Gay Rights are Essentially a Nonissue in the US
Debate Rounds (5)
A. You must define all major words in your argument
B. No argument is to be left unrebutted.
C. Use occam's razor, please. (I don't know how many times I've had to ask this of someone)
D. No Ad Hominem arguments, and please do not violate Godwin's law
E. This is a debate. Do not flaunt your opinions as facts. If something is a fact, back it up with a source in MLA format.
F. Don't rile up the comments. Neither of us are allowed to comment until post-voting.
G. Use CER format to change your opinions to facts. (Aka Conclusion, Evidence, Reasoning)
And here is the debate format:
Round One: Formalities and Opening Statements
Rounds Two-Four: Arguments
Round Five: Conclusion
Without Further Ado, here is my opening statement:
I believe that while gay marriage should exist, it is a relative nonissue in terms of the other more important issues that affect more people in more extreme ways. Since homosexuals account for less than a twenty-fifth of the population (Ward 1), and yet the multi-trillion dollar debt affects us all, and among other things abortion, because of which over million fetuses will be aborted this year (Operation Rescue), both of these things are and will continue to be more important than gay marriage.
Abortion- Forced killing of a human fetus
Fetus- Human young in its mother's womb
Gay Rights- The support of gay marriage and against homophobia
Nonissue: Relatively unimportant, solved, or irrelevant issue
Ward, Brian; et. al. "Sexual Orientation and Health Among U.S. Adults." Nation Health Reports. Number 77. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 15 Jul 2014. Web. 22 Mar. 2015. http://www.cdc.gov...
"Abortions in America." Operation Rescue. Operation Rescue. Web. 22 Mar 2015. http://www.operationrescue.org...
In the title of the debate, it says "Gay Rights are Essentially a Non-issue in the US." However, in Pro's opening statement, the only gay right addressed is marriage equality.
While I agree that marriage equality is not an issue in the US, LGBT rights as a whole are still a very big issue. Pro states that things like abortion and federal debt are more important than gay marriage. The former is debatable -- though I'd rather not get in a debate about abortion, so I'll leave it at that -- but, in all, yes. Gay rights as a whole, however, are arguably as important.
Gay rights - equal civil and social rights for homosexuals compared with heterosexuals. (
Ward, Brian; et. al. "Sexual Orientation and Health Among U.S. Adults." Nation Health Reports. Number 77. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 15 Jul 2014. Web. 22 Mar. 2015.
"Population Growth (Annual %)."; "Population Total" World Bank. World Bank. Web. 22 Mar. 2015. data.worldbank.org
"Number of Abortions-Abortion Counters" numberofabortions.com. Web. 22 Mar. 2015. http://www.numberofabortions.com...
Yes, you may define it as that, but that is not the correct definition. And, while adoption is an issue that often gets over-looked, adoption and marriage are not the only fights in the fight for equal rights. Not passing any judgement here, but it just seems to me like you may have been unaware of this. No big deal; a lot of people are.
But, as a homosexual, I feel I need to prove this to you.
FACT: 37 states and D.C. allow same-gender couples to marry. (1)
Ok, great. That's nothing. Like heterosexuals, not all homosexuals actually want to get married. Personally, I'd rather not get married ever. Nor would I like to adopt.
And really, marriage can be a big problem. Think of it this way: there's this hypothetical gay teenager. They live in a state which has just legalised gay marriage. They think, "Hey, maybe society is getting better." They decide to come out. Their parents -- who they are still economically reliant on -- find out. Parents don't like it. They kick the kid out, and onto the streets. The kid becomes a statistic.
This isn't a hypothetical. It's a very disturbing reality. Which brings me to the next thing...
FACT: 40% of all homeless youth are LGBT. They are more likely to face sexual and physical assault when on the streets, and more likely to be turned away from or victimised at shelters. (2, 3)
Yes, I'm aware that the first citation says 20%, but a more current version of that says 40%. (4) If you're looking for a number of people, there's one. It affects these kids, and their parents, siblings, and the government. As well as people in states where they cannot get married or adopt children.
