The Instigator
Con (against)
0 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
9 Points

Gay Marriage should be legalized

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/7/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,527 times Debate No: 67801
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (81)
Votes (3)




Danielle and I are both from America so for the sake of simplicity this is in reference to American policy. Nobody below 2500 ELO can vote on this debate. The reason is to eliminate some bias which is always present in issues like this while being as inclusive as possible with the voting.

Danielle feel free to start arguments in first round and pass in last or to just accept


While I usually don't shy from making an affirmative case on this topic, I am far too intrigued by Wylted's upcoming arguments to steal his thunder. Assuming this won't turn into a "legal marriage shouldn't exist in the first place" discussion (which I agree with but am prepared to argue against anyway), I am truly looking forward to what I hope will be an interesting and/or at least humorous dialog on this very important issue. I'm genuinely looking forward to an honest discussion about why a gay couple shouldn't have the same benefits and legal protections that are currently afforded to heterosexual couples in similar relationships.

Thus I will allow Wylted to begin this debate and present his highly anticipated arguments first.

Ps. This is a cute and shameless appeal to emotion if I've ever seen one:
Debate Round No. 1


Thanks for accepting the debate Danielle and that's a beautiful picture.

I'd like to point out that there are some benefits that married couples have that should be extended to homosexuals just for the sake of human decency. They should be able to visit their significant other while they're sick in the hospital or if their partner is arrested, they should be able to visit them in prison. They should also clearly have the same sort of protections from domestic violence.

I'm sure I'm leaving some stuff out but mainly what I'm saying is that gay couples shouldn't have access to the numerous tax benefits provided by the government. These incentives include but are not limited to;

"Income tax deductions, credits, rates exemption, and estimates"

"tax-free transfer of property between spouses (including on death) and exemption from "due-on-sale" clauses."

"Larger benefits under some programs if married, including:

Veteran's disability
Supplemental Security Income
Disability payments for federal employees
Property tax exemption for homes of totally disabled veterans
Income tax deductions, credits, rates exemption, and estimates"
(directly copied portions of list from )

Basically I'm listing all the financial benefits provided by the government. For the other benefits a civil union can be granted . Of course marriage a basic civil right so any non civil marriage shouldn't be banned. If a gay couple wants to receive a non civil marriage than fine but they shouldn't have a marriage which is recognized by the United States government.

I often hear that no good arguments against gay marriage exist, but it seems quite the opposite. The arguments for gay marriage seem to boil down to saying "well, they want to get married so.........", or "there is no good argument against it" but when arguing against the status quo there should be some positive arguments beyond the fact that gay people would just appreciate it.


I think it's worth taking a look at why heterosexual marriage is and/or should be codified into law. Once you understand why heterosexual marriage is and/or should be codified into law you'll see that those reasons don't apply to homosexual marriages.

Reward or Punishment

Ronald Reagan said "If you want more of something, subsidize it; if you want less of something, tax it." . It's just good ole fashioned common sense economics and it's correct, as most common sense things are. The traditional family unit actually strengthens the country and is good for society (more on this later), so tax incentives should be given to encourage that type of thing.

You see, these tax incentives given to encourage a behavior which is beneficial to the country as a whole isn't a punishment to homosexuals, to platonic friendships or to single individuals who are also incapable of receiving these tax incentives. These tax incentives are a reward for engaging in an act that benefits the country.

It isn't an act of injustice, or a punishment to offer tax incentives for engaging in an act that benefits society. I look forward to my opponent's arguments as to why homosexual couples should be provided the same tax incentives as heterosexual couples.


The state has a vested interest in seeing that society has a great future. The traditional family unit is the foundation for society because it is what creates and brings up members of society. It also has numerous side benefits for society as well.

according to George Anderson;

"Marriage is the way the state non-coercively incentivizes me to be in the institution that does best for children,"

It's really no mystery that the traditional family is the best way to raise children.

