The Instigator
ummlolyeah
Pro (for)
Losing
5 Points
The Contender
belle
Con (against)
Winning
39 Points

Gay Marriage

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/6/2010 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 975 times Debate No: 11657
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (8)

 

ummlolyeah

Pro

I believe that marriage is a simple right that each and every person should have. It is a ridiculous separation that the gay community faces from the straight community, and it also makes the U.S. more of a hypocritical nation than it already is since "Liberty (freedom from obligation, restriction, hampering conditions) and Justice (the quality of being correct) for all" is not being followed through yet again with the laws of this country as not only is the inability to marry a restriction on the people but the opposing arguments are all based on religious values which are completely invalid to the constitution. Marriage between religious sects and between races used to be completely wrong in society but have been overturned and allowed. Why can't we add gay marriage?
belle

Con

I'm glad of the opportunity to debate this fascinating topic. I will begin by addressing umlolyeah's points one by one.

"I believe that marriage is a simple right that each and every person should have"

Assuming you are speaking of people over the age of majority, this is a "right" that each and every person does have, and it is a right guaranteed by every state in the US. Every adult can marry any other adult provided several qualifications are met. These qualifications differ by state, but most stipulate that marriage is a union between two individuals of opposite gender.[1] Given this definition of the word marriage, "gay marriage" is a contradiction in terms and a completely incoherent concept. I understand that this is the very topic at issue in this debate, but I just wanted to make it clear that the right to marry is held by everyone equally, even if they don't have the freedom to choose any partner they wish.

I also want to make it clear that marriage is not a legitimate "right" in the sense that my opponent contends. While I would agree that every person has the right to be in any relationship they choose (assuming their chosen partner is capable of providing consent), extending that to the right to be granted special privileges simply because one is in a relationship is a discriminatory move. By such actions the government declares that individuals in long-term, officially recognized pair bonds have different rights than single individuals or individuals in polyamorous relationships. There is no basis for this distinction.

"It is a ridiculous separation that the gay community faces from the straight community, and it also makes the U.S. more of a hypocritical nation than it already is since "Liberty (freedom from obligation, restriction, hampering conditions) and Justice (the quality of being correct) for all" is not being followed through yet again."

Several points here:

1) Restrictions on liberty are commonplace. The laws restrict my freedom of action constantly. I cannot murder, steal, own another human, or sexually abuse my child. Just to name a few. The list of restrictions on liberty is much longer of course. I am merely trying to illustrate the fact that a law is by necessity a restriction on liberty and that this is not always a bad thing.

Note also that I am NOT attempting to equate gay relationships or gay marriage with the acts I mentioned above. I am, again, simply pointing out that liberty is not an inviolable concept in all cases and that the fact of its restriction is no reason to reject a law.

2) There is no such thing as a right to "the quality of being correct". If I believe 1+1 is 2 and you insist that it is 3, we can't both be correct, making a right to correctness utterly unenforceable in this situation. And indeed, it is a clear representation of many, if not most, situations; different people (sometimes even a single person :P ) can hold mutually exclusive viewpoints. No two mutually exclusive viewpoints can be correct. To enforce "the quality of being correct" as a right possessed by all, one would have to discard logic completely and endorse contradictions.

"with the laws of this country as not only is the inability to marry a restriction on the people"

Returning to my first point, everyone has an equal right to marry. The restrictions on choice of partner apply to every citizen equally.

"the opposing arguments are all based on religious values which are completely invalid to the constitution."

The constitution states:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"[2]

The attempt to ban gay marriage is not an attempt to establish a religion or a theocracy. The fact that many Americans hold religious beliefs which color their view on this issue is the direct result of the free exercise clause, and their efforts to apply these values to law are perfectly constitutional (remember they are trying to legislate specific values not a religion).

"Marriage between religious sects and between races used to be completely wrong in society but have been overturned and allowed. Why can't we add gay marriage?"