FACT: 19 states, and D.C. have laws protecting LGBT people from workplace discrimination. 3 states have protections in place only for gay and lesbian people.(5)
Workplace discrimination is an issue that gets overlooked a lot. 43% of LGBT people experience discrimination at their work.
The above statistic is also true for housing discrimination. (5)
FACT: In some states, it is legal to turn LGBT people away from public accomidations, such as hotels, police, and medial insurance. (5)
A few states have introduced bills that would allow people to deny service to LGBT based on "religious freedom." This legislation has been passed in Kanas (no surprise there), and Texas. It has also been attempted to be passed in Ohio, Arizona, Missouri, Illinois, South Dakota, Tennesse, Oregon, and Hawaii. (6)
And that's just gay and lesbian issues. Transgender issues are a whole different topic which is far more complicated. But, they are still part of the fight for "gay rights."
Also, the amount of people it affects has nothing to do with whether it's an issue or not. And even if it was, 10 million is still a lot of people.
But let's say for a moment that issues like abortion and national debt are more important that LGBT rights. Now what? Do you have any ways to fix national debt by admitting that? What do you suggest we do then? Are you suggesting that everyone who is currently advocating for gay rights start advocating for abortion and national debt? Not everyone cares about abortion. Besides, you don't have to pick one issue that's important to you and ignore all of the others. For example, I can advocate for gay rights and the decompission of the penny at the same time. (By the way, the retirement of the penny likely would lessen nation debt.)
(1) "States | Freedom to Marry." States | Freedom to Marry. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.
(2) "National Coalition for the Homeless." National Coalition for the Homeless. Web. 23 Mar. 2015. <http://www.nationalhomeless.org...;.
(3) "United States Interagency Council on Homelessness." LGBTQ Youth Homelessness In Focus. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.
(4) "LGBT Homelessness - National Coalition for the Homeless." National Coalition for the Homeless LGBT Homelessness Comments. Web. 23 Mar. 2015
(5) "Non-Discrimination Laws." Movement Advancement Project. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.
(6) "6 Proposals Denying Service to Gays You Haven't Heard About." Time. Time. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.
It kinda does. 6 million people isn't the entire nation and shouldn't receive nearly the amount of limelight it does. Let me give an example: let's say Minnesotans were all affected by a relatively minor legal thing that denied them a few tax returns and the right to adopt. It would get solved and it wouldn't likely be a constantly-covered story. Why? Simple, because Minnesota isn't all of America. No one died, no one got injured. A few rights were bent, but the issue was solved. (Freedom to Marry)
Now, let's say that in the past 40 years, 55 million people randomly died, all because their situation was inconvenient. Now, pray tell, which is more important? The latter. Why? Answer: because in the previous one, it was easy to solve and it affected only one demographic. It affected less people and affected them less severely.
That's what how it is. So why is it made an issue? If you really want a couple, no government can give or take that away from you. The only difference between an unofficially married couple and an official one is the above mentioned rights and the fact that if you aren't married you don't get tax returns. (TurboTax)
The thing is, Abortion is a more important issue in terms of both quality and quantity. And it's a relatively minor one.
I get you don't have choose between them, I'm saying that Gay Rights is relatively a non-issue that's about tax returns and rules that will soon be overturned because of public opinion. I've been saying this whole time that compared to the other issues, it's relatively unimportant.
"Marriage vs. Civil Union or Domestic Partnership". Freedom to Marry. Web. Mar. 22 2015
"7 Advantages of Getting Married". TurboTax. Intuit, 2014. Web. Mar. 22 2015.
But, you admit that the fight for gay rights is important. And while (hopefully " no one knows what could happen with this situation really) gay rights will no longer be an issue in America in the future, it is still an issue at this point in time.
And, fair enough, the private sector should be able to deny service to whomever it wants, but as I mentioned these laws also include police service, which is not private.