According to child trends, a non partisan research organization

"First, research clearly demonstrates that family structure matters for children, and the family structure that helps children the most is a family headed by two biological parents in a low-conflict marriage. Children in single-parent families, children born to unmarried mothers, and children in step families or cohabiting relationships face higher risks of poor outcomes than do children in intact families headed by two biological parents. Parental divorce is also linked to a range of poorer academic and behavioral outcomes among children. There is thus value for children in promoting strong, stable marriages between biological parents."

Also from the same study

"Children growing up with stepparents also have lower levels of well-being than children growing up with biological parents. Thus, it is not simply the presence of two parents, as some have assumed, but the presence of two biological parents that seems to support children"s development."

So you can see it's not just any type of marriage that benefits children but marriage between a man and a woman who are the biological parents of the child.

Children raised outside of the traditional family structure are More likely to drop out of highschool. According to one Cambridge study 37% of kids born outside of a traditional marriage will drop out of school, where as only 13% will do so in a traditional family structure.

One study done in Sweden showed that kids raised in a traditional family structure are less likely suicide, abuse drugs and have a myriad of psychological disorders.

Some people say that this stuff my be a result of the fact children raised in n traditional family structures are more likely to suffer from poverty but according to one meta study. The family structure is an even bigger contributor to a child's psychological state and behavioral actions than poverty. (McLanahan, Sara. "Parent Absence or Poverty: Which Matters More?" Pp. 35-48 in Consequences of Growing Up Poor. G. Duncan and J. Brooks-Gunn (Eds.). New York: Russell Sage Foundation.)

These facts don't mean that gay parents will automatically be worse at bringing up children. It does mean, they're more inclined to be and that the state has no reason to reward their relationship structure with subsidies/tax incentives.


This debate isn't over what's right or wrong. It isn't about being against gay marriage. is about is determining whether the government should incentivize homosexual relationships with subsidies and tax incentives meant to strengthen the country as a whole.

Clearly there are some things overlooked by the law that need to be corrected, such as things required for human decency such as homosexuals being able to visit their significant other in the hospital or prison and protection from domestic disputes equivalent to those received by heterosexual couples.

However the government doesn't have enough significant evidence to say that generally speaking homosexual marriage in any way strengthens society.


Many thanks again to Wylted again for this discussion.

Essentially my opponent is arguing that gay people do not have a right to marriage, because the state has no incentive to recognize their relationship. He argues that legal safeguards, protections and monetary benefits are given to straight couples to incentivize marriage, because the traditional institution is beneficial to society as a whole. To justify this claim, he cites the benefits of a traditional family unit on children... and that's about it.

In this debate, I will prove that gay people should be encouraged to pursue marriage for the same reasons (individual success) as their heterosexual peers. That will translate to greater success across society. Moreover, I will prove that marriage does indeed strengthen the family and assist in raising children in a positive and stable environment. Therefore, this institution should logically extend to same-sex couples, many of whom happen to have children. All of this explains why gay marriage should be legal.

Research shows that marriage benefits the individual and thus society as a whole. Married people are more financially well off, happier and healthier than their single peers [1]. Why should gay people not be privilege to the same institution to encourage their well-being, and thus contribute to the well-being of more people? That doesn't make sense. Gay people will have long and committed, often monogamous relationships similar to heterosexual marriage anyway as they have throughout history. If the argument is that romantic heterosexual relationships promote the well being of people (and the kids they have), shouldn't the government also encourage recognition and support of the equivalent gay relationships?

Research also shows that the legitimization of marriage is the primary factor in considering the dissolution of all relationships. Social sanctioning of the relationship promotes longevity, indicating that the legalization and social acceptance of gay marriage will strengthen gay relationships and contribute to their success [2]. It makes no sense to:

- suggest that the institution of marriage benefits society because of personal gains
- acknowledge that gay relationships will exist regardless of legal recognition
- and suggest that preserving those relationships is not beneficial for the same reasons it is beneficial for straight couples.

