? Why not a man and his faeces? Finally, after anyone and everyone can get married because it brings about “happiness”, marriage will essentially mean nothing, because a real standard in which it should be held was neglected.



A2: Homosexuals Make for Poor Parents



To parody my opponent’s overview: [Murder] will happen in either world, so this point is non-unique, meaning that these harms will occur whether or not [murder] is permitted. Should we then remove sanctions against murder?



1. Non-biological Parents


1. My opponent confuses conscious choice with subconscious tendencies. Much like breathing, you can manually stop breathing if you want to, but it will occur naturally as soon as you stop manually controlling it (which will eventually happen). Similarly, via the same evolutionary psychology, there will be tendencies towards neglecting or harming non-biological children, as they are, in an evolutionary sense, competing for resources and do not further biological lineage [5]. You risk serious harms by allowing homosexuals to parent non-biological children. “Gay parents are highly motivated [and] work very hard” is vague, unfalsifiable subjectivity that is fanciful abstraction compared to my figures and data.


2. I am not defending “the status quo” (i.e. divorce and re-marriage). I am defending the idea that homosexual marriage ought not to be permitted (i.e. the resolution). I kindly ask my opponent to please avoid moving the goalposts (since it is a logical fallacy).



3. For raw numbers and percentages, the Canada study (120 fold, one of the lower estimates) found the rate to be “321.6 deaths per million children… under 5 years of age” [1]. According to the 2011 Canadian Census, ~1.9 million children are in this 4> age category, which could be estimated to be well above 2 million for 5> age [2]. So, for ~643.2 deaths per 2 million in Canada, which is a relatively small country (~35 million [3]), and this, especially if you consider the rate has been found to be more than double this, has plenty of children’s lives absolutely wasted. This does not include the beatings that the children receive, or the murders of older children, either: this is the murder statistic for children <5 years. May I also say that this is all calculated for one stepfather in a child-rearing relationships, rather than two (the latter being the majority of cases for homosexual couples).

For the latter of my opponent’s points, my point here was that the absence of biological connection influences a lot of non-biological parents to neglect their children. It has been proven in countless studies, not just the ones that I provided last round, that “every form of abuse [is] perpetrated at massively higher rates by stepparents than by genetic parents” [6]. Again, the phenomena is happening at the subconscious level, so even things like not buckling seatbelts are indicators of biological tendencies, as was the hypothesis confirmed in the research: “any and all sorts of abuse and exploitation would be seen to occur at higher rates in step relationships than in genetic parent-child relationships” [1].



4. My opponent’s wholly untested hypothesis (according to the source he cites [4], quoting Giles-Sims and Finkelhor, 1984) wilts in comparison to my tested hypothesise that manifest in the research I have cited (which includes the evolutionary psychology sources I linked). Since 1984 (the year in which my opponent’s quote was published), there has been much research (i.e. some of the sources I provided) to give strong evidence for the Cinderella Effect.


II. General Problem with Same-Sex Parenting

1. My opponent has committed the appeal to authority fallacy by merely stating that the study is discredited by “researchers”.


1a. In his response to critics, Mr Regnerus explained the usage of random samples, which is actually a strength of the study, since it did not target specific demographics [9]. Walter Schumm, an independent reviewer of the NFSS, found the same conclusion [11]. The fact is that gay couples are inherently, on average, more unstable, EVEN WHEN IN marriages, as was found by the Scandinavian study I cited later (in round 2) which targeted gay marriages [8]. “Positive outcomes” in 2 instances (2 out of the entire, random sample was in a “committed relationship” gives you an idea of the strength in gay relationships) is a small sample size fallacy, especially when compared to the extensive Scandinavian study.


1b. My opponent has committed the Ad Hominem fallacy, whereby he has attacked the person, rather than the argument.


2. I will flip this: if social stigma is a problem, then this is further reason gay couples should not be allowed to parent children. This problem would still be a result of the gay parenting.


3. Of the literature reviewed by Herek (the author of the quote on Wikipedia) to make his conclusion, there were many, many methodological flaws including: “unclear hypotheses and research designs, missing or inadequate comparison groups, samples too small to yield meaningful results etc.” [10]. Allen (2012) found similar problems. Sullins (2014) confirmed the very latter of the problems, saying that the average sample size of pro-gay (including the ones referenced by Herek) studies was 39 [7]. Herek’s conclusions are based on heavily flawed research.


