I will be debating 16kadams again on the subject of Gay Marriage. My opponent had time constraints last time, and so it ended in a tie. Hopefully this debate will turn out better.
Resolved: The US should legalize marriage amongst homosexuals.
Current definition of Marriage according to US law: "The legal union of one man and one woman."
I argue that this definition should be redefined to include same sex couples. My opponent must show me why I am wrong.
Rules: Round 1 is acceptance and definitions. If there is anything else my opponent wishes me to define or to clarify, he can do so in his acceptance post. Rounds 2 and 3 are for arguments and the final round is for final rebuttals and closing statements.
To clarify, we are arguing solely about SSM in view of the law.
I very much look forward to this debate with 16kadams! Good luck!
1. This is NOT about prohibiting sodomy
2. This is NOT about sodomy's morality
3. This is NOT about destruction of rights (though it will likely be a sub-contention, its not the main theme of debate)
4. This is NOT about religious points of view (as that has no legal significance)
I would like to thank my opponent for accepting.
First off, I agree on points 1, 2, and 4. But I cannot promise to keep rights out of my argument. Legal rights are of legal nature (obviously) so I will bring them into my arguments. But only legal rights, not moral or religious rights. Now, onto my arguments.
1: Why allow SSM?
I will start off by reaffirming the current legal definition of marriage: "The legal union of one man and one woman." This begs the question, what exactly is marriage? It is obviously more than just a "union", right? Yes, it is. First off, a legal marriage comes with legal benefits that can only be obtained through a legal marriage. Some of those many benefits include: some property and inheritance rights, even in the absence of a will, tax benefits, such as being able to give tax free gifts to a spouse and to file joint tax returns, discount or family rates for auto, health, and homeowners insurance, and more. These benefits cannot be enjoyed by homosexual couples, however.
It is also a union which also is defined as a legal family. Why can't homosexuals have legal families of their own, through marriage and adoption?
As of last year, there were over 100,000 children up for adoption . Every state but Florida and Utah allow homosexuals to adopt. But if we allowed them to marry as well, this could make it much easier for them to adopt, and make the number of parent-less children go down. Joint incomes, stable household, and married parents play a big role in adopting children, afterall. Homosexuals cannot achieve these without being allowed to legally marry.
Homosexuals can live in the same house, with children, but cannot legally call them their children, and the children cannot legally call them their parents. Wouldn't it help the children to have a legal relationship to their parents? And wouldn't it be good for the parents, to say that they are the legal parents of the children, not "guardians"? To be able to say that they are a family?
And again, the benefits of marriage come in, as there are benefits that could be beneficial to homosexual parents, such as laws that affirm the parents are in fact parents, making custodial problems a lot easier, visitation rights of the child, joint parenting rights, tax breaks, etc. These are available to heterosexuals in the legal union of marriage, so why can't homosexuals enjoy them, even though they are essentially doing what heterosexuals are doing? Raising a family.
Furthermore, there is no evidence that homosexual couples cannot parent children, but actually, evidence to the contrary. 
And so it must be defined by my opponent what would be the state's reason for not allowing SSM?
2: Right to marriage.
The 14th Amendment states that "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States," nor "deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
First off, it is making and enforcing laws that abridge the privileges of homosexual citizens from receiving legal benefits of marriage, and legally raising a family. The Defence of Marriage act makes sure that this is so. Secondly, it is denying to homosexual couples, the legal benefits of marriage. Again, the Defence of Marriage act denies homosexuals a legal marriage, and therefore the legal benefits of marriage.
I have shown that homosexuals should be allowed to marry in the US, due to the fact that there are benefits enjoyed by heterosexuals that homosexuals cannot receive, and that homosexuals should be allowed to marry and have a legal family, as heterosexuals can. The 14th Amendment says that the State cannot "make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges of citizens of the US". These are privileges that heterosexuals, and heterosexuals alone, can enjoy. And as of now, there is absolutely no convincing evidence of why this should remain. My opponent must show why the legal definition of marriage should stand, and why homosexuals cannot enjoy a legal marriage.
I never said exclude rights, rather that rights was not the main point of this debate, and I specified saying this was likely going to be a main point of contention.
