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

Gay Marriage

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Post Voting Period
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after 4 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/5/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,043 times Debate No: 67862
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (4)




Gay marriage without a shadow of a doubt should be completely legalized. It is unfair and unjust to say two people who care about each other can't do whatever they want with their relationship within the confines of the law.
If something that has no negative effect on an innocent party, especially any effect at all, then it should be legal; gay marriage should be legal because what two consenting adults agree to spend their time doing, especially if it's none of your business, shouldn't be punished.
One of the only lasting anti-gay marriage debates left out there is the bible, which all conservatives love to point at, however to let a book of religion guide the way we run our government, that, my sir, is the merging of church and state. To merge the separation of church and state is to step on the toes of our founding fathers, spit in their face, and raise you middle finger to them. That is to say, merging of church and state, is a foolish, fascist idea and cancels every point that our American ancestors tried to make; without ideas like the separation of church and state, what was the point of Revolution? To welcome an idea like merging church and state and then call yourself American is an insult to our fathers and an insult to me, and that is why I hate Republicans.
Then, of course, there are a few people that are anti-gay marriage and have the argument that it is "publicly disturbing and gross" and to that I say, "who cares? It isn't illegal for a person to kiss or hold hands with another straight person in public, why not gay people?" gay people are grossed out by your heterosexuality, and even though I'm heterosexual, sometimes I am too, when you have one of those annoying, cutesy couples near you in public.
Some people, though, are worried about the children. Out of all the arguments against gay marriage, this is the best one, but it isn't seen much and it still isn't very good. Some say children need a man and a woman for optimal raising of child. Then why isn't divorce illegal? And if divorce was illegal, would it really be any better for a child to be raised by constantly bickering parents who hate each other? From a guy who was raised by a single mother, I know there are far more factors than "are the parents gay or not?" in the raising of a child.
Thank you for your time.


I thank my opponent for instigating the debate.

== Rebuttals ==

1) Is it unfair?

To claim whether or not something is unfair or just, it is imperative to justify *what* is supposedly unjust. If marriage is inherently heterosexual, then the rights do not apply to homosexuals. Further, my opponent has yet to prove that marriage is a right anyway.

2) Religious arguments

I am an atheist.

3) Gross

Yep agreed this argument is pretty dumb.

== Case ==

The government regulates marriage for a reason. It provides benefits for a reason. Understanding what these reasons are would help us determine who should get these benefits and under what circumstances they should receive them. If the government bars homosexual’s marriage based upon the criteria of what marriage is, then no rights are being denied to them. It is not unjust to prevent a group of people from obtaining privileges which they do not qualify for. All of the needed criteria for ‘suspect class’, and what rights homosexuals will have, will rely upon what the definition of marriage is.

The reason government regulates marriage is to promote the public good. Marriage is a common good and has an intrinsic nature. Marriage has many private purposes: love, money, etc. But these private interests are of no use to the state. The government, in that case, would have no reason to continue keeping the institution of marriage as a public institution. Private institutions often do support the public good, but do not help in a coordinated manner as a public one does. So… What is this reason?

What is marriage?

What is marriage? A seemingly simple question. But not really.

There are two leading definitions as to what marriage is. The revisionist view. The revisionist view argues that marriage is simply a union between two loving individuals. However, love is not a good reason to allow gay marriage. The state has no reason to support love. It is not a public good. Love is important in order to promote a healthy union between two people, but the government needn’t support love. The biggest issue with this definition, however, is that most loving relationships are not regulated. I am in a relationship, but I do not need governmental recognition in order to continue with what we are doing. Love is a motivator for marriage, but is not the reason the state regulates it. Love is an important part of marriage, but marriage is not about love in the state’s eyes.

What is the purpose to regulate relationships only about love? As noted above, marriage has many private reasons, but those reasons do not motivate the government to regulate marriage. The state has no business regulating relationships only about love. Friendships, for example, could be regulated if the revisionist view is accepted. The argument that same-sex couples should receive marital rights is absurd if marriage is only about love. If anything, marriage shouldn’t even exist if marriage is only about love.

The other view is known as the conjugal view of marriage. Marriage is a *comprehensive* union with a special link to children. It has many private reasons, but serves the public good. The state has a reason to regulate marriage beyond the relationship of the spouses: they regulate it because of children.

