The Instigator
Danielle
Pro (for)
Winning
21 Points
The Contender
Jerry947
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Gay Marriage

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Danielle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/23/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,356 times Debate No: 100238
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (38)
Votes (4)

 

Danielle

Pro

I would like to thank Jerry in advance for accepting this debate.

My opponent can choose to use Round 1 for acceptance, and if so I'll begin in Round 2.

Gay Marriage = the legally or formally recognized union of two same-sex people as partners in a personal relationship

I look forward to a fruitful discussion!
Jerry947

Con

I accept this debate.

My opening argument is typed and ready to go. Your move Danielle.
Debate Round No. 1
Danielle

Pro

Thank you for accepting this debate.

Throughout human history, gay people have engaged in committed, romantic relationships similar to heterosexual marriage. Whether or not the government recognizes same-sex marriage, those relationships have and would continue to exist. In this debate, I will be arguing that these relationships, the people within them, and the people their relationship affects (their families) deserve to have their unions recognized by government. To deny legal protections for SSM would be a gross injustice that is unwarranted, unconstitutional and unfair.

==

To start, let's consider why people want to get married. There is a plethora of research showing significant benefits to tying the knot. Marriage is a contractual legal institution, and thus even without intimacy creates a significant connection to another person. This contractual expansion of resources coupled with sexual attraction and emotional intimacy explains why married people are more financially well off, happier and healthier than their non-married peers [1].

If marriage significantly benefits people's lives, it is logical to recognize that the lives of gay people (and thus society overall) would benefit from gay marriage. None of the highlighted benefits of marriage are limited to heterosexual couples. Without legalized SSM, gay people would still engage in gay relationships - relationships that have the potential problems but not the benefits associated with marriage.

==

The benefits of a married couple logically extend to their children. If people are happier, healthier and more financially well off, the children of married couples will also be better off. In addition to the inherent benefits of coupling, the legal rights afforded to married couples extend to safeguard the family. In many cases, kids with gay parents have been hurt by their family not being protected in instances where adoption, the death tax and other legal issues arise [2, 3]. Con will be arguing in favor of children with gay parents not being protected by the law as their peers are, for reasons entirely out of their control.

There are a lot of families headed by same-sex parents. Almost 40% of LGBT identifying individuals have had a child. Six million people in America have gay parents, and there are 125,000 gay headed households raising 220,000 kids under the age of eighteen [4]. Keep in mind these are old statistics and are likely much higher.

Innumerable studies have been done, peer-reviewed and deemed credible by the science community to conclude that sexuality is irrelevant in terms of parenting abilities [5, 6]. If necessary, I will expand more on the credibility of these studies, however this should not be the focal point of the debate. Whether or not SSM was recognized by government, families headed by gay parents would still exist, and these families need legal protection.

==

Supporting traditional family values is not a legal prerequisite for marriage. First let's consider that divorce is rampant among heterosexuals. Studies also show that the legitimization of marriage is the primary factor in considering the dissolution of all relationships. Social sanctioning of the relationship promotes longevity, indicating that the legalization and social acceptance of gay marriage will strengthen gay relationships and contribute to their success [7]. However the government does not deny the right to marriage based on the likelihood of the relationship's demise.

Agreeing to have children is not a prerequisite for marriage either, even though many gay couples do. Some heterosexuals are infertile. Others simply don't want to have kids. Some couples are polyamorous. Others do not plan on being married forever. The point is, having a "traditional" lifestyle is not something the government requires when extending the legal protection of marriage.

Heterosexual couples engage in questionable marital decisions all the time. Couples who marry young are twice as likely to end in divorce [8]. Still we allow young people the opportunity to get married, and receive the personal (and societal) benefits and protections that are afforded to more established married couples. Despite the supposition that government sanctions marriage to compel population growth and/or traditional values, the fact is even infertile, polyamorous straight people who are disinterested in parenthood have the right to marriage. Moreover many gay people have children (biological and otherwise). It would be logical to extend marriage rights and privileges to gay couples and their families as well.

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

==

As for the legal contentions...

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled fourteen times that marriage is a fundamental right of all (adult) individuals [9].

The 14th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified on July 9, 1868. It states:

"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."

The 14th Amendment marked a large constitutional shift, which inhibited the state's rights to discriminate freely.

The U.S. Supreme Court first applied this standard to marriage in Loving v. Virginia in 1967, when SCOTUS struck down a Virginia law banning interracial marriage. The court ruled that Virginia's anti-miscegenation statute violated both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment [10].

The Due Process Clause says that states may not deprive persons of life, liberty, or property without due process of law [11]. This essentially means the laws on record will be scrutinized for legitimacy in order to ensure people's rights are being recognized and protected. Whereas the law used to uphold outdated and immoral policy in the past, due process considers both the law as-written as well as the spirit of the law. Indeed we have made many adjustments throughout history; recognizing black people as free citizens and giving women voting/property rights are just some examples. The Equal Protection Clause looks to guarantee that all people would have rights equal to those of other citizens [12].

Perry v. Schwarzenegger was a 2010 federal court decision in which Judge Vaughn R. Walker cited Loving v. Virginia to conclude that the Constitutional right to marry protects an individual's choice of marital partner [13]. Afterward the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed this decision along with a handful of other cases. This makes sense if you extend the same logic of due process and equal protection for gay couples. SCOTUS ruled that there was no reason to exclude gay couples from the same protection as heterosexual couples in similar relationships, which SCOTUS has every legal right to do.

The 14th Amendment posits that freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.

Thus SSM is now the Constitutionally valid law of the land per the 14th Amendment and the Supremacy Clause.

==

In conclusion, here is the breakdown of my arguments via syllogism.

