The Instigator
Con (against)
35 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
36 Points

Gay marriage in the US

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 18 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/11/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 9,735 times Debate No: 21072
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (98)
Votes (18)




First round acceptance.

Second args no refutations.

Third refutations, of needed new args.

Fourth refutations and closing.


Gay marriage: the practice of marriage between two males or two females.


Debate accepted.
Debate Round No. 1


C1: Marriage is an institution that relates closely with procreation

Marriage, and for a long time, relates closely with procreation and child rearing. Allowing SSM would change this meaning, it woudl change the way the definition stands today. Reproduction is a practice which the future of our race stands, and changing the definition of marriage may change this... historical state. [1] A State supreme court held, 5-4, that gay marriage was constitutional and the reason was marriage is between 1 man and 1 woman, and the purpose of marriage is the up-bearing of children. [2]

"defines marriage as between a man and woman, is constitutional because it furthers the state's interest of stable, child-producing unions." [2]

In Conaway v. Deane, the courts held that we need to promote child rearing, and they want to encourage a family structure aimed towards new children. The states interest is procreation. [3]

My second contention is the benefits of marriage, and these 2 contentions are very side-by-side. Why give benefits to marriages that cannot add people to the workforce? These benefits need ot be paid back, homosexual relationships woudl never be able to do so as they could not add to the workforce, whereas heterosexual marriages can. What other reason would the state be involved in marriage? Procreation is the answer, hence there is no point for the state to recognize these unions unless they can procreate.

C2: Benefits of marriage, economy, taxes, etc.

Tax benefits:

1. Filing joint income tax returns with the IRS and state taxing authorities. [4]
2. Creating a "family partnership" under federal tax laws, which allows you to divide business income among family members. [4]

Further more 51% of married couples pay less taxes. [5]

Why is this important? Because allowing 4 million more people to get married would add to this. Still how is this bad? Because giving those people tax breaks would decrease revenue, and therefore hurt the economy. Classic question: How? Because one dollar spent on adam and steves marriage is one dollar not spent on medicare, or medicaid, or healthcare, or better bridges, or better roads, or military, or even investing solar energy, therefore it hurts the economy.

Other benefits:

Receiving Social Security, Medicare, and disability benefits for spouses. [4]

This would drive up the deficit, which is universally accepted as bad.

C3: What marriage is

You must, in this debate:

1. Prove the definition of marriage is male female, male male, female female, to win this debate.
2. Justify it
3. Show it is more beneficial then banning it.
4. Show that the gay marriage would benefit state interests, which I have addressed in C1.

I must to the same, but must argue for traditional marriage. Let's look first what marriage is:

Marriage is viewed as a contract, Civil marriage (what the US has) is where the state controls marriage, and religious forces have little to no play, marriage is defined by laws and jurisdiction. [6]

Now, as this is the US, we must stay focused on the US, although studies from other countries are welcome. *just a little side track*

My 1 & 4 relate well, according to what we ave to do the BOP is even. Now anyways back to the what marriage is. In C1 I said marriage was for procreation, now, as marriage is controlled by the state as my explanation above said, then the way they dictate marriage is based of of their laws and the state interests. If the state interest is often procreation, as I have stated, then gay marriage in the state eyes should not be allowed. SO based of of what US marriage is, then gay marriage should not be allowed as their interest is procreation. I have just fulfilled 1,2, and 4.

Now my next few contentions will justify 3.

C4: Slippery slope

If we have a major change in the definition of marriage, it is logical to say there could be a slippery slope. After gay marriage what woudl happen? Would polygamy be allowed? Would family values degrade? Most likely allowing SSM would lead to the legalization of polygamy first. [7] People who argue for SSM say if gays should marry, then polygamists should too. [7] Many gay marriage defenders also hold this view, so allowing SSM would inevitably lead to polygamy legalization in the future. [7] It could also lead to marriage with dogs and other non-accepted traditions. [8] The pro-polygamy crowd is using the success of the SSM crowd as a diving board, a step up, to try to pass their agendas, which would further hurt the institution. [9]

This argument proves my 3. Banning it is beneficial to allowing it.


I needed to do 4 things:

1. Prove marriage is between a male and a female: C1 showed marriage is between a man and a woman for th eurpose of marriage.
2. Justify that gay marriage is bad: My whole case was dedicated to this.
3. Show banning is is beneficial to keeping it: C2 & C4 fulfill this.
4. Show gay marriage is not in the states best interest: C1 also proved this.