Except you're still making this about marriage. As I said, it's not just marriage. I couldn't care less about marriage and really I'm not sure why that's what the movement has decided to turn its attention to. People are dying. People are being raped, abused, beaten, and shunned. And on the topic of marriage, not letting people get married can make it difficult for them to see their SO in the emergency room if something were to happen to them, for instance.
I assume what you're referring to is abortion, and you're pretty obviously pro-life. Great. I don't agree with your stance, but as I said, this isn't a debate about abortion. I don't consider people getting abortions an issue. Evidentially, you do. I think this proves that what is or isn't important really depends on which side you take. It also has a lot to do with values. And if quantity of people is your issue, then that's also subjective. If we use the legal definition of a person (1), suddenly 55 million people affected disappear from the equation, which brings the number down significantly. However, if we use simply what you consider to be a person, it seems to affect a greater number of people. It's subjective, and frankly I think it would be irresponsible to bring new people into the world when there's still mistreatment against the ones we have already. What if abortion was made a priority issue, and then one of the children not aborted turns out to be gay? Is it an issue then?
And if abortion is a bigger issue than gay rights, that doesn't mean that gay rights aren't an issue. The importance of one thing doesn't nullify the other. For the moment while there is still inequality, it is still an issue.
(1) "1 U.S. Code " 8 - "Person", "human Being", "child", and "individual" as including Born-alive Infant." 1 U.S. Code " 8. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.
Also, I have further reviewed the website you cited in number 5 and discovered... That the laws mentioned on the site only apply to (drumroll please) the WORKPLACE! (Movement Advancement Project) That's right, it involves employment discrimination alone! So now I'm curious, could you provide me the link to it if you were referring to another article? I'll include it in my conclusion.
However, I did find the Kansas bill, (House Committee, 1) but surprise, surprise, it's just a bill. In one state and it didn't pass. (Stern) What else was just a bill, you ask? a bill to make German our official language.
About the rapes and beatings, the government will prosecute these people and justice will be served.
And about the idea that gay rights may not prevail, the tendency of recent years towards social libertarianism has prevailed. This is shown by the change of public opinion.
(I cite wikipedia, because I have found the sources used to be a trustworthy compilation) In 1996, 27% supported gay marriage. Now it's 63%. Note, while this isn't overwhelming, it's an increase by 36 points. (Wikipedia) In 20 years, I'd say it'd be higher given the current trend.
I was not using the others as a detriment but as a comparison of pervasiveness and importance. I feel that my opinion on abortion is irrelevant.
I therefore conclude that Gay Rights isn't all it's cracked up to be, and while I support and respect supporters of it, it's essentially a nonissue in terms of relevance towards other things.
Thus, I (hopefully) rest my case.
"Non-Discrimination Laws." Movement Advancement Project. Web. 23 Mar. 2015. http://www.lgbtmap.org...
"House Bill no. 2453." pg. 1 Kansas Committee on Federal and State Affairs. State of Kansas, USA, 2014. Web. Mar. 23 2015. http://www.kslegislature.org...
"Same Sex Marriage in the United States." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Mar. 20 2015. Web. Mar. 23, 2015. http://en.m.wikipedia.org...
Mark Joseph Stern. "Kansas' Anti-Gay Bill may have been a delightfully ironic political ploy." Slate. The Slate Group, 21 Feb. 2014. Web. Mar. 23, 2015. http://www.slate.com...
Note: Though we differ in opinions, I extend my utmost respect and gratitude to you as a fellow debater, and as someone concerned with justice and civil rights.
If you look near the top there should be a tab that lets you switch it over to housing.
On the contrary, as I showed in my previous argument, there were several other states where similar bills were introduced. And the Kansas bill was passed. (1)
... Except it doesn't. The justice system doesn't always work, and rarely works for minorities such as gay and trans people. In all but one state, people who have assaulted/killed trans people can claim "trans panic defence" as a reason for murder and be set free. In any other crime we'd call that a confession. (2)
Besides, justice won't bring back the lives taken. Social stigma is the main reason of hate crimes.
My point is, importance is subjective. I was using your opinion on abortion as an example. A difference example would be, a mother who thinks her child is the most important person in the world. Most other people don't care about the child.
This isn't Oppression Olympics or anything. Something being "more important" than something else does not make the latter a non-issue or not important. It's happening now. It's here, now. It's relevant. It's important.
(1) Brumfield, Brandon, and Dana Ford. "Kansas House OKs Bill Allowing Refusal of Service to Same-sex Couples - CNN.com." CNN. Cable News Network, 13 Feb. 2014. Web. 26 Mar. 2015.
(2) Kemnitz, D'Arcy. "The First Step: Ending the Use of Gay and Trans Panic Defenses." The First Step: Ending the Use of Gay and Trans Panic Defenses. Ed. Jaqueline Jones. Jurist, 20 Oct. 2014. Web. 26 Mar. 2015.
Furthermore, notice that your first source said that the Kansas state house (note it be ONLY THE HOUSE) passed it, and not the senate. And guess what? It didn't pass there. (Stern) Therefore it didn't even make it to the governor's office to pass. I would like a link to the bills that were passed in those states. I looked through all your sources, yet could find no links. I offered to include a rebuttal should you provide the link, but you did not.
Furthermore, your second point is invalid because anyone can make any claim they want to in a court of law. It's just that they might get punished for those claims. Also, nothing is certain in a court of law. Anything could have happened, it's just that the dispositions of the jurors and the circumstances of the evidence heavily suggest a certain crime was committed. No one can stop that from occurring.
In conclusion, your argument relies solely on unpassed laws and the obvious bias of others in the private sector (although this bias will likely die out over time due to a change in public opinion), and in court, although people will always have biases and no amount of regulation can change that, nor can a movement by trying to do this.
Mark Joseph Stern. "Kansas' Anti-Gay Bill may have been a delightfully ironic political ploy." Slate. The Slate Group, 21 Feb. 2014. Web. Mar. 23, 2015.
(Please make no more debate points, just final rebuttals.)
The fact that it passed in the house (overwhelmingly, in fact) is still something. And even if it wasn't passed in Kansas, it WAS passed in Indiana (1) and Mississippi (2).
The fact that 49 out of 50 states consider it a viable defense in court is enough to make it valid. The fact that these murders often go cold, the fact that they even HAPPEN at the frequency they do makes it valid.
In conclusion, your argument is that LGBT rights are no longer an issue in this country on the basis that other issues are more important in comparison to other issues, some of which are highly delicate and not likely to be fixed anytime soon regardless of what anyone does. (Referring to national debt. Government is slow; this issue isn't going anywhere for a long time.) However, this disregards the fact that importance of something is subjective and, moreover, not a contest. Importance has more to do with values and beliefs than anything else, so what is important to one person may only be a trivial matter to another. There's enough people to care about all of the issues in this country, and we don't need to stop paying attention to one in order to deal with all of them. In any situation where lives are at risk, it is important and it is an issue.
A movement cannot change bias, no, but it can provide awareness. Awareness leads to education, and understanding. The more people understand us, the closer we get to being treated as respected citizens with equal rights. It's not the best, but it's certainly a start.
Note: I've read your bio, and I've seen that you're Christian. This isn't an ad hominem or anything but I just want to thank you. Even if your main concern seems to be marriage, I've had my fair share of run-ins with people who are a lot less tolerant. Even though we have different opinions, I appreciate you being one of the good Christians, and I respect you and your right to opinion. Thank you for providing me with the opportunity to debate this topic.
(1) Cook, Tony. "Gov. Mike Pence Signs 'religious Freedom' Bill in Private." Indianapolis Star. 27 Mar. 2015. Web. 29 Mar. 2015. .
(2) Ford, Zack. "Mississippi Passes 'Religious Liberty' Bill That Legalizes Discrimination Against Gay People." ThinkProgress RSS. 2 Apr. 2014. Web. 29 Mar. 2015. .
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