In the decision on the supreme court case declaring laws against interracial marriages unconstitutional (the aptly named "Loving vs Virginia") Chief Justice Warren wrote:

"There can be no question but that Virginia's miscegenation statutes rest solely upon distinctions drawn according to race. The statutes proscribe generally accepted conduct if engaged in by members of different races. Over the years, this Court has consistently repudiated "distinctions between citizens solely because of their ancestry" as being "odious to a free people whose institutions are founded upon the doctrine of equality." At the very least, the Equal Protection Clause demands that racial classifications, especially suspect in criminal statutes, be subjected to the "most rigid scrutiny," Korematsu v. United States (1944), and, if they are ever to be upheld, they must be shown to be necessary to the accomplishment of some permissible state objective, independent of the racial discrimination which it was the object of the Fourteenth Amendment to eliminate." [3]

Marriage laws are not discriminatory in this way. They do not "proscribe generally accepted conduct if engaged in" by members of different genders. The freedom to marry a person of the opposite sex is open to all. The cases are not parallel.

While it is true that a woman has the freedom to marry a man while a man does not have that precise freedom (and vice versa), this does not automatically invalidate the law. As Justice Warren said in the same decision "The Equal Protection Clause requires the consideration of whether the classifications drawn by any statute constitute an arbitrary and invidious discrimination." [3]

Keeping the above in mind, one has to consider the reason marriage is a legal issue at all. A relationship does not need sanction by the government to exist. Homosexuals are perfectly free to fall in love and live their lives together, as free as any straight couple to do the same. The fact that the government provides tax and other benefits to married couples is the main reason gay couples wish to have their relationships recognized legally [4] and the financial and legal benefits of marriage to the couple are clear[5]. But I ask you- does the government have a legitimate interest here? Is it not arbitrary and discriminatory to reward people in love with tax breaks when people who are not in love do not receive equal rewards? Why does "tax break" follow from "marriage contract" at all? Given the equal protection clause, I would argue that marriage, as it now stands, is unconstitutional, and thus that gay marriage, as a type of marriage, is the same.

1. http://www.usmarriagelaws.com...
2. http://www.usconstitution.net...
3. http://www.law.umkc.edu...
4. http://www.religioustolerance.org...
5. http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com...
Debate Round No. 1
ummlolyeah

Pro

I have to say, I quite enjoyed reading my opponents opinion on the topic, as it was not something I was expecting at all, rather, an opinion that I could understand and agree with. However, I can't ever believe that straight couples would be willing to give up their government benefits in order to leave them with no marital advantage over gay couples.

It is true that every person has the right to marry, but, it is not a right to marry a person of the same gender. Since it has been stated by many gay people and several psychiatric organisations throughout the nation that sexuality can not be changed, that leaves gay people with only other people of the same gender to be physically attracted to, and so only those people to have a lustful relationship with. Therefore, by the government not recognizing same-sex marriages, also leaves people with the impression that they do not approve of them because straight marriages are recognized. If straight marriages are recognized by the government, shouldn't gay ones be recognized also? If not, then no marriages whatsoever should be recognized because it is a restriction on the American people and one that the government shouldn't even have a preference in in the first place.

I agree with your point that laws that cause restriction are definitely necessary, but do gay marriages cause people to be murdered, things to be stolen, or children to be sexually abused? Radicals might argue yes... but quite clearly, there is really no affect from a marriage to other people aside from the people involved in the relationship, the family of those people, and their potential children. I agree with your statement on liberty for this topic.

My reference to justice was pointing out that the United States has not followed through with the constitution in court cases opposing marriage rights. California removed gay marriage as a right from their Declaration of Rights after the Prop 8 case, but, this violated the constitutional guarantee of equal protection of the law. Each and every state that does not allow same-sex marriages violates this and so violates the constitution. Arguments on other debates over the issue were based on religion and the fact that God made women for men and that a relationship between two men or two women is not correct in God's eyes, and that it is a sin. People are allowed to hold their own religious beliefs, but in a country where religion is a freedom and a right, it is not a valid tool in an argument. I'm not saying that you used religion in an unconstitutional way to justify your opinion, rather, that other people have. For those reasons, I have to admit, that the popular opinion does not agree with my stance on the issue (and not exactly yours of keeping the government out of marriage completely either).