I have proven SSM is not beneficial, and no SSM is preferable. My opponent has to do 1-4 as stated under C3 to win the debate, and has to refute my case well to make sure I do not fulfill 1-4. Refutations will be key, but sheer arguments are needed. My case has to be debunked by him, and he needs to prove by debunking my case I did not fulfill 1-4, I will do the same to him. I have proven SSM is bad, and that I have fulled 1-4. I urge a con vote.

I await your response.


The case against "Same-Sex Mariage" Margret A. Somerville, PDF, McGill Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law [1] [2]
Harrell, Raker (2007-09-18). "Court of Appeals of Maryland Opinion on Frank Conaway, et al. v. Gitanjali Deane, et al., No. 44, Sept. Term 2006" PDF [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]
"Do We Really Want to Redefine Marriage," Aug. 11, 2010 [8]
Glen Lavy, JD, "Gay Marriage and the 'Slippery Slope,'" May 21, 2008



Can the government prohibit gay marriage? That is the question at stake in this debate, and I would like to answer with a simple no.

One thing is clear. According to present legal doctrine, Congress (federal power) does not have the constitutional authority to ban gay marriage. This much is clear in the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Lopez and United States v. Morrison. In both cases, the Court identified “family law (including marriage, divorce, and child custody)” as a “traditional state concern,” an area “where States historically have been sovereign.” [1]

In both opinions, Chief Justice Rehnquist expressed the fear that if federal power is sustained, then “we are hard pressed to posit any activity by an individual that Congress is without power to regulate.” [2] Because marriage is a state concern, half the battle is already won: every single state would have to prohibit gay marriage to make gay marriage illegal in the US.

Nonetheless, anyone involved in this debate understands that the Constitution is centrally involved. In Loving v. Virginia, when the United States Supreme Court invalidated a Virginia law that prohibited interracial marriages, it declared that "marriage is one of the 'basic civil rights of man,' fundamental to our very existence and survival." [3] The grounds for this case were Equal Protection, which figures prominently in arguments for gay marriage.

Indeed, this argument, which is based entirely on the Constitution, says, if marriage is a legitimate state interest, then it must be extended to homosexuals. Otherwise, so the argument goes, it is discriminatory and unconstitutional.
The reasoning provided, which is the same reasoning used in the Court's decision in Loving v. Virginia, is based on the 14th Amendment's Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause. Because sexual orientation is not a choice, homosexuality is comparable to race and gender, as forms of self-identity that are beyond choice, and therefore "due process" and "equal protection under the law" is constitutionally guaranteed. This is a very strong argument, and I accept it.

Already in two cases, Romer v. Evans and Lawrence v. Texas, the Court has overturned state regulations that discriminated against gays, citing the Due Process Clause for its reasoning. Furthermore, in Zablocki v. Redhail, the Court invalidated a Wisconsin law that prohibited a marriage license to any resident who failed to fulfill court-ordered child support obligations. The Court observed that, because "the right to marry is of fundamental importance," and because the Wisconsin statute "interfered with decisions to enter into ... marital relationships" and, like bans on gay marriage, "absolutely prevented" the desired ritual, it was held to be unconstitutional on Equal Protection grounds. [4]

This week (4 days ago, on 2/7/2012), the Court decided in Perry v. Brown that California's Proposition 8 (a law restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples) was unconstitutional. The reasoning was the same: Prop 8 violated Due Process and Equal Protection. This is a landmark case, and will probably reach the Supreme Court.

In sum, because marriage provides more than a thousand legal benefits at a federal level, and even more at the state level, it is a legal disability to refuse same-sex couples these legal benefits. It is unconstitutional; by denying "equal protection under the law," prohibition is discrimination through and through.

Should States Prohibit Gay Marriage? No.

Regardless of whether gay marriage is constitutional or not, it can still be asked, should it be constitutional? In other words, is gay marriage a good thing, a neutral thing, or a bad thing? If it is good or neutral, it should be allowed; if it is bad, it should not.

We can begin by establishing its neutrality. I invoke John Stuart Mill's "harm principle," which says that "the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others." [5] This is the basic principle that neutrality rests on. If allowing gay marriage does not cause measurable harm that outweighs the harm of prohibition, then it should be allowed.

Harms of prohibition v. harms of gay marriage

With regard to gay marriage, the harms caused by prohibition are many. For one, prohibition restricts the liberty of two individuals of the same sex who seek the same legal status available to individuals of different sexes. Banning gay marriage would force a legal disability on many same-sex couples.

And this harm may not be restricted to couples but may also involve broader social costs, to their children and communities. According to the 2000 Census, 20% of male-couple households and 33% of female-couple households are raising children. We know, using the most conservative numbers available, that at least 1,000,000 children are being raised by gay couples. [6] None of these children or families have the protection and benefits of marriage.