Crouch’s survey is dreadful. The study used *non-random* samples of homosexual children versus *random* straight samples. Clearly, the data is not comparable in the way my opponent hopes. Furthermore, my opponent’s claim about being the largest survey is a lie. 512 same-sex couple took part in this [7] study, which unlike my opponent’s study, actually used random data, therefore making it more credible. It found that the biological aspect greatly affected child upbringing (e.g. emotional wellbeing), so much so that when the data was adjusted for the biological difference, there was “little or no difference” in the results.


4. Herek’s review actually uses some of the faulty studies debunked here.


A3: Religious Immorality


To all of you who are religious, would you rather listen to man’s law, which my opponent has provided, or our Creator’s law, which I have provided? On this point, I need not say any more.


References

[1] http://tinyurl.com...

[2] http://tinyurl.com...

[3] http://tinyurl.com...

[4] http://tinyurl.com...

[5] http://tinyurl.com...

[6] http://tinyurl.com...

[7] http://tinyurl.com...

[8] http://tinyurl.com...

[9] http://tinyurl.com...

[10] http://tinyurl.com...

[11] Walter R. Schumm, Methodological decisions and the evaluation of possible effects of different family structures on children: The new family structures survey (NFSS), Volume 41, Issue 6, November 2012, Pages 1357–1366

Debate Round No. 3
bsh1

Con

Thanks, Zarroette. My case:

HOMOSEXUALITY IS NOT A CHOICE

Pro drops all my evidence.

It is worth noting here that Pro again calls upon her Is/Ought fallacy to justify her logic. She writes: "it is wrong because marriage is orientated towards...[the] children their union produces." Here, she makes a moral/ought judgment about the "wrongness" of something based on a factual claims about how "marriage is orientated."

INJUSTICE

P1. Discrimination

I. Recognizing Actual Difference

Pro's argument is reliant on her claim that marriage is for procreation, and that gay couples are unfit to that end. Unfortunately, Pro logic presents a problem: if infertile couples are allowed to marry, Pro is allowing people who cannot procreate into the union of marriage. Why is it then okay to permit infertile, heterosexual couples' entry into matrimony, but not to allow gay couples' the same right? Neither group can procreate; both groups are consenting adults. The only real explanation for excluding gay couples is thus discrimination.

But, even if you don't buy this argument, if you buy into any of the previous arguments I made about how marriage is not necessarily about procreation, then that eliminates Pro's criterion for establishing some kind of just difference between homosexuals and heterosexuals that would allow one group to marry while not allowing the other group to do so. So, all of those arguments from my last round can be cross-applied here.

II. Governmental Benefits

Pro suggests that "society does not exist without procreation, yet society can exist without homosexual unions." In fact, society could survive without marriage at all; people can (and do) procreate outside of matrimony. Therefore, it is not as if society could not exist without heterosexual unions. So, society"s existence is not--hyperbolically--in the balance.

There are, in fact, myriad reasons for providing marriage benefits to incentivize such unions, and many of these reasons have little, if anything, to do with reproduction. Let me just rattle off a few stats here [1, 2, 3, 4]:

(a) Marriage Promotes Physical and Mental Health

According to my sources: Marriage reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, and increases long-term happiness. In a specific study in Arizona, for example, unmarried people were 3-4 times more likely to be dissatisfied with life. Married women suffer less psychological distress compared to unmarried women, and unmarried people are 3x more like to commit suicide. Unmarried individuals are also at an "elevated risk for STDs because of multiple partnership." [4]

(b) Marriage promotes Social and Economic Stability

Again, according to my sources: Income is higher for married couples, and marriage itself becomes a means of generating wealth for families. Furthermore, married couples experience less than half the incidence of domestic violence as co-habiting couples and are 3 times less likely to be victims of violent crime than those who are divorced or unmarried.

