Gay Marriage should be legalized in the US
Debate Rounds (4)
Resolved: Gay marriage should be legalized in the US
Resolved: Gay marriage should be legalized in the US
I would argue that same-sex marriage should be regulated on a state-level on the basis of the United States constitution (not being an American myself, I do admire your adherence to the constitution). First and foremost, the US constitution was formed around a system of federalism granting the national government several different kinds of powers as well as prohibiting it from taking decisions on issues that are of local concern, thus granting the states autonomy to create their own individual laws and form their own public policy as opposed to the federal government which was granted the overarching role of governing issues that affect the entire economy. While it is the federal government"s role to declare war " if needed " police power, on the other hand, is an area that is the sole province for the states. Indeed, nowhere in the US. Constitution will you find any reference to gay marriage whatsoever. What you"ll find, however, are references in the constitution that clearly speaks against an overly meddling federal government. For instance, the 10th amendment reads as follows: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
In fact, during drafting of the US. Constitution the states all had marriage laws that differed from one another. The disparities existed then as it does now.
Clearly, the founders had no desire to meddle in such matters. They certainly wouldn"t want the federal government to impose their definition of marriage on the states. In fact, some people might even go as far as to argue that allowing federal judges to rewrite the definition of marriage can result in a victory for those lobbying for same-sex marriage. The founding fathers, however, sought to protect liberty and the best guarantor of true liberty is decentralized political institutions, while the greatest threat to liberty is concentrated power. This is why the founding fathers sought out to limit the power of the federal government over the states. Allowing federal judges unfettered discretion to strike down state laws, or force a state to conform to the laws of another state, leads to centralization and loss of liberty. If we are to follow the Constitution it basically gives us two choices: either allow the states to deal with marriage or leave it to the people, individuals, churches, families, and communities. Either one would be consistent with what the Constitution says.
First and foremost, allow me to clarify something that was brought up in my opponents previous argument. My opponent says "it is a debate about whether we should gay marriage into legislation on a federal level instead of leaving it to the individual states to handle it." Let me remind my opponent, and the judges that the resolution states: "Gay Marriage should be legalized in the US," not "BY the US." I believed I was clear in my intent with this resolution, although because of my own mistake of not clarifying my point in my argument(s), I will debate the topic con has developed. Without further ado, let's begin.
C1: not allowing gay marriage is discriminatory
The so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was signed into law under President Bill Clinton on September 21, 1996. DOMA mandates unequal treatment of legally married same-sex couples, selectively depriving them of the 1,138 protections and responsibilities that marriage triggers at the federal level. (1) DOMA was created to resolve unequal treatment of gays, however (as we know), in multiple states, gays are unequal to marry. My question to my opponent, is if gays are still unable to be married, how can they be equal to heterosexual couples? Recent census data leave no question that gay families live in every corner of the United States. Denied the freedom to marry, they are discriminated against by their home states, and also targeted for an additional layer of discrimination from the federal government: the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). DOMA harms married same-sex couples by withholding the more than one thousand federal responsibilities and protections accorded all other married couples, including Social Security survivor benefits, tax fairness, access to health coverage, and recognition of family ties for immigration purposes. DOMA divides married Americans into two classes, those with marriages the federal government likes, and those married to someone of whom the federal government disapproves. *And DOMA discriminates against states*, telling them that even if they end marriage discrimination, the couples they legally married will be carved into two groups: " a mandatory "gay exception" to the normal respect for marriage. (2)
Under the law, marriage touches every aspect of life, from birth to death, with taxes in between. *Denial of the freedom to marry is one of the harshest inequalities inflicted on lesbian and gay families, and discrimination by their own government.* Government has no business blocking people seeking to care for their loved ones, particularly in these tough economic times, nor should it punish children by depriving their families of the critical safety net and meaning marriage brings. (2)
C2: by leaving legalization in the hands of states, the USFG is allowing discrimination to occur
Considering my failure to properly portray the resolution (I assume), I will argue that the USFG should legalize this marriage. When evaluating this topic, and when looking at the previous contention, we see denying marriage to someone because of their sexuality is not only wrong, but discriminatory. Knowing that some states still refuse to be pragmatic to this change, the Federal Government is abhorrently ignoring the hundreds of thousands of Americans that they are denying marriage to. This is flawed, discriminatory, and must be discontinued with a full legalization of homosexual marriage inside of the United States. As said earlier, denial of the freedom to marry is one of the harshest inequalities inflicted on lesbian and gay families, and discrimination by their own government. Government has no business blocking people seeking to care for their loved ones. (2)
REBUTTAL: My opponent uses the constitution as his primary reason that the USFG cannot and should not legalize gay marriage nationwide. Robert Nagel, Professor of Constitutional Law at Colorado Law School, answers this when he says "At first glance, a national rule defining marriage would seem to conflict with the fundamental principle that the federal government has only limited and enumerated powers. After all, the states have long had primary responsibility over marriage as a legal institution. However, similar intuitions have often proven ephemeral as the scope of the central government's authority has expanded inexorably to include the regulation of agriculture, manufacturing, the environment, and myriad other areas. Congress could also rely on its power to enforce the Fourteenth Amendment and, although nothing is certain when predicting constitutional decisions, the Court probably would uphold a statute based on enforcing the rights to due process and equal protection." (3) The fact of the matter is, is it's possible, it can be done, and it should be done. Not only does the USFG have the power to legalize marriage for all, they're blatantly discriminating towards homosexuals as they refuse to take steps of action towards this problem.
When evaluating this topic, we must look at a cost-benefit analysis. When doing this, I come to the question, "what that is truly harmful will come about when the USFG legalizes marriage for all inside of the United States?" I ask my opponent, and the judges the exact same question, so we can all come to a conclusion.
I'll end with this, from Evan Wolfson, Founder and President of Freedom to Marry: "America should not be a house divided in which couples and those they deal with, including employers, are forced to play "now you're married, now you're not." In the United States, we don't have second-class citizens, and we shouldn't have second-class marriages. It's time to follow the Golden Rule"treating others as you want to be treated"and the Constitution, which commands equal justice for all, and end marriage discrimination nationwide." (4)
For all these reasons- vote pro. Thank you.
Thus, it seems to me me that in order to strike a reasonable compromise, distinguishing between marriage and civil unions is a win/win situation for all parties irrespective of their sexual preferences. There would be almost no difference from a legal perspective. They both would enjoy similar legal protections, regardless. The distinction is one of a moral pronouncement. I belive this would satisfy both parties, both the religious rights who wants to uphold the sanctity fo marriage as well as gay couples who, at least, could receive the same legal rights when being in a civil union.
My essential point is that the states can decide best for themselves. Those states who want to be progressive, such as California, go ahead. Texas and others who want to be more conservative would have that right as well.
Connor98 forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct for the forfeit. Arguments because, between the re-posted argument and the forfeited round, Pro really did not bring much to the table, unfortunately, and I don't think he understood Con's position. I don't think Con's case was particularly strong--for a host of reasons--but I'm called to judge the debate as presented, not my opinion of it. All other categories seemed equal enough. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.
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