What harms does gay marriage cause? Some people believe it is immoral, but this is not enough to claim it causes "harm" to others. In fact, there is no evidence (I know of) that same-sex marriage produces any tangible, direct harm to anyone either in the marriage or outside of it. Therefore, because of the "harm principle," there is no reason same-sex marriage should be prohibited.

What are the benefits of gay marriage?

In the space I have left, I hope to strengthen my argument by showing that gay marriage is not simply neutral, it is a good thing. I argue that gay marriage, contrary to the opinion of many, has huge benefits for both same-sex couples and society as a whole. What are these benefits?

1) Marriage is the way a couple signals its commitment to friends, workers, and communities, and that commitment is then reinforced by social expectatons. Thus, it has clear social benefits.

2) Married people make relatively fewer demands on state welfare services and on the healthcare system. As a result, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that nationwide same-sex marriage would save the federal government a billion dollars a year in healthcare and other costs. [7] Other studies have shown that legalizing gay marriage increases state revenue by millions as well. [8]

3) There are currently 1,000,000 children being raised in same-sex households outside of marriage who would surely be better off if their parents could be married. Let me make it this clear: gay families are not an abstraction; their existence is not theoretical. Gay families are a reality, a part of the lived experience of this country.

And whether gay marriage is allowed or not, children will continue to be raised by gay parents in this country. As such, would it be a good thing to deny children in same-sex households the protections and benefits of marriage? I think not. Legalizing gay marriage would have immediate legal benefits for children, as well as enhancing the stability of their family.

4) One concern often expressed by conservatives is that gay culture is characterized by a series of pathologies: too much promiscuity, too much drug use, too much alcohol abuse, too little personal responsibility. But doesn't this provide all the more reason to protect gay marriage? Think about it: gay life and culture in general could benefit from marriage. Marriage could have the sort of traditionalizing effect on gay culture and individuals that conservatives, especially traditionalist conservatives, desire.

[1] United States v. Morrison, 529 U.S. at 613; United States v. Lopez, 514 U.S. at 56
[2] Lopez, 514 U.S. at 564; Morrison, 529 U.S. at 613

Debate Round No. 2


I. The introdution

I never argued a federal ban, many of my sources where state based. But, I agree. I think the states should not allow it, at all, and this is what I am arguing. Not a federal ban, rather, a state ban, like a mere suggestion. I believe in states rights. But, I could argue that the defense of marriage act hinders gay marriage unconstitutional. DOMA, an amendment, defined marriage as one man and one woman. [1] [2] The law states:"No State, territory, or possession of the United States, or Indian tribe, shall be required to give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other State, territory, possession, or tribe respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other State, territory, possession, or tribe, or a right or claim arising from such relationship." [1] This means that the states do not have to recognize the act, so banning SSM is technically constitutional and allowed. THIS MEANS NO STATE NEEDS TO DO ANYTHING! You claim that The states cannot ban SSM because of a few court cases, I have proven with a constitutional amendment that a SSM ban is constitutional, hence your case falsified. I agree that marriage is a right, but you and I define marriage in different terms. DOMA defines marriage as a Union between one man and one woman, and the word spouse refers to a relationship between one man and one woman. [3]

So yes, according to the constitution marriage is a right. Legal relationships between one man and one woman is a right. So yes, but not in your terms.

II. Should we Ban SSM? No

The states should not for one reason: What interest does the state have? You have not answered this, and it need to be answered. The reason: procreation. If there is no reason to allow SSM in the states eyes, then it will never be done. The reason SSM is not allowed by the states is procreation, and if there is no benefit for the state then why should they do it? [4] Now, as there is no compelling reason for the state to allow marriage then it might as well stay banned. Right with this I have won the debate. You have bit justified 4.

III. Harms of prohibition

Sub rebuttal:

Liberty"The state of being free; enjoying various social, political, or economic rights and privileges The concept of liberty forms the core of all democratic principles. Yet, as a legal concept, it defies clear definition." [5]Thats the legal definition. Now, note rights. Marriage, as I have stated, it only a right to straight people. [1] [2] [3] Now, that being said, as it is not a right for homosexuals therefore marriage is not a liberty. Further more, if SSM is a liberty if 30 states have amendments banning SSM? [6]Now, the constitution says life LIBERTY... Now if it entitles this, and SSM was liberty then those 30 states would not have these bans. As they have these bans it disqualifies this argument. Further more marriage is not a right, [1] [2] [3] (for gays) also each state can ban or not ban any type of marriage. Society can endorse any one way of marriage it likes, so it see choose no SSM then it is not a right. [6]

Sub rebuttal: Harm

This is controversial, at the least.

