The Instigator
Illegalcombatant
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
randolph7
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points

Gay Marriage should be Illegal (3)

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Illegalcombatant
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/30/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,564 times Debate No: 17712
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (12)
Votes (2)

 

Illegalcombatant

Con

Resolution

Gay Marriage should be Illegal

Burden of Proof

Pro will affirm the resolution
Con will oppose the resolution

Debate details

4 Rounds
8,000 Character limit
72 Hours to respond
1 Month voting period

NO VIDEO LINKS !!!

PROBLEMS ?

If you have any problem with the debate please post in the comments section first so we can try to come to an agreement before starting.

Round 4

Round 4 is the last round, no new material or arguments are to be presented in round 4. Only rebuttals, counter arguments of the previous arguments, and summaries.

Definitions:

Gay = "Gay is a word that commonly refers to a male or female whose sexual orientation is attraction to persons of the same sex."

Marriage = Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found. Such a union, often formalized via a wedding ceremony, may also be called matrimony.

Gay Marriage =(Obviously we are talking about people of the same sex who want to marry each other hence the term "Gay Marriage", also known as Same Sex Marriage.

Illegal = Illegal, or unlawful, is used to describe something that is prohibited by law.

Opening Argument

Here is my first argument, lets call it the you need a good reason to make and keep something illegal argument.

P1) Freedom is our default
P2) You need a good reason to make something Illegal
C) If a law exists that does not have a good reason for making something illegal, then the law should be changed so the thing is no longer illegal

Premise 1) Freedom is our default

By saying freedom is our default, is that we start with an innocent till proven guilty assumption, or in this case, freedom or legality is given as an assumption until proven other wise. As John Sturat Mill has written... "the burden of proof is supposed to be with those who are against liberty; who contend for any restriction or prohibition…. The a prioriassumption is in favour of freedom…’ [1]

The alternative would be that freedom is NOT our default.

Premise 2) You need a good reason to make something illegal

I suppose we could just have rules based on the whims of a king or tyrant, but I doubt Pro will argue against this premise.

The alternative would be that you DON'T need a good reason to make something illegal.

Conclusion) If a law exists that does not have a good reason for making something illegal, then the law should be changed so the thing is no longer illegal

Common Arguments used to justify the banning of gay marriage

At this point I would like to go over some common arguments that are used to support the banning of gay marriage.......

"Gays can't have children"

The person who advocates this view probably doesn't claim that an infertile hetrosexual couple should be banned from being able to marry, thus showing that being able to have children is NOT a necessary criteria for allowing people to marry.

"Allowing gays to marry is giving special rights to gay"

A common argument used to support this special rights claim is that only gays want to marry gays thus its only benefits them. But under this kind of reasoning no person or group that is denied something can ever seek to get rid of this denial, lest they be accused of seeking special rights. Perhaps it was wrong to allow women to vote, after all, allowing women to vote only benefited women thus women were seeking "special rights"

"Marriage should only be between a man and a woman"

This definition/concept of marriage excludes gay marriage by definition. A racist could define marriage as only between a man and a woman of the same race and thus exclude interacial marriage by definition.

Your going to need more than just a definition of marriage in order to justify the denial of marriage between people, whether that be between a gay couple or interacial couple.

"Hextrosexual marriage is some how necessary or good for the production of future citizens"

Allowing gays to marry doesn't stop hextrosexual marriage, nor does it in anyway stop or interfere with children being produced in a hetrosexual marriage.

"If we allow gays to marry it will result in pedophilia & bestiality"

Allowing consenting hetrosexual adults to marry doesn't result in these things, so why would allowing gay consenting adults to to marry result in these things ? Without sufficient warrant, its just a slippery slope argument and thus fallacious.

"Gays or homosexuality is disgusting"

So is two hetrosexual fatties having sexual intercourse, but we don't ban marriage to them based on our personal disgust. If we are going to deny marriage to people on the basis of what disgusts us, then hardly anyone will be able to get married, whether homosexual or hetrosexual.