P1. People benefit from marriage
P2. Gay people benefit from marriage
P3. Kids benefit from having married parents
P4. Gay people have kids
.: Ergo, gay people and their kids benefit from gay marriage

P1. If more people and kids benefit from marriage, society benefits overall
P2. Government sanctions marriage to benefit society overall
P3. Pragmatically - government does not inhibit marriage based on probability of issues or failure
P4. Morally - government does not impose traditional values on married families
.: Ergo, government has no justifiable reason to inhibit SSM

P1. Gay people pay taxes and abide by the duties of citizenship
P2. The Supreme Court acknowledges a person's right to marriage
P3. The Constitution grants legal protections of Due Process and Equal Protection
P4. The Supremacy Clause empowers the Supreme Court's decision
.: Ergo, legalizing SSM is both the moral and legally righteous thing

Con must distinguish why the legal institution of marriage is only beneficial for straight couples. He will have to explain how society overall does not benefit from having a greater population of happier and healthier people. Furthermore, Con must explain why gay relationships shouldn't be fostered with legal protection. Jerry will have to prove that children with gay parents should not have the security of legal protection with those that raise them and whom they know as their parents.

Additionally Con will have to outline how the government ensures married couples abide by traditional standards, and/or how it regulates marriage on the basis of qualifying factors beyond mental capacity (age and sound mind). Otherwise he will have no reason to oppose SSM. Of course Con should explain why gay people should forfeit the right to marry their preferred adult partner as well. And finally, Jerry will have to present why the majority of Americans, Supreme Court and Constitution of the United States are all wrong in their assessment of supporting legalized recognition of SSM.

I look forward to my opponent's rebuttal.

SOURCES: http://tinyurl.com...
Jerry947

Con

Alright Pro, here we go...

Part One: Misconceptions

Homosexuality is one of those topics that is very poorly understood. Many seem to think that the gay movement is much like the civil rights movement. Unfortunately, this has led to much confusion over the past few decades. People are reacting to all the hatred that has happened since the Civil War. And because of that, nobody wants to be seen judging people at all. In the United States, judging is strongly discouraged. And this can be a good thing. Surely most agree that it is wrong to be judged for one"s skin color. But it should be noted that not all judging is wrong. It is good to recognize a right action from a wrong action. That is why the justice system exists. People need to be held accountable for their actions. Besides, those that say "You ought not to judge" are making a self-defeating statement. For their very statement is a judgement. That said, when it comes to gay marriage, no one is judging anyone for their appearance. Gay marriage has nothing to do with a person"s skin color. Racism and homosexuality are completely different subjects and need to be treated with care. One"s skin color is sacred and one"s sexuality is sacred.

All of that said, there is a second misconception about the gay movement. Many people believe that gay rights are the next step to advancing mankind. I am sure that most people have heard someone say "It is 2017, we should be accepting all people." I would like to suggest that this type of thinking is incorrect. Homosexuality is not a recent subject. It has long been debated over the course of human history. Many people believe that accepting homosexuality would be terrible thing. It would be an act that set our culture back in terms of morality. Someone could say "It is 2017, we should be (morally) better than this." So please, let us ignore one liners made by the gay marriage supporters. This subject has nothing to do with accepting people or with the year it currently is. It is all about the actions of people. Of course, not all actions made by people should be supported. Remember, immoral actions should be rejected. If homosexual behavior is immoral, then it should be rejected. And that leads into the third misconception people have about homosexuality.

The third misconception is that homosexuality is not a choice. Let it be made very clear, regardless if one is born gay or not, who you have sex with is a choice. Homosexual behavior can be controlled just like any other behavior. If one were born gay, this fact would have nothing to do with supporting gay marriage or homosexual behavior. This is true for other things as well. If one were born a pedophile, that would not justify pedophilia. And if one were born sinful, that would not justify sin. Furthermore, if one were born a homophobe, that would not justify homophobia. The whole argument is about whether homosexual activities should be supported or not. Being born a certain way does not justify one"s behavior. If that were true, then no one would ever be held accountable for their actions. We wouldn"t even have a justice system. Therefore, when discussing gay marriage, it is best to avoid these misconceptions because they really do hinder people from understanding what the conversation is about. The gay marriage debate is about homosexual actions. It isn"t about accepting or hating people. It is about whether people have the right to express homosexual behaviors. And that leads into the arguments against gay marriage.

Part Two: Arguments Against Gay Marriage

Whenever a person claims that homosexuality is unnatural, they are not referring to the animal kingdom. Of course, there are animals that show homosexual behavior. The animal kingdom also includes rats that eat their young, male sharks that force females into having sex, and mantises that eat the heads off their male companions. What happens in the animal kingdom is not what it means to be natural. Well, at least not in the way I am using the word. I am exclusively looking at the nature of humans here.

This is obvious for many reasons. No one has ever been born of a homosexual union and most people are not homosexuals. Only around 2 to 4 percent of the entire population have this abnormal behavior (https://www.cdc.gov...). Furthermore, no society has ever accorded homosexuals an equivalent status with heterosexuals. The "Mohaves, for example, interchanged the word for homosexual with the word for coward" (Geisler 292). The views of past societies should not be brushed off so quickly. For every rational society discriminates against socially undesirable elements. Criminals are put into prisons, and those that steal are punished etc. The question is, "Is homosexually socially desirable?

The answer is no. Homosexual behavior has caused several problems for our society. Dr. Edmund Bergler, who treated a thousand homosexuals, said that "gays tended to display extreme narcissism and superciliousness" (http://www.familyresearchinst.org...). He also claimed that gays tended to "provoke attacks against themselves and then count these "attacks" as injustices they had suffered." So, there are some mental issues associated with homosexuality. And before anyone claims that this is because of discrimination, let it be pointed out that our society has become very supportive of homosexual behavior. Teenagers, Hollywood stars, schools, and even the former President of the United States has come out in favor of homosexual behavior. Therefore, arguments about discrimination are not really convincing since the United States is so supportive. In fact, anyone who is against gay marriage can basically expect someone to call them a homophobe or some other name. The United States is extremely tolerant at least in recent times.

