The Instigator
Maya9
Pro (for)
Losing
28 Points
The Contender
CiRrO
Con (against)
Winning
30 Points

Gay marriage should be legal

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/27/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,711 times Debate No: 4520
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (9)
Votes (18)

 

Maya9

Pro

First, let me say that I am only interested in debating those who are willing to devote sufficient time to complete this debate. If you think you might not be able to post your arguments within the allotted time, please don't bother.

I will argue that gay marriage, the legal union between a same sex couple, should be allowed. Let me state that I also believe that "civil unions" exclusive to homosexual couples are not sufficient. The term "civil union" should either replace "marriage" entirely for both heterosexual and homosexual couples in terms of the actual legal contract (leaving marriage as a religious and philosophical term only), or the term "marriage" should be used for all.

My first argument can be given in the form of a syllogism:

1. A man has the right to marry a woman. A woman has the right to marry a man.
2. Men and women should have equal rights.
3. Therefore, men should have the same right to marry men as women do and women should have the same right to marry women as men do.

The second argument I will give here is a little more in depth. I believe that the 14th amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits any law against gay marriage. The 1st section 14th amendment reads as follows:

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Laws against gay marriage clearly "abridge the privileges" of certain citizens. More specifically, that privilege is marriage and those citizens are those men and women who wish to marry those of the same sex.

I have several other arguments, but I will first allow my opponent to speak.
CiRrO

Con

I'll attack my opponents case then move to crystallize my own.

First off, as clarification, are you defending the federal legalization of homosexuality (?), because by your arguments, that's what I'm assuming you mean.
=================================================================================

"My first argument can be given in the form of a syllogism:

1. A man has the right to marry a woman. A woman has the right to marry a man.
2. Men and women should have equal rights.
3. Therefore, men should have the same right to marry men as women do and women should have the same right to marry women as men do."

My Response: Ok, I agree with the first 2 premises. However, the 3rd is not linked what so ever to the first 2. "Therefore, men should have the same right to marry men as women do and women should have the same right to marry women as men do." According to the Syllogism, men and women should have the same rights. But then the syllogistic conclusion is that gay marriage is allowed. My opponent has no link. Both men and women have the same rights; to marry a person of the opposite gender. Looking at the first 2 lines, all my opponent tries to get at is equal protection for men and women. Now, my opponent will try and turn the syllogism to make it say that GAY men and women should have the same rights. However, think this through. THEY DO. Just because a man "feels" like marrying another man doesn't make it an explicit right. Everyone has the same rights, marrying a member of the opposite gender. The gays have a right to exercise this (Even if they may not feel like it.)

"The second argument I will give here is a little more in depth. I believe that the 14th amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits any law against gay marriage. The 1st section 14th amendment reads as follows:

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Laws against gay marriage clearly "abridge the privileges" of certain citizens. More specifically, that privilege is marriage and those citizens are those men and women who wish to marry those of the same sex."

My Response: Ok, the 14 amendment. My opponent is looking specifically at the "equal protection clause". This is all well and good, however my opponent misses one key issue. The Federal Government has NO RIGHT to determine what marriage is. That power, is given specifically to the States. By legalizing gay marriage federally, then the federal government is overstepping there power and pushing off the balance between Federal and State. Also, looking a little deeper into the issue. The Equal Protection Clause quotes: "person". "Couples" don't have rights. "Couples" don't actually exist—a couple is just an abstract pairing of two individuals, who each have individual rights. And as we've seen, each individual has the same rights, regardless of how those individuals are arbitrarily grouped into different pairs. Man with women, man with man, etc.
===============================================================================
My Case:

Contention I. Legalizing Gay Marriage on the Federal Level undermines State power.

As I have previously brought up in the rebuttal, legalizing gay marriage undermines state power. No where in the Constitution does the right of marriage belong to the Supreme Court, Congress or the Executive Branch. That power belongs to the state, according to the framers of the Constitution. Furthermore, making a federal law nullifies certain state constitutions, like Virginia, that define marriage between a man and a women. The balance must be kept, the state cannot lose a power its had for centuries. Gay Marriage is fine, if legalized on the state level. However, my opponent by claiming the 14th Amendment, is saying that it must be federal.

*I reserve the right to add my remaining arguments in the next round.*

Thank you ladies and gentlemen.
Debate Round No. 1
Maya9

Pro

Concerning your request for clarification, I am not saying that the federal government should make it explicitly legal for homosexual couples to marry. That is not what governments generally do. They don't say what is legal, just what is illegal. My argument is that not only should the federal government never amend the Constitution to bar homosexual couples from marrying, but that it is furthermore unconstitutional, unjust, and illogical for states to make gay marriage illegal or otherwise "define" marriage as between individuals of the opposite sex.