"I don't like gays"

Then don't marry a gay person. Gay marriage doesn't force you into a gay marriage, nor does it require you to like gays or like homosexuality. It just gives gays an option to marry other gays.

If Pro does agree you need a good reason to make something illegal and/or keep it illegal, then Pro will have to provide a good reason in order to justify gay marriage being banned. Until then the resolution is not affirmed.

I look forward to Pros opening argument.

Sources

[1] http://plato.stanford.edu...;
randolph7

Pro

This should be interesting ;

Premise 1) Freedom is our default
I agree with this premise prima facie. However, I don't agree that it applies to this situation. Gays may not have marriage rights in all states but do in some and have civil union rights in many others. Secondly, there is no right or freedom in the Constitution that guarantees anyone can marry including heterosexuals.

Premise 2) You need a good reason to make something illegal
I agree if the law doesn't have a good reason for making something illegal it should be changed. But there are many laws that do not have good reason to exist and yet do. Sites like http://www.stupidlaws.com... to that fact. I'm probably just arguing semantics here :)

Gay Marriage should be illegal because marriage these days affords much more to a person than a simple certificate. It allows gays to add each other to insurance, receive government benefits, tax breaks and much more. The problem this creates are the marriages of convenience between two friends. There would be no way to guard against abuses of the system and we could wind up with everyone married but acting single just so that they can receive marriage benefits. That would completely degrade the sanctity of marriage.

Debate Round No. 1
Illegalcombatant

Con

I thank Pro for accepting this debate. Pro has kept there opening objection and argument short so I will try and do the same.

Premise 1) Freedom is our default

Pro mentions what rights gays may or may not have, but that is a reference to the current law. My first premise isn't derived from law, its an ethical principle, an ethical principle that is generally adhered to when making laws within modern western civilisation. That is, that things are not assumed to be illegal, but rather legality is assumed, and if you want to make something illegal you need a good reason for it, hence premise 2).

The alternative to this premise is that freedom is NOT our default, I don't think Pro makes any argument for this alternative.

Premise 2) You need a good reason to make something illegal

Yes there are laws that don't have a good reason to exist, this doesn't refute the premise, it just shows the premise is not always adhered to. Denying this premise on grounds that it is not always obeyed makes as much sense as denying that raping children is wrong cause some people rape children.

Conclusion) If a law exists that does not have a good reason for making something illegal, then the law should be changed so the thing is no longer illegal

CA = Counter Argument

CA: Gay marriage provides benefits to gays

Pro argues that marriage provides benefits, well no argument there, isn't that part of the reason why both hetrosexuals and homosexuals want to get married ? Pro then goes on to say..."The problem this creates are the marriages of convenience between two friends. There would be no way to guard against abuses of the system and we could wind up with everyone married but acting single just so that they can receive marriage benefits. "

Well I agree, this is a possibility, but there is a HUGE double standard, Pro says that gays marriage might result in marriage of convenience and thus should be illegal, but this is also possible with a hetrosexual marriage. Does Pro also argue that hetrosexual marriage should be banned for the same exact reason ? no, hence the double standard.

If we adopt Pros principle that marriage should be banned cause friends can get married just to get benefits, then you would have to ban both gay marriage and hetrosexual marriage, no body can get married. I hope Pro realizes that people have friends who are the opposite gender.

I can merely retort Pros argument back to them, allowing hetrosexual marriage can result in a marriage of convenience and thus "completely degrades the sanctity of marriage" I suspect this is not the outcome that Pro wanted.

I look forward to Pros reply.
randolph7

Pro

This has been a fun debate.

Premise 1) Freedom is our default
I agree that freedom as you put it is the default. However, I still believe that no one, including gays, have any enumerated right to marriage and the right to marry is really what you claim gays have. Marriage is a privilege, granted by the state; rights are “endowed by our Creator” of which marriage is not included. Privileges are set in law, inferred from other rights or take the form of “freedoms” as Con puts it. As a privilege, marriage can be denied based on the needs of the State.