In addition to these facts, it is also clear that: "Being married changes people's lifestyles and habits in ways that are personally and socially beneficial. Marriage is a 'seedbed' of prosocial behavior." [1] "The relational ties and community assets forged through marriage result in many positive outcomes for society. Marriage...fosters social connections, civil and religious involvement, and charitable giving. Marriage connects men and women to the larger community and encourages personal responsibility, family commitment, community voluntarism, and social altruism." [2]

The conclusion we can draw from (a) and (b) is that government benefits that are designed to incentivize marriage may be offered not because of the link between marriage and procreation, but rather because of the link between marriage and social cohesion and the general welfare. The latter is most definitely something gay couples can link to, and the former (though the use of artificial means) is not out of their reach either. So, if society has an interest in encouraging marriage for reasons other than procreation, it should include gay couples because gay couples can help achieve those other reasons.

Pro also writes: "All these benefits exist to make child-bearing and child-rearing easier for married couples." But that's just false. The government benefits given to married couples are not just benefits designed to help parents rear children. Gay couples are denied things such as spousal privilege, which has little to do with raising children, but more to do with ensuring cohesion between the couple, in furtherance of the social benefits I described above. So, even if marriage were about procreation, there is no justification for denying gay couples these benefits of marriage; yet, in the status quo, this discrimination persists.

Note that Pro drops/concedes that civil unions are unequal to marriage, and do not confer the same legal benefits (e.g. spousal privilege) to gay couples. She also (again) resorts to her Is/Ought fallacy when she writes: "homosexual marriage is still unjust due to the nature of marriage."

P2. Social Stigma and Otherization

If you buy from the evidence above, and perhaps even from the historic analysis I presented last round, that marriage is not about procreation, but rather about ensuring social cohesion and social stability, then the stigmatizing and otherizing impact of denying gay people marriage rights has direct and important relevance to this debate. If you buy that marriage is even partly about social goals other than procreation, these arguments are still going to weigh.

I. Marriage Would Lower "Psychological Distress"

I am assuming that when Pro objects to my source showing the connection between higher levels of distress and a lack of marriage rights, she is referring to my source number 18 from Round 2. All the methodological information from that source was easily accessible if Pro had scrolled down and clicked "Click here for the full study." A link to additional (and methodological) information from this source has been provided as source number [7] in this round. Extend the study, as her only rebuttal against it is now defunct. Furthermore, there are good rational reasons to believe that marriage equality reduces suicide. [8]

I would also note that Pro falls prey to her very own objection. She cites a study without giving a URL, so I cannot access it to examine its veracity either.

Next, I will cite evidence showing how gay couples who marry actually have long lifespans than those who don't. In Denmark, the first country to legalize civil unions, a study was conducted using the country's civil registry: "During the study period, about 1.7 million of the people in the registry died, allowing the researchers to calculate mortality rates for the 29-year period. Controlling for education, income, city and population density, the researchers found that marriage made a difference...[Since] same-sex marriage was introduced, mortality rates among gays and lesbians who got married have declined. As of 2011, men in same-sex marriages were only 1.4 times more likely to die during the study period than men in opposite-sex marriages, a number lower than unmarried or divorced men." [5, for further reading see: 6] Moreover, gay marriage helps reduce HIV rates. [9, 10] So even if there is a higher suicide rate, overall lower mortality rates show that it is actually better (in terms of longevity) to be a married homosexual.

Regarding the Netherlands study, I never suggested that marriage equality would end the psychological harms experienced by gay people, but I did suggest it would reduce those harms, which is what my evidence shows. Pro's source shows that homosexuals there still suffer illness at a higher rate, but what her source doesn't show is whether or not that rate is less than it was prior to the legalization of gay marriage (which my evidence does); so, her evidence doesn"t disprove my claim. I have a study that proves my claim; Pro has no study that disproves it.

II. Children Under Homosexual Marriage

Cross-apply my Round 2 arguments about gay parenting here. Pro asserts that because gay families are at great risk of "humiliation," that they shouldn't raise kids. But that's just perverse. It's basically saying that because society otherizes gay families, they should be denied the right to raise kids. That does gay people a double wrong.

Also, on page 262 of the Sweden report, the researchers write, "[o]ur data is based on legal unions of short durations only, so we can say nothing about the fraction of unions that eventually will end in disruption." Additionally, the report cannot prove that gay couples in general have higher divorce rates, since it is possible that the years sampled were not reflective of general trends.