Aside from that, there are higher sexual molestation rates among homosexuals. There is also the problem of sexual promiscuity. Statistics show that 83% of homosexuals have over 50 partners in their lifetime (http://exodusglobalalliance.org...). Then there is the fact that no society can be sustained by homosexual practices. A society that practices homosexuality would never produce any kids. I am only pointing this out to show that homosexual behavior does not benefit society at all. Homosexuals might benefit society"but their homosexual behavior doesn"t in the very least. Also, homosexual practices are a threat to lives. There is no question that AIDS is spread by homosexuals. And "neither is there any doubt that this deadly disease is spread from homosexuals to such nonhomosexuals as hemophiliacs, users of common needles, medical workers, wives of bisexuals, and others" (Geisler 294). In other words, homosexual behavior literally does nothing to benefit society. Their behavior only damages it.

So, the question is, "Why support gay marriage if it does nothing to benefit society?" If homosexual behavior is unnatural, causes death, causes mental health issues, etc., why on earth should anyone support it? There literally isn"t a single good reason for allowing gay marriage to occur. All gay marriage does is support this harmful behavior. It makes no sense to let this happen. In fact, I challenge my opponent to name one way that homosexual behavior is beneficial to society. I don"t think it can be done, but let"s see what happens.

Part Three: Conclusion

So, what is my opponent going to do? They can"t argue that homosexual behavior is beneficial to society. I don"t see how my opponent will be able to provide even one good argument for gay marriage. Once a person gets past all the misconceptions about gay marriage, and once one learns about all the damages caused by homosexual behavior, we can see that gay marriage should not be allowed or even encouraged.

Aside from that, I now wait for my opponent to post their rebuttals. I look forward to seeing my opponents arguments and wish them the best.

Source:

1. Geisler, Norman. Christian Ethics. Grand Rapids, Baker Book House, 1989.
Debate Round No. 2
Danielle

Pro

== RE: Misconceptions ==

Jerry claims that accepting gay people is not necessarily a moral endeavor. I disagree with these positions, but they aren't relevant contentions. This debate is not about whether homosexuality is immoral or inherently harmful (it's not) but rather if gay people have the right to marry. Even people we find morally abhorrent have marriage rights. Hitler was married. The founders of the KKK were married. We do not give purity tests to determine who has the right to marry.

== RE: Arguments Against SSM ==

Con notes that homosexuality is not common or pertinent to childbirth, and therefore un-natural. Just because something isn't found in nature (though Con admitted that homosexuality is found in nature) doesn't mean that it's immoral. Central air conditioning units are not found in nature - are they immoral? What exactly makes something immoral by Con's standards? I'm curious of his answer, though again it's not significant.

While the government should not condone explicitly harmful behavior, or behavior which harms another person's property, they are not in the business of legally condemning alternative lifestyles. The role of government is not to impose subjective moral preferences, but to protect people's individual rights. For example I dislike racists, but they still have the right to free speech. Con may dislike gays, but they still have the right to marry.

My opponent argues that homosexual behavior has "caused several problems for our society." So have cars - they kill millions of people each year, and are the primary cause of pollution, yet we still have the right to drive. What this means is that so long as people are not overtly harming others, their behaviors should be allowed. Drinking alcohol can be shown to be significantly harmful - causing alcoholism, drunk driving, increased violence, health related issues, increase in domestic violence, increase in divorce, increase in homelessness and poverty, increase in likelihood of committing crimes, etc. And yet despite the fact that drinking alcohol (and alcoholics) have these increased risks, people still have the right to drink alcohol -- and alcoholics still have fundamental civil rights: such as the right to assemble, free speech, property ownership, voting and... marriage.

Ergo, just because one demographic can be demonstrated to have its own problems or statistical increase of issues, does not mean that people from those groups ought to have their rights inhibited. In this debate, Con must prove that gay couples should not have the right to marry on the basis of their sexual preference. Surely that would ultimately lead to a slippery slope where the government could legislate the rights away of any group deemed unfit. Our government was specifically designed to fight against this.

Con spent his round focusing on how evil homosexuality is -- arguing that gays are molesters, narcissistic, etc. which is based on misguided generalizations, and does not argue his position effectively. He attempted to point out that homosexuality does not benefit society. Yet he failed to explain how society overall does not benefit from having a greater population of happier and healthier people. Nor was Con able to explain why the benefits of marriage (which make people happier and healthier) would not logically extend to gay couples.

None of Con's arguments have much to do with marriage. For example, he notes that gay people are on balance more promiscuous and thus more likely to contract STDs. Okay... so what? Marriage rights are not determined by how many sexual partners we have. Furthermore, none of Con's statistics on promiscuity and STDs were pertinent to lesbians. If you include them in the equation, the numbers look a lot different. Either way, inhibiting gay marriage doesn't thwart gay sex.

Con wants to punish an entire group based on statistical probability. Once again, that's not how rights work. Nearly 99% of sex offenders are male. Over 90% of homicides are committed by men. Males constitute 98% of those arrested for forcible rape and 90% of people arrested for robbery and burglary are male [1]. Does that mean men should have their rights inhibited, since men, on balance, contribute more to society's demise? Of course not. We have individual rights that specifically protect us from poor logic like this.

Rights are not necessarily determined by what is good for society overall. For instance the freedom of speech gives me the right to spit venom profusely on a daily basis. Me spitting venom does not benefit society, and yet I still have that right. Gay people pay taxes and fulfill the responsibilities of citizenship. Therefore, they deserve the benefits and protections of citizenship. They are not overtly harming anyone, and even people who engage in risky or morally questionable behavior have civil rights. Further, they have the legal Constitutional right to have the same [civil] rights as every other American.

