The Instigator
Magicr
Pro (for)
Winning
4 Points
The Contender
MrBrooks
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Gay Marriage

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Magicr
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/15/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,875 times Debate No: 25142
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (12)
Votes (1)

 

Magicr

Pro

Resolved: The reasons to make same-sex marriage legal in the United States outweigh the reasons not to do so.

My previous opponent for this resolution forfeited, and her account is not longer active, so I would like to try again.

The BOP is shared between Pro and Con.

Rules:

1. First round for acceptance, unless Con wishes to begin his or her arguments. If Con begins arguing in R1, he or she shall not post any arguments in R5.
2. Semantic arguments should not be counted.
3. Drops will count as concessions.
4. No new arguments in the last round.

Good luck to whomever accepts!

MrBrooks

Con

I accept my opponent's challenge; I will be arguing that the reasons not to make same-sex marriage legal outweigh the reasons to do so. I will use this round for definitions.

1. Marriage: a social union between people called spouses that creates kinship.

2. Spouses: a partner in a marriage, civil union, domestic partnership, or common-law marriage.

3. Civil Union: a legally recognized contract between two spouses.

4. The "United States" that my opponent referred to in his resolution will be taken to mean the federal government of the United States of America.

My opponent is free to dispute, or accept my definitions in R2. I look forward to a good debate.
Debate Round No. 1
Magicr

Pro

I would like to thank MrBrooks for accepting this debate.

Definitions

I accept all of his definitions, excepting a modification to the first one and the last one.

I would like to define marriage as "A social and legal union between people called spouses that creates kinship.

"In the United States" was not intended to mean anything more than it says. I would like to suggest that the definition should not refer to a specific level of government, but rather any jurisdiction within the United States. The location was included in the resolution in order to allow the debate to be set within the framework of the Constitution, Supreme Court rulings, etc.


Of course he may argue that "in the United States" should mean the federal government if he wishes.

PRO CASE

In this round I will be presenting several reasons that gay marriage should be legalized.


C1: Legalizing same-sex marriage has a positive impact on society.

The logic behind this contention:

P1: Legalizing something causes happiness without causing harm has a positive impact on society.
P2: Legalizing same-sex marriage causes happiness without causing harm.
C1: Therefore, legalizing same-sex marriage has a positive impact on society.

The first premise is pretty self explanatory, but just in case there is any doubt that happiness is not good, I will point out that being happy has many benefits [1]. Additionally, if no harm is caused, then the impact is solely positive.

The second premise too is self evident: Gay people want to have legally recognized marriages, so doing so would cause same-sex couples to experience happiness. Not only would same-sex couples experience happiness, but a surveys of 350,000 people in almost a hundred countries show that allowing gay couples the freedom to marry could lead to happiness for more than just the gay community because countries with more freedom tend to be happier, according to an article in the L. A. Times [2].

The part of this premise that may come under attack is the statement that same-sex marriage would not cause harm, but I see no reason that legalizing same-sex marriage would cause harm, so I until my opponent is able to prove that it would, the premise holds true.

The conclusion very clearly follows the premises which I have shown to be true using both scientific evidence and an extensive, world-wide poll, along with common-sense.

C2: Denying same-sex couples legally recognized marriage is a violation of civil rights.

My logic is that marriage is a civil right, therefore denying marriage is a violation of civil rights.


Civil rights can be defined as "The rights belonging to an individual by virtue of citizenship, especially the fundamental freedoms and privileges guaranteed by the 13th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and by subsequent acts of Congress, including civil liberties, due process, equal protection of the laws, and freedom from discrimination" [3].

The first part of the definition explains that civil rights are rights that are gained by being a member of a certain society, in contrast to natural rights which are gained merely by being a member of humanity. While there is no natural right to a legally recognized marriage, the United States does recognize marriage for its citizens, therefore in the United States, marriage is a civil right. The Supreme Court has acknowledged this in its decision in Loving v. Virginia, the decision that abolished bans on interracial marriage, by saying "Marriage is one of the 'basic civil rights of man...'" [4].
We can also see the the 14th Amendment to the Constitution guarantees that "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws" [5].

In other words, all people are entitled to the same privileges and equal protection of under the laws.

It can be argued, and it often is, that all people are offered the equal right to marry someone of the opposite sex.

The definition of marriage provided by my opponent, however, describes marriage a union between people called spouses that creates kinship. According to this definition, it is possible for same-sex couples to enter into a such a relationship, therefore, it is it is discrimination to deny marriage to people who are able to fulfill all of the qualifications to enter into a marriage as defined by my opponent.

To say that all people have a right to marry someone of the opposite sex is like saying that all people have the right to marry someone of the same race. Talk like that was ended by Loving v. Virginia. The Justice C. J. Warren wrote in the Court's opinion:

"Because we reject the notion that the mere "equal application" of a statute containing racial classifications is enough to remove the classifications from the Fourteenth Amendment proscription of all invidious racial discriminations, we do not accept the State's contention that these statutes should be upheld if there is any possible basis for concluding that they serve a rational purpose" [4].

This statement can easily looked at in terms of same-sex marriage. Just as the notion that "a statute containing racial classifications is enough to remove the classifications from the Fourteenth Amendment proscriptions of all invidious racial discriminations" is rejected, so can a statute containing sexual orientation classifications be rejected.


C3: Legalizing same-sex marriage is beneficial to the economy.

Does it make sense from an economic standpoint to legalize same-sex marriage? Well that question can be answered very simply by looking at the statistics from a place that legalized same-sex marriage: In the first year with legal same-sex marriage, New York City's economy got a boost of $259 million dollars [6]. In addition to that, a study conducted in Ohio found that same sex marriage could add 126.2 million dollars to the economy over three years if same-sex marriage were to become legal [7].


The reason this economic impact would occur is quite simple: Marriages use a lot of economic services: planners, catering, etc. Legalizing gay marriage would mean that more weddings would be happening, so these services would receive more business, thus stimulating the economy.

We can conclude that legalizing same-sex marriage has a positive impact on the economy.

CONCLUSION

In this round I have shown there are many reasons to legalize same-sex marriage:

1. Legalizing gay marriage benefits society by causing happiness.
2. Not legalizing gay marriage denies people their civil rights.
3. Legalizing gay marriage is good for the economy.

In order to meet his BoP, Con must prove that the reasons not to legalize gay marriage outweigh the reasons I have presented to do so.

Sources:

[1]- http://news.bbc.co.uk...

[2]- http://articles.latimes.com...

[3]- http://www.thefreedictionary.com...

[4]- http://www.law.cornell.edu...

[5]- http://www.archives.gov...

[6]- http://www.latimes.com...

[7]- http://www.bizjournals.com...




MrBrooks

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for thanking me for accepting his debate.

Definitions

Me and my opponent are at a disagreement on definitions, therefore I will leave it to the voter to decide which definition is closer to the truth.

CON CASE

In practical terms, making gay marriage legal essentially means giving the federal government authority to redefine marriage to include homosexual couples. I will be making three basic arguments against allowing the federal and state governments to have the authority to define marriage. Those arguments are:


A1) Government should not be allowed to define personal relationships.

The heart of the marriage debacle that our country is currently facing lies in the fact that our government has the authority to define what marriage is. Marriage has always been a cultural institution, which celebrates the moment when two individuals begin sharing their lives together. If we redefine marriage to include same-sex couples we are, in essence, legitimizing the immoral act of allowing a third party to define the terms of our personal relationships.

The issue here is much larger than who can get married, the issue here is whether or not we should let the government enforce an arbitrary moral and often religious code onto our society. Society as a whole would benefit, because in the absence of government deciding the terms and definitions of personal relationships, individuals would be able to set those terms and definitions for themselves. A man would be able to marry another man and call it a marriage, but the man next door that does not approve does not have to consider that personal relationship to be a marriage, and it won't matter because there is no government forcing arbitrary rules upon either party.

A2) Marriage would benefit all parties involved more if it were a strictly private institution.

Just as every individual is unique, so too is every relationship. The government has provided a vast and arbitrary set of rules for both marriage and divorce, which has in the past lead to the government deciding who wins and who loses when a relationship comes to an end. One-size fits all policies seldom work, and they seldom have the intended results.


If government were to completely divorce (pun) itself from marriage, we'd have contracts replace the government institution of marriage. When two people enter into a personal relationship with the intent to have children, or where property is involved, they should be able to set their own terms for divorce. For example: a man enters a marriage with a house, under the current system he has a very good chance of losing that house to his wife if he ever gets a divorce; if he set his own terms for marriage he could simply file the house under his own personal property when he enters the marriage, which would ensure that it isn't taken away from him in a divorce. [1] [2]

This would not solely benefit the individuals getting married either, it would also benefit the religious institutions in our country as well. If there is a religion that believes in polygamy, they'll be able to practice polygamy through private contract. If a church doesn't believe in gay marriage, they do not have to provide the ceremony for gay couples. The integrity of religion would be upheld, because they would be free to practice their religion w/o consent from a government authority.

A3) Gay marriage is simply a concession of defeat for the gay community
.


By lobbying for the definition of marriage to be changed, gays are submitting to and legitimizing the authority that has belittled them and persecuted them, i.e, government. Imagine if during the Civil Rights Movement, interracial couples lobbied for the abolishment of the government practice of defining what personal relationships were and what terms they should be entered under; if they had been successful we wouldn't be talking about gay marriage today, because everyone would have been free to define their relationships in whatever way they wanted to.

We would be naive to think that homosexuals are the last group that we'll ever discriminate against. We would be naive to think that there isn't a possibility that we'll slide backwards into bigotry and hatred of our fellow man based on race, creed, or sexuality. If we recognize those truths, then we can objectively agree that removing the tools that bigots use to oppress their fellow man would be a far better goal than to simply give one group of people immunity from those tools.


Rebuttals

C1: Legalizing same-sex marriage has a positive impact on society

My opponent uses a logical equation to argue that the legalization of same-sex marriage will have an overall positive impact on society. What he does not address is the underlying issue that led to homosexuals being excluded from the government institution of marriage, which is the fact that we've allowed the government to give itself the authority to define marriage. Because this is a logic based argument and because he admits that P1 + P2 = C1, I only have to disprove P1 or P2 to negate C1.


P1 only legitimizes an immoral institution, which causes harm further down the road, not only for individuals that want to get married w/o meeting the criteria set by government, but for individuals that find themselves subject to other arbitrary standards set by a far away government.


P2 states that legalizing same-sex marriage would create happiness w/o causing harm, but it fails to recognize the alternative, which is the ability to set your own standards for your personal relationship with another person.


Since P1 and P2 are both wrong, C1 is also wrong.

C2: Denying same-sex couples legally recognized marriage is a violation of civil rights.

My opponent admits that the 13th and 14 Amendments do not mention marriage, and that marriage was arbitrarily added by the Supreme Court at a later date. This is an example of the government simply granting itself more and more power over time. Another prime example is the DOMA Act, where the federal government gave itself the power to define marriage for the entire country. [3]


If government were not involved in marriage, there would be no violation of civil rights, because everyone would be free to set their own terms for marriage.


C3: Legalizing same-sex marriage is beneficial to the economy.

Since it is the marriage celebration itself that generates the money, I contend that you'd still have a boom in the wedding planning industry if you let people set their own terms for their personal relationships.



[1
] http://family.findlaw.com...

[2] http://www.divorceinfo.com...

[3]http://www.gpo.gov...
Debate Round No. 2
Magicr

Pro


I would like to begin by thanking my opponent for thanking me for thanking him for accepting this debate. In this round I will address the definitions, then offer some rebuttals to Con’s case, and finally I will defend my case against his attacks.



Definitions



There does seem to be a bit of a disagreement on what “in the United States” should mean. Con argued that it ought to mean the federal level of government, I argued that it should merely mean any specific jurisdiction, but rather any level of government, be it municipal, state, or federal. In the end it is up to the voters, but I will point out that Con has not offered a reason why “in the United States” implies federal government, and not any jurisdiction within the United States.



The other possible area of disagreement is whether marriage ought to constitute a legal union, or merely a social one. Con has not offered a reason to think marriage is not a legal union. It does not make sense for this debate to center around a purely social union, because that sort of union is already allowed to occur without government recognition. Even if we determine marriage is a social union, he has not offered a reason that such a union should not be legal.



CON CASE



He begins by saying that legalizing gay marriage gives the federal government authority to redefine marriage to include homosexual couples. To begin with, marriage was already defined by the federal government to exclude gay couples and I have presented reasons why marriage should be made legal for heterosexual couples. Since the government defined what constitutes a legal union in the first place, they have the authority to change that definition.



A1: Government should not be allowed to define personal relationships.



The beginning of his case illustrates the flaw at the heart of my opponent’s argument. This flaw is the difference between a purely social union without legal implications, and a legal union that has legal effects.



Con argues that marriage ought to be a purely social institution, and the government should not be involved at all. I disagree with that notion (more on that in a minute), but it should be noted that even if we allow marriage to be free of government regulation, my argument still stands that gay people should be allowed to get married. My opponent really offers no strong opposition to the ideas of gay couples receiving equal marriage rights, he simply argues that marriage should not be controlled by the government.



At this point I do not even need to disagree with my opponent’s first two arguments in order to win, but I will address them anyway.



He says that we are allowing the government to define personal relationships, but that is not really what occurs. What occurs is government recognition of an already existing relationship that allows a couple to receive certain benefits through legal recognition of their union. These benefits include such things as inheritance rights, the ability to visit a sick spouse in the hospital beyond visiting etc [1]. If marriage were not a legal institution, spouses would not be legally recognized as a family member of their partner. A comprehensive list of legal benefits resulting from marriage is available at the source I previously cited.



Not only have I explained why marriage should be a legal institution, I have shown that if marriage were not a legal institution, gay people would be allowed to get married and the resolution would be affirmed!



A2: Marriage would benefit all parties involved more if it were a strictly private institution.



My opponent states that we ought to have contracts setting up the terms if a marriage were to terminate, however a contract is a legal document. This is basically what legal unions boil down to: a type of contract that is recognized by the government as signifying the legal joining of two unrelated people as family.



Even though his point is irrelevant to gay people being allowed to get married, as his scenario would affirm the resolution, he is arguing for a legal contract recognizing a couples, which is basically what exists right now.



A3: Gay marriage is simply a concession of defeat for the gay community.



Here it is argued that rather than pushing for equality in marriage, gay couples should push for the abolishment of legal marriages period. I have already shown why legal unions are important, but if the gay community did push for no government recognized marriage at all, they would still be able to have marriages, and the resolution would be affirmed.



I have shown that legally recognized marriage is important, but even if all of Con’s points were true, the resolution would be affirmed.



PRO CASE



C1: Legalizing same-sex marriage has a positive impact on society.



Here my opponent attempts to undermine my conclusion by launching two weak and unfounded attacks on my premises.



His attack on my first premise does not even address the premise. He writes:



“P1 only legitimizes an immoral institution, which causes harm further down the road, not only for individuals that want to get married w/o meeting the criteria set by government, but for individuals that find themselves subject to other arbitrary standards set by a far away government.”



He talks a great deal about marriage, but P1 does not concern marriage in the least. P1 states: Legalizing something causes happiness without causing harm has a positive impact on society.



It is easy to see that his attack does not come close to dismantling this premise as he has not offered any reason why something that causes happiness without causing harm would not be a good thing. P1 stands with virtually no challenge to it at all.



The argument against P2 also misses the mark, as his “alternative” would still allow for gay people to get married, and this would not harm anyone. P2 stands with no challenge as well.



P1 stands, P2 stands, therefore, C1 stands.



C2: Denying same-sex couples legally recognized marriage is a violation of civil rights.



I agree with my opponent that “If government were not involved in marriage, there would be no violation of civil rights, because everyone would be free to set their own terms for marriage.”



However, I have shown that marriage ought to be a legally recognized union, and even if it were not, the resolution would still be affirmed.



C3: Legalizing same-sex marriage is beneficial to the economy.



My opponent concedes that marriage is good for the economy, but says that marriage does not have to be recognized by law for celebrations to take place. I agree, but if a marriage had a legal weight, that would encourage more people to get married. There are same-sex couples that could be having celebrations recognizing their relationships, but they don’t because they would not be receiving the legal benefits that are awarded to straight couples. Legalizing gay marriage would encourage more gay celebrations, thus helping the economy.



CONCLUSION



Con never really attacked my argument that legalizing gay marriage is good for society. His other two rebuttals hinged on the idea that marriage should not be a legal union, but I have shown why it is should be.



His case also revolved around the idea that marriage should not be defined by the government, but again, I have shown why it should be a legal union, and not just a social one.



I have also shown that even if his arguments are true, the resolution is still affirmed.



It is clear that there are benefits for society if same-sex marriage was legalized.



Source:



[1]- http://www.nolo.com...



MrBrooks

Con

MrBrooks forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Magicr

Pro

Extend all arguments.
MrBrooks

Con

MrBrooks forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Magicr

Pro

Extend arguments again, I suppose.
MrBrooks

Con

MrBrooks forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by MrBrooks 4 years ago
MrBrooks
Oh poo, I forgot all about this.
Posted by Magicr 4 years ago
Magicr
Nevermind. I thought you were saying I bet wrongly. You were saying 1dustpelt bet wrongly.
Posted by Magicr 4 years ago
Magicr
Challenge me.
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
You bet wrongly
Posted by Magicr 4 years ago
Magicr
I really hope does. I've seen his arguments and I'd like to refute them.
Posted by 1dustpelt 4 years ago
1dustpelt
I will bet that 16kadams will take this debate.
Posted by Magicr 4 years ago
Magicr
That is why I have included a very clear resolution in bold at the begining of my post. The title of the debate states the topic and the specifics of the debate are set up within.
Posted by adontimasu 4 years ago
adontimasu
Well, just saying "Gay Marriage" does not quite tell me you support it if you are pro. For instance, it could say "Gay Marriage" but then states in the instigation post that you believe it should remain illegal.
Posted by Magicr 4 years ago
Magicr
I have yet to see a really good argument against same-sex marrige.
Posted by YYW 4 years ago
YYW
I would take this... but I agree with you... and this is one of the few issues I won't debate both sides of.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by TheBossToss 4 years ago
TheBossToss
MagicrMrBrooksTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: FF, and Magicr had superior arguments regardless.