III. Heterosexuals are the Majority

So what? Just because African-Americans were the minority didn"t justify enslaving them for cheap labor. Justice and morality are universal concepts, and apply just as much to the minority as the majority.

SOURCES

1 - http://www.foryourmarriage.org...
2 - http://www.usccb.org...
3 - http://azpolicypages.com...
4 - http://www.guttmacher.org...
5 - http://m.livescience.com...
6 - http://www.cbsnews.com...
7 - http://ajph.aphapublications.org...
8 - http://www.counselling-directory.org.uk...
9 - http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
10 - http://shared.web.emory.edu...
Zarroette

Pro

Thank you, bsh1.

I will first offer my conclusive rebuttals to my opponent’s arguments, and then I will crystallise my own arguments.

Is/ought fallacy charges

My opponent has only applied this fallacy where I have provided a conclusion of my counter-argument, which for character sake, is expanded in full elsewhere.

An example of this is my opponent’s comments last round:

“She also (again) resorts to her Is/Ought fallacy when she writes: "homosexual marriage is still unjust due to the nature of marriage."”

My responses like this were not meant to argue all of my A1 argument, rather it was merely the conclusion of it. I urge you, as the voter, to consider the context in which these frivolous charges of is/ought fallacies take place.

HOMOSEXUALITY IS NOT A CHOICE

Ultimately, this is not linked to the debate. The resolution reads: Gay marriage should not be permitted, not: Homosexuality is a choice. Besides, my refutations of gay marriage have nothing to do with it being a choice.

INJUSTICE

These arguments, when in the presence of my A1 argument, are automatically refuted; none of these arguments can reasonably take place if there are legitimate differences that require different treatment.

P1. Discrimination

I. Recognising Actual Difference

My counter-point here identifies that there are differences between homosexual and heterosexuals couples, of which, as expounded in my A1 argument, there is the key distinction of *intrinsic procreation*, not *extrinsic procreation* as my opponent continues to attack. To summarise: unjust treatment (discrimination) cannot take place if the differences warrant different treatment.

II. Governmental Benefits

Firstly, marriage benefits, as I have argued, are there to encourage the establishment of something good: heterosexual marriage (being good due to my arguments under A1). The government, in reality, has not nearly the same amount of incentive to encourage homosexual unions.

If you do not buy the above, then please refer to my A1 argument. All of these governmental bonuses are moot, in this debate. The reason being is that you could afford all of these financial and legal benefits to homosexuals, and you would have the same result, in effect. You could give homosexuals the right to tax breaks based on their union. You could allow homosexuals the right to raise children. You can have the state recognise their union. However, you could do all this without affording the homosexual union the term ‘marriage,’ because as I argued in A1, marriage is not a homosexual union (and this is a summary of my argument, rather than the argument itself, so please, no is/ought fallacy accusation).

My opponent, towards the end of the debate, begins to conflate other arguments with this response, based on his statistics about mental welfare and whatnot. However, as the title suggests, this is about governmental benefits, not the mental state of homosexuals. Please keep this in mind when reading this sub-heading.


P2. Social Stigma and Otherisation

Ultimately, all these arguments should not come into contention. The most damning argument against SSM is that homosexual couples do not meet the intrinsic form for procreation. However, in the event that you ignore or do not understand my former argument (it is a bit tricky to understand), I have provided rebuttals to these arguments.

I. Marriage Would Lower “Psychological Distress”

Please observe the studies (Scandanavian ones and the increased suicide rate) I cited. They contradict my opponent’s sources, so in fairness, I think this point is nulled.

I still maintain that my opponent’s studies are inaccessible, therefore I cannot be expected to respond to them. This source: (http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu...) merely has what is known as an Abstract, meaning that nothing was examined in depth. As I clicked upon ‘full-text’, this was the result:




An abstract of a report =/= the report itself.

My opponent’s second source (https://actionaids.org...) suffers from a similar problem. I scrolled down to disparities in levels of psychological distress (the part in which my opponent argued from) and clicked on the link. Then, I saw that you had to sign-in in order to view the research:



Affirmative Arguments

A1. Marriage is Oriented Naturally

This is the most important contention of the debate. If I uphold this argument, its presence refutes the discrimination, the child-rearing, the otherisation and most arguments my opponent has made. Whilst I could win the debate based on my other contentions, this is the most important one and I strongly urge voters to consider this thoroughly.