Con must distinguish why the legal institution of marriage is beneficial for only straight couples.

Furthermore, Con must explain why similar gay relationships shouldn't be fostered with legal protection.

On the other hand, I am arguing that gay people (and thus society) will benefit from the same benefits of legal marriage.

Children undoubtedly benefit from having married parents -- the benefits of a married couple logically extend to their children. It makes sense that if married people are happier, healthier and more financially well off, that the children of married couples would also benefit from the relationship. In addition to the inherent benefits of the coupling, the legal rights afforded to married couples extend to safeguard the family. In many cases, kids with gay parents have been hurt by their family not being protected in instances where adoption, the death tax and other legal issues arise [3, 4]. Con is arguing in favor of children with gay parents not being protected by the law as their peers are, for reasons 1) entirely out of their control, and 2) that are irrelevant in terms of reasonable comparison.

There are a lot of families headed by same-sex parents. Almost 40% of LGBT identifying individuals have had a child. Six million people in America have gay parents, and there are 125,000 gay headed households raising 220,000 kids under eighteen [5]. These families and future families (now that gay relationships are more accepted) need protection not only in the sense of human decency, but to afford these families and society additional opportunities for success.

There are NO reliable studies indicating that a mother-father headed household is paramount to one's happiness or success in terms of raising children. While there are innate biological ties to our immediate family fostered through evolution, the reality is that there are very specific and primary variables far more relevant to one's development, well being and happiness. Biology is not anywhere near being the most important or relevant factor in parenting.

First and foremost, financial security is paramount to opportunity. Married households are more financially stable and create security for children [6]. Again, Con is suggesting that kids with gay parents not be afforded the same opportunities and economic protection as their peers in this regard.

Second, science suggests that raising happy kids requires relaying empathy, teaching kindness, encouraging laughter and fostering compassion [7]. In addition, securing your own mental health, mandating discipline and nurturing your marriage are key [8]. Absolutely none of these things are limited to opposite-sex relationships. Further they can be encouraged for gays through the legal institution and social recognition of marriage, and therefore should be extended to gay couples to encourage their relationship's success. Again, why should people in gay relationships (so similar to their heterosexual counterparts) NOT be encouraged to embrace the benefits of marriage, and thus have them extended to their children?

The greatest threats to the family are economic instability, unemployment, lack of emotional support and residential instability [9]. Once again, none of these things are pertinent to the sexuality of one's parents. While having ties, support and relationships with BOTH genders is in fact important and essential to the development of a child, kids with gay parents can have access to these role models by developing relationships with grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and other people to provide similar guidance, support and nurturing pertinent to gender.

In regard to Con's studies, NONE of the research done on same sex vs. traditional parenting that discredit gay parenting compares similar variables. For instance, Wylted cited one study that shows a "traditional" family encouraged less drug abuse, depression, etc. However that study did not take into account same-sex two parent households. Families headed by two parents fare better regardless of sex or gender. The research DOES show that two gay parents are better than single (straight) parents [10].

In addition, the research Wylted provides does not compare equal family units. In addition to the single vs. two parent disparity, it gives zero consideration to the length of time two parents have been together, and other factors including family drug abuse, stability, class and financial status, etc. On the contrary, according to the American Psychological Association, not one but innumerable studies that have been done and peer-reviewed and deemed credible by the science community all conclude that sexuality is irrelevant in terms of parenting abilities and outcomes [11, 12]. If necessary, I will expand more on the scientific credibility of studies I can present in my favor vs. Con's in the next round when I have more character space.

For now, consider that divorce is rampant and supporting the traditional family are not legal prerequisites for marriage. Consider the fact that some heterosexual couples are infertile. Many others simply do not want to have kids. Some couples are polyamorous. Others do not plan on being married forever. In fact heterosexual couples engage in questionable marital decisions all the time. Couples who marry young are twice as likely to end in divorce than those that wait until their later 20s [13]. Still we allow young, infertile, polyamorous straight people who are disinterested in parenthood the opportunity to get married, and receive the personal (and societal) benefits and protections that are afforded to their peers.

