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

Gay Should Not Mean Homosexual

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/24/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,484 times Debate No: 16693
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (10)
Votes (1)




The first round will be for introductions and acceptance only. The final round will be reserved for closing statement and a summarization of argumentation.

In this debate I will contend that the term 'gay' should be accepted to mean 'distasteful' or 'displeasurable' in a way that is completely removed from the context of homosexual preference. It will also be my stance that gay ought not refer to individuals who have a same gender sexual preference.

It will be the task of my opponent to refute my argumentation and substantiate the diametrically opposing position (E.G. "gay" ought mean anything other than homosexual).

As always, this is meant in good humour. Best wishes to any challenger.


People who use the term "gay" to mean that something is not good or retarded are not intelligent enough to comprehend the fact that gay does refer to homosexuals and homosexuals are generally nicer people then straight girls or guys that are prejudice against them which is how it came to be that "gay" is used negatively when if it is not going to be used to refer to homosexuals then it should be used positively.
Debate Round No. 1


"People who use the term "gay" to mean that something is not good or retarded are not intelligent enough to comprehend the fact that gay does refer to homosexuals" - Con, R1

Lexicography is the study of diction and its usages within culture. If a high enough percentage of the population uses a word in a certain fashion, it is accepted into the language much like words such as "sup" or other previously slang terms. Sociological evidence clearly demonstrates that "gay" is currently being used to mean, "homosexual identity or tendency" and, "something of displeasure or distaste." These are the two current usages of the word, I am here to argue that we should reject the former denotation.

"[H]omosexuals are generally nicer people then straight girls or guys that are prejudice against them" - Con, R1

Please elaborate how this is relevant to the discussion at hand. I do not agree with the remark as I don't feel sexual preference alone speaks for the quality of someone's character.

My position is that using 'gay' to refer to individuals attracted to the same sex is derogatory due to the historical usage of the word being affiliated with promiscuous or sexually carefree behaviour (which is clearly not the image one would hope to imply upon the homosexual community). It evolved from describing a joyful and carefree person to describing a sexually carefree person and from there a person so sexually carefree he or she doesn't distinguish between genders for his or her desires. This was adopted as a euphemistic cover term to colloquially label homosexuals.

Gay has been used throughout current culture to express the dissatisfying quality or condition of something (without the sexual connotation attached). One may interpret this definition of the word as being a variant of the original, "Carefree." The definition of the term in this case could arguably be, "Obnoxiously carefree."

In the same way that bastard has two understood meanings (one meaning, "The offspring of an unmarried couple." And the other meaning, "Someone of detestable character.") gay has two currently understood meanings. Just as calling someone a bastard isn't typically associated as an insult to illegitimate children, so too should calling something gay not be interpreted as an insult to homosexuals.

In summation for this round, there are two key concepts I have proposed:

1) Gay is currently used as a descriptive completely removed from a homosexual context (E.G. "that's gay!").
2) The etymology behind gay is demonstrably negative and thus should be discarded as a label for homosexuals.


MCDCBC forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


MCDCBC has forfeited the second round; my argumentation stands.


MCDCBC forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


MCDCBC has forfeited the third and final argument round.

I posted this debate in hopes of understanding the rationale behind the opposing point of view. I would gladly accept a rematch if requested, and I also will accept any challenger to this topic.

My two focal arguements are:
1) Gay mean at the very least two mutually exclusive denotations according to modern usage ("homosexual" and "distasteful").
2) The etymology of gay, as it led to refer to 'homosexual,' is derogatory and therefore should be discarded as a means to express homosexual tendency or character.

All the best.


MCDCBC forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by JasperFrancisShickadance 3 years ago
The definition of gay was 'happy'
....but that was 20 years ago, so never mind...
Posted by Molzahn 6 years ago
Posted by Molzahn 6 years ago

I verify that you have created a succinct version of the two propositions I will be championing during this debate. You are correct to say the objective of pro is to successfully substantiate both of those propositions.

I will gladly challenge you in a separate debate based on the argument that 'gay' has at least two meanings (one being homosexual tendency or character and the other meaning something akin to 'unappealing' or 'distasteful').

Feel free to pm me.
Posted by Ore_Ele 6 years ago
Normally, I would make a witty comment like "this debate is so gay." But out of something that is like a second cousin to "respect" for Wanda Sykes, I'll just say, "this debate is so 16 year old boy with a cheesy mustache."
Posted by i8JoMomma 6 years ago
gay is gay and people should be ashamed of being a fudgepacker. if you want to be afudgepacker ......keep it to yourself and stop trying to push it on the got no rights so stop crying...fudgepackers
Posted by Raisor 6 years ago
The definition you put forward in R1 is somewhat confusing and doesnt adequately reflect the real world position of people interested in this topic.

I will accept this debate provided the Resolution be phrased as follows:

Resolved: The term 'gay' should be accepted to mean 'distasteful' or 'displeasurable' and should never refer to individuals who have a same gender sexual preference.

The burden of Pro is then to prove both that gay should be accepted to mean "distasteful" and that is should be abandoned as a term for homosexual behavior or individuals. Failure to prove both contentions is a loss for the Pro.

I will also accept if the resolution is modified to include only one of the claims proposed.
Posted by brian_eggleston 6 years ago
English has always evolved. Until recently "gay" usually meant pleasant, agreeable, cheerful.

Similarly the words "moron", "imbecile" and "spastic" were perfectly acceptable terms for a person with learning difficulties but are now considered vulgar and offensive.
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
You can edit the debate. Just click on "edit" before someone accepts.

It is nonsense to argue that any word should have only one meaning and no other. That's not the way language works. It's like arguing "Dogs should speak English." It's not an achievable goal.
Posted by Deathbeforedishonour 6 years ago
I agree with Pro.
Posted by Molzahn 6 years ago
"Gay ought mean anything other than homosexual" R1, Molzahn

Errata: ought not mean*
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by quarterexchange 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: forfeit