"He argues that society, either by law or by social pressure, cannot justly regulate any action a person performs unless it is other-regarding; that is, it harms people other than the agent him/herself." [7]

So, as it only effects one group of people it technically doesn't hurt the majority. Also SSM has no proven benefits to the couples of these preferences. [8] As it does not help them then therefore it cannot help the kids. Also, why does htis matter?

It would actually hurt all of us, as legalizing SSM is nearly permanent, and if you can redefine marriage then whats to stop me from having 100 wives? Marrying a dog? Attempting to change family structure? [9] My point is, if you legalize gay marriage, a slippery slope would possibly occur. Also Gay relationships are on average shorter, therefore it would increase divorce rates, and hurt the institution. [10] [11] Also many homosexuals (most of them) have relationships only lasting 6 months. [12] [10] Only 22% of gay men has kid living with them, and 33% for lesbians. [10] [13] Also gay men cheat more, a Canadian study says only 25% of homosexual relationships lasting longer then one year where monogamous. [14] So basically it would hurt the institution, effecting us all.

IV: What are the benefits of marriage? (gay)

1) Source? You claim it brings people together, well so can other things. Also if marriage benefits gays then why is their divorce rate 1.5 times higher? [15]
2) Money:

Actually the CBO in 2009 estimated legalizing SSM would increase spending and cost the goverment 596 million dollars. [16] Another estimate says the benefits would cost the goverment 310 million dollars in the benefits. [17] Also, as stated, most married couples pay less taxes. [18] Also, legislation has been passed lowering tax burdens on poorer married couples. [19] So allowing SSM would decrease revenues.

3) See above for my arguments here. Also gays have more domestic violence towards each other. [20] [10]

4) You need a study or source before you can say that marriage helps them, as it s a controversy. You have the BOP as this is a change in the status quo.
-out of room, vote con-

references:[1] [2] [3]
Tom Lowe, "A Defense of Traditional Marriage" (pre-publication draft) [4] [5]
"A Contentious Debate: Same-Sex Marriage in the U.S.," [5]Stephen J. Heaney, "A Marriage Tail," [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]
2003-2004 Gay/Lesbian Consumer Online Census [11]
Adrian Brune, "City Gays Skip Long-term Relationships: Study Says," Washington Blade (February 27, 04): 12. [12]
"Married-Couple and Unmarried Partner Households: 2000," 10. [13]
Ryan Lee, "Gay Couples Likely to Try Non-monogamy, Study Shows," Washington Blade (August 22, 2003): 18. [14] [15]
J. Frank Vespa-Papaleo, et al., "The Legal, Medical, Economic & Social Consequences of New Jersey's Civil Union Law," [16] [17]
Round 2 of this debate. [18]
Donaldson, Samuel A., "Federal Income Taxation of Individuals: Cases, Problems & Materials, Second Edition", page 9. Thomson West, 2007. [19] [20]



The 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause guarantees equal protection under the law. This means that the law must extend the same legal benefits to everyone.

If marriage is a right, it must be extended to everyone. This means that if straight people can get married, so can gay people.

Con and I both agree marriage is a basic human right. If that is the case, then banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.


Con has deceived both me and our readers. Check Con’s sources, this is what you’ll find:

DOMA is actually an Act passed by Congress, not a “constitutional amendment.” At this point, we can already dismiss Con’s argument: DOMA is a Federal Act, and Con has already conceded that marriage is a State concern, not a Federal one.

DOMA has also been ruled unconstitutional by: Smelt v. County of Orange, Gil v. Office of Personnel Management, Windsor v. United States, Cozen O’Connor v. Tobits. [9] The list goes on.

President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder both declared DOMA unconstitutional.

And January this year, the Department of Justice (the only institution that can legally defend DOMA) also decreed DOMA unconstitutional. [10]

It is a completely negated Act.

Definition of Marriage

Con’s entire argument rests on how marriage is defined. Two things worth considering: 1) definitions change; 2) the question of whether we should change the traditional man-woman definition is precisely what we are debating. Anytime Con invokes the man-woman definition as an end in itself, Con is using circular reasoning that also begs the very question this debate is about.

Consider this: the institution of marriage has undergone more radical change than allowing same-sex marriage. For example, no-fault divorce, which allows divorce without showing of wrong-doing or without need of any proceedings at all. Or women’s equality, which destabilized traditional gender-roles in marriage. In comparison to either of these, gay marriages will represent a minor change, the addition of maybe 2% in the number of married couples.

Also, notice that we now have full same-sex marriage in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, the Netherlands, Spain, Norway, Portugal, Mexico City, South Africa, Alagoas, and Sweden.

Not only can definitions change, according to these countries, it already has.


