The Instigator
YYW
Pro (for)
Winning
17 Points
The Contender
drmigit2
Con (against)
Losing
12 Points

Gay marriage should be legal.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
YYW
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/23/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,818 times Debate No: 17199
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (25)
Votes (6)

 

YYW

Pro

First round will be for acceptance. I thank you. You thank me. Everybody's a happy family.

Round 2 will be for opening arguments. I say a whole lot of stuff to support one side. You say a whole lot of stuff to support the side I'm not supporting. Debate commences.

Round 3 will be for refutation and case reconstruction. I tell you what is wrong with your case. You tell me what is wrong with my case. We debate. Clash happens (ideally).

Round 4 will be for closing arguments.

Some ground rules:

1) I am more a rhetoric guy than a source guy. Your sources don't impress me. Your thoughts do. Sources are a means to an end in argument, not the end themselves. Use them as such.
2) If you use evidence, don't use it as a contention, point, sub-point, etc. Use it to support what you like.
3) This is going to be more a philosophical debate rather than an empirical one. I just like that style more; and it's a great way to avoid a source-war.

Some topic-specific ground rules:

1) Present original arguments as best you can. Don't cite what you heard someone else say.
2) No profanity, slurs, derogatory terminology, etc. Let's keep it professional.
drmigit2

Con

Hello, I accept. This will be a challenge for me but we will see how I do.
Debate Round No. 1
YYW

Pro

To begin, this is not a debate over wether government ought to recognize the institution of marriage. The resolution states that gay marriage should be legal. If something is recognized as legal it is recognized by the government. Secondly, this is not a debate about wether government should incentivize marriage or wether gay couples should enjoy the same tax benefits as straight couples. The resolution speaks exclusively to legality; nothing more. Legality, for our purposes, is only the ability to do something without punishment or incentive designed to hinder any given act.

Gay marriage should be legal.

A. Only acts that encroach upon the life, liberty, or property of another should to be illegal.

Our founding fathers wrote that government ought be charged with three essential tasks: preserving our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (property). People, by the virtue of their humanity, are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (ownership of property), and are entitled to enjoy them to the fullest possible extent unless or until their enjoyment hampers another's enjoyment of their rights. In essence, my rights end where yours begin. It is from this principal that the American concept of equality is derived. Where the object is to uphold natural rights, the task of government then (in domestic terms) is only to make illegal those acts which are not germane to natural rights, their preservation, or enjoyment thereof by all people. If any act by any individual or third party encroaches on the enjoyment of anyone else's rights, that act ought be illegal because no person has the right to deprive another of their rights without consent or without just cause.

B. Gay marriage does not jeopardize the life, liberty, or enjoyment of property of another.

Marriage, in essence, is a contractual agreement whereby two consenting parties agree to share their lives together. It is an institution that requires consent of two adults; traditionally centered upon either romance or utility or both for both people who marry one another. There has been no substantial indication that gay marriage is harmful to any member of society, wether we consider society as a whole, individuals, children, or those who should desire to marry one another. There is accordingly no conflict with any individual's enjoyment of life, liberty, or property in any way, shape, or form. As such, gay marriage should not be illegal. If something is not illegal, then it is legal.

Ergo, gay marriage should be legal.
drmigit2

Con

I want to get a few things across before I begin.

1. The church is a private organization and the U.S government is not at all affiliated with their views or their actions.

2. Because they are private, the government has no right to encroach on their decisions.

C1: The church has the right to discriminate if it so chooses, even if you disagree

You can talk about the rights that our founding fathers wanted for us, but if the church refuses to marry people, which is 100% within their rights to deny people by the way, nobody can stop them. You talked about how this is not an argument over if the government should recognize marriage or not, and you would be right, except if the don't want people to discriminate, then they should run it themselves. The church is separate from the government as dictated by the founding fathers and thus can make the decisions on who they allow to get married. The state can create new churches that work differently, but the key fact is that you can not force the church to do something it does not want to.

C2: The bible directly says in the Leviticus section, that being gay is in fact a sin, just as combing your hair and eating shellfish is.