This is a common objection, as it shows homosexuals have the ability to produce healthy children. There is no objection due to the fact homosexuals can raise children, though the child’s existence is due to heterosexual unions. The normative structure of child rearing only exists amongst heterosexual union, this situation occurred only because the heterosexual couples where unable or unwilling to raise the child. As this is likely true, it shows society has now lost its optimal version of child rearing. And besides, two friends, families, single people, all have the ability to raise children, but this does not mean there is a compelling states interest to label it “marriage”. It also does not mean it is an “optimal” setting for child rearing.
So to rebut this argument all I need to do is prove that homosexual parenting is not optimal for a child’s sake. If my opponent proves homosexuals are great parents, this may be the only option for a compelling states interest. Unluckily for my opponent, there is little evidence he has at his disposal. I have seen my opponents source cited many times, it cites studies from the 80-90s and concludes that homosexual parenting has “no difference” or benefit. Though the dates are significant on this (no, not that they are out of date, rather) they have serious flaws to them. Many of the problems of these studies include:
Right to same sex marriage?
We hear these arguments all the time that there is a constitutional right to same sex marriage, and usually the only support you get is the wording of the 14th amendment. I used to hold this opinion, but now that I have actually looked into its rhetoric I have found there is little proof of a right to same sex “marriage”.
As we can see, my opponent needs to show a states interest and why this interest [should] define marriage a certain way before he can win a legal debate.
To many readers my opponents case seems to uphold the burden, but if you clearly read the rebuttals there is little legal basis in which one could argue for same sex marriage. Vote CON.
 Robert Lerner, Ph.D., and Althea K. Nagai, Ph.D. “No Basis: What the Studies Don’t tell us about Same-Sex Parenting,” Marriage Law Project, Washington, D.C. (January 2001)
 Sherif Girgis, Robert P. George, and Ryan T. Anderson, "What is Marriage?" Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 34, (Winter 2010)
I'd like to thank my opponent for a good round of opening arguments and rebuttals. I am going to refute my opponents points while reaffirming my original points.
1: The State's interest-
The State's interest in marriage is procreation, you say. Now, I'm not saying we are overpopulated, but as I previously stated, we have over 100,000 children up for adoption, plus thousands of others in temporary homes, who may also end up back up for adoption. So, why would the State be interested solely in procreation, and not in finding homes for the children already created? I have argued that homosexuals can fill this role, by adopting these children as their own. While it is legal in 48 states for homosexuals to adopt, it makes it much, much easier for adoptions to go through if there is a stable home life, starting with marriage. An unwed heterosexual couple would have similar problems adopting, and the two states, Florida and Utah, that do not allow homosexual adoption, disallow it because the homosexuals are not marriage (meaning it isn't solely gays, but single and unwed couples as well). By allowing homosexual marriage, we can give loving, stable families to thousands of children, better furthering society.
You state that the public function of marriage is procreation, even if procreation isn't what brings the couple together. You also state that the State wouldn't be interested in providing millions of dollars in benefits to homosexuals. But these benefits will still be available for heterosexuals, even if they don't procreate. So why should heterosexuals receive benefits, that are supposedly meant for heterosexuals to further procreation, even if they don't fulfill this goal of procreation? But homosexuals shouldn't recieve them, because it would be too expensive? Some of the benefits available don't even have anything to do with procreation, but are still important to couples. However, some of the benefits I mentioned are vital for parents and their children, and until homosexuals can marry, and they can legally call themselves the parents of the children, rather than foster parents, some of these benefits will be unavailable to them.
Furthermore, I believe creating a stable family setting, where both individuals can say they are married, is much better for the children who are adopted. Studies show that this is so for families with heterosexual parents. The results are much better when the couple is wed, rather than unwed. 
So I will conclude this section by summing up. The State does in fact have an interest in homosexual marriage, solely from the standpoint of adoption. It will make it much easier for homosexuals adopt, helping to find homes for the 100,000 children up for adoption. It is much better for the children being adopted if the parents are married, so that they have a coherent family unit, with married parents, plus it makes certain benefits (as listed in my previous argument) available for these families.