Marriage exists in order to bring a man and woman together so that they can raise any children that their union produces. It is based on the truth that men and women are complementary. Reproduction depends on a man and a woman. Without one, no reproduction will occur. Further, children also need a mother and a father. Marriage is the best and simplest way in which the government can promote procreation and child rearing.

Homosexuals can still enter relationships. If they love each other, they can cohabit or even enter a civil union. Regulating marriage does not harm homosexuals in any way. Regulating marriage merely reaffirms the essential truths behind marriage.

Marriage, put simply, connects sex with love, men with women, and the fact that women need mothers and fathers. As Ryan T. Anderson argues, “Marriage is based on the anthropological truth that men and women are complementary, the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and the social reality that children need a mother and a father [1].

The state regulates marriage because of its interest in children. Marriage is the optimal environment for raising its future citizens. Marriage best promotes monogamy and permanence. You do not have to be married to have children, but children do best when raised in a stable marital relationship where both the mother and father raise the child. The government regulates marriage in order to *promote* marriage and better the lives of its citizens.

The revisionist view, which is what gay marriage proponent’s support, would weaken the family unit. It essentially states that marriage is, in no way, related to children. The feelings of the adults are more important than that of the child. By allowing gay marriage, marriage becomes removed from child-rearing and procreation. Marriage would be weakened. A weakened marriage would lead to many social ills: children would be raised poorly, poverty rates would increase, and ‘high risk’ cohorts would increase (i.e. more out-of-wedlock births, and these groups are more prone to crime). These effects will occur over time. And will occur slowly. But the fact is, marriage is a public good, and allowing gay marriage would reduce the amount of good marriage would be able to give to society.

Back to you, pro.


Debate Round No. 1


Thank you con, for excepting my open statement and providing the most constructive anti-gay marriage argument have had yet to hear

My rebuttals:

1. In your first paragraph, you refer to the wording of gay marriage proponents, and point out the belief that gay marriage isn't particularly a "right" as many people say it is. I happen to agree with you, I suppose when I say that the word "right", it is a force of habit and doesn't entirely reflect what I believe. Marriage in itself is no right, but an institution. However, I do believe it should be second guessed as a societal given, and I'll tell you why in my coming statements.

2. In your second paragraph, you argue the reason marriage is a public institution and not a private one. You said that if marriage were only about the personal reasons behind two people getting married, then the government wouldn't care for or even meddle in marriage at all. That is valid, however, you later came forward with your definition of marriage and why it is.

3. To my opponent, it seems that he defines marriage as a public institution that unites two adults not only in love and other personal reasons, but so that they may procreate and further our species, therefore marriage is an institution that excludes all homosexuals by definition, because homosexuals cannot procreate, being unfit for the job.

However, I must say, that marriage, yes, is about procreation in some cases, but has now come to a more spiritual definition, especially to homosexuals who view marriage as a threshold proving to those around them they are so in love that they committed themselves to each other in that way. This means that they have built a marriage out of nothing other than the stigma and cultural reaction to marriage rather than the original definition of marriage, which is your definition of marriage.

The problem with a classical definition of marriage is that classical definitions are no longer applicable today, that is why they are called classical definitions. The world around us is changing, and not only is marriage becoming less about having children, but children are becoming available to homosexuals.

Homosexuals have already been able to adopt, instead of having children as you say is a main reason for marriage, homosexuals can simply raise children who otherwise wouldn't be raised properly or have no married parents; orphans. In addition, the field of science is rapidly changing the meaning of the word marriage in your sense, because some biologists are reaching a threshold in which they can transform simple somatic cells on a human body into gametes, or sex cells, allowing homosexuals to procreate with themselves, or if they are men, through a surrogate. The laws of nature are expanding, and our words and institutions should expand with it, least we crumble in ignorance.

You say if marriage were only to be about instituted love, the meaning of the word "marriage" will crumble along with our entire structure of how we raise the next generation. This is not true, because, at most, the word will be watered down, but regardless, it already has been watered down. Marriage, as it exists now, is mostly about love, just like you can have a child and form a union to best raise said child all without marriage coming into it, you can also get married and not have children. There are straight people out there who have issues with their sexual organs and can't have children, should they be denied marriage as well? There are straight people out there who just don't want to have kids and never do, yet they are married. This has gone on for centuries and yet I haven't seen the crumble of the child-structure you have promised.

Instituting gay marriage does not necessarily mean the collapse you have foretold, because, like saying gay people are bad parents because there is only one gender involved, there are much more factors at play. The amount of people producing children out of wedlock and other negative factors will not increase as homosexuals get married; these have hardly any correlation to homosexuals. If anything, married homosexuals will be good for our children and for our society; orphanages will certainly seem a lot emptier, because more children will be in the loving arms of homosexual parents, who are capable of loving and caring for children just like heterosexuals.

4. You also mention somewhere that excluding homosexuals from the institution of marriage does not prohibit their happiness and freedom. I do agree with you, I agree that gay marriage is a frivolous debate topic, but is so heavy in America and so heavy to me because the arguments that come with it.

Arguing for or against gay marriage has superseded it's original purpose and has become rather a front for those in denial of any gay privileges and rights for they are homophobic because the bible tells them to, and proponents for homosexuality, like me, who use the topic of gay marriage to embody all arguments regarding homosexuality.

In conclusion:

I believe I have met someone not so concerned about key homosexual topics as they are about the actual topic of gay marriage, and I respect that. I also respect your argument, which as I said is most constructive, and more articulated than the usual conservative argument I have to grit my teeth through every day or so.

Back to you, worthy adversary.


== Rebuttals ==

My opponent seems to agree with many of my opening assertions—the importance of what marriage is, for example. But disagrees with the actual definition. I will respond to his criticisms accordingly.

1. What about heterosexuals who do not have children or are unable to?

This is the most common objection to the conjugal view: it does not hold up because heterosexuals often do NOT have children. However, this response is weak. Generally, it is argued that heterosexual couples—often infertile couples—cannot have children, and are therefore not fulfilling the institution of marriage. Should we exclude them from marriage?

The first response is simple: no, because it would be time consuming. Infertile couples are an extremely small minority, and having to test/obtain medical records from all of the heterosexual couples in order to determine their fertility would be both time consuming and costly. It may also reduce overall marriage rates due to the excessive regulation, and may actually end up *weakening* marriage rather than strengthening its public good.

The second response is also fairly straightforward. You do not have to have children in order to be married. Infertile couples can still form a comprehensive union, as briefly noted last round. It differs in a degree, not type, as other unions. Meaning it is still procreative in type, if even not in effect.

To form a true marriage, one must form a comprehensive union of mind and body, which is completed by procreation and *may* lead to offspring. Every male-female relationship can accomplish this, but with no exceptions homosexuals cannot. Their union is still oriented towards procreation even if not in effect. For example, a broken finger is still a finger, although it cannot perform the same functions. A deaf ear is still an ear, although it cannot hear. The government still has an interest in promoting these relationships as it continues to convey the message as to what marriage really is, and is not fully interested in the effects.

Though, benefits do actually occur due to the recognition of infertile marriages. To recognize fertile marriages only would convey the message that marriage is only about the creation of children, a means to an end, and is not a good in and of itself. However, the state must convey that marriage in and of itself is a social good. Why? Because doing so promotes a society where marital stability becomes the norm. The more people accept the truths of marriage as a socially beneficial institution—as a good in and of itself—the more likely those unions which do produce children will actually remain intact [1]. Allowing homosexual marriage would promote the revisionist view—that marriage is merely about love—which would reduce the efficacy of marriage.

2. What about the harms?

There are multiple types of harms which can occur from same-sex marriage: both moral intangible harms and tangible societal harms. PRO argues these harms would be insignificant. This is untrue.

PRO argues that many homosexuals raise children, and therefore fulfill the states interest in promoting child rearing, and do not go against what marriage is due to the fact that homosexuals would be, in effect, helping society. Again, it is the type of marriage which matters. However, it is still important to dispel these myths.

Mainly, this assumes that homosexual households are, on balance, capable of raising children the same as heterosexuals. But as I have espoused often on this website, this is simply not the case. In fact, the evidence strongly suggests that homosexual households are worse environments than heterosexual households (when it comes to child-rearing). I am not saying that homosexuals are evil, or that they cannot raise a child. On balance, they are less effective in doing so than heterosexuals—and children simply need both a mother AND a father, something which homosexuals cannot provide. It is not intended malice.

The current laws enforce the idea that a heterosexual married couple is the best environment for raising children. Allowing gay marriage would erase this idea. The idea—that heterosexual households are the best for children—is strongly supported by the social science. Girls, when not raised with a father, are more likely to be sexually abused and have children while they are teenagers, and boys tend to be more aggressive if there is no father figure [2]. The vast weight of the evidence suggests that mothers and fathers are very different. Dual gender parenting is extremely important for the wellbeing of the child. Mommies do not make good Daddies, and Daddies do not make good Mommies. Both have inherently different roles in the development of the child, and removal of one or the other will significantly threaten a child’s development [3]. The fact is, homosexual households do not offer dual gender parenting, and will not benefit the child in the same way that a heterosexual married couple would.

3. Marriage is already dead?

Marriage is indeed declining—in a sense. However, it is declining due to the increasing revisionist view of the institution. No fault divorce laws, for example (which was opposed by those now opposing gay marriage) has significantly increased divorce rates and harmed the institution of marriage [4].

Marriage has been declining due to measures taken by revisionists. Gay marriage will have similar effects. We didn’t know the harms of no-fault divorce laws for decades. Its proponents—using similar lines of logic as gay marriage proponents now use—argued that it would not harm society and that divorce rates would not be unchanged. However, no-fault increased divorce rates and destroyed many families, weakening society. The effects of gay marriage will not be immediate. However, over time, the deleterious effects will become detectable.

And as noted, there are many intangible (moral) harms which would occur due to gay marriage legalization. The fact is, one way or another, allowing gay marriage can and will harm society.


PRO has the burden of proof, but has yet to provide one compelling reason as to why gay marriage should be allowed. I have provided strong reasoning as to why it should remain restricted. The resolution is negated.

1. Sherif Girgis, Ryan T. Anderson, and Robert P. George. What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense (Encounter Books: 2012): 77.

2. Ibid pp 59.

3. David Popenoe. Life without Father: Compelling New Evidence that Fatherhood and Marriage are Indispensable for the Good of Children and Society (Free Press: 1996): 197.


Debate Round No. 2


Before I begin, I would like to thank my opponent for his argument and his time. I would also like to say that I instigated this debate to further my knowledge of other people's opinions on the matter, to challenge myself and be better prepared, in turn, for future cases, not so much as to sway others.

-My Rebuttals-

I read through Con's argument and here are my objections:

In a paragraph of my opponents argument he states that the more people that view marriage as a social benefit, the more stable the institution itself will become. But the question I ask is; is marriage really such a social benefit? As a child that lived in a complete family unit, then a breaking one, then a broken one, I looked back at myself and at the people around me from school and so on, who were raised in complete families, breaking ones, broken ones, and homosexual ones, I realized the worst child isn't from the complete family, the broken family, or the homosexual ones. The worst children came from homes where the mother and the father fought and bickered and hated one another.

There is no research necessary to be sighted because I have witnessed this all first hand; children cannot be raised properly in households of parents who hate one another, and children like that mostly, if not, always turn out worse. That is why there is no fault divorce. Yes the divorce rate increased and families were broken, but at least most of those numbers represented people stuck in marriages they couldn't escape from otherwise, people who neglected and parented their children improperly because they were too busy trying to stab their partner in the back. So I ask you, what is worse? Growing up with one parent, or growing to resenting your parents, the world, and the very fact that you exist? What is better?

Humankind is not built to stay in marriages, it's purely and simply not in our nature, but we are built to be raised best by married, heterosexual couples, so we are at a stalemate in human progression. This is because, formerly, marriage was a needed institution and was completely supported by society as a partnership, but because society has changed so dramatically since industrialization, everyone has changed with it. The women's right's movement among many others altered our society forever and now we can't go back, and we shouldn't go back, because if we are ever to advance we must grit our teeth through progression, the good, such as women's rights and globalization, and the bad, such as the self-destruction of marriage.

Forgive me, I digress. I'd like to disprove my opponent's research that points to homosexual parents being less effective than their heterosexual counterparts by saying, again, the raising of a child cannot be generalized down to a two-factor research point. There are many more factors involved, especially in areas like homosexuality, children can be made fun of and picked on for having homosexual parents, this can lead to resentment in the child and increased aggression and more risky, bad behavior as defensive measures. This is not the fault of the parents or their ability to raise a child, it is simply the fault of our society. Should homosexuals be punished for slightly lacking parenting skills do to their gender? No. Should they be punished because society isn't willing to accept homosexual couples? No.

In conclusion,

I'd like to say it is better for children to be raised from homosexual or single parents rather than hateful parents, at least until such a time as people are able to pass this region of progress between the times when man and woman relied on one another in marriage and men and women are able to love each other and set aside their differences. This is why I would chose to allow homosexuals their privileges to marry, and enjoy the other benefits of marriage, such as many legal and economic benefits as previously mentioned by my opponent.