Marriage laws actually were enforced in the Prop 8 case for the reason of "proscribing generally accepted conduct" since arguers that supported the marriage laws stated that it would teach children that gay marriages are okay. This said that if California continued to allow gays to marry other gays, then people would believe that it is normal, which is a bad thing. That statement was one of pure discrimination and supported the argument in court and so led to the reinstatement of marriage restrictions in California. Therefore, part of the purpose in not allowing gays to marry was to keep people believing that homosexuality is unnatural and morally wrong. Since sexuality is something that can not be changed, children are still going to grow up straight, bisexual, or gay, in equal proportions as they do now. Keeping gay marriage banned however, would only keep gay people closeted longer and more likely to be in denial or nonacceptance to themselves. It would make openly gay people more discriminated against and would leave their lives to be negatively impacted and looked down upon by society. Gay people are 6 times more likely to commit suicide. Is that a statistic that we are aiming to keep and possibly increase? Obviously some people do.

Of course gay couples wish to seek the financial advantages that straight couples gain from marriage, but it certainly is an issue of rights at the same time. The government of course does not have interest in paying for more married couples but has a duty to provide the right for a person to marry any person they chose. It definitely is arbitrary and discriminatory to reward married couples, especially when marriage has a definition as to what couples can take part in it. The purpose of marriage is for two people to make a promise to each other to love each other unconditionally and it is a bonding meaning that their relationship is to last. Gay people do not wish to "redefine" marriage as some might argue, rather, they fight for the right to declare their relationships to be full of unconditional love and to celebrate their love with a ceremony and a party. Marriage also is a foundation for the start of a family. Although, marriages lead to a family, that may be the purpose of the government in rewarding married couples with tax breaks. However, gay marriages lead to just as successful children as straight marriages, and, (although contradicting to popular belief) do not necessarily raise other gay children. Orphanages throughout the country and outside of the country are filled with children in need of families, so why would the government only encourage families with straight parents?

I would agree with your statement on marriage being unconstitutional and not a government affair, but, as I stated before, I doubt straight couples would give up their tax breaks that the government provides for them. Regardless, I believe that either, way (in allowing gay couples to marry, or by eliminating government actions involving marriage) that an equality should be reached.
belle

Con

I am glad that I managed to surprise you. I do try!

And while I understand your incredulity at the thought of straight people giving up their marriages, that isn't a good reason to put up with it. To use the inevitable slavery parallel, slave owners were absolutely adamant about not giving up their slaves. But they were forced to anyways, because to hold slaves is WRONG. It is entirely discriminatory against black individuals to treat them as mere property. Granted the discrimination of legal marriage rights against singletons and promiscuous folk is of a much less dramatic stripe, and much less destructive; still it is unfair. Similarly, barring blacks from attending certain schools is a lot less horrible than declaring them to be property, but its still discrimination and still destructive.

"Therefore, by the government not recognizing same-sex marriages, also leaves people with the impression that they do not approve of them because straight marriages are recognized. If straight marriages are recognized by the government, shouldn't gay ones be recognized also? If not, then no marriages whatsoever should be recognized because it is a restriction on the American people and one that the government shouldn't even have a preference in in the first place."

I see your point; however let me try to sketch a parallel case for you to illustrate the flaw in your reasoning. In the south before the civil war, white people had the right to own black people as slaves. This was clearly discriminatory against blacks, and it was wrong. What if, to address this, rather than barring any individual from owning any other, they had instead changed the law so that black people could also own white people as slaves? Would that have remedied or multiplied the injustice?

IOW: since it is wrong to discriminate against people not in a certain kind of relationship, is it not equally wrong to expand the parameters for such a relationship while still keeping the discriminatory limits in place? If gay marriages are granted recognition (and thereby reward), shouldn't there also be a "singleton" tax credit or a "multiple parter" tax credit? And doesn't it make more sense for the government to stay silent on the matter of relationships rather than to attempt to draft legislation for every type of relationship status they can come up with? Given the complexity of social interactions among individuals the necessary body of law would become absurdly complex. It makes much more sense to abolish the practice altogether.

"I agree with your point that laws that cause restriction are definitely necessary, but do gay marriages cause people to be murdered, things to be stolen, or children to be sexually abused?"

Absolutely not. As I said in my round, twice, I was merely pointing out that liberty is not inviolable.