While Con tries to divorce fairness from the debate, it is indeed instrumental to the argument. Gay people are forced to pay taxes like everybody else, regardless of whether or not they agree with policy. It is immoral and arguably tyrannical of government to single out this demographic as undeserving of the legal benefits and protections given to heterosexual couples, while still requiring of them the same obligations of citizenship. If gay adults are required to participate in and help fund government, then they should by extension be afforded the same benefits and protections.


Debate Round No. 2


Unfortunately I'm short on time but the fortunate thing is it allows me to hyper focus on the specific points I'd like to outline.

P1. My premise is that Heterosexual marriage is subsidized, because it benefits society a great deal to bring up children in the best possible environment so that the country has better citizens as a whole.

The government in this system isn't going to determine which specific individuals are going to make the best parents. It just isn't feasible.

What they have to do is go with the statistics and the statistics say that kids do better in a traditional family structure. The government has provided incentives to encourage this type of family structure, so that it improves society as a whole.

CR 1- "Research shows that marriage benefits the individual and thus society as a whole. Married people are more financially well off, happier and healthier than their single peers"

The subsidies I mentioned are an investment in the future. Homosexuals would be happy if they were paid a ton of money for merely being homosexual.

Creating public policy merely for the purpose of making a certain demographic happy isn't an investment, it's a pay off. The traditional family structure has been shown to bring up more well adjusted kids, to reduce the overall crime rate and to bring up the average level of education.

I'm sorry but making people happy isn't a sufficient reason to change public policy.

CR2- "Social sanctioning of the relationship promotes longevity, indicating that the legalization and social acceptance of gay marriage will strengthen gay relationships and contribute to their success [2]."

I hate to say it but so what? Gays benefit from gay marriage being legalized. This isn't adequate reason to legalize it. Prisoner would be more productive members of society, be happier if they were just all pardoned for their crimes.

The reason we don't just pardon them is that it doesn't make society a better place. It just makes society a better place for them.

CR3- "Con must distinguish why the legal institution of marriage is beneficial for only straight couples"

Not true. It would be convenient to define the debate around such parameters but what voters need to do is be convinced that Gay marriage is something that should be subsidized. Is subsidizing gay marriage going to make the country stronger or is it just going to make a small demographic b1tch less?

Misc.- Fairness doesn't matter in this regard. The debate is about whether the government should subsidize gay marriage and quite frankly not enough evidence exists to show that homosexual relationships will bring about a better environment for children than heterosexual relationships.

Danielle sorry about the rushed nature of this but I think I bring up some great points despite the crudeness of them. I look forward to your next round.


Thanks bruh.

I appreciate Wylted's acknowledgment of the crude nature of his claims, but I'm a big girl... I can take it. I understand his point: he is arguing from the utilitarian position (the greatest good for the greatest number), and thinks fairness is irrelevant - what's important is what is best for society as a whole. Because kids (allegedly) do best in "traditional" homes, they are solely the homes that should be encouraged by the government. I get it. The problem is that I've addressed this and challenged this in the last round. Con has repeated his position, but did not refute my arguments. And I get it - I always wait until the last round to submit my argument, too. But for the final round, my opponent should consider these specific objections to his position as I feel they negate his entire argument.

1. Gay people should be encouraged to pursue marriage for the same reasons as their heterosexual peers. That will translate to greater success across society. Since gay people are going to be gay anyway, why not encourage them to foster STABLE relationships that translate to their better health and well being, so that more people -- the greatest good for the greatest number, Con's own utilitarian value -- are better off? This is good for society as a whole, because more people will be happy and healthy.