2: Why it should be legal-
I showed in the previous section why the State does in fact have an interest in homosexual marriage. This section will be devoted to the rights and benefits issue of marriage, an issue I do find very important.
First off, I agree that some rights available are sub-benefits inside larger statutes, however, that doesn't make them any less important. They are still important, and only available to heterosexual couples. And I disagree that this takes away from the marriage. For example, being able to inherit property from a spouse, or to get discount rates for insurance? These could help financial problems of homosexual couples.
Secondly, you say that it would be against the states interest, shelling out millions more for benefits to homosexuals, on top of the millions already being shelled out to heterosexuals. However, there are problems with this argument. First, there is the "marriage tax". By allowing homosexual marriage, more revenue will be generated through this tax. Second, there is the fact that they can adopt children easier, contributing to society by raising children that otherwise, are going unraised, in state sponsered homes. By making it easier for them to adopt, homosexuals can actually take the cost of raising the children off of the states hands.
So I conclude that allowing homosexual marriage actually makes sense for the State, as it would take the costs and obligations of foster children off of the states hands, while helping society by putting these chilren in homes, and furthermore, allowing homosexuals to marry, something that I am suprised is still being debated in 2012.
3:Right of marriage-
I have shown why homosexuals should be allowed to marry, why the State can and should take an interest in allowing homosexuals to marry, so my argument on the rights of marriage, based on the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, still stands.
4: A quick note-
My opponent doesn't agree with the study that I have posted. Personally, I thought that the study was sufficient. However, I will provide another study, under  to further back up my claim. This study is a bit more recent (2004), although I don't think that the age of my previous posted study hurts is at all. Just to quote from the study by the APA (American Psychological Association): "There is no reliable evidence that homosexual orientation per se impairs psychological functioning. Second, beliefs that lesbian and gay adults are not fit parents have no empirical foundation."
In conclusion, I have shown why my opponents arguments against homosexual marriage is wrong, because the State does have an interest in it, as it would help homosexuals adopt, giving a loving, stable, home to some of the 100,000 children available for adoption. I have shown that the benefits available in marriage should be available to homosexuals, and that the issue of cost doesn't make sense, and really is a silly reason to disallow it. I have reaffirmed my point that homosexual marriage is beneficial to society, and allows homosexuals a basic right, to get married.
In Defense of procreation
That title sounded odd… anyway.
My opponent essentially has two objections too this: Gays adopt, infertile couples. Both are the most common objections, and both are extremely weak.
The first point is gays are sufficient parents and marriage would help them adopt more. Although this may be possible, it does little to change the course of this debate. This, as taken from my opponent’s argument, is likely saying adoption is indeed a states interest. Firstly, to do this one needs to prove homosexuals are sufficient parents. My opponent did this last round using highly flawed studies. But evidence shows for proper development to occur a mother and father must be present throughout the child’s young life. If this does not occur development is unstable and not beneficial . And remember, as of now all studies have had mythological problems and do not accurately represent the homosexual or heterosexual populations. Not until recently, as in this summer, have studies coming out have good methods and sample sizes to actually make a conclusion. Sadly for my opponent, they fail to conclude “no differences” and the new study has concluded homosexual parenting leads to many problems . As we can see my opponent’s adoption argument is a moot as he has failed to prove homosexual parenting serves the best interest of the child.
His second point is that infertile couples are not excluded from marriage, and therefore homosexuals should be let in, as they are procreating equals to these infertile couples. Though heterosexual sex, not the effect it has, has intrinsic value in which the state supports. These infertile couples are still considered real marriages, something homosexuals cannot accomplish. Any sexual act, which has consent from both parties, seals the marriage; whether or not it leads too conception is irrelevant. In other words, “And because the union in question is an organic bodily union, it cannot depend for its reality on psychological factors. It does not matter, then, if spouses do not intend to have children or believe that they cannot.” What it is basically saying is the states want an arena to encourage procreation, and infertile couples or couples using contraception encourage procreation of other people or themselves in the long run and, therefore, fulfill a states interest. Too continue, “To recognize only fertile marriages is to suggest that marriage is merely a means to procreation and childrearing – and not what it truly is, namely, a good in itself. It may also violate the principle of equality to which revisionists appeal, because infertile and fertile couples alike can form unions of the same basic kind: real marriages. In the absence of strong reasons for it, this kind of differential treatment would be unfair.”