The unintended strawman; extrinsic versus intrinsic

My opponent, throughout this entire debate, has provided a nigh uncounterable response to marriage being about extrinsic procreation, BUT as I have said on numerous occasions to refute all of his arguments on this point, I argued that marriage involves intrinsic procreation. The difference between these two is all important and means that my opponent’s counter-arguments against my A1 are all strawmans. As I have argued all along: marriage can exist without children.


Infertile couples

Prima facie, this seems a cogent response, but it suffers from the same problem. As said previously, infertile couples can form a biological unit; they have the ability to mate (they can perform the type of act which results in procreation when *extrinsic* circumstances eventuate). Infertile opposite-sex couples have the ability to form bodily, emotional and spiritual union which *can* be fulfilled by [extrinsic] procreation, BUT it does not have to in order to be considered marriage.


Impact calculus:


I. Gay marriage is unjust

So, why does this distinction matter? It matters because it leaves my syllogism COMPLETELY UNCONTESTED, AND my syllogism happens to directly address the resolution:

1. Heterosexual union [not necessarily extrinsic child-birth] is the indispensable means by which humans come into existence and therefore has special social value (indeed, the greatest possible social value because it is the first precondition for society).

2. The indispensable means by which something of special social value can occur itself has special value.

3. What has special value to human society deserves special social recognition and sanction.

4. Civil ordinances which recognize gay marriage as comparable to heterosexual marriage constitute a rejection of the special value of heterosexual unions.

5. To deny the special social value of what has special social value is unjust.

6. Therefore, gay marriage is unjust


With this, I move from showing that gay marriage is different to heterosexual marriage, to gay marriage is unjust, which is enough to win the debate.



II. Degeneracy implodes marriage

The lack of real standard in which to hold marriage by leaves marriage open to disintegration. With my opponent’s justifications of “discrimination” and “happiness”, these can justify a spider and man marrying, a paedophile and a little boy, or a pair of 3 year olds marrying (“Do you want to be married?” “Mama! Mama! Yes!” *proceeds to play with My Little Pony toys*). In allowing anyone to marry on such foundless grounds, marriage will eventually degenerate into meaninglessness, thereby destroying itself. And so, the ideal form for procreation and family: the heterosexual marriage, will be slowly removed by an influx of marriages for “happiness” and “love”, thereby destroying the foundation of society (intrinsic procreation).


A2: Homosexuals Make for Poor Parents


I. Non-Biological Parents

Homosexual couples are far more likely to attack and/or kill their non-biological children. Via evolutionary psychology, a point in which my opponent confused conscious choice with, it becomes clear that non-biological parents are statistically inferior to biological ones. The murder rate of infants, whilst relatively low (and taken from relatively low estimates i.e. 120 fold, instead of 300+), indicates the phenomenon at play and give it impact. The observations from the other studies corroborates this idea, and were not understood by my opponent (hence him merely quoting the study, as if my point would be refuted by this). A couple of my studies were also dropped, particularly the ones about tribes. My opponent’s counter-theory to the Cinderella Effect should be regarded inferior due to its purely abstract nature (i.e. has not been tested).



II. General Problem With Same-Sex Parenting

My opponent Ad Hominems a couple of my authors, but let us get to the crux of this point. The NFSS study took a random sample, which is actually the strength of the study. As the independent reviewer Walter Schumm said, this random sample allowed for an accurate depiction of homosexual relationships, rather than the bias of selected samples Herek reviews (picking the best of the best for homosexual couples, and some even pick the worst for heterosexual couples) that other studies my opponent cites suffer from. The studies Herek reviews have been shown not up to scientific standards by Sullins, Hansen and Allen. The Scandanvian studies are also in direct evidence to this lone review.



A3: Religious Immorality

If your faith is tested, the will of our Lord reflects through my A1 argument in particular, hence the uncontested logic of it. Otherwise, stay true to what you know is right: homosexual unions are not marriages.


Back to bsh1 for the final time…

Debate Round No. 4
bsh1

Con

Thanks, Zarroette! It's been an great debate.

PRO's CASE

A1. Marriage is Oriented Naturally

I will only address some arguments here in order to conserve character space.