Con argues that “marriage” is about child-rearing. Although I think it’s about much more than that – encouraging traditional values and loving relationships, and signaling this to friends – I do agree with Con that child-raising is a central part of marriage.

For decades, gay families have been functioning as real families, raising children. Currently, over one million children are raised in same-sex households. Con admits this point, stating that “22% of gay men has kid living with them, and 33% for lesbians.”

Marriage offers both same-sex couples and their children irreplaceable legal, care-giving, and social benefits. Besides the obvious legal benefits, children are more secure in households where their parents are united in marriage. It would be wrong to deny the children of gay parents the same benefits that the children of straight parents have.

Con consistently talks about gay marriage as an abstraction (for example, the whole man-woman definition argument), but gay families are real people with real children and real problems. I really hope it is clear to Con and readers that gay families are a reality.

I think as soon as gay marriage is understood as a real-world issue and not some theoretical one, it becomes clear that these children deserve the benefits of married parents. When Con denies same-sex marriage, Con also deprives their children.

Slippery Slope

There is no evidence that gay marriage leads to a slippery slope.

If anything, the reverse: eighteen years after recognizing same-sex relationships in Scandinavia, there are higher marriage rates for heterosexuals, lower divorce rates, lower rates for out-of-wedlock births, lower STD rates, more stable and durable gay relationships, more monogamy, and more respect for monogamy. [11] So far there is no slippery slope to polygamy, incestuous marriages, or as Rick Santorum once said, to man-on-dog unions

The evidence so far
makes any claim about doomsday scenarios very hard to credit.

Also, ask yourself which is more likely: that the 0.5% of openly non-monogamous gay couples will exert enough pressure to change the morals of the 99.5? Or that the 99.5% will put tremendous social pressure on the 0.5%? The numbers come from Con's sources.

Another thing to consider

To the polygamist we would say, “Pick a partner and get married. It’s better for you, your kids, and the rest of us if you do.” We wouldn’t say, “Your multiple-partner past disqualifies you from marriage.”

Yet when gay couples want to get married, society tells them, “There’s nothing for you. Not multiple partners. Not even one partner. And your kids? They’re irrelevant.

I doubt any traditionalist conservative would would truly accept that. Gays want to marry, gays value marriage, they want to accept traditional values.

Think about it: We let polygamists get married. Why not gays?


Con’s economic analysis is deeply flawed. First, notice that Con’s sources are not about gay marriages, they are about unmarried same-sex couples. Somewhat ironically, the supposed costs of same-sex marriage that Con is reporting are actually the costs of not legalizing same-sex marriage.

Here’s what really happens. Millions saved in healthcare because businesses extend health benefits to spouses of their married gay employees. Weddings, wedding-based tourism, marriage license and ceremony fees, and increases in income taxes, all generate tax revenue far outweighing the economic costs.

Take a look at the CBO report again: billions of dollars saved by legalizing gay marriage.


Gay marriage may be new to law but gay “marriage” is not new to life. Gay families have been living around us for decades, raising children without the legal or social benefits of marriage. By denying same-sex marriage, we are denying the rights of not only same-sex couples but of their children.

My argument is simple. Gay people exist. They are not the top-down creations of government bureaucrats or radical visionaries. They are bottom-up facts of life.

So: given that gay people exist and are not going to be eliminated, the question now is, “What is to be done with them?” Is it better for society and for traditional values that they be pushed aside, marginalized and ostracized, made to feel alien to traditional values and institutions? Or is it better for society and for traditionalists that they be included in the fabric of American life, including in the most important social institution we have for encouraging, recognizing, and reinforcing loving relationships?

And now: extend those same questions to the children of gay people. Seriously. Is it better for our society and for traditional values that the children of gay people are pushed aside, marginalized and ostracized, and made to feel alien to traditional values and institutions? Or is it better for society and traditionalists that these children be included in the fabric of American life, including the most important social institution we have for encouraging, recognizing, and reinforcing loving relationships?

I really hope that you, Con, and that you, my reader, seriously consider these questions. Not only for the sake of gay people, but for the sake of their children. For the sake of children who never chose to have gay parents, but who are nonetheless being denied not only the legal benefits of marriage, but are also being denied access to one of the most rich cultural institutions our society has to offer.