You can call the church hypocrites if you would like, but their book directly says that gay people are sinners. Why gay people even go to a place that calls them evil and says they will be tossed in a volcano for all eternity is beyond me, but the fact is, the book they base their operations on says that gay people are not welcome. As a private affiliation they have the right to say whatever they want and be hypocrites. They are not forced to be morally comprehensive, even if they should be. It does not matter if you disagree with them or not, you can not force them to do something that they are against. If it bothers you so much, write to your politician and try to overturn marriage as a whole because that is the only real way to get that across.
Debate Round No. 2
YYW

Pro

I will take this opportunity to address my opponent's case.

Some things to take note of:

Firstly, the church is entirely separate from the government (ergo the establishment and free exercise clauses). Just as the government has no right to encroach upon the church, the church has no right to encroach upon the government. As such, legality is not contingent upon church approval or disapproval. Laws are not dictated by the church just as the church is not dictated by the law.

Secondly, marriage is recognized by the government -and it is regulated. While marriage may have originated as a religious institution it is not now, in a legal sense. It is a contractual one -one within the legislative reach of the government.

My opponent's case:

RC1) The church's right to discriminate is not challenged, undermined, or in any way jeopardized by the legalization of gay marriage. Marriage, in a legal sense, can be performed in a court house, by a magistrate or by an ordained minister who has been given the authority by the state to marry people. Because the church and the government are and ought to be separate, legalizing gay marriage does not require the church to recognize gay marriage or perform them.

RC2) Yes, the bible says a lot of things. Just like my opponent has already pointed out, the government and the church are entirely distinct entities. Legalizing gay marriage does not jeopardize that condition.
drmigit2

Con

First off, marriage certificates are usually handed out via the ULC, or Universal Life Church. Meaning, at the end of it all, marriage goes through the church at some point. It is a process created by the church, and most of the time the church is the group who weds people. It is silly to say otherwise, while a court can grant a marriage, most marriages in America still take place in a church. Also, the validity and legality of the government controlling how marriage is run is something we are still in debate of. Many disapprove of the government being in control of marriage and a lot of people prefer smaller governments with more control by private sectors. The simple fact, is that marriage is always created by some religion or another, and none of the religions followed today approve of it. One would imagine the people who create it would have a good idea of how it should be run, if you disagree with a scientist on physics, you cant run and ask the guy at the gas station about gravity and if you disagree about marriage with the church, you cant run to a politician and try to get it made legal.

One last thing, you said if the rights of people are not disturbed, then why not make it legal? Well in that case, people should be able to marry anything, from a towel to their dog. It is a slippery slope that will only end in madness. Not only that, but it will also raise medical insurance premiums, I would rather not get too detailed on why it's bad, but anal sex does lead to a lot more diseases and with health care being as messed up as it is, this could be the final straw that breaks the horse's back.
Debate Round No. 3
YYW

Pro

I am not advocating for the government to tell the church what to do. Legalizing gay marriage does not command the church to act in one way or another, it only requires the government to permit gay marriages to be granted -by the government.

Marriage, as an institution, is subject to tremendous governmental regulation -at present by individual states. It is taxed, subsidized, incentivized, and even defined -by every state other than MA and a few others, as between man and one woman. It is that definition, and only that definition, that legalizing gay marriage will change. Legalizing gay marriage will permit one man to marry another man, or one woman to marry another woman -as the government recognizes marriage. Wether the church should desire to perform gay marriage, endorse gay marriage, or support the practice of gay marriage is a matter entirely for the church to sort out.

While it was originally the case that marriage was a religious thing, it is more than that now. That it was once only a religious thing does not mean that it has not transcended its origins. Christmas is celebrated by atheists, just as much as non-religious people get married (even if they are straight).