== Additional Contentions ==

Some clear advantages to legalized SSM include minimizing unjust, unnecessary and harmful discrimination against the gay community. Acceptance fosters their psychological, physical and social well being, and provides for a more inclusive and happier, healthier society. In addition, it grants protection for LGBT families both in terms of monetary/proprietary issues and adoption.

Legalizing SSM fosters true freedom of religion. "Freedom of religion protects those who do not follow a religion by shielding them from being forced to live in accordance with religious beliefs and values they do not agree with. The legalization of SSM is consistent with freedom of religion, in that it removes from marriage laws religious notions that may have initially shaped those laws" [2]. When the law suggests liberty and justice for all, it is clear that justice demands the equal protection we are all guaranteed by law, regardless of religious persecution.

Moreover, the majority of Americans and populations of first-world countries worldwide support SSM. More than 60% of Americans consider legalizing SSM an important issue. As such, by acknowledging majority consensus, coupled with the majority of doctors and psychiatric views on homosexuality and how it isn't harmful [3] -- and also the legal provisions of the law, it is clear SSM should remain legal. Otherwise it will remain a contentious wedge issue that maximizes harmful culture wars and continues to hurt gay people and their families without reason.

Finally, consider that the legalization of same-sex marriage has consistently been shown to provide an economic boost to those states and countries that have embraced marriage equality [4]. "More than a decade of research by myself and other economists and analysis by the Congressional Budget Office. . . suggests that state and federal budgets will actually get a positive boost if gay couples are allowed to marry. . . Many SSM couples would discover the marriage penalty in the federal income tax system, resulting in a likely increase in tax revenue. . . Hundreds of thousands of couples would start planning weddings, generating at least $1.5 billion in spending. . . and of course all those purchases generate millions in sales tax revenue for state and local governments" [5].

Now I'm not saying that just because the majority of people support something and just because society would benefit significantly from economic production that something is righteous. However considering all the variables, the righteous position on this debate is abundantly clear. Such an economic boost and promotion of harmless and beneficial tolerance in society is an undeniably net good for society overall.

== RE: Conclusion ==

Jerry says "homosexual behavior literally does nothing to benefit society." He claims "there literally isn't a single good reason for allowing [gay] marriage to occur." Here Con literally misuses the word literally twice. Both of these statements are unabashedly false.

First, gay people benefit from gay relationships. Intimacy, sexual gratification, romance and other factors that enhance people's lives are important. If gay people denied themselves love and sexual pleasure, they would miss out on the plethora of benefits people experience from these engagements. These include both physical, psychological and emotional benefits [6, 7]. The potential for negative repercussions doesn't mean every engagement is harmful or problematic.

Secondly, I presented many reasons for supporting SSM including but not limited to:

- Gay people benefit from validating their identity and can experience the benefits of marriage
- The children of gay people benefit from marriage's legal protections and tax breaks
- More people benefitting from SSM = a net benefit for society overall
- SSM generates significant economic benefits
- Gay people deserve benefits and legal protection
- Validating SSM represents how a majority of citizen's see civil rights
- Validating SSM upholds constitutional guarantees of Equal Protection under the law

So let me be clear: just because Con does not acknowledge these and other benefits doesn't mean they don't exist.

== RE: Sources ==

For those that do judge sources, please note my opponent's reliance on the laughably biased and notoriously unscientific Family Research Institute, which specifically looks to condemn homosexuality. They only support and present research with pre-determined conclusions. It would be easy to shred this source (Dr. Bergler's book was met with rage and condemnation even in 1956 when most people were homophobic), but again I'm not sure how pertinent that is to the debate. One peer review notes this research "had drawn conclusions from an unrepresentative sample of homosexuals" as just one of many criticisms [8].

MY SOURCES: http://tinyurl.com...
Jerry947

Con

Please note that I am going to use this round primarily to address my opponent"s opening arguments. I will defend mine in the last round.

1. Opening Statement

My opponent starts off her round by providing a few facts and one demonstrably false statement. First, it is noted that same-sex marriage will continue to exist regardless if the government recognizes same-sex marriage. This point is irrelevant to the debate. Just because something is going to happen, it doesn"t mean that it should be supported. Obviously, the government shouldn"t legalize murder just because it will occur anyway. As for the false statement, my opponent claims "To deny legal protections for SSM would be a gross injustice that is unwarranted, unconstitutional and unfair." Notice how two of the words are based off her own opinions. The words "unwarranted" and "unfair" describe her beliefs and they are not going to get us anywhere. As for it supposedly being unconstitutional, there is nothing in the constitution about marriage (http://www.jurist.org...). So, my question is this: "Hey Pro, why is not allowing gay marriage unconstitutional when marriage is not even mentioned in the constitution?" I am very interested to hear my opponent"s response.

2. Gay People and Their Kids Benefit from Gay Marriage

There are many problems with this argument. First off, it isn"t true that marriage always makes people "more financially well off, happier and healthier than their non-married peer." My opponent"s argument assumes a perfect world in which marriage solves all problems. This again, is false. My opponent admits that more than half of marriages end in divorce. Furthermore, "Data on couples suggests that same-sex couples are more vulnerable to poverty in general than are different-sex married couples" (https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu...). I am not trying to attack the institution of marriage, but if rights were based off happiness, we wouldn"t really get anywhere.