Debate Round No. 3


Thanks for the response :)

R1: The constitution

14th amendment, equal protection:

Actually all it does is offer a say on citizenship. [1] [2], but you are right it does have a part about this, and I will prove t invalid. I will refute the equal protection argument:

"The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits states from denying any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." [3]

Now, there is an infringement if only one group gets this right, but here's the dealio, marriage by law in most states is 1 man and one woman, that is the definition. So, if marriage is defined 1 man and one women under federal law. [4] As it is 1 man + 1 woman therefore marriage is only a right for these two groups. We agree marriage is a right, but we define it in different terms. If marriage had the legal definition of anyone, then you would be correct. But as it is generally in the US law man + woman then therefore the definition changes the game. So, if you say marriage is a right, and we are arguing the US, and the US definition holds 1 man + 1 woman, therefore I win. Sorry for repetition, but as marriage is defined as this under law then it only applies to 2 groups, men and women. As I have proven the definition is man and woman, therefore if the right is defined as marriage then according to the definition only the man and the woman have this right. One could also argue that marriage is not a right, [5] as based of of current law marriage is only a right between a couple of the opposite sexes.


Doma is a federal law, saying that the states are not forced to recognize SSM. [6] Due to the fact it says any state can opt out of recognizing SSM, then it is under federal law that it is permissible to just say NO. It also prohibits the federal goverment from recognizing SSM, therefore now the federal goverment may no longer accept these marriages, as it defined marriage man and woman then marriage only applies to heterosexual couples. My point stands. [6]

"Four federal courts have already upheld the law's constitutionality." [7]

The courts ruled it constitutional.

Further more it doesn't discriminate based of of sexuality, rather nature:

"The potential to produce children naturally is unique to opposite-sex relationships. It is not the law that "discriminates" based on "sexual orientation"—it is nature." [7]

R3: the definition of marriage

His argument is based of of a possibility of the definition changing. My question: Why should the state do this? You can name x, y, z, but if there is no reason the state should legalize it then there is no point. The state has interests, procreation in this sense, and if they have no benefit to allowing you to marry then what is the point? when I specified 1-4, you never answered 4, the most important one. If the goverment has no benefits to them, then why should they do it?

"The whole benefits argument is a red-herring. He can cite all the alleged benefits he wants -- it means nothing unless they deserve, are entitled to, or have a right to these benefits. To show that, he has to defend a certain view about what marriage is by nature. *That's* the key issue, not benefits. " ~ Contradiction, a DDO member.

~defense of my arguments~

RC1: Child rearing.

He argues that this is about love, and values. Well, the state controls marriage. [5] [8] Now, the state needs a reason to allow SSM. There are countless benefits given to marriages, and the state want's feedback, the extra children = larger workforce and 1 more soul to tax. I will quote:

"The government makes laws when the state (or the community) has a vested interest in some activity or association." [9]

Now, as the goverment makes laws, only if they have interest, then the SSM laws have a current meaning to the state.

"To the end of procreation, the state and the community have a vested interest only when procreation is naturally (or inherently) a possibility: which is to say, only in a relationship between a man and a woman. " [9]

This is why they are interested, the state has interests and keeping SSM down, you must prove a interest in the states issues. This is the most important argument: "if the state has no interest in doing so, why should they do it?". That is what is at stake, if there is no compelling reason for the state to legalize SSM, then why should they? This is a fundamental question that you have not answered.

You cite adoption, adoption is just relocation of kids, it is not creating new ones. Adoption =/= a state benefit, as it does not add new populous. Procreation = state benefit as it does add to the states population.

My opponent has not offered a reason why the state benefits in SSM. Also, as I have stated homosexuals have higher abuse rates.

RC2: Slippery Slope

The theory is one or few small steps lead to larger effects. Gay marriage as you have stated calls for a redefinition of marriage, as does polygamy. [10] If you can redefine law in 1, 2, 3 then chances are the polygamy movement, with similar arguments, will be able to use the success of SSM to it's advantage. Also your 11 source link is broken.

"Scholars enamored with polyamory argue in favor of "a social revolution that would replace traditional marriage and family law." [11] [10]

Sounds like SSM, so if one can prevail it leads to a step up for the next law.

"...the introduction of legalized gay marriages will lead inexorably to polygamy and other alternatives to one man/one woman unions....Why will gay marriage set the table for polygamy? Because there is no place to stop once that Rubicon has been crossed. " [12]

RC3: The economy

Actually my sources are about current married couples, and logically the homosexuals would get the same benefits.

Yes, but these areas of spending would increase:

"Receiving Social Security, Medicare, and disability benefits for spouses." [13]
"Receiving veterans' and military benefits for spouses, such as those for education, medical care, or special loans." [13]
"Receiving public assistance benefits." [13]

Now, it would increase this spending. In one study, legalizing SSM would lead to 182 million dollars increase in spending. [14] Note this is only one state, it would increase federally. The point is it would increase spending therefore raising debts and 1$ spent here -----> 1$ not spent on another thing.