As to the health insurance effects of gay marriage, I'm not sure it is appropriate to be discussing the finite details of intercourse on this medium and so I will abstain from doing so. I will only say that there are exceptionally effective means to prevent the spread of disease that are readily available at any pharmacy, grocery store, or gas station.
drmigit2

Con

Before I begin my closing statement, I would love to point out how you ignored your own rules and used round 4 as a rebuttal round. Anyway, as a closing statement, religion is what started marriage, and still should dictate it. Gay marriage is universally panned by all religions, and one would have to imagine that the people that frequently marry people would know a thing or two. Beyond this, in many places, religion is a key part of life, gay marriage would turn this upside down and cause anarchy in many places, you can argue that said places should be set in anarchy, but that is for another debate, and in general, anarchy is bad. Religion has shaped and dictated society as a whole for as long as humanity has existed. You can argue that it is all wrong, but the fact also is, we still exist and are not in the stone age; so obviously culture is doing something right. We can't change it for a few people when the consequences are yet to be tested. This is a slippery slope that could lead to the collapse of religion as a whole, while some people call this a good thing, it would bring about chaos and in rare cases, suicide. Gay marriage could be the spark that ignites the gasoline and burns the whole house down.
Debate Round No. 4
25 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago
ReformedArsenal
Here is my only issue with what you are saying...

You are acting as though these rules were introduced upon you. As if somehow I am enforcing rules in the debate that are alien to it... but that is not the case. If you do not wish for those rules to be a part of your debate, do not introduce them (as most do not).
Posted by YYW 5 years ago
YYW
Again, RA, you are entitled to your own opinion and my intent is not to provoke a fight with you. If you wish to continue judging as you do, that is fine with me. I would only request that you refrain from judging my rounds (and I will yours) because it is clear that we have philosophical differences which would preclude any possibility of a mutually satisfactory solution. I will only ask you to consider the possible good that you effectuate by judging rounds as you do. On a philosophical level, I view debate as a learning exercise for both parties. To dismiss arguments as a violation of rules is not only counterintuitive to that end, it is offensive to the purpose of debate. If this were an officially structured debate (like Lincoln-Douglas, Public Forum, or Policy) then I can understand a stringent observation to rules. Because this is none of those things, you understand why I take issue with your paradigm. Nevertheless, I this is at this point a non-issue. You have made your call, and I wish you the best -I only wish that you not judge another round I participate in.

With Kindest Regards,

YYW
Posted by drmigit2 5 years ago
drmigit2
Im surprised the voting is as close as it is, I really expected to lose because the arguments against gay marriage are so few, that the debate is like arguing on the con side of if a green bean should be considered a vegetable or not.
Posted by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago
ReformedArsenal
"What if my rules were unjust?" - Were they?

"What if the effect of the rules was to limit or even harm both debaters?" - Was it?

What is the point of introducing rules into a debate, if there is no penalty for ignoring them?

Would you like a paradigm card for me? Here is its: If rules are introduced into a debate, and those rules are not followed... the person who breaks the rules loses. If both persons break the rules, the instigator of the debate (who defined the rules) loses.

There you go. In the vast majority of debates on this site, people do not break their own rules. In these situations, I am more than happy to vote according to who has the better argument (If you actually look at my voting record, I have been known to vote against Christian arguments if the argument is bad.)
Posted by YYW 5 years ago
YYW
RA you are entitled to your opinion, and again, I don't begrudge that you gave me the loss. The rules, for an online debate, are more of "guidelines" for all intensive purposes. This is supposed to be a salutary learning exercise for all parties, not to be dictated by a deontological observation of "rules" where terms are not explicitly defined, or parameters are outlined to the letter. The rules are not US code. Moreover, who gets to interpret the rules? You? or me? I wrote the rules and therefore have a "higher understanding" of them even more so than you -as I, in fact, wrote them. If the rules were meant to be explicitly followed then I would have said so. Your 7-against policy is laughably sadistic. You are not some sort of almighty champion of rules that you did not define. What if my rules were unjust? What if the effect of the rules was to limit or even harm both debaters? Should they still stand? I almost have to wonder what Kholberg would have to say on the matter... I say all of this however not to just be frustrating, but to genuinely impel you to consider how you judge rounds in the future. In high school and especially college debate Judges (for LD and Policy at least) write paradigm cards. Perhaps you should do the same so that here people will know how peculiar your judging paradigm is... Again, it's fine to have your own philosophy but having an open mind is a virtue. What good comes from your draconian observation to these almighty rules? None? Perhaps your policy merits reconsideration accordingly.
Posted by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago
ReformedArsenal
Double_R,

All sorts of people use all sorts of decisions in order to determine a winner. Cliff never votes according to the questions asked unless very specific things happen. I tend to vote with the questions, unless someone breaks the rules, then they get 7 against.