Marriage is already heavily regulated. To wit, a license must be obtained, a fee paid, and it must be legal for the participants to marry. Siblings, inanimate objects, animals, etc. are not granted this privilege. I do not claim that all of these other types of couples restricted from marrying are equivalent to homosexual couples. I only bring them up to illustrate that marriage is heavily regulated, and for good reason. The benefits mentioned in my initial argument (among possible others) garnered from this privilege should only be extended to those who would benefit the state by their union.

Married partners are granted these benefits because the propagation of society is a compelling interest for the State. This is why laws tend to restrict marriage between couples unlikely to produce viable children. Sterile couples often do not know before marriage that they are infertile. And even if they did it would be cost prohibitive to require such testing of all marrying couples. Otherwise, I would argue even sterile couples should be denied marriage.

Premise 2) You need a good reason to make something illegal
Perhaps it doesn’t refute the premise but the premise is flawed in that gay marriage isn’t illegal as much as it’s not an allowed circumstance in most states. Let me give an example: Aliens and humans aren’t specifically banned from marriage but they wouldn’t be able to get a license either. Lack of prohibition in law doesn’t make the act illegal it just means that they would not be recognized by the state as a valid union.

Conclusion)
The State has a compelling reason not to allow non-reproductive couples from marrying.

CA: Gay marriage provides benefits to gays
I would argue that marriage should be banned for everyone that has a “marriage of convenience” based on the benefits derived from the State making it in the State’s interest to do so. In fact, when the INS learns of such marriages they often prosecute the violators. So, yes, even in heterosexual marriages certain restrictions should and do apply. And I still believe that either homo or hetero couples that do this violate the sanctity of marriage.

Debate Round No. 2
Illegalcombatant

Con

I thank Pro for their response.

Premise 1) Freedom is our default

I don't think Pro is disagrees with this premise, Pro makes some remarks about marriage being a privileged and not a right but even if this accepted this doesn't refute the first premise.

The alternative would be that freedom is NOT our default.

Premise 2) You need a good reason to make something illegal

Pro says..."Perhaps it doesn’t refute the premise but the premise is flawed in that gay marriage isn’t illegal as much as it’s not an allowed circumstance in most states"

The first part of this sentence doesn't make sense where Pro says that gay marriage isn't illegal as much as its not allowed. Well what does it mean for something to be illegal ? Well at the start of the debate illegal was defined as... "Illegal = Illegal, or unlawful, is used to describe something that is prohibited by law." Prohibited means not allowed by the way.

Definition of Prohibited

1.Formally forbid (something) by law, rule, or other authority
- laws prohibiting cruelty to animals

2.Formally forbid a person or group from doing something
- he is prohibited from being a director

3.(of a fact or situation) Prevent (something); make impossible" [1]

As such when Pro says that to not allow gay marriage in a legal context doesn't mean you are making it illegal is a contradiction in terms.

Conclusion) If a law exists that does not have a good reason for making something illegal, then the law should be changed so the thing is no longer illegal

Regulation of marriage

Pro informs us that marriage is currently regulated, well sure no argument there, but does this prove that gay marriage should be illegal ? I don't think so, consider this argument....

1) Marriage is regulated
2) Therefore we should ban gay marriage

1) Marriage is regulated
2) Therefore we should ban interracial marriage.

Both arguments are non sequiturs, you can accept the first premise but the conclusion doesn't follow from it.

I would also point out the fact that there are places that ban gay marriage is not a good reason to ban gay marriage. There are some places that ban Christianity, would the fact that a law exists that bans Christianity be a good reason to make Christianity illegal ? what about the fact there are places that ban women from driving, is the fact their is a law some where that bans women from driving a good reason to ban women from driving ? of course not.

Marriage and procreation

Pro says..."Married partners are granted these benefits because the propagation of society is a compelling interest for the State. This is why laws tend to restrict marriage between couples unlikely to produce viable children"

I am aware of no law that restricts marriage (at least in western civilization) to couples if they can't or are unlikely to produce "viable" children. I will ask Pro to explain what they are going on about here. The ability to have children is not a necessary requirement to be able to marry.