2. Pro asserts that intrinsic procreation is sufficient to justify heterosexual-only marriages, and that a male-female relationship has an intrinsic link to procreation. Firstly, how does an infertile, heterosexual relationship have an "intrinsic link" to procreation. The intrinsic link argument asserts that heterosexual marriage is moral because it is ordered towards procreation; but surely, if procreation is so special, would we not exclude infertile couples to even further order the institution toward that goal? Pro never sufficiently explains why infertile couples should be allowed to marry while gay couples should not, and that is the fatal flaw in her argument here. Secondly, why must the link be intrinsic vice extrinsic? If procreation is our goal, as Pro clearly believes, it is not sufficient that a union can procreate, but that they actually procreate. That means that extrinsic procreation, i.e. "giving birth in reality," is also key.

3. Pro claims that all those other benefits of marriage are only possible because of procreation, thus procreation is marriage's primary goal. Firstly, this seems to presuppose that marriage is necessary to procreate; but it's not. Procreation can happen outside of marriage, so while marriage may be useful to that end, it is possible that marriage serves some other goal. Secondly, Pro tries to dismiss my historical evidence, but to understand something's purpose, we have to understand its history and the context in which the institution arose. That historical context, as well as modern evidence about the social benefits of marriage, suggest that marriage serves another purpose, i.e. promoting the general welfare, and that this purpose (historically) was more important that procreation.

4. Gay couples have a more innate link to procreation that infertile heterosexuals. Gay couples can produces children via artificial means, where as infertile couples may not even be able to do that. Insofar as gay couples have 1 means of procreating and infertile couples have 0 means of procreating, gay couples appear to have a stronger intrinsic link. Yet, Pro would allow infertile couples but not gay couples to marry--that is clearly contradictory.

5. Pro focuses so much on procreation she seems to forget what follows. As I stated last round: "procreation alone is not sufficient if a couple refuses or is unable to raise a child." Why should the purpose of marriage just be procreation, and not child-rearing? Surely, parents should do more than just produce bodies; they should make productive members of society. Even if gay couples don't have a intrinsic link to procreation, they can definitely raise and adopt children, which is an important part of the equation, and perhaps more important than procreation alone.

7. Pro commits a reductio ad absurdum fallacy and a slippery slope fallacy here. Gay couples are consenting adults. Five year olds, spiders, and snakes, are not. As such, Pro's only response to this argument is fallacious and a unfair representation (strawman) of my position. My argument was this: "Legalizing gay marriage won't cause straight married couples to stop having kids, and it may just benefit the gay couples in other ways (e.g. happiness). That's a net positive." So, including gay couples doesn't undermine the procreative value of marriage, yet it furthers the social goals of marriage. A just government would see that as a worthwhile outcome to pursue.

A2: Homosexual Make for Poor Parents

Overview: My opponent's parody here doesn't actually address what my overview is saying. She asks whether, because murder will happen in either word, we should remove sanctions against murder. This is a false analogy. We are not debating whether gay parenting should or should not be allowed, we are debating whether gay marriage should or should not be allowed. Gay parenting could be equally legal in either of our worlds, therefore, both of our worlds could have the exact same problems. This means this whole contention is non-unique, and not worthy of evaluation.

I. Non-biological Parents

I will only address some arguments here in order to conserve character space.

1. Pro claims that gay people's subconscious tendencies outweigh their conscious ones. First, let me point out that all of Pro's evidence had to deal with stepparents, not gay people. So, Pro has no evidence that proves that gay people's subconscious tendencies towards neglecting no biological children will outweigh their conscious tendencies to care for them. Remember, "gay parents tend to be more motivated, more committed, and more thoughtful parents than heterosexual couples. That's because they usually have to work very hard, and plan very far in advance, to become parents, and so rarely do so by accident." This fact is not true of stepparents. Moreover, Pro claims "motivation" is not falsifiable, but it certainly is; just as "neglect" is something that can be measured, so too can one measure a parents attentiveness, survey their enthusiasm, and measure how well they care for their child.