I find it hard to understand how you could not see the connection in my syllogism. It is very simple. Men have the right to marry women, and women have the right to marry men. If you agree that men and women should have equal rights, it logically follows that men should have the right to marry men and women to marry women. This simply gives men and women the same rights. You try to say that the right is given to both men and women to marry individuals of the opposite sex. It seems to me that that interpretation is quite full of problems. What about transgender individuals, both pre-op and post-op? How exactly does the government define sex? Is it defined by sex chromosomes, reproductive organs, or what the individual feels his/her sex is?

I realize that the 10th amendment states clearly that powers not specified by the Constitution as reserved for the federal government are for the states. I am not disputing this. States can make laws independently of the federal government. However, they can't make laws that are in violation of the United States Constitution. But by baning gay marriage outright, states have done just that. They are abridging specfic privileges of specific individuals (not couples), based solely on sexual orientation.

Your first contention doesn't actually address my argument. As I said, I am not looking for the federal government to make a law saying that gay marriage is legal. I think that the federal government should just enforce the Constitution and keep states from making it illegal.

I was actually looking for my opponent to make arguments as to why gay marriage to be specifically ILLEGAL.
CiRrO

Con

I'll attack my opponents case then move to crystallize my own.

"Concerning your request for clarification, I am not saying that the federal government should make it explicitly legal for homosexual couples to marry. That is not what governments generally do. They don't say what is legal, just what is illegal."

My Response: This is totally off base. My opponent says that the government only says what is illegal, not legal. It works both ways, if something is illegal, most the time the opposite of illegality is legality. And vice versa.

"My argument is that not only should the federal government never amend the Constitution to bar homosexual couples from marrying, but that it is furthermore unconstitutional, unjust, and illogical for states to make gay marriage illegal or otherwise "define" marriage as between individuals of the opposite sex."

My Response: I have 2 response: 1) Again, it's the decision of the state or the populous. Thats where the power lies. According to a poll taken by the Ny Times, 75% of Americans oppose gay marriage. That says something. The example I gave, Virginia already has a marriage clause in their constitution. Furthermore, if the federal government interferes they are throwing off the balance of power.However more importantly 2) My opponent never warrants the claim. He has just an assertion. Why is it unjust and illogical for states to make a clause defining marriage as heterosexual. Remember, culture comes into play too. My opponent tries to warrant this by claiming the 14th Amendment. However looking back to my round 1, I have shot down that argument and it has gone responded by my opponent. So you can extend that argument. Since my opponent has no warrant for his claim, then you can't look at his assertion.

"I find it hard to understand how you could not see the connection in my syllogism. It is very simple. Men have the right to marry women, and women have the right to marry men. If you agree that men and women should have equal rights, it logically follows that men should have the right to marry men and women to marry women. This simply gives men and women the same rights. You try to say that the right is given to both men and women to marry individuals of the opposite sex. It seems to me that that interpretation is quite full of problems."

My Response: My opponent never explains how it makes sense. My opponent jumps from simple rights to then gay rights. I have already explained that they have rights they can both marry the opposite sex. My opponent arrives at a conclusion, again with no warrant.

"What about transgender individuals, both pre-op and post-op? How exactly does the government define sex? Is it defined by sex chromosomes, reproductive organs, or what the individual feels his/her sex is?"

My Response: I have 3 responses. 1) The government doesn't define sex, it defines what MARRIAGE is. 2) My opponent seems to feel that since it's natural/of what he or she feels, then the government must protect it. This is totally false. If I was naturally born a violent person, does that mean that I get privileges from the government? 3) Ok, what about polygamists, should they get protection too. What about incest (which is a sexual disorder, probably linked to genes) should that be legal too. My opponents arguments lead to slippery slopes. If the government, according to my opponent, does not have the right to define marriage as between a man and women, then groups the above will look for "Protection" as well.

"I realize that the 10th amendment states clearly that powers not specified by the Constitution as reserved for the federal government are for the states. I am not disputing this. States can make laws independently of the federal government. However, they can't make laws that are in violation of the United States Constitution. But by baning gay marriage outright, states have done just that. They are abridging specfic privileges of specific individuals (not couples), based solely on sexual orientation."

My Response: My opponent doesn't seem to understand. Just link my attack response against his 14th amendment argument (Round 1).

"I was actually looking for my opponent to make arguments as to why gay marriage to be specifically ILLEGAL."