That said, the major problem with this argument is that it assumes that the happiness of all people is important to society. This of course is false. The United States government took out "pursuit of happiness" in the constitution for a reason. There is now a movement to legalize pedophilia but that doesn"t mean that the government should legalize it to make pedophiles happy. (http://www.infowars.com...). So, the fact that gay marriage makes gay people happy is completely irrelevant to whether it should be allowed. Again, even if gay marriage magically made homosexuals happier and more well off financially, this does nothing to establish that gay marriage should be a right. My opponent is going to have to provide actual reasons to why homosexual behavior should be legalized to do well in this debate.
My opponent then goes on to claim that kids benefit from gay marriage. This is not exactly true. I will admit that having parents is beneficial. This is true, but like my opponent says, "sexuality is irrelevant in terms of parenting abilities." In other words, gay marriage has nothing to do with parenting. It is fully understood that most people can raise kids. So, the question is, "what does this have to do with legalizing gay marriage?" I"d bet that polygamists could possibly raise kids, but what does this have to do with legalizing polygamy? My opponent is right about parenting being a good thing for kids. But this has nothing to do with legalizing homosexual behavior.

3. Government Has No Justifiable Reason to Inhibit Same-Sex Marriage

My opponent starts off by arguing that if more kids and people benefit from marriage, society benefits overall. This debate is not about marriage in general. Let it be made clear, I am not arguing against the institution of marriage. This debate is about homosexual behavior and about whether it should be legalized or not. Allowing gay marriage is the ultimate way of accepting homosexual behavior. But so far, my opponent has not provided any good reasons to support homosexual behavior. Hence, if she cannot do this, then there will be no good reason to support gay marriage.

My opponent then argues that government does not inhibit marriage based on probability of issues or failure. I tend to agree with my opponent on this point. I mean, technically, the federal government should not be regulating marriage at all since the constitution leaves marriage up to the states. But I do get my opponent"s point. I don"t see what it has to do with same-sex marriage, but I do agree with this point.

My opponent then argues that government does not get to impose traditional values on married families. It is argued that gay people are citizens who pay taxes and therefore should get special treatment in regards to who they can marry. Look, the fact that homosexuals are citizens has nothing to do with legalizing same-sex marriage. Homosexuals should have rights as citizens but this does not mean that homosexual behavior should be allowed. So again, my opponent still has not put forth a reason to accept gay marriage.

4. Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage Is Both the Moral and Legally Righteous Thing

My opponent again argues that gay people pay taxes and abide by the duties of citizenship. So what? So, do pedophiles, necrophiliacs, polygamists, etc. This has nothing to do with whether we should legalize gay marriage or not. My opponent then argues that the Supreme Court acknowledges a person"s right to marriage. The Supreme Court has in fact abused its power in recent times. The issue of marriage was left to the states in the constitution. The Supreme Court never had any business redefining marriage. But again, I question the relevance of this fact. The fact that the Supreme Court has legalized same-sex marriage has nothing to do with if same-sex marriage is an actual right. The United States for a good part of its history did not recognize black rights. That does not mean that they did not exist. The Supreme Court is not an objective source of truth. It makes mistakes and the fact that it currently allows homosexual behavior does nothing to show that same-sex marriage is a right.

My opponent then argues that the Constitution grants legal protections of Due Process and Equal Protection. I agree that all people should have equal rights. The problem is that my opponent has not yet established that gay marriage is an actual right that exists. My opponent can say that the Supreme Court recognizes it as a right. But my opponent also notes that "we have made many adjustments throughout history; recognizing black people as free citizens and giving women voting/property rights are just some examples." This is because the United States has made mistakes regarding rights. I agree that these specific adjustments were good. But the question is, should homosexual behavior be legalized? Is this an actual right that exists? My opponent has yet to argue that it is. She has given her own opinion on the matter, and has provided the Supreme Court's current opinion on the subject, but she has not argued that it is an objective right that exists. And for that sole reason, her whole case falls apart. My opponent is relying only on authority and her opinions to make this case for gay marriage.

5. Sources

I very rarely address the sources that my opponents use in debates. But since I am going to have to defend my sources in the last round, I decided that I wouldn't let my opponent get off so easily.

My opponent's 2nd and 3rd sources do not work. Furthermore, my opponent cites a book (source seven) named Lesbian Psychologies that is, as my opponent would say, "laughably biased." In the debate, my opponent claimed "that the legalization and social acceptance of gay marriage will strengthen gay relationships and contribute to their success."

Yet, the book they cite, on the very next page, claims that "There are some premises upon which I base my work, assumptions that I should make explicit for the sake of clarity and honesty. I quite frankly consider the average lesbian and gay male relationship to be generally more advanced than the average heterosexual relationship" (102). So the supposed facts my opponent cites are really the opinions of authors.

6. Conclusion

My opponent commits several fallacies in her case. I have shown that she cannot effectively establish gay marriage as a right. My opponent"s argument is not really an argument at all. It is just an essay that provides her opinions regarding gay marriage. I happen to respect my opponent, and her opinions. But they have nothing to do with objective rights. In order to win this debate, my opponent must show that homosexual behavior benefits society in some way and must show that gay marriage is a right that exists.

I thank my opponent for what has been a good debate thus far and I look forward to the final round.
Debate Round No. 3
Danielle

Pro

== RE: Opening Statement ==

1. The Moral Right to Marriage

My opponent points out that just because something will occur anyway, doesn't mean it should be condoned by government. I agree. The reason I note gay relationships and sex will occur regardless is to point out that his contention on gay STDs is not strong. Not only do lesbians account for very few of the population's STDs (so this argument cannot apply to gay marriage unilaterally -- and by the way my opponent has completely ignored this point on lesbians), but #1 we don't inhibit marriage rights on promiscuity or likelihood of disease; and #2 people who engage in risky or questionable behaviors still have rights, including the right to marriage.

I pointed out that even alcoholics, KKK members and Hitler (etc.) had fundamental rights regardless of their moral or sexual pursuits. In fact, criminals have the right to get married while in prison [1]. Even Charles Manson was able to obtain a marriage license. If rapists, murderers, pedophiles, prostitutes and porn stars (despite being promiscuous and morally questionable) have the right to marriage - why shouldn't gay people? I look forward to my opponent's answer.