I'd also like to state that I resent Con's previous conclusion because I feel no burden of proof and see no such strong reasoning.

Thank you and farewell


I thank my opponent for his response. I will point out the issues with my opponent’s arguments, and I hope he considers changing his mind on the subject. Opposing gay marriage is not ‘anti-gay’. It is merely pro-family.

1. The optimal situation for children

Pro cites anecdotal evidence to support his claim. This is not valid, as it is based off of his personal experience, which may or may not be based upon the reality of the world. It is based upon a few nonrandom pieces of evidence, which is not representative of society as a whole.

Bickering households do harm children. There is no doubt about this. However, heterosexual marriages tend to have the *least* tension. Homosexual households tend to have higher rates of domestic violence than heterosexual relationships [1]. The authors claim that the reason is due to minority status and discrimination. However, a literature review found that same sex attraction is inherently more violent and disturbed, and is likely not due to discrimination [2]. And this is not to say that homosexuals are always insane—there are many prominent productive homosexuals on this website. YYW and Bsh1 are two prominent examples. However the fact is that homosexuals tend to be *more* violent as a group on average, meaning children raised in their homes will likely be negatively affected.

The evidence is supported by the American College of Pediatricians. They argue, “Children navigate developmental stages more easily, are more solid in their gender identity, perform better academically, have fewer emotional disorders, and become better functioning adults when reared within their natural family … Consequently, mothers and fathers parent differently and make unique contributions to the overall development of the child … Studies that appear to indicate neutral to favorable child outcomes from same-sex parenting have critical design flaws … Data on the long-term outcomes of children placed in same-sex households is sparse and gives reason for concern. This research has revealed that children reared in same-sex households are more likely to experience sexual confusion, engage in risky sexual experimentation, and later adopt a same-sex identity.”[3].

The burgeoning literature supports the notion that rearing children in households head by homosexuals *harm* the child.

2. Nature’s monogamy

Actually, humans are, in part, monogamous creatures. Monogamous primates have smaller testes and the males are about the same size as the females. Polygamous primates generally have larger testes and are much larger than the women. With humans, their testes are larger than most monogamous primates (proportionally), but are also smaller (proportionally) than polygamous primates. They are larger than females, but not to the same extent as polygamous primates [4]. Therefore, it seems as though humans are a bit in-between.

Indeed, another literature review argues that love is a real thing, and that humans can remain monogamous for at least 10 years into a marriage, and later it begins to ‘fade away’. However, the authors continue, “for modern humans it is desirable to remain together in marriage as long as possible” [5].

Further, whether or not something is *natural* seems irrelevant. Marriage plays, in *part*, in a man and woman’s urges, but is primarily regulated due to the public good it provides, not because of its evolutionary advantage or disadvantage. But as noted in (1) and briefly here, it is beneficial for society to continue traditional marriage practices. Which, eventually, may become a natural evolutionary trait—even though it seems to be one already.

== Conclusion ==

My opponent drops my ‘what is marriage’ argument, and focuses on a very small portion of what I say. Vote CON. I hope my opponent has learned what the other side has to say.






Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Black-Jesus 3 years ago
My problem seems to be organization and citations, this was my first debate on this website, thanks for the criticism.
Posted by 16kadams 3 years ago
Posted by Raccoon98 3 years ago
Gay ppl are mismulins
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by rikomalpense 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct, S/G: No major issues with either side. Tied. Arguments: Pro did not support any of his claims with sources, instead relying on anecdotes and unconfirmed generalized statements, while Con supports their rebuttals and arguments. Point to Con. Sources: Automatic point to Con as Pro did not use any sources, despite the dubious nature of some of their sources.
Vote Placed by warren42 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con successfully disproved or minimized each Pro argument. Additionally, Con as able to utilize sources as Pro did not.
Vote Placed by Geographia 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: R1- Pro started the debate on a weak start by appealing to emotions and Con gave definitions and robust rebuttals to Pro's R1 and returned fire just fine, with maybe some issues, but I'll let them pass, as Pro made some s/g and conduct issues too. Winner - Con ------- R2 and 3- Pro never seems to organize himself, whereas Con does, and bring sources to back his claims. 16kadams shown why the government should have their fingers in the pie, so to speak Winner - Con
Vote Placed by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro provides absolutely no sources so I'm forced to believe con. Over all the debate was pretty close but con tips the scale in his favor