My Response: You did not put that in the topic, and you didn't define that in your first round. Therefore, as your contender I have a right to fix any gaps in the debate. I have obviously refuted/negated the topic of the legalization of gay marriage, because as your 1st round implies, as using the 14th Amendment, you are arguing for the federal government to: A) Ban states from making their own decisions on marriage (Thats why I use my state power argument) B)Making it legal everywhere, in every state. Therefore, my contention stands and it has gone un-refuted.
===============================================================================

Extension:

1) Extend my rebuttal arguments, since he failed to address them.
2) Extend my contention 1
Debate Round No. 2
Maya9

Pro

"My Response: My opponent never explains how it makes sense. My opponent jumps from simple rights to then gay rights. I have already explained that they have rights they can both marry the opposite sex. My opponent arrives at a conclusion, again with no warrant."

I have already explained why defining current rights regarding marriage as both sexes having the right to marry members of the opposite sex (as opposed to a man having the right to marry a woman and a woman having the right to marry a man) is insufficient. One has to define and then get everyone to agree upon what makes a man a man and a woman a woman in order to enforce the idea of an opposite sex.

"My Response: I have 3 responses. 1) The government doesn't define sex, it defines what MARRIAGE is. 2) My opponent seems to feel that since it's natural/of what he or she feels, then the government must protect it. This is totally false. If I was naturally born a violent person, does that mean that I get privileges from the government? 3) Ok, what about polygamists, should they get protection too. What about incest (which is a sexual disorder, probably linked to genes) should that be legal too. My opponents arguments lead to slippery slopes. If the government, according to my opponent, does not have the right to define marriage as between a man and women, then groups the above will look for "Protection" as well."

Number 2 is quite a leap. I never said anything of the sort. I was merely trying to get you to define sex. Furthermore, you are getting dangerously close to an appeal to emotion. Polygamy and incest are not the topics of debate.

Also, I only used the word "privileges" because that was the word used in the Constitution. We are really talking about rights.

I just don't understand how you can fail to see that the 14th amendment applies here. I'll make it a syllogism for you:

1. The 14th amendment prevents states from abridging the privileges of citizens.
2. Marriages is one of the aforementioned privileges.
3. Laws banning gay marriage abridge that privilege and are therefore unconstitutional.

What is so hard to understand?
CiRrO

Con

"I have already explained why defining current rights regarding marriage as both sexes having the right to marry members of the opposite sex (as opposed to a man having the right to marry a woman and a woman having the right to marry a man) is insufficient. One has to define and then get everyone to agree upon what makes a man a man and a woman a woman in order to enforce the idea of an opposite sex."

My Response: Ok, my opponent makes a hidden contradiction with this statement. He said that something [government] must get everyone to agree, what makes a man a man and what makes a women a women. Essentially he is saying that this will answer the marriage question. First, he is disregarding culture as a factor in this. Secondly, he makes the assumption that sex has to do with marriage. BINGO. He has found it. The role of marriage is not simply being in love with each other. Its to raise a family, which would be put into society. Man with man and women with women don't reap natural children. It undermines the natural law of marriage. I.e. Man + Women = Children. Now, coming to the end of my response. Link this to my opponents argument. He wants someway of defining sex and correlating it with marriage. My above formula does. Therefore, marriage is between a man and women. Thats how the government must define it.

"Number 2 is quite a leap. I never said anything of the sort. I was merely trying to get you to define sex. Furthermore, you are getting dangerously close to an appeal to emotion. Polygamy and incest are not the topics of debate."

My Response: He ignores #1, so extend this. He then says #2 is a leap. He doesn't get my argument then. If my opponent defines marriage based on sexual orientation, which according to him is a natural process, then if im born naturally violent, then the government must make special rights for me as well (Universalize). He then says I'm using emotion for my 3rd response. Not at all, again I'm universalizing my opponents action. I.e. legalizing gay marriage. As I have previously said, incest is a sexual disorder. Therefore, if you universalize my opponents action, the government must make provisions/rights/privileges to them as well.

"I just don't understand how you can fail to see that the 14th amendment applies here. I'll make it a syllogism for you:

1. The 14th amendment prevents states from abridging the privileges of citizens.
2. Marriages is one of the aforementioned privileges.
3. Laws banning gay marriage abridge that privilege and are therefore unconstitutional."

My Response: You have a faulty syllogism. You try to use privileges and rights as the same thing. They are different.