3. Three things: (1) Pro's studies do not show that stepparents are "likely" to abuse kids, just "more likely." (2) The studies relate to stepparents, not gay couples, and there are significant differences between the two groups that make it hard cross-apply conclusions from one group to the other. (3) Pro never denies that: "Daly and Wilson's 1985 Canadian sample included cases of sexual abuse as well as cases of unintentional omission, such as not buckling a child's seatbelt in the car." That could easily just be absentmindedness rather than actual abuse.

4. Pro claims that there is strong evidence for the Cinderella effect. Even if the effect exists, this doesn't mean we know its cause. Pro claims that my counter-hypothesis is untested; but, just because it is untested doesn't mean it is untrue. Insofar as there is a viable, alternative explanation to the effect than what Pro suggests, Pro cannot claim that the cause of the effect is necessarily the lack of a biological connection between parents.

II. General Problem with Same-Sex Parenting

1. It is not an appeal to authority as I explain why those researchers discredited the study.

1a. Pro's name-dropping of Schumm is, however, a blatant appeal to authority. Moreover, Pro never once disputed the flaws in the Regnerus evidence that I identified: "It fails to consider important variables, including the length of the relationship (was it a day, a week, etc.), whether or not the child was raised by a same-sex couple or by a single parent, socioeconomic challenges, parental drug abuse, educational opportunities, parental harmony, geographic location, etc." So, even if the study was random, it was still severely, methodologically flawed.

1b. I didn't engage in an ad hominem attack; I pointed out that the researcher was likely biased due to his own beliefs and due to his sources of funding. Pro never disputes that Regnerus was likely biased.

2. Pro says that because gay people are stigmatized, they should not raise children. That does gay people a double wrong--it stigmatizes them and denies people who want to be parents the right to do so. The solution should be to prevent gay couples from parenting, but to end the stigmatization of gay families.

3. Pro's source 10 takes me to an error page, and Pro's source 7 does not mention Herek anywhere (ctrl+f search produced zero returns.) So, the two sources Pro uses to discredit my Herek evidence are either inaccessible or don't even mention Herek. So, the Herek information can be extended.

4. Pro doesn't dispute that Hansen was biased or that her preemptive rebuttals attacked strawmans, not actual arguments.

A3: Religious Immorality

1. Pro drops that freedom of religion protects people from having other people's religious views from being imposed on them. Why should Christian or Islamic morality (what Pro discusses), dictate what other faiths, or people who don't agree with those values, should do?

2. Pro drops that some religions allow gay marriages, yet Pro would deny those faith's the right to perform such marriage ceremonies. I, however, don't have to compel faiths to perform those ceremonies, I merely have to permit them to do so if they want. So, Pro violates freedom of religion, whereas I don't.

VOTING ISSUES

1. Purpose of Marriage

Procreation can occur outside of marriage, but the social benefits that marriage begets are unique to marriage. If anything, then, social benefits seem more unique and special to the institution than procreation. Gay couples can link into these social benefits, and can even link into procreative benefits through artificial means and Pro struggles to explain why infertile couples should be included in matrimony. Moreover, gay couples can raise children, which may be even more important than procreation alone.


2. Stigmatization and Otherization

Marriage equality would reduce the harms of anti-gay stigma. Allowing gay people to marry won't stop heterosexuals from procreating, and it will help gay people be happier. It's a win-win.


3. Religion

Pro seems to feel that respecting religion is important, but I show how she is the only one stifling free expression of faith.


4. Discrimination

Denying gay couples benefits (many of which don't pertain to child-rearing) based on innate factors (no one chooses to be gay) is discriminatory. Pro says we should give gay people equal benefits, but not call it "marriage." That's a distinction without a different. Besides, the definition of SSM is a union with the same benefits as a heterosexual marriage; so Pro is advocating for gay marriage at that point.


----

I also remind Pro that she can't summarize or make arguments next round.

----

Thank you! Please VOTE CON!
Zarroette

Pro

Thank you, bsh1, for this fantastic debate and strong opposition; I really mean that. As required by round rules, I will not summarise or make arguments this round.

I would like to give a big thank you to 16Kadams for introducing me to arguments against gay marriage, which ultimately inspired me to accept this debate.