As we can see infertile couples still form real marriages and encourage certain acts and, therefore, create a situation, which serves the publics interest.
My opponent then shows studies on marriage helping children, but as these children are raised by heterosexual married couples in a natural setting it is irrelevant to his case unless he proves it cross applies with homosexuals.
Why it should be legal
My opponent first claims the marriage tax pays for the benefits and therefore no states interest is needed. However this logic is flawed, as he must first demonstrate the tax would pay fully for the tax before using it as evidence. It existing is not grounds for it working. For example our income tax does not pay for our government spending. So he must show it is substantial enough for it to pay the spending. Secondly there is actually no marriage tax as the majority of married couples pay lower taxes . So I see it unlikely that the revenues would pay for the deficits.
And as shown before, I have proven the states interest is in responsible heterosexual procreation, which, therefore, proves the homosexuals are not worth the states time.
Right to marriage
My opponent never rebuts my analysis, which is a foolish thing to do. All rights have definitions and limitations and therefore if the right is not defined in ones favor its irrelevant. For example we define gun rights only to law-abiding citizens. Therefore there is no right for criminals to own guns. As with marriage, it is defined between a man and a woman and therefore the marital rights to not entail rights to homosexuals.
This overall analysis was never refuted. My opponent knows it’s not in his favor so he decides to drop it. I henceforth extend the point.
The APA study is laughable to all of those in the academic field. A recent study (July 2012) has actually looked into the statements seeing if it was an accurate one. The study actually showed the studies had significant errors. For example, all of them (except Cameron 1996) had too small of a sample. Size. They showed also that all of then had income problems. Their subjects much of the time looked for advertisements (non random sampling, another error) and got wealthy homosexuals in healthy relationships and single middle class heterosexual parents for other subjects. This will obviously lead to bias. Many of the studies the APA cited also had errors of writer bias as many of them where homosexual. Others had no control groups either. Therefore, the study concluded that none of the studies has “ … evidence of statistical power. … Not one of the 59 studies referenced in the 2005 APA Brief compares a large, random, representative sample of lesbian or gay parents and their children with a large, random, representative sample of married parents and their children.”
As we can see citing the APA has don’t little to prove my opponents case. His rebuttal to my case last round was he thought those studies where adequate. Well the link never gave the details, and I cited actual analysis proving they where false. So my opponents opinion and a vague link versus comprehensive analysis. Voters your choice.
My opponent has…
The choice is clear.
 Mark Regnerus, “How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study,” Social Science Research Vol 41, Issue 4 (July 2012)
 Sherif Girgis, Robert P. George, and Ryan T. Anderson, "What is Marriage?" Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 34, no. 1 (Winter 2010)
 Loren Marks, "Same-sex parenting and children's outcomes: A closer examination of the American Psychological Association's brief on lesbian and gay parenting," Social Science Research Vol 41, Issue 4 (July 2012)
I'd like to start off by thanking my opponent for a fun and interesting debate. I think that he has argued his position well, however, there are still some problems with his case, which I will point out.
My opponent objected to both studies I have posted. I assume that he would have some objection to any I post, and I think one thing we can agree upon is that studies may be flawed on either side. But look at it this way. We have 100,000 children without parents, living in institutions and we have an opportunity to give them parents and families who will love them. Yes, you will encounter problems from time to time, but the same is true for heterosexuals.
On the note of benefits of marriage, my opponent falsely claims that I said the marriage tax would pay for the benefits of homosexual marriage. This is far from the truth, however. From my round three argument-"By allowing homosexual marriage, more revenue will be generated through this tax". I simply stated that the State will not be only shelling out millions in benefits, but also bringing in revenue.
Secondly on the note of benefits, Something I should have mentioned, and it escapes me why I forgot to, was that a lot of benefits do not actually cost money. The right to be with your spouse in the hospital and play the role of legal power of attorney of your spouse do not actually cost money, but do require a legal relationship. A marriage.