However, to expand, I don't think liberty is infringed in this case to a significant degree anyway. Gay couples are free to engage in any practices they please without being interfered with by the government, and if they experience any violence from others in response to their sometimes unpopular lifestyle, they have legal recourse against the perpetrators. I am not sure about this "freedom to get a tax credit from the government because I am in love". That seems like an unfounded and outdated relic rather than any form of actual liberty.

"Marriage laws actually were enforced in the Prop 8 case for the reason of "proscribing generally accepted conduct" since arguers that supported the marriage laws stated that it would teach children that gay marriages are okay. This said that if California continued to allow gays to marry other gays, then people would believe that it is normal, which is a bad thing. "

If everyone thinks that gay relationships are not ok already, then gay marriage is not "generally accepted conduct" at all. However, that does not make gay relationships wrong, and to fear people thinking of them as normal (which they are!) is wrongheaded and absurd. I think you would agree there. Even generally accepted conduct, however, can be discriminatory. Marriage laws are, inherently, unless they are expanded to cover every possible category of relationship equally.

"Gay people do not wish to "redefine" marriage as some might argue, rather, they fight for the right to declare their relationships to be full of unconditional love and to celebrate their love with a ceremony and a party."

They can do that now! No one, no law, is stopping them.

"Marriage also is a foundation for the start of a family. Although, marriages lead to a family, that may be the purpose of the government in rewarding married couples with tax breaks."

While I also think the government has no business rewarding people for popping out children, there is at least some logic to this. The rate of live births between 1910 and 2005 fell from 30.1 to 14 per 1000 individuals. [1] And while the average life expectancy back then was around only 50, in 2005 life expectancy hit a record high of around 78. [2][3] Taken together, these numbers indicate an aging population, which tend to put a strain on social services and cause other economic stresses.[4][5][6] Encouraging people to have more children by offering tax credits is one way for the government to offset a future crisis. Tax credits for children are not arbitrary and already exist.[7] But since marriage doesn't always lead to children, and marriage licenses aren't refused to infertile couples, that point is irrelevant.

"I would agree with your statement on marriage being unconstitutional and not a government affair, but, as I stated before, I doubt straight couples would give up their tax breaks that the government provides for them. Regardless, I believe that either, way (in allowing gay couples to marry, or by eliminating government actions involving marriage) that an equality should be reached."

The only way to reach equality is to abolish government involvement in marriage. All the other legal issues, such as children, hospital visiting rights, power of attorney, etc, can be dealt with by specific laws dealing with those specific issues. There is no reason that ANY person should not be able to appoint any other person as their legal proxy regardless of their relationship. Fighting for gay marriage is still fighting for the government to recognize some relationships and not others; while it is a step in decreasing the number of people discriminated against, it is still a fight to maintain discriminatory policies.

1. http://www.infoplease.com...
2. http://kclibrary.lonestar.edu...
3. http://www.cdc.gov...
4. http://longevity-science.org...
5. http://www.urban.org...
6. http://www.ifs.org.uk...
7. http://financialplan.about.com...
Debate Round No. 2
ummlolyeah

Pro

ummlolyeah forfeited this round.
belle

Con

Unfortunately my opponent has forfeited. In passive voice... thats right. Thanks for reading!
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by 18freckles 6 years ago
18freckles
koopin... if you havent realized we are no longer the land of the free... we havent been free to do anything since (a long time)... america isnt hypocritical either... its a huge contradiction... they (anyone) can say one thing but mean the total opposite... Example one politics example two the constitution and example three law enforcements and educational systems. Its all a joke. And even if we keep fighting history ALWAYS repeats itself. now i believe pro is right... but con had good contentions
Posted by Koopin 6 years ago
Koopin
Ts does not have anything to do with the gay part, but I hate when people say that America is hipocritical because they don't allow something and still cal them selves the Land of the free. Does this mean we have to let people rape young girls for it to be the Land of the free?
Posted by belle 6 years ago
belle
i will play devil's advocate. this should be fun.
Posted by Railsguardian 6 years ago
Railsguardian
I wholeheartedly agree with ummlolyeah, and I don't feel like playing the devil's advocate lol, so good luck to anyone who wants to take him on!
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Vote Placed by cjl 6 years ago
cjl
ummlolyeahbelleTied
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