The state and the harm principle

Pro says..."Privileges are set in law, inferred from other rights or take the form of “freedoms” as Con puts it. As a privilege, marriage can be denied based on the needs of the State." & "The benefits mentioned in my initial argument (among possible others) garnered from this privilege should only be extended to those who would benefit the state by their union."

I don't accept that marriages should only be granted to those who are judged to be providing a benefit to the state and I don't think you should either. Remember under Pros argument here both gays and hetrosexuals can be denied marriage if they are not deemed as providing a benefit to the state.

Rather than restrict marriage or anything for that matter cause its not deemed beneficial for the state we should only restrict something if it will result in "harm" as the harm principle says..."The harm principle holds that the actions of individuals should only be limited to prevent harm to other individuals. John Stuart Mill first articulated this principle in On Liberty, where he argued that "the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others."[2]"

Marriage of convenience

Previously Pro tried to ban gay marriage on the grounds that this could result in a marraige of convenience. But as I pointed out a marriage of convenience can also happen in a hetrosexual marriage, so according to Pros own rule we would have to ban both gay and hetrosexual marriage. Pro now says..."I would argue that marriage should be banned for everyone that has a “marriage of convenience” based on the benefits derived from the State making it in the State’s interest to do so." & "So, yes, even in heterosexual marriages certain restrictions should and do apply. And I still believe that either homo or hetero couples that do this violate the sanctity of marriage."

Even if we accept Pros now new modified rule, this doesn't result in the banning of gay marriage, it only says that certain gay marriages and hetrosexual marriages should be banned. Well for the sake of argument we can agree to Pros rule here and thus allow gay marriages & hetrosexual marraiges that are not deemed a "marriage of convenience".

I look forward to Pros reply.

Sources

[1] http://www.google.com.au...

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
randolph7

Pro

I’d like to thank Con for this very timely and interesting discussion.

Regulation of marriage
I think Con mischaracterizes my argument a bit. If it’s easier to understand, I’ll follow their format:

1) If there is a compelling State interest to regulating (or making illegal) some activity, then the State should.
2) Limiting marriage to couples able to procreate and produce viable children is a compelling state interest. Gay couples (by themselves) cannot produce viable children together.

Therefore, we should ban gay marriage.

If the State fails to make laws that are in the best interest of furthering a society then that government should no longer stand. It is clearly in the best interest of the US to maintain its current population and maybe even increase it. By allowing the concept of marriage to fall away from its traditional roots would invite other forms of non-procreative marriages since law is based on precedence.

I think the interracial marriage argument is a red herring. Nowhere have I argued that interracial marriage is the same as gay marriage. In fact, by limiting regulation to productive marriages in my argument it would have included interracial marriage.

Ever since long history of marriage began it has been for the creation and protection of a family unit. To change it now because a group of people think that society should change to suit them is unworkable.

Civil Unions afford all the protections gays could hope for it seems that they are simply fighting now for a word. Once civil unions are taken into account, any argument of being unfairly denied recognition and benefits goes out the window.

I would also point out the fact that there are places that ban gay marriage is not a good reason to ban gay marriage. There are some places that ban Christianity...

As to your banning of Christianity argument, I assume you took this low brow tack because you assume I’m religious. To answer the question, the fact that a law exists does not in and of itself make a good law. What makes a good law if it reflects the society that created it and protects the interests of that society (i.e. compelling state interest). So, I suppose in some countries banning women drivers and Christians may very well be a compelling State interest. I don’t know their society well enough to judge that.


Marriage and procreation

I am aware of no law that restricts marriage (at least in western civilization) to couples if they can't or are unlikely to produce "viable" children...

Okay, then. I’ll take Illinois’ marriage restrictions as an example. Most other states are similar in their laws for marriage restrictions. I’ve bolded the restrictions on likely infertile couples below:

§ 750 ILCS 5/212. Prohibited Marriages
Sec. 212. Prohibited Marriages.
(a) The following marriages are prohibited:
(1) a marriage entered into prior to the dissolution of an earlier marriage of one of the parties;
(2) a marriage between an ancestor and a descendant or between a brother and a sister, whether the relationship is by the half or the whole blood or by adoption;
(3) a marriage between an uncle and a niece or between an aunt and a nephew, whether the relationship is by the half or the whole blood;
(4) a marriage between cousins of the first degree; however, a marriage between first cousins is not prohibited if:
(i) both parties are 50 years of age or older; or
(ii) either party, at the time of application for a marriage license, presents for filing with the county clerk of the county in which the marriage is to be solemnized, a certificate signed by a licensed physician stating that the party to the proposed marriage is permanently and irreversibly sterile;
(5) a marriage between 2 individuals of the same sex.
(b) Parties to a marriage prohibited under subsection (a) of this Section who cohabit after removal of the impediment are lawfully married as of the date of the removal of the impediment.
(c) Children born or adopted of a prohibited or common law marriage are the lawful children of the parties[1].

In the Prohibited Marriages section, four out of the five prohibitions are for marriages that are likely not to produce viable offspring. The intent can be seen in § 750 ILCS 5/212(4)(ii) where first cousins can marry if they are sterile or too old to reproduce. So it should be obvious that the legislature isn’t banning cousin marriage on moral grounds but rather that it is banned because the consanguinity could produce unviable children.

Other states allow cousin marriages but all have laws restricting marriage between incestuous couples[2]. The main reason for this difference is varying attitudes about whether first cousin offspring is at significantly higher risk for producing non-viable offspring.


The state and the harm principle

I don't accept that marriages should only be granted to those who are judged to be providing a benefit to the state and I don't think you should either. Remember under Pros argument here both gays and hetrosexuals can be denied marriage if they are not deemed as providing a benefit to the state.

I demonstrated in the previous section that the law already does this. If the State did not benefit in some way from regulating marriage then there would be no marriage law to begin with. It is a compelling State interest to limit marriage to those couples where it can be reasonably assumed that they could provide viable offspring.

Rather than restrict marriage or anything for that matter cause its not deemed beneficial for the state we should only restrict something if it will result in "harm" as the harm principle says..."The harm principle holds that the actions of individuals should only be limited to prevent harm to other individuals. John Stuart Mill first articulated this principle in On Liberty, where he argued that "the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others."[2]

Yes, I’ll accept that definition of the harm principle. I’ll present one of my own:

compelling state interest:
a governmental interest (as in educating children or protecting the public) which is so important that it outweighs individual rights[3].

The two concepts apply to the topic at hand. Absent a compelling state interest, restricting gay marriage should be legal. There is a compelling state interest, however, and that is the protection of the family unit. Depending on the poll, between 53-62% of Americans want to keep the historical definition of marriage intact[4].


Marriage of convenience

Even if we accept Pros now new modified rule, this doesn't result in the banning of gay marriage, it only says that certain gay marriages and hetrosexual marriages should be banned. Well for the sake of argument we can agree to Pros rule here and thus allow gay marriages & hetrosexual marraiges that are not deemed a "marriage of convenience".

Yes, but to do so would be to ignore my other points. Marriage of convenience should be illegal but it’s off point and I shouldn’t have lead us there. It doesn’t follow, however, just because we agree to make marriage of convenience illegal that other forms should be legal.

It has truly been a pleasure discussing this with you.

Sources:
[1] http://www.ilga.gov...
[2]
http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://dictionary.findlaw.com...
[4] http://rpc.senate.gov...

Debate Round No. 3
Illegalcombatant

Con

I thank Pro for their reply and remind them this is the last round.

Premise 1) Freedom is our default


The alternative would be that freedom is NOT our default.

Premise 2) You need a good reason to make something illegal

The alternative would be that you DON'T need a good reason to make something illegal.

Conclusion) If a law exists that does not have a good reason for making something illegal, then the law should be changed so the thing is no longer illegal

Regulation of marriage

Previously I said..."would the fact that a law exists that bans Christianity be a good reason to make Christianity illegal ? what about the fact there are places that ban women from driving, is the fact their is a law some where that bans women from driving a good reason to ban women from driving ? of course not."

Pro replies..."What makes a good law if it reflects the society that created it and protects the interests of that society (i.e. compelling state interest). So, I suppose in some countries banning women drivers and Christians may very well be a compelling State interest. I don’t know their society well enough to judge that."

Under this principle of a law is justified if it reflects society, slavery was and is justified, also under the Taliban it was a law to stop young girls from learning to much. No its not a compelling state interest, it just your typical run of the mill tyranny.

Pro seems to agree with my original point that you need more than just the law its self in order to justify its existence.

Marriage & Procreation & Viable children

Although Pro puts in an admiral effort, Pro merely gives a law which says nothing about restricting marriage to only those who can produce "viable children" Pros gives THEIR INTERPRETATION of the law, an interpretation I don't think is justified.

The first 4 laws in Pros example all have to do with "incest". The first 3 laws give no exemptions what so ever that this incest marriage is allowed on the condition of being sterile and/or won't/can't produce children in this incest marriage. This refutes Pros suggestion that these restrictions on marriages are based on viable children grounds and not moral grounds.

As Pro mentions the only exception, is given to first cousin marriage. What can I say, maybe the good folk of Illinois really really want to marry their first cousins eh ?

There is a good reason why a law wouldn't want to state the restriction of marriage based on viable children, that being you are now making a distinction between viable children and non viable children and that gets you into all sorts of problems. Pro never tells us what these viable and non viable children are.

The State and the harm principle

Pro says..."There is a compelling state interest, however, and that is the protection of the family unit"

This implies that allowing gay marriage will some how harm or poses a danger to the family unit. Allowing murders and rapists as long as they are a man and a woman to marry doesn't seem to harm marriage or the family unit. I think you can afford a couple of law abiding homo's to marry.

I think I should also address something about the harm principle, its not enough to ban something just because its not beneficial to the state. The state allows lots of things which are not beneficial to the state even when applying the harm principle for example smoking, obesity etc. Arguable these things are even harmful, but ultimately they harm the individual more and not the general public as such the state is not justified in banning it. Like wise it may be the case that gay marriage is not beneficial to the state but that still isn't enough to justify the banning of gay marriage.

Pros argument

1) If there is a compelling State interest to regulating (or making illegal) some activity, then the State should.
2) Limiting marriage to couples able to procreate and produce viable children is a compelling state interest.
3) Gay couples (by themselves) cannot produce viable children together. (I agree)
C) Therefore, we should ban gay marriage.

I don't think this argument works and I will explain why. For starters the bit about the gays should be a separate premise. Premise 3) is a given.

Why should we accept premise 2 ? Notice that you don't need marriage at all in order to produce viable children. If Pro is so concerned and is arguing that the state should be so concerned about viable children being born, then you would have to regulate pro creation not marriage. Pro merely throws marriage in there, when its unnecessary to do so. As such premise 2) could be written as... 2) The state has a compelling interest to regulate procreation in order to ensure only viable children are born.

1) If there is a compelling State interest to regulating (or making illegal) some activity, then the State should.
2) The state has a compelling interest to regulate procreation in order to ensure only viable children are born.
3) Gay couples (by themselves) cannot produce children together.
C) Therefore, we should ban gay marriage.

But notice this argument is a non sequitur, you can accept the premises as true, but the conclusion doesn't logically follow.

There is also another problem, the problem being the statement and concept of a "viable child". Why is this a problem ? cause it implies there is such thing as a "non viable" child. I can merely argue that a child that is born, by definition, by its nature and by its existence is a "viable" child and thus there is no such thing as a "non viable child" with this in mind lets look at Pros second premise

"2) Limiting marriage to couples able to procreate and produce viable children is a compelling state interest. "

Premise 2 implies that the state should regulate marriage to try and stop the creation of "non viable children", and thus is based on a on a lie so the premise is false. With premise 2) being false the argument is unsound and can be rejected.

I can also use this concept of all child born are viable into a counter argument.

Viable children and marriage argument

1) All children born are viable and there is no such thing as an non viable child
2) Therefore the state has no justification for restricting marriage whether hetrosexual or homosexual on the grounds to prevent the creation of non viable children.

Now maybe Pro can challenge me on my argument that there is no such thing as a "non viable child". What if there is such thing as a "non viable" child ? I don't think this would help Pros argument cause the justification for restricting marriage is based on the goal, the compelling interest as Pro puts it, in preventing "non viable" children being born. But as Pro pointed out gays can't produce children and thus pose no danger in producing non viable children. As such their is no justification for banning gay marriage on the grounds of trying to stop non viable children being born. The argument is as follows...

The State, viable children and gay marriage argument

1) The state has a compelling interest to restrict marriage where a non viable child could be produced
2) Gay couples (by themselves) cannot produce children together. (whether viable or non viable)
3) Therefore the state has no compelling interest to ban gay marriage on the grounds of preventing non viable child being born.

Closing Remarks.

Pro at the end of the last round makes the point..."It doesn’t follow, however, just because we agree to make marriage of convenience illegal that other forms should be legal."

Pro is right, but that wasn't my argument, cause freedom is our default, the presumption of liberty when considering such matters and absent a good reason to make gay mariage illegal then the resolution that gay marriage should be illegal has not be affirmed.

I submit that Pro did not provide a good reason to make gay marriage illegal.

Vote Con

I thank Pro for participating in this debate, and look foward to seeing this new member contribute to the DDO community.

randolph7

Pro

Thank you illegalcombatant for that very rigorous debate and thank you for welcoming me to DDO.

Regulation of marriage

Under this principle of a law is justified if it reflects society, slavery was and is justified, also under the Taliban it was a law to stop young girls from learning to much. No its not a compelling state interest, it just your typical run of the mill tyranny.

Pro seems to agree with my original point that you need more than just the law its self in order to justify its existence.

You seem to be suggesting that a society should not be free to make laws that reflect their culture. Yes, just because a law exists is not justification for its existence. However, I can't judge another country's laws when the history and justifications for their laws may be very different than Western style laws.

What makes a law "justified" in the US is the harm principle and any compelling State interests. Slavery was justified at the time the US had such laws on the book because slaves were chattle and thus unable to have rights and the State had an interest in cheap labor to support the massive plantations in the South. Do I agree with it from today's prospective?? - Undeniably, unequivocally, NO! But a society's laws must necessarily reflect that society.

Given, the current society we live in and the current opinion polls I would say our current prohibition on gay marriage reflects our society at large.


Marriage & Procreation & Viable children

Although Pro puts in an admiral effort, Pro merely gives a law which says nothing about restricting marriage to only those who can produce "viable children" Pros gives THEIR INTERPRETATION of the law, an interpretation I don't think is justified.

Okay that’s fair, Con doesn’t want to take my word for it. The Illinois Senate Bill 1140 (amending the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act), was made law by Public Act 89-459 on May 24, 1996. So let’s see what Illinois SB 1400 sponsor, Senator Peter Fitzgerald has to say about the law’s intention:

"We think it would be nice for a child to have a mother and a father," Fitzgerald said. "You need to remember that the primary purpose of family is procreation and protection of children." [1]

And this, although not a direct quote is from a contemporaneous news article, “Fitzgerald has argued that gay marriage is aberrant to the basic purpose of marriage: reproduction.” [2]

Now this 1996 law banned same sex marriages, so I think the intent is clear for at least that portion of law since we saw the sponsor espouse those views. What about the original law? I admit that it is cost/time prohibited to research this law past its pre-1970’s roots. But as I said before the intent can be seen in § 750 ILCS 5/212(4)(ii) where first cousins can marry if they are sterile or too old to reproduce. Cousins and other ancestor/descendants with strong consanguinity are forbidden because the offspring may not be viable.

As Pro mentions the only exception, is given to first cousin marriage. What can I say, maybe the good folk of Illinois really really want to marry their first cousins eh ?

No. I think a more reasonable reading would see that the law doesn’t have a moral objection to cousin marriage but rather an objection to the union creating offspring.

I guess my mistake was assuming that what I meant by viable was clear. What I mean by viable is that the offspring are more likely than not to have defects. Incest is banned almost universally for this reason. Cousin marriages and ancestor/descendant unions have produced children with defects (founder effect) as found in Amish communities today.


The State and the harm principle

I think I should also address something about the harm principle, its not enough to ban something just because its not beneficial to the state. The state allows lots of things which are not beneficial to the state even when applying the harm principle for example smoking, obesity etc. Arguable these things are even harmful, but ultimately they harm the individual more and not the general public as such the state is not justified in banning it. Like wise it may be the case that gay marriage is not beneficial to the state but that still isn't enough to justify the banning of gay marriage.

I think my opponent is quite fond of strawmen. The harm principle applies first – if there’s no harm to others it shouldn’t be illegal. But even if there is no harm to others the state interest kicks in where there is one. For example, there is no harm to others if I don’t register my vehicle with the state – no liberties infringed upon, nobody injured, etc. But the state has a compelling interest to levy and collect taxes, fines and penalties and the like. I don’t think my opponent gets how these two concepts are related in law.


Closing Remarks.

What it all boils down to is that protecting traditional marriage has a useful purpose in society and so is protected by the State. This would be the good reason in Con's Premise #2. So, as I’ve demonstrated there is a good reason to make something illegal (gay marriage) thus the law shouldn’t be changed.

Sources:
[1] “Senate Approves A Ban On Same-Sex Marriages”. Chicago Tribune (Mar 29, 1996). Metro Chicago Section, p.1
[2] “Christians Disagree on Gay Marriage Ban”. Tom Hernandez, Shaumburg Review (April 4, 1996).
Debate Round No. 4
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by KristophKP 6 years ago
KristophKP
"Bible says so" isn't an argument.

Animals exhibit homosexuality behavior as well; over 1500 species have been reported to partake: http://en.wikipedia.org...

To answer your question, yes, animals are indeed smarter than you.
Posted by soilderforchrist 6 years ago
soilderforchrist
Gay marriage is wrong. Even the animals know how to have a normal relationship, MALE & FEMALE. BIBLE SAYS SO. does mean are animals smarter than humans?.. the world is so evil.
Posted by KristophKP 6 years ago
KristophKP
Best of luck to you both. If it means anything to you, I would add an argument from tradition, since marriage isn't marriage unless it's truly defined via its religious origins.
Posted by randolph7 6 years ago
randolph7
I also have serious problems with those arguments so I didn't use them myself.
Posted by KristophKP 6 years ago
KristophKP
Unfortunately that's what the instigator wishes to do. He'll then point to the ashes and say "Look, look! I've done it, I've defeated my opponent!"

But in response to your jest: Only if we have marshmallows on hand.
Posted by randolph7 6 years ago
randolph7
I say burn that straw man :)
Posted by KristophKP 6 years ago
KristophKP
I agree with Rae. It's like attacking a straw man.
Posted by RaeTulo 6 years ago
RaeTulo
Yeah, way too many gay marriage debates have been going on here lately.
Also, I don't understand why you're rebutting before anyone else has posted arguments.
I understand they're common arguments against gay marriage, so why not just knock them all down now, but you should really wait to see if those rebuttals are even going to be relevant in the round.
It's unnecessary to post those rebuttals until the argument has been made.
Just saying.
Posted by KristophKP 6 years ago
KristophKP
Too many? It's a controversial topic and it deserves the attention. What you seem to suggest is that we should sweep it all under the rug. If you don't like it then don't participate or complain about it--ignore it.
Posted by kohai 6 years ago
kohai
@Ore_Ele,
Too many.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by KristophKP 6 years ago
KristophKP
Illegalcombatantrandolph7Tied
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct point goes to randolph due to Con's use of a straw man in his opening bit. Furthermore, the instigator should have phrased the question as 'Gay Marriage Should Be Legal' and taken the Pro stance.
Vote Placed by Cerebral_Narcissist 6 years ago
Cerebral_Narcissist
Illegalcombatantrandolph7Tied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: CON makes a good case for his position, his arguments are not really addressed by PRO, whose arguments are generally weak and vague. PRO effectively forfeits R1 and only improves slightly in the course of the debate.