=out of room=

Vote con

sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]
"The Marriage Amendment; Editorial" First Things 136 (October 1, 2003): 1048. [11]
James Dobson, "Eleven Arguments Against Same-Sex Marriage (Part 1 of 5)," Focus on the Family, 2004-MAY-23 [12] [13] [14]



Con's entire case rests on a traditional man-woman definition of marriage. Of course, this debate itself is about the question of whether marriage (including its definition) should include same-sex couples or exclude them. Invoking a definition that is itself in question is a form of circular logic that begs the very question the debate is about.

This is the fundamental flaw with Con's argument. And for this reason, Con's argument is mostly empty; it simply repeats the traditional man-woman definition, and claims (without reason) that there is no reason to change it.

My argument is simple. Marriage is a human institution. Its definition is and was historically determined, and was done so at a time when gay families were both illegal and publicly unrecognized. This has changed. Today, gay families are a reality, and over one million children are raised by gay parents.

It is also a historical fact that over time, when good reasons have been given, the definition of marriage has changed. Last round, I argued that marriage has gone through more radical changes than the inclusion of same-sex couples (for example, no-fault divorce and the feminist movement's empowerment of women). Con dropped those arguments.

Given these facts (the historical determination of the traditional man-woman definition when gay families were publicly unrecognized, and the changing definition of marriage through history), as well as the many other reasons I have provided throughout this debate for gay marriage, I conclude that the definition of marriage should be changed to include same-sex couples.

In this round, I will summarize my arguments, and explain why Con's responses have not been adequate.

Why is marriage a right?

Both Con and I agree that marriage provides legal, care-giving, and social benefits. Regardless of how we define it, then, marriage discriminates between married and single people. Therefore, when Con (and DDO member Contradiction) ask, why do gays deserve the right to marriage, Con begs the even more fundamental question, why does ANYONE deserve the right to marriage?

The answer is child-raising. Both Con and I agree on this point. Child-raising is a serious and important task that justifies the legal benefits attendant on marriage. Opposite-sex couples deserve this right because opposite-sex couples have, throughout history, had families and raised children.

The same question could be asked of same-sex couples: do they have families and raise children? Yes, they do. This is an undoubtable fact about the world we live in. Con admits as much.

Why, then, should same-sex couples be denied marriage rights?

Con has no answer to this question, nor has Con denied that these children "deserve, are entitled to, and have a right to these benefits" (Contradiction's words). In fact, no serious opponent of gay marriage advocates removing children from gay parents.

So why, then, does Con continue to insist on denying the children of gay parents these rights? I honestly have no idea. Con simply continues to invoke a traditional man-woman definition of marriage to argue against gay marriage, but that argument is a non-starter. As I've already explained, the logic is circular and question-begging. Simply stating a definition does not justify it, it simply begs the question again, is the definition justified or should it be changed? The answer, following my reasoning, is that it should be changed, and Con is left without response.

The truth is, Con has no response to my argument because there is none. Discriminating against different groups of children (those with gay parents, and those with straight parents) is a clear violation of the 14th Amendment's Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause.

It also deprives children of the traditional values that correspond to the traditional definition of marriage. In that sense, denying same-sex couples the right to marriage not only violates the 14th Amendment, it also negates the traditional man-woman definition of marriage itself.

Why? Because prohibiting same-sex marriage deprives the children of gay parents the traditional values associated with marriage. Thus, denying same-sex marriage is not only denying gay couples the right to marriage, it is denying the traditional values that are themselves the foundation of traditional understandings of marriage.

In today's world, where gay couples are raising children, denying same-sex marriage is the same as denying opposite-sex marriage: either way, you deny the traditional values that correspond to the institution of marriage as an institution that is predicated on child-rearing.

Harm Principle

In Round 2, I proposed the harm principle as a way to determine whether gay marriage should be prohibited or not. The point was, unless Con can demonstrate that gay marriage harms anyone, Con has no case to prohibit gay marriage.

Con argues gay marriage does cause harm, through a slippery slope to polygamy, and through a negative impact on the economy. Both of these arguments are flawed. The first is based on purely speculative reasoning, the second is simply flawed economics.

Slippery Slope

Con argues that gay marriage would lead down a slippery slope to polygamy. There are two problems with this argument. The first, and obvious one, is that Con has proven no harm from polygamy. Con simply asserts that polygamy is bad, without explaining why.

Second, Con's argument provides no evidence to support its claims. All Con's sources are speculative opinions, not social facts. Check the sources, not a single example of legalized gay marriage has led to polygamy. Truth is, we have no reason to believe the slippery slope argument.

I cited the example of Scandinavia, but I could have just as well given the example of any country that has legalized gay marriage. In each of these countries, gay marriage has actually had a stabilizing effect on marriage, on traditional values, and on respect for monogamy.

In Round 3, I provided an explanation: social pressure, or what we sometimes call "peer pressure." Point is, it is more likely that an overwhelming marjority influence a minority, rather than the other way around.

Seriously, think about it: we have absolutely no reason to believe the 0.5% of openly non-monogamous couples would somehow have a stronger effect on the 99.5% of monogamous couples.

As a final point, notice that gay marriage arises out of the ideals, customs, and laws of traditional marriage. Gay parents want the same legal and social benefits of traditional marriage for a specific purpose: raising children with traditional values. Gay marriage is fundamentally monogamous.


Con argues SSM would increase government spending. Sure, but it also increases tax revenue. When the numbers are calculated, every single study I've looked at, including Con's own sources, conclude that legalizing SSM would benefit the economy in a positive way.

Check the sources yourselves. Or Google it, type "economic impact of gay marriage" in any search engine. I guarantee the evidence will show positive economic impact.


Gay families, including the children of gay parents, have existed for decades. They have proven stable, functional, and contribute to society's well-being.

Con proposes no solution to the reality of children growing up in same-sex households. That indifference (to gay parents and their children) might have been excused in a day when we knew nothing about gay families. But that day has passed. Indifference, as politics or morality, is cruel and unconstitutional.

On February 7, Perry v. Brown decided that restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples was unconstitutional. Gay marriage is heading to the Supreme Court, and all the evidence suggests it will be legalized.

Truth is, we are at a point where gay marriage is in most functional respects already here, so that sanctioning “technical” gay marriage is the next obvious step to correct the lingering cruelty in our treatment of gay families.
Debate Round No. 4
98 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 51 through 60 records.
Posted by FourTrouble 6 years ago
And besides, we're gonna have full cloning soon, and "procreation" or "intrinsic nature" will be completely outdated.
Posted by FourTrouble 6 years ago
Are you reading what I wrote? I just gave you a reason: to encourage people to take on the responsibility of raising children. One thing is having children, it is another to devote years of your life to raising them.
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
Raising children does not benifit the state, new youngins in the workforce is!

Ps; why are we arguing via comments?
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
If the goverment has no benifit of SSM then it should not be allowed. You can cite 100000000 benifits, but if the goverment has no reason to allow it then to bad.
Posted by FourTrouble 6 years ago
Do you really think people are gonna stop having sex, and stop having children, if the state does not sanction it? No. Marriage is about the responsibility of raising the children you have. That is what is at stake with marriage, not procreation, but the practical responsibility of raising children.
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
The state needs you to make them as they would have no benifit otherwise.
Posted by FourTrouble 6 years ago
according to the State, marriage is about raising children, not intrinsic ability to have them.
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
In the states eyes it is
Posted by FourTrouble 6 years ago
You think gays do not deserve the right to have children with each other, I think they do. Your entire argument is based on the idea that an abstract conception of nature should have more legal significance than equality and reality, rights and results. The burden has shifted: you need to show that intrinsic procreative ability is a stronger legal argument against SSM than the practical benefits to same-sex couples, the benefits to the children of those couples, the benefits to our cultural institutions (e.g. schools), the benefits to society as a whole, as well as basic human rights -- "equal means equal."
Posted by warpedfx 6 years ago
why don't they deserve it? marriage isn't based on procreation, sex is.
18 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by 1dustpelt 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con was more logical, and had many examples to back his case.
Vote Placed by warpedfx 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: the Con was unable to substantiate his position regarding the basis and nature of marriage and of state's interest to it while Pro was able to prove his case.
Vote Placed by SuburbiaSurvivor 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by imabench 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: Con's argument mostly repeats older definition of marriage and argues it shouldnt be changed, pro did show how it would be beneficial, like Danielle put it. Arguments to pro, sources to con, whats with all the countering???
Vote Placed by royalpaladin 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Counter DBD as requested by Thett
Vote Placed by Lordknukle 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter Beachgirl. Obvious biased voting is obvious.
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Comments. 5 points because thats what everyone else seems to be giving.
Vote Placed by 000ike 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro had a superior understanding of the issue at hand from the start. Pro completely proved that SSM is legal and constitutionally protected through an impressive list of court cases. Pro also successfully established that SSM is not bad beside the in the perception of the few that consider it immoral. He proved it beneficial for the state in fact through mentioning the amount of revenue and savings it would create. Con even conceded to marriage being a right, which essentially concluded debate.
Vote Placed by jimtimmy 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con won sources and was far more convincing with the Procreation point and the economics points.
Vote Placed by thett3 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Comments