[Define - Privilege]
1. a special advantage or immunity or benefit not enjoyed by all
2. prerogative

[Define - Right]
1. A legal or moral entitlement (Some arbitrary other inalienable)

Now, going back to my response. Looking at these definitions. A privilege is an advantage given to SOME not all. On the contrary a right is. Therefore, my opponent uses a messed up syllogism. However, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and I'll pretend he used right. Now, according to the 14th Amendment, no one shall be denied rights, without due process of law. Ok, 2 thing wrong here. A) Look back to my universalize argument. If marriage is a right, then polygamists, incestuous people, etc. also have the right as well. B) The 14th Amendment, also has due process of law. According to British Common Law, i.e. the Basis for US law, Due Process is the Court's decision, or populous vote. Therefore, leave it up to the State courts, or have a vote. If done by vote, the majority is against gay marriage. *Refer to stat in previous round* Now, I theorize that marriage is NOT a right, but as my opponent said, a privilege. Privileges are given if some good is reaped from it. This would be my marriage formula. Man + Women = Family (If wanted). MARRIAGE IS NOT A RIGHT, ITS A PRIVILEGE. Therefore, civil unions shall be kept and used instead of gay marriage.
==============================================================================
Negative Back Up Plan:

If, we go on my opponents idea of a federal definition of marriage, then my plan would be this:

A) Marriage: Heterosexual Institution
B) Gay Marriage is therefore illegal
C) Civil Unions shall be kept

If, we go on my 1st round idea, i.e. state power, then my plan would be:

A) Marriage: Define by the State
B) Gay Marriage is NOT DEFINED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
C) States can keep civil unions is desired
===============================================================================

Thank you ladies and gentlemen.
Debate Round No. 3
Maya9

Pro

"My Response: Ok, my opponent makes a hidden contradiction with this statement. He said that something [government] must get everyone to agree, what makes a man a man and what makes a women a women. Essentially he is saying that this will answer the marriage question. First, he is disregarding culture as a factor in this. Secondly, he makes the assumption that sex has to do with marriage. BINGO. He has found it. The role of marriage is not simply being in love with each other. Its to raise a family, which would be put into society. Man with man and women with women don't reap natural children. It undermines the natural law of marriage. I.e. Man + Women = Children. Now, coming to the end of my response. Link this to my opponents argument. He wants someway of defining sex and correlating it with marriage. My above formula does. Therefore, marriage is between a man and women. Thats how the government must define it."

Does that mean that heterosexual couples unable or unwilling to have children should not be allowed to marry?

"My Response: He ignores #1, so extend this. He then says #2 is a leap. He doesn't get my argument then. If my opponent defines marriage based on sexual orientation, which according to him is a natural process, then if im born naturally violent, then the government must make special rights for me as well (Universalize). He then says I'm using emotion for my 3rd response. Not at all, again I'm universalizing my opponents action. I.e. legalizing gay marriage. As I have previously said, incest is a sexual disorder. Therefore, if you universalize my opponents action, the government must make provisions/rights/privileges to them as well."

Marriage isn't a privilege. A privilege has to be earned. One is given the right to marry along with the right to make other legal contracts. I use the word "privilege" because that is the word used in the Constitution. From the way it is use, it can be fairly assumed that they meant rights. If it was a privilege, it wouldn't be bestowed upon all citizens.
CiRrO

Con

My opponent responded to a major attack of mine by this: "Does that mean that heterosexual couples unable or unwilling to have children should not be allowed to marry?"

My Response: My opponent missed my parentheses that says: Man + Women = Family (If wanted). however more in depth my opponent misses 2 things: A) The natural order is yes, making a family. However sometimes that doesn't happen. However the couple must be open to the idea of children. Therefore, marriage is still between a man and women because that's what makes children. B) Not everyone wants children, they have a right. However the institution says that may be willing if the time comes.

"Marriage isn't a privilege. A privilege has to be earned. One is given the right to marry along with the right to make other legal contracts. I use the word "privilege" because that is the word used in the Constitution. From the way it is use, it can be fairly assumed that they meant rights. If it was a privilege, it wouldn't be bestowed upon all citizens."

My Response: Marriage is indeed a privilege. Not everyone has the right to marry, like my polygamy example (which has gone unrefuted). This is the dilemma, that's why the government should either make the states decide or let the federal make a heterosexual clause. My opponent obviously doesn't know marriage laws, because he says that if it was a privilege it would be given to all citizens. It is and it isnt. If you are a man and women and you want to marry sure. If your lets says, a polygamists, or in love with your daughter, no you cant marry.
===============================================================================
Voting Issues:

1) My opponent dropped his major argument, which I have also successfully refuted. (14th Amendment Argument)
2) Extend my point about polygamy and incest.
3) My opponent has failed to affirm the resolution on the fact that I have established the fact that marriage is indeed a privilege not a right.
4) My opponent failed to explain, or refute, my point about how natural doesn't make rights per say.
5) Essentially, all my points can be extended while my opponent did adequately provide proof for the affirmation the resolution.

I urge you vote con.

Thank you ladies and gentleman.
Debate Round No. 4
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Tatarize 8 years ago
Tatarize
The tools are the same. But your arguments are quite weak. Marriage is a right. It is established as such in several cases. It falls under the 9th amendment. The government has no duty, nor should, give privileges to people; the government should treat everybody equally.

You made similar arguments which were weaker and not defended. Your opponent made dismissive claims which were not attