The Instigator
bsh1
Pro (for)
Winning
24 Points
The Contender
GodChoosesLife
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Gay Marriage

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
bsh1
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/2/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 807 times Debate No: 43294
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (4)

 

bsh1

Pro

Preface

This arose while GCL and I were discussing the issue of Gay Marriage in the U.S. I initiated this debate in order to better understand her thoughts, as well as to express my own on this issue. I thank her to agreeing to engage with me. I look forward to a great exchange.

Topic

Gay Marriage is immoral

Rules

1. Religion is permitted, but it should not be the sole argument presented by either side
2. BOP is shared: Pro must show that it is moral; Con must show that it isn't
3. Sources must be cited in the text of the debate
4. No forfeits
5. Violation of any of the R1 set-up merits a 7-point loss

Structure

R1: Acceptance only
R2: Arguments
R3: Arguments
R4: Concluding Summary (no new arguments or responses)

Thanks

...to GCL for making this round possible, and to the judges for taking time to read and score this round.
GodChoosesLife

Con

Thank you Bsh1for asking me to debate on this topic. Look forward to this debate. I will do my best to not forfeit and make sure to post any references. And of course, I accept!

Best wishes! :)
Debate Round No. 1
bsh1

Pro

Thanks again to GCL. I will now present my arguments.

FRAMEWORK

The topic reads "Gay Marriage is immoral." This is not a debate about gay sex; rather, it is a debate about gay marriage.

That being said, sexual acts are integral to marriage, and so some discussion of gay sex is appropriate. However, we must recall that this is about the institution of marriage itself, not about what occurs within the marriage.

Definitions:

Marriage - "a socially or ritually recognized union or legal contract between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between them, between them and their children, and between them and their in-laws." [1]
Choice - "the act of choosing: picking/deciding between possibilities." [2]
Sexual Orientation - "to an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic and/or sexual attractions to men, women or both sexes. Sexual orientation also refers to a person’s sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors and membership in a community of others who share those attractions. Research over several decades has demonstrated that sexual orientation ranges along a continuum." [3]
Morality - "conformity to ideals of right human conduct." [2] I assert that fairness is a good criterion for morality.

Clarification: I know I'm listed as Pro; however, I will be arguing gay marriage is NOT immoral.

ARGUMENTS

Contention One: Orientation is not a Choice

A. Homosexuality is found in animals

Numerous animal species display homosexual orientations [4]. One famous example of this is the union of two female Swans. [5] Officials originally believed them to be a heterosexual couple, naming them Romeo and Juliet, only to--after investigation--discover that the couple was lesbian. This shows, at the very least, that homosexual orientations can be evidenced in nature.

I would further posit, that since animals lack the rationality required to make higher-order decisions, that they did not choose to be lesbian, but were born that way. Christian existentialist Soren Kierkegaard once asserted that choice is about the ability to self-direct. Nonhumans lack choice. A cow, for instance, is a purely natural being; its behavior is always determined by worldly facts. The composition of a cow, the environment of a cow, and the natural laws governing Mother Earth determine what the cow does at all stages of its life. The cow, in essence, lacks the free will to act contrary to what any of the biological/natural factors dictate. For example, if a cow is hungry, it will eat; it cannot consciously choose not to eat even though it is hungry. It cannot fight against its natural urges."

The Swans cannot choose to be straight or gay. Rather, they are simply submitting to their natural, homosexual urges.

B. Behavioral Analysis

Learned behavior can be untaught. [6] Something that is innate cannot be untaught. For example, no psychologist could teach me to turn my blues eye brown. In this same way, homosexuality cannot be untaught. The APA, America's premier psychological association, has found that homosexuality cannot be "cured" and cannot be undone via therapy. [7] Other psychological experts concur. [8, 9] Even groups that have tried to unteach homosexuality have acknowledged their failures. [10] Therefore, people don't choose orientation.

C. Conclusion

Sexual Orientation is not a choice. "Sexual orientation is not simply a personal characteristic but defines a group of people in which one is likely to discover satisfying and romantically fulfilling relationships as essential components of personal identity." [9]

Contention Two: Nondiscrimination

A. It is wrong to discriminate based on things people have no control over

People are responsible for their choices--not for things they cannot influence or control. Insofar as people cannot control whether or not they are gay, they are not responsible for their orientation. To say that they should be treated differently because of some factor beyond their control is to unfairly discriminate.

Just as African Americans should not be persecuted for their skins color, women should not be persecuted for their gender, and people should not be persecuted based on their place of birth, gay people should not be persecuted for being gay.

B. Civil Unions are insufficient

"The institution of civil marriage confers a social status and important legal benefits, rights, and privileges. ... Same-sex couples are denied equal access to civil marriage. ... Same-sex couples who enter into a civil union are denied equal access to all the benefits, rights, and privileges provided by federal law to married couples ... The benefits, rights, and privileges associated with domestic partnerships are not universally available, are not equal to those associated with marriage, and are rarely portable." [11] We can also look to the Supreme Court's striking down of DOMA as unduly discriminatory and unequal to see that the highest Court in the U.S. conquers that there should be a more equal footing here. [11, 12]

C. The Libertarian Paradigm

It is also important to point out here that gay marriage poses no active harm to any one else. Gay individuals getting married does not endanger you or your neighbors, nor does it serve any government benefit to deny gay couples marriage rights. It seems like an inappropriate use of government coercion, therefore, to prevent these loving couples from exercising their autonomy and getting married.

D. Conclusion

The concept of Civil Unions is akin to the idea of Separate but Equal. Yet, Separate but Equal is inherently unequal. Gay couples are relegated to second-class unions for something they cannot control. This is inherently unfair.

Contention Three: Preemption regarding Homosexual sex

A. Set-up

"We can and often do evaluate sexual activity morally: we inquire whether a sexual act—either a particular occurrence of a sexual act (the act we are doing or want to do right now) or a type of sexual act (say, all instances of homosexual fellatio)--is morally good or morally bad." [13] Some might claim, like the Catholic Church for instance, that having a homosexual orientation is not immoral, but having homosexual sex is. It is the contrast between the State of Homosexuality and Acts of Homosexuality.

B. What makes Sex Wrong: The Contract

What makes sex wrong--particularly sex within a marriage? Marriage is a contract that implies exclusivity between partners and caring for/honoring one's partner. These themes are echoed and enshrined in a variety of common marriage vows. [14] Therefore, within marriage, it is wrong to commit adultery (violates exclusivity) or to rape or abuse one's spouse (violates honoring/cherishing). Gay couples can be faithful and are fully able to consent. It seems then that the marriage contract itself would not prohibit gay sex.

C: What makes Sex Wrong: The Telos

Some claim that the purpose of something (its telos) matters when making right/wrong and good/bad judgments. For example, a calculator that solves math problems is a good calculator. Some claim that sex's purpose is to procreate; therefore, good sex is sex that results/could result in procreation. There are several logical problems with the teleological approach:

1. Purpose is Nebulous
  • 1A. Purpose cannot always be determined
  • 1B. Objects often have multiple purposes so it is a fruitless task to attempt to synthesize an object's/institution's purpose into one thing as Con attempts to do


2. Purpose =/= should. For example, let's suppose that a gun's purpose is to murder. Simply because a gun's purpose is to murder does not mean that is how it should be used.

3. Purpose is not exclusive. Simply because a gun's purpose is to murder does not mean it cannot morally be used for other things (hunting, deterrence, self-defense, sport, etc.)

Therefore, the teleological approach is a logical fallacy; a non-sequitur if you will.

SOURCES

1 - http://en.wikipedia.org...
2 - http://www.merriam-webster.com...
3 - http://www.apa.org...
4 - http://en.wikipedia.org...
5 - http://www.mombian.com...
6 - http://www.mentalhelp.net...
7 - http://www.sgn.org...
8 - http://www.mens-wellbeing.com...
9 - http://communities.washingtontimes.com...
10 - http://www.speroforum.com...
11 - http://en.wikipedia.org...
12 - http://www.reuters.com...
13 -http://www.iep.utm.edu...
14 - http://www.ehow.com...

Thanks! Over to GCL...

GodChoosesLife

Con

GodChoosesLife forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
bsh1

Pro

GCL has informed me that, due to IRL constraints, she will be sadly unable to continue with this debate.
GodChoosesLife

Con

GodChoosesLife forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
bsh1

Pro

Extend my points. Please vote Pro. Thank you!
GodChoosesLife

Con

GodChoosesLife forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by GodChoosesLife 2 years ago
GodChoosesLife
You won bsh1 :)
Sorry I left ya hanging :/
But as soon as I get completely back on my feet well take a swoop at this again. K?

In the meantime, how are you? :)
Posted by KingDebater 2 years ago
KingDebater
And it's another loss for GodChoosesLife.
Posted by GodChoosesLife 2 years ago
GodChoosesLife
I appreciate your concern, but it's not about winning the debate. It's about stating your view and learning the others at the same time.
Posted by dtaylor971 2 years ago
dtaylor971
Oh man... You can't beat bsh1 when it comes to abortion or gay marriage or the BIG ISSUES... Best of luck GCL.

...However, I'm still on the pro side.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by ruiran0326 2 years ago
ruiran0326
bsh1GodChoosesLifeTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Rule violation (FF)
Vote Placed by Romanii 2 years ago
Romanii
bsh1GodChoosesLifeTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Con only posted one round and it didn't contribute to her argument at all, so all 7 points to Pro.
Vote Placed by imabench 2 years ago
imabench
bsh1GodChoosesLifeTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by Illegalcombatant 2 years ago
Illegalcombatant
bsh1GodChoosesLifeTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Violation per rule 4. 7 Points to Pro.