The only possible way this could be contested is to suggest that kids (typical "but the children!" fallacy) raised in gay households would have an inherent disadvantage, so we should discourage gay people from having families. But wait! That's actually not a good argument against gay marriage and here's why:

2. Gay relationships are going to continue having kids regardless of whether or not gay marriage is legalized, so all you're doing is leaving innocent kids (and good families) without legal protection they should have. Similar to the abortion argument that if you criminalize the procedure, back alley abortions will still occur and put the woman/baby at greater risk. It makes no sense to ignore the millions of Americans with gay parents that I highlighted in the last round.

3. There are a lot of demographics that have observed disadvantages (and we can actually prove them) yet they are still legally allowed to marry.

4. Thus far, my opponent has failed to cite a single legitimate resource proving that kids with gay parents, specifically, are worse off than their peers. I discredited his studies in the last round and explained why they were invalid. Their flawed sample sizes, confirmation bias, and failure to account for equal variables for comparison all negate the findings of those incredible (as in non-credible) studies. Con has not explained why his research was valid after my extensive criticisms in the last round.

3. No I'm not dyslexic; I'm going back to point #3 to expand on my previous argument -- While Con has failed to prove that kids with gay parents (in similar homes) are actually worse off, I can easily prove that particular demographics have strikes against them that should theoretically, according to Con, make people consider whether or not those demographics should be encouraged to have families. For instance, blacks have higher rates of child abuse [1] and domestic violence than whites [2]. Moreover, the financial disparity between blacks and whites is staggering. A typical black household has accumulated less than 1/10 of the wealth of a typical white one. A Brandeis University study reveals the wealth gap between blacks and whites has tripled in the last 25 years, and is getting worse [3].

Does this mean blacks should be legally forbid to marry? If you extend Con's logic, it absolutely does.

5. Meanwhile, I've argued that many psychological associations have argued that kids in gay families have NOT actually been observed to be worse off, and in fact the opposite. In the largest study ever done on gay parenting, research found that children from same-sex families scored on average 6% better on two key measures - general health and family cohesion - even when controlling for a number sociodemographic factors such as parent education and household income [4]. As such, this research is more thorough and relevant than my opponent's.

Consider this: "A five-year review of 81% of parenting studies reported that children raised by same sex parents are 'statistically indistinguishable' from those raised by straight parents in terms of self-esteem, academics and social adjustment. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Child Welfare League of America, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association all agree that same-sex couples are just as fit to parent as their heterosexual counterparts" [5].

6. Moreover, in the last round I explained why sexuality has absolutely nothing do with parenting. Wylted has failed to cite a single factor (quality or trait) that is limited to heterosexuality, and/or that a gay parent could not provide their child. Con must explain why gay parents are either incapable or more unlikely - on the basis of their sexuality - to provide things like financial security, empathy and other factors that are actually relevant to parenting. In reality, the biggest threats to parenting (financial instability, inattentive parents, etc.) are threats to parents of any sexual orientation.

Now while that refutes Con's argument, I need to repeat another one of mine:

7. Con cannot divorce (pun intended) civil rights from this discussion since it is about the law. The Civil Rights Act protects against sex discrimination in employment; it makes sense that similar arguments can be applied to marriage - especially since sexuality is not a choice. Science proved that by explaining how fetishes and other sexual function works in the brain. Since gay people have to pay taxes and otherwise abide by the law, to ignore their petition for equal protection for similar relationships is in fact a government concern. It is for similar reasons black people fought segregation and Jim Crow. Clearly the government does consider fairness in civil rights cases and agrees that it contributes to the greater good.

In conclusion of this round, I'd like to point out that Wylted cannot ignore these rebuttals. Again, his argument is that since kids do best in traditional families, that only those families should be legally encouraged. But I've challenged this by noting it's not true kids have been observed to do better in mother-father households specifically, and further, gay families are going to exist regardless. Con is making kids with gay parents even WORSE OFF. Even if it were true that they had an inherent disadvantage (which he has not proven with legitimate studies), Con doesn't want them to have the legal protections to boot. How is this the greater good?