So I conclude by saying that the State does in fact have an interest in homosexual marriage. It will help foster children get a loving family, and give homosexuals the rights and benefits of marriage that they legally deserve.
From my opponent's previous argument-"My opponent never rebuts my analysis, which is a foolish thing to do." However, I did do this. What my opponent claims I have not rebutted can be found in his round two arguments. To sum up what he said, it is that in order to debate rights, we must show that the rights are applicable to the specific party. Basically, he argues that since marriage is currently defined as being between one man and one woman, we cannot argue that the benefits of marriage can be applicable to same sex couples. But this can be seen as the same thing as, say, women's rights. Way back during the days before women's suffrage, what was then the definition on the right to vote, was applicable only to men. Of course, this was protested and eventually changed, but it would appear my opponent would have them show good reason why women should be allowed to vote. Would he accept arguments simply stating that since the women were American citizens, they had the right? Or would that not suffice? Would they have to show why the State had such an interest as allowing women to meddle in politics?
This is what my opponent is arguing here. He is stating that it isn't enough to show that same sex couples should receive the benefits and services applicable to married couples, but that the State must have an interest in it. That is completely wrong, as I have been showing that they do have an interest, and even if they don't, that doesn't mean they should simply deny the right and benefits of marriage to same sex couples.
Furthermore, my opponent says-"Though heterosexual sex, not the effect it has, has intrinsic value in which the state supports."
So, the instrinsic value of marriage is what goes on in the bedroom? So are they interested in procreation or sex? Either can easily be refuted. I have already refuted procreation, as for sex, well that's just ridiculous. The State should not, base the definition of marriage based off of what kind of sex they are having. Plus, heteros can do anal too. Jus' sayin. XD
I'll just leave you with what I said earlier. Studies will more likely than not, be biased on either side. However, which would serve both the child's and State's interest better: Having the child in a loving, caring family, helping the child to grow into a good upstanding citizen, and saving the state some money in the long run. Or, in an institution, without any kind of family, not benefiting the child at all, othe than it keeps him/her off of the street, and costing the State a large amount of money to raise them. I'm sure the voters can decide which of these two better serves society.
I have shown why my opponent's arguments are flawed, why homosexuals are entitled to the right and benefits of marriage, how it is in the State's interest, and that it will even benefit society. I think the voters know which of these two arguments is better.
Defending procreation -- States interest
My opponent has dropped the studies I have posted, therefore conceding the point. He counters, however, with unsourced statistics. All statistics should be cited, preferably, so that these weren't pulled out of thin air. When looking at the studies last round then looking at the ones based on orphans, we see almost 100% of orphans are adopted at one point, and the kids not adopted actually have better overall positions then ones raised by homosexuals . So if we're looking for an "optimal" setting for procreation and a child's well being, homosexual unions are not beneficial.
My opponent then claims the millions in dollars are not unpaid but bring in revenue. This was refuted last round. I showed, on balance, married couples pay LESS taxes and therefore bring in LESS revenues. Therefore the point is null and void as no counter evidence was provided. And the point stands refuted.
Yes, it is true many of these benefits do not cost money. I agreed with this assumption in round one. However I did cite none of them created revenue, therefore the net loss in profits still exists unless procreation is preformed (more people more money).
My opponent has also dropped my analysis on procreation, therefore CONCEDING it has an interest. He instead tried to show a separate interest, which we can see is highly flawed, and therefore only one interest remains -- procreation -- and I therefore win the debate on a very important front.
As stated, the states interest will largely shape the way this debate concludes as it is highly relevant on a legal scale. On that note I first say, 1) my opponent dropped my procreation analysis, therefore it is conceded as one major states interest, 2) his other states interest lies upon adoption which is highly flawed as it does not benefit the child, and 3) based on this evidence CON already holds a stronghold on 1/3 of this debate. Too conclude this very important segment:
" ... the bodily, sexual aspect of the relationship is part of and is inherently linked to the other aspects of the marital union. The sexual communion of a man and a woman establishes a real, biological union—a one-flesh union is an accurate description of it—for in this act they are biologically a single agent of a single action. Just as an individual’s different organs—heart, lungs, arteries, and so forth—perform not as isolated parts, but in a coordinated unity to carry out a single biological function of the whole individual (circulation of oxygenated blood), so too in coitus the sexual organs of the male and those of the female function in a coordinated way to carry out a biological function of the couple as a unit—mating. Hence coitus establishes a real biological union with respect to this function, although it is, of course, a limited biological union inasmuch as for various other functions (e.g., respiration, digestion, locomotion) the male and female remain fully distinct."
A nice summary.
A right to marriage?
Ah yes, but his analysis here is also highly flawed. Unjust discrimination is always unjust, whether it is defined or not. Therefore the woman's rights example is irrelevant and a non comparable situation. In this case, however, it is too linked to the contention above. Just discrimination is a whole different story. Real marriages, which my opponent drops, are unions between one man and one woman who fully unite through the act of coitus. Too fulfill states interest to encourage procreation is therefore preformed and fulfilled. Homosexuals never meet the definition of "real" marriages and therefore are not discriminated unjustly.
And the version of rights also depends on the law itself. How the rights are dispersed out truly depend on the law. This point was brought up in round two I believe. Legal scholars have argued only the state is justified in recognizing real marriages, a concept I have been pushing throughout this debate, and therefore has the ability to prohibit certain forms of marriage (that's why say, polygamy, can be constitutionally prohibited). Real voting in a democratic society means all general populous should be allowed to vote. Therefore the state is justified in promoting women's rights. In the other side of the civil rights movement, there is no such justification for homosexuals. This point right here is the core of the debate, and it has not been dealt with by my opponent.
My opponent again says the state has an interesting in gay marriage and there is a right... Note he fails to prove either of these, all of his arguments are illogical assertions that have been clearly defeated as the debate progresses. He has failed to show an interest other then child rearing, which he has NEVER proved it was in the best interest of the child, nor has he shown it was a right even using his own analogies.
My opponent objects to the procreation argument, again, with no substance. Basically claims he has refuted it but ironically dropped all rebuttals this round as they where soundly rebutted in the last round. And being able to do anal intercourse is irrelevant to the case as they are still preforming heterosexual sex which will inevitably lead to procreation in the long run, creating real marriages and fulfilling the states interest.
My opponent has completely strawmanned my argument when it comes to procreation. I have argued it is an optimal setting which will inevitably encourage procreation. Instead of making a meaningful response, he essentially drops the point by saying its absurd. This is merely a statement, an assertion, no logic or facts are brought with it. I have proven throughout the debate basic geology shows men and women are complimentary of each other when it comes to marriage as they are capable of the act that brings them closer to a real marriage. Marriage is a fundamental institution that promotes procreation through optimal situations which, in the long run, promote procreation. This point is not "absurd", and as we see my opponents objection is merely an assertion, and nothing more.
All of his objections lack sources or logic, and are mere assertions which fail to challenge my case.
My opponent might as well have dropped the argument. All studies will likely have some bias, but there is no basis for my opponents claim. He only shows all authors have slight self selection bias. Although this is the case, I have shown all studies my opponent cited have major methodological problems, which well constructed studies have the ability to avoid and be credible. Those studies, however, fail to avoid these easy to fix problems and therefore arguing all studies are bias is NOT enough to defend against my case.
Sure, all authors are biased. Not all authors blatantly lie or self select samples for political purposes, though. All homosexual parenting studies reaching the no difference conclusions have these erroneous errors and therefore are subject to scrutiny and we can question their accuracy. With these questions on the radar, we see there is no basis for his claim.
"Lerner and Nagai found at least one fatal research flaw in all forty- nine studies. As a result, they conclude that no generalizations can reli- ably be made based on any of these studies. For these reasons the studies are no basis for good science or good public policy."
My opponent as pro has failed to uphold his burden. Summary:
1) States interest is not procreation!
(R) I have proven it is the only logical interest oen can derive from the SSM debate
2) gays are good parents!
(R) there is no basis for this claim, and data shows they are worse parents
3) There is a right!
(R) You cannot have a right to X unless you know what X is, and X does not cover homosexuals.
As we can see, pro has lost this debate. Vote CON.
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