2. The Legal Right to Marriage

Con asks, "Why is not allowing gay marriage unconstitutional when marriage is not even mentioned in the constitution?" This question is an abusive waste of character space. I have already explained this answer in Round 2. For reference, I will direct Con and the audience back to Round 2 under the heading "As for the legal contentions..." There in this section, I explicitly outlined the constitutional reasoning. Not everything is explicitly referenced in the constitution; we have to interpret what's there. I justified constitutional protection for SSM per the 14th amendment, Due Process clause and Equal Protection clause. Furthermore I explained why the federal government's rights overrule the states here via the Supremacy Clause.

== RE: Gay People and Their Kids Benefit from Marriage ==

1. Con says that I cannot use statistical probabilities in my favor. Despite the fact that it is well known and not disputed by anyone in the science community that marriage is overall (on balance) beneficial, Jerry suggests we should disregard this. Meanwhile, he suggests we should accept the data and statistical probabilities for his arguments on gays with STDs.

The audience will recognize this as both hypocritical and illogical. First, it makes perfect sense to consider the evidence that shows the MAJORITY of demographic X (married people) exhibit factors Y & Z (happier and healthier lifestyles). And second, if Con wants us to consider the majority with statistics for his arguments, then he cannot suggest the majority numbers do not work in my favor.

I didn't say that all married people are happier, healthier and richer - but that the majority of them benefit from this institution. I've asked my opponent to explain how the benefits of marriage that affect straight people would not logically extend to gay people. Thus far he has failed to answer this, and going into the final round I will not be able to respond if he does try to answer.

2. The majority of people being happier and healthier absolutely matters when discussing what is best for society overall. That is why we have different governments reflecting different values for different populations: because we want to keep people happy. However, I have included many benefits to society in addition to the fact that gay people deserve to be happy.

3. Con asks, "What does [parenting] have to do with legalizing gay marriage?" I have explained this multiple times.

A) If married people are statistically likely to be happier, healthier and more financially well off, the children of married couples will also be better off. Many gay couples have kids. It is obvious why children benefit from having happy, healthy and more financially well off parents.

B) In many cases, kids with gay parents have been hurt by their family not being protected in instances where adoption, the death tax and other legal issues arise. I have presented sources and citations of this already in Round 2, but here's another [2].

== RE: Govt. Has No Justifiable Reason to Inhibit SSM ==

1. Con writes, "This debate is about homosexual behavior and about whether it should be legalized." That is wrong. Homosexual behavior can, has, does and always will exist. This debate is specifically about gay marriage. My opponent claims that in order to condone SSM, the government would have to condone same sex behavior. That is unabashedly false and ignores the numerous examples I have used to disprove this claim throughout the debate.

Alcoholics, criminals, pedophiles, rapists, murderers, philanderers, polyamorists, prostitutes, promiscuous, mentally ill people, narcissistic and mean/awful/greedy people etc. all have the right to get married. I have repeatedly argued that just because we disagree with someone's lifestyle, morality or sexual preferences does NOT mean we get to inhibit their fundamental civil rights. We don't have to condone alcoholism to recognize that an adult alcoholic has the right to marry. Ergo, we do not have to condone homosexuality to recognize that adult homosexuals have the right to marry.

2. Con states, "The fact that homosexuals are citizens has nothing to do with legalizing same-sex marriage. Homosexuals should have rights as citizens but this does not mean that homosexual behavior should be allowed." Both of these claims are false. First, citizens are afforded legal benefits and protections specifically on the basis of their citizenship. Thus the aforementioned arguments on constitutional protections we grant citizens are all 100% relevant to this discussion. Second, homosexual behavior should be allowed specifically because of the rights we afford citizens. We have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (regardless of how other people feel about our personal choices) among a slew of more specific legal protections.

== RE: Legalizing SSM is Morally and Legally Righteous ==

1. Con says that not everyone deserves the same rights just because they are citizens. That is a straw man of my argument. My claim was that gay people have the rights of citizens, which means the right to freely assemble and engage in sexual relations and relationships with other adults of sound mind. Then he uses a fallacious analogy to highlight that pedophiles, necrophiliacs, etc. should not have rights even though they are also citizens. Well first, this point is counterproductive to his position -- even pedophiles and necrophiliacs have the right to marriage. Secondly, they don't have the right to marry children or dead people.

The slippery slope argument put forth by Con has been thoroughly debunked. What if we said that we shouldn't eat meat, because eating meat will inevitably lead to eating humans? After all, if we can eat meat then surely we can eat all meat, right? Or what if I said having sex with humans must lead to having sex with animals. After all, what's to stop us? Of course this is ridiculous logic. Just because we recognize the right for gay people to marry doesn't mean we must therefore recognize every demographic's right to marry.

2. My opponent contends that the Supreme Court is not always right. That is correct and that was not my position; I did not appeal to its authority. Instead, I explicitly outlined the legal reasoning to support SSM. My argument was shared by SCOTUS, highlighting that constutional provisions such as Due Process, Equal Protection and the Supremacy Clause logically conclude to the legal support of SSM. My opponent must explain why the court's reasoning was wrong; he cannot just say that the court is not always right. Of course the court is not always right and my argument wasn't that the court is never wrong. If Con cannot explain how the court was wrong here, then my/their legal contentions completely stand.

== CONCLUSION ==

Gender is not a significant factor in marriage. A male and female stranger could get married and never have kids -- would that benefit society? Arguably not. The purpose of marriage is to foster legally binding romantic relationships that make people happier, healthier and more secure. Those families coming together and raising kids is also a benefit for society. Gay people can benefit from all of this, and society can benefit from gay marriage.

Throughout this discussion, I've shown that it's unwarranted to disregard the rights of gay people based on the rights they have as citizens. I've shown that it's unfair to allow society's most vile people to marry while prohibiting gays. And finally I've shown that it would be unconstitutional to ignore gay people's rights.