As far as holding only one accountable... I also factored in that Pro is instigator and wrote the rules, so he has a higher burden to understand and follow those rules.
Posted by Double_R 5 years ago
Double_R
We all have different opinions on what constitutes a debate loss. That is why DDO asks 4 specific questions as to the debate. You did not appear to honestly answer 3 of those 4 questions because of your own opinion of what a loss is.

I say it is picking and choosing because it is an invalid argument. By your own contentions Con also "broke the rules". But you do not hold him accountable for it because of what Pro says in the next round. Two wrongs do not make a right. They both broke the rules yet you only hold one of them accountable.
Posted by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago
ReformedArsenal
There is a difference between a violation of conduct (ad hominem, degrading, insensetivity) and rule violation. I was a judge for both high school and college debate, and if someone violates the rules... they lose. That's it.

As far as "picking and choosing" I told you... Pro condoned the rule violation by responding to it and not calling it out. Also, they were his rules, so he should understand them at least as well or better than his opponent does.
Posted by Double_R 5 years ago
Double_R
@ ReformedArsenal

"If you had called out "My opponent brings new evidence into round three, despite the fact that the structure of the debate dictates that round three is for rebuttals and reconstruction only" I would have voted the opposite way and said Con was FF because of rule violation. But by responding to it, you condoned their behavior and in doing so violated your own rules."

Sounds like you are picking and choosing when to hold debaters responsible for breaking the rules. Instead of being so hung up on weather either of them broke the rules you should listen to their arguments. That is what a debate is about. If you disagree with their conduct then vote against them on the conduct vote, don't vote against them on every single element of the debate.
Posted by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago
ReformedArsenal
Exactly... If you had called out "My opponent brings new evidence into round three, despite the fact that the structure of the debate dictates that round three is for rebuttals and reconstruction only" I would have voted the opposite way and said Con was FF because of rule violation. But by responding to it, you condoned their behavior and in doing so violated your own rules.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by thett3 5 years ago
thett3
YYWdrmigit2Tied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con relied on a religious argument which is (and always should be) ir-relevant to the law.
Vote Placed by Double_R 5 years ago
Double_R
YYWdrmigit2Tied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Cons argument was completely irrelevant. He begins by saying that the government has no right to encroach on the church's decisions. Yet legalizing gay marriage has no effect on their decisions because as Pro pointed out it does not mean they have to marry anyone, it simply means they can not be incriminated for doing so. Con did not address Pros legality concept which was what the debate was based on. Also, Pros final round hardly falls outside of his vague instructions of "closing arguments".
Vote Placed by Cobo 5 years ago
Cobo
YYWdrmigit2Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: The Reason Con has my vote is becuase in the last round Pro literally made all his arguements in that round void becuase he disobeyed his own rules. If he didn't do that then my vote wouldv'e went to Pro for bringing up Non-religious Marrieges.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
YYWdrmigit2Tied
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Total points awarded:41 
Reasons for voting decision: 1 pt to Con for the last round being used for rebuttals. However beyond that the arguments were lopsided. Con attempted to argue that the government should not sanction the church but that is completely irrelevant as Pro noted because there are non-church marriages. 4:1 Pro
Vote Placed by GMDebater 5 years ago
GMDebater
YYWdrmigit2Tied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: a direct counter bomb to reformedarsenal. YYW stated round 4 would be closing arguments. That does not necessarily imply rebuttald.
Vote Placed by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago
ReformedArsenal
YYWdrmigit2Tied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: FF via breaking his own rules in round 4