Either way, since I've argued that kids with gay parents DON'T have an inherent disadvantage -- and explained why plus included better research -- then these are all moot points by Con anyway. With that said, I am sincerely and genuinely looking forward to my opponent's final round.

Debate Round No. 3


Wylted forfeited this round.



Thanks again to my opponent for engaging me in this debate, although I'm sad to see he has forfeited.

My last argument reiterates my case, but for a quick re-cap: Both gay individuals, their families (and by extension, society as a whole) benefit from the institution of legalized marriage. I've explained why gay couples and their children deserve equal protection under the law not only as an issue of fairness and decency, but to promote their happiness, success, familial stability, financial security and overall well-being. While Pro's argument is that the state has an incentive to legalize marriage because of the benefits it affords society, he has failed to explain why those same benefits should not be promoted for same-sex couples to increase the scope of marriage benefits for more people. Ergo, I've used Wylted's own reasoning to affirm the resolution. Vote Pro!

Debate Round No. 4
81 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Wylted 1 year ago
It would be ridiculous if Inobjected to you voting based on your sexuality. So go ahead.
Posted by bsh1 1 year ago
I would like to vote on this debate, but if anyone objects to me voting (for obvious reasons), I will just provide an RFD in the comments without actually voting.
Posted by Ajabi 1 year ago
Remind me to vote on this when it's done.
Posted by Danielle 1 year ago
My frst round is also choppy and doesn't flow super well, but I think I got my point across. I wrote while I was watching the Packers game :)

I haven't thought much about ELO in terms of debate outcomes. I was active before ELO was really a thing. But in my observation, the higher your ELO the more of a target you have on your back. I've had people admit that they have a specific bias to vote against me just to help other people improve their ELO or challenge my alleged superiority. But I agree that most people on this site have an inherent bias toward my position. I think most people who will read/vote on this debate though will see that it's 2 reasonable people debating and not just a noob/troll debate, so will probably judge more fairly.
Posted by Wylted 1 year ago
That's not an insult either. I pretty much know for a fact I'll have enough bias in my favor to defeat any 3,000 ELO debater in a close debate.
Posted by Wylted 1 year ago
Well, it has to be more of a general dialogue. I just assume, I'll lose this.

There is a certain amount of bias in your favor. Any close debate, I assume you'll win. There is just no way, with a topic like this, that the debate wouldn't be close.
Posted by Wylted 1 year ago
No rush, I typically always wait until the last minute anyway.
Posted by Danielle 1 year ago
No prob. I just got around to skimming the round now (and you know I DO mean skim lol). I somehow took on 7 debates at once, so I'm not sure when I'll get around to this. Although I do appreciate that this is more of a general discussion which makes it an inviting dialog. I'll try to have something sent before I go to bed tonight.
Posted by Wylted 1 year ago
I don't know how to explain it but that argument feels choppy and crude. I wish I would have left myself time to significantly edit it. It just doesn't flow right.
Posted by Wylted 1 year ago
She was among mine as well. I love Kimberly.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Ff
Vote Placed by Paleophyte 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Good arguments and conduct for both sides, a rarity in this topic. Sadly, Con ran short on time and forfeited the last round.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con's premise is essentially homosexuals should not be allowed to marry because marriage would encourage them to raise more children, which would lead to more children raised in a poor environment. Pro's arguments rested upon the fact marriage would benefit homosexuals. Although this alone would not be convincing, Danielle explained how this would lead to children being raised by homosexuals to be come better. In other words, the differences Con claims exist would be remedied by equal recognition, meaning his 'harm' no longer exists. And this means children currently being raised by homosexuals would benefit, as their parents are not getting marriage benefits. Therefore, there would be a net *benefit* to children from SSM. Con simply failed to prove that 1) homosexual relationships were inherently different and 2) prove that any differences warrant legal discrimination. Pro proved the differences are because of discrimination. Therefore, she shows SSM will benefit society. Pro wins.