Moreover, Con wrote "My opponent is going to have to provide actual reasons to why homosexual behavior should be legalized to do well in this debate." I have explicitly outlined the "actual reasons" many times throughout this debate. Once again he is forcing me to waste character space copy and pasting the actual reasons I have highlighted at the end of each and every round. They include:

- Gay people benefit from validating their identity and experience the benefits of marriage
- The children of gay people benefit from marriage's legal protections and tax breaks
- More people benefitting from SSM = a net benefit for society overall
- SSM generates significant economic benefits
- Gay people deserve benefits and legal protection
- Validating SSM represents how a majority of citizen's see civil rights
- SSM upholds constitutional guarantees of Equal Protection under the law

There are more, but I don't have the character space to continue - nor do I have the character space to respond on sources (I wish I did, so I can elaborate on his use of Infowars...) but for the record, all of my links work. Thanks to all for debating/ reading/ judging!

SOURCES: http://tinyurl.com...
Jerry947

Con

Alright, it is time to wrap this debate up. I am using this round to defend my opening arguments.

1. Misconceptions

My opponent does not respond to any of the misconceptions I listed. I figured when I wrote them that my opponent would ignore them. That said, I wrote them anyway so that the readers could understand my position. I am not trying to attack people with my arguments. I am strictly arguing against homosexual behavior. I find that arguing for or against homosexuality is pointless if people do not understand what the other side is arguing. And I think my opponent should have read my first three paragraphs more carefully since she has one of these misconceptions. This will become very apparent as we look closer at my opponent"s rebuttals.

2. Arguments Against Same-Sex Marriage

My opponent first takes issue with my claim that homosexuality is unnatural. I supported this by showing that most people are not gay and by stating that no one is born of a homosexual union. My opponent does not seem to deny this, but she does talk about air conditioners for some reason. And by the way, my argument wasn"t that homosexuality is immoral because it is unnatural. My point is that homosexuality is not socially desirable since it is unnatural, rejected by societies, etc. My opponent then goes on to argue "While the government should not condone explicitly harmful behavior, or behavior which harms another person's property, they are not in the business of legally condemning alternative lifestyles." This is basically true. That said, my whole argument is that homosexual behavior is harmful and therefore shouldn"t be allowed. Furthermore, a person cannot live in whatever way they want to if they are harming society. And that is exactly what homosexual behavior does to society.

My opponent then claims that "The role of government is not to impose subjective moral preferences, but to protect people's individual rights." I agree with this as well. This means that my opponent"s subjective moral preference about homosexuality, should not be imposed by the government. My opponent then mentions that "Con may dislike gays, but they still have the right to marry." This statement perfectly represents the third misconception I listed in my opening argument. Again, I don"t dislike gays. I happen to like homosexuals as people and I have had several gay friends. However, I do not approve of homosexual behavior. And that is what I am arguing against. As for the part about homosexuals having the right to marry, my opponent has not established this at all. Throughout this debate, my opponent has asserted this multiple times but has never objectively established this right's existence. My opponent"s feelings about homosexuality do not make gay marriage a right.

The next argument of mine that is addressed is about homosexuality causing problems to society. My opponent argues that "So have cars - they kill millions of people each year, and are the primary cause of pollution, yet we still have the right to drive." This rebuttal is very weak. While people do have the right to drive cars, they don"t have the right to harm people with them. People that intentionally kill people with their vehicles are punished. And yes, while pollution does causes damage to nature, it isn"t going to instantly kill a person. And besides, even if people can harm each other, that doesn"t mean that people should harm each other. For example, pollution will eventually cause some serious problems to society, but the fact that people can still pollute the air doesn"t mean that this behavior should continue to happen. I would argue that it would be a good thing to stop harming the environment. In other words, I hope that polluting the environment is eventually banned. Harmful behavior must be stopped and that includes homosexuality.

My opponent then argues that "Con must prove that gay couples should not have the right to marry based on their sexual preference. Surely that would ultimately lead to a slippery slope where the government could legislate the rights away of any group deemed unfit." My opponent clearly has things backwards. Pro is the one claiming that gay couples should have the right to marry. No society has ever given homosexuals equal status with heterosexuals as I originally pointed out. Pro is the one claiming that these rights exist and therefore has most of the burden of proof here. Besides, my opponent"s argument is the one that will lead to a slippery slope where no one knows where to draw the line. Why shouldn"t humans marry immaterial objects? Can humans have sex with animals? Do pedophiles, polygamists, etc. have the same rights to be in a happy marriage as homosexuals do? My opponent seems to think that asserting that gay rights exist makes them magically appear in life. My opponent claims that "Yet he failed to explain how society overall does not benefit from having a greater population of happier and healthier people." Again, the happiness of a small group of people does not matter in terms of deciding what rights exist. Furthermore, I have argued that homosexual behavior damages society and unfortunately, my opponent has yet to respond to these arguments. It is then stated that marriage rights are not determined by how many sexual partners we have. I agree, and that wasn"t by argument. My whole point is that homosexual behavior harms society and therefore should not be allowed.

My opponent then argues that I want to punish an entire group of people. My opponent says "entire group" like this group of people is huge. We are talking about a small fraction of the world here and their behavior harms society. And no one is punishing anyone, we just wouldn"t allow harmful behavior. Also, my opponent argues that rights are not determined by what is good for society. Maybe not always, but in the case of free speech, people are not directly harmed. Homosexual behavior does harm people as I have argued. As for the freedom of religion, I haven"t once in the debate argued that homosexuality should be banned for religious reasons. Although, I could certainly go down that route. However, I decided not to argue that for this debate. My entire argument is about homosexuality and how it harms society.

One a separate note, my opponent's third source in round three doesn't show that homosexuality is not harmful. The source explains that homosexuality is not a mental illness. I have not once argued that homosexuality is a mental illness. I have argued that homosexuality causes mental problems, but that is different than what my opponent is asserting. As for the economy, gay marriage does not benefit society. It is the money that would positively affect society. But nothing about homosexual behavior directly affects the economy. And besides, any money that society gets from gay marriage would be nothing compared to what is spent fighting HIV/AIDS. President Obama"s "Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 federal budget request, released on February 9, 2016, includes an estimated $34.0 billion for combined domestic and global HIV efforts" (http://kff.org...). I have already shown that homosexuals are the biggest factor in the spread of Aids. Therefore, the 1.5 billion made due to gay weddings is nothing compared to the U.S. Federal Funding for Aids/HIV.

3. Summarizing Arguments

Let"s again look at my opponent"s list of benefits and how I have responded to them.

a. Gay people benefit from validating their identity and can experience the benefits of marriage

My Response: This doesn"t benefit society as a whole. Homosexual behavior does too much damage to society.

b. The children of gay people benefit from marriage's legal protections and tax breaks

My Response: Children benefit from having good parents. Like my opponent said, sexuality has nothing to do with parenting. Hence, homosexual behavior is not benefitting society.

c. More people benefitting from SSM = a net benefit for society overall

My Response: The only people that benefit from gay marriage as the homosexuals themselves. But their happiness does not outweigh the damages their behavior causes to society. Therefore, the society as a whole is not being benefited.

d. SSM generates significant economic benefits

My Response: The economic benefits are not really benefits since billions of dollars are spent fighting HIV/AIDS.

e. Gay people deserve benefits and legal protection

My Response: Sure, but they don"t deserve special treatment for behavior that harms society.

f. Validating SSM represents how a majority of citizens see civil rights

My Response: Like my opponent said herself, "just because the majority of people support something and just because society would benefit significantly from economic production that something is righteous." The whole majority rules argument is obviously fallacious.

g. Validating SSM upholds constitutional guarantees of Equal Protection under the law

My Response: Equal protection doesn"t apply to behavior that harms society.

4. Sources

My opponent takes issue with Dr. Bergler"s book. I realize that his book has been attacked by critics. I am not going to try and defend everything in the book. I myself don"t agree with everything he wrote. That said, Dr. Bergler was not wrong in all of his observations. If my opponent would have picked a specific claim, I might have addressed it in this debate. But since this has not been done, I really have nothing to defend here. Due to character limits, I will now end my argument. I thank my opponent for a good debate and I look forward to hearing feedback.
Debate Round No. 4
38 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
>As you well know, kids that have parents can suffer as well.

Sure... the argument is that since there's no corresponding harm from gay marriage, it's optimal to create better conditions for kids, and legalizing gay marriage does that.
Posted by Jerry947 1 year ago
Jerry947
That comment made me laugh for a long time.

I wish you could understand other worldviews, but that is hard for many people to do.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
"Who cares about the kids? They can suffer." -Jerry947
Posted by Jerry947 1 year ago
Jerry947
@tejretics

The fact that kids will suffer is irrelevant to the issue of gay marriage. As you well know, kids that have parents can suffer as well.

And you still have no idea what I am arguing in this debate. It amazes me how absurd the arguments for gay marriage are.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
btw FT, pretty sure your S&G vote is still insufficient as per the standards, since you didn't reference from the debate.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
>Pedophilas, pologamists, etc., can be parents. But this fact has nothing to do with legalizing any of those things.

The point: gay marriage being banned means kids are going to suffer.

And we don't prevent pedophiles from marrying either... don't know where you're getting that from... we prevent pedophiles from marrying *children.* That's all.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
*******************************************************************
>Reported vote: FaustianJustice// Mod action: Removed<

0 points awarded. Reasons for voting decision: Sorry, RFD to come later.

[*Reason for removal*] Even if the voter chooses to award 0 points, the voter must still provide some feedback to the debaters.
************************************************************************
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
I'm willing to have a discussion about this, but I think we should take it out of this debate's comment section. If you still want to have it publicly, we can make a forum thread for the purpose. If you're fine doing it privately, I'm open to PMs, though I may not be able to get back to this until tomorrow.
Posted by FourTrouble 1 year ago
FourTrouble
If I say, "see YYW's explanation," that should be sufficient as an RFD. The reason it should be sufficient is because it's the most concise way to express something that has already been articulated by another user.

There's no reason to force debaters to reread the exact same explanation. There's also no reason to force voters to type up the same explanation in different words. It causes needless work for both debaters and voters.
Posted by FourTrouble 1 year ago
FourTrouble
Let's compare my initial RFD with the second one:

1. "S&G because Pro's writing was much stronger than Con's."

2. "Dani's writing was easier to understand, because her grammar in particular was better. While I had to reread Jerry's arguments multiple times, because his grammar was confusing, I sped through Dani's language, without any problems. That's a grammatical issue on Jerry's side that impeded my understanding and thus led me to award points to Dani."

It's the same thing. There's no requirement to cite specific language in the debate. The only difference between these two RFDs is that in the first one, I simply explained my vote, whereas in the second one, I added a bunch of buzzwords (e.g. "grammatical issue"), though notably I didn't actually specify where those grammatical issues took place in the debate. The RFDs are equally general, as are sufficient RFDs across the site.

I value concision. The way you've exercised discretion in the context of moderating votes shows that you value long-winded explanations that could be have been expressed in a fraction of the space. That's inexcusably bad moderation.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by FourTrouble 1 year ago
FourTrouble
DanielleJerry947Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Comments.
Vote Placed by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments
Vote Placed by Smithereens 1 year ago
Smithereens
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD: http://www.debate.org/forums/society/topic/98968/
Vote Placed by YYW 1 year ago
YYW
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Reasons for voting decision: http://www.debate.org/forums/society/topic/98928/