Anyway, onto the voting =)
Debate Round No. 5
546 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Jonan4tor 1 year ago
Jonan4tor
Hello,I am currently doing the same thing,so basically advertising. Id you're interested,take a look at the link.

http://www.debate.org...
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
This debate has some really bad votes, lol...
Posted by 9spaceking 1 year ago
9spaceking
goodness gracious, how did I miss this? Looks like "Jack" has a lot of stuff to add to his arguments...
Posted by tejretics 2 years ago
tejretics
OMG! 542 comments!!!!!!!!
Posted by bsh1 2 years ago
bsh1
Lol...
Posted by Daltonian 2 years ago
Daltonian
If we are referring to texas, I think the word "abomination" has been popularly replaced with "obamanation" in common colloquial terms
Posted by bsh1 2 years ago
bsh1
@Jzonda - You can assign points if you want.

I do have an issue with both you and Zmike intimating that I made new arguments in R5--I didn't--but that can be discussed later.
Posted by bsh1 2 years ago
bsh1
11,000th view w/ 1 hour and 36 minutes left... :)
Posted by bsh1 2 years ago
bsh1
Yup...it's definitely gonna hit 11,000.
Posted by bsh1 2 years ago
bsh1
Oh...but it is.
16 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by jzonda415 2 years ago
jzonda415
bsh1Zarroette
Who won the debate:--
Reasons for voting decision: In an effort to be fair, I will not score for either side in this debate. My RFD is here: https://docs.google.com/a/mattawanschools.org/document/d/1LWRHRaIxhwgRKaExvCCSh3FgIPZ723NjzdsJEldA6LU/edit
Vote Placed by zmikecuber 2 years ago
zmikecuber
bsh1Zarroette
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
bsh1Zarroette
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments.
Vote Placed by Daltonian 2 years ago
Daltonian
bsh1Zarroette
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: RFD is located 46 pages from the end (take the total number of comment pages and subtract by 46). Good debate on both sides, but bsh won on all fronts; especially in the rebuttals.
Vote Placed by Leo.Messi 2 years ago
Leo.Messi
bsh1Zarroette
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Pro had better grammer (in my opinion) and argued very fluently. Arguments go to pro for these arguments: "A1: Marriage is orientated naturally" "A2: Homosexuals make for poor parents" "A3: Religious Immorality" It was argued very well. I could not understand what con was saying about the blue eyes and brown eyes thing...but Zaroette's arguments were easier to understand. And so pro wins.
Vote Placed by Guidestone 2 years ago
Guidestone
bsh1Zarroette
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Pro did mention how marriage is naturally oriented, and that biological parents do raise children best, even better than any opposite-sex or same-sex couple, something that was not refuted. However, Pro does not understand the Christian Mosaic law, and further a government decision probably should no be based on religion anyways. Con seem to over emphasize Homosexuality, and even twist the biological parenting argument about the sexuality of the parents which was wrong to do since that was not the point. Con also made it seem that Pro had to defend the current marriage laws that allow divorce and re-marriage which was also another twisting of the arguments. Con said Pro committed a logical fallacy which they may have done, but that was a small section of the overall argument, and did not address the rest of it for some reason. It was pretty close, but overall I think Pro did a bit better because of not twisting arguments and had un-refuted arguments at the end.
Vote Placed by Adam_Godzilla 2 years ago
Adam_Godzilla
bsh1Zarroette
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's strongest argument was the study by Mark Regnerus. In the summary of that study, Regenerus conducted a survey from 2988 young adults to evaluate 'empirically' the claim that gay couples are not worse off than straight couples when raising children. Pro's other arguments are logically flawed and her religious arguments were an attempt to appeal to the religious mass on DDO, I sincerely believe, it is an ad populum. Pro's counter claim to Con, who said that Regnerus's study was generally discredited, called out an ad hominem. There is no such fallacy here as the article Con cited, stated that the sociology department of the University where Regnerus conducted his study, said themselves that the study was flawed and the citations distorted to deny the civil rights of the LGBT community.... (continued in the comments.)
Vote Placed by EndarkenedRationalist 2 years ago
EndarkenedRationalist
bsh1Zarroette
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: In comments
Vote Placed by 16kadams 2 years ago
16kadams
bsh1Zarroette
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: k comments. I will try to make it one or two comments at most.
Vote Placed by Philocat 2 years ago
Philocat
bsh1Zarroette
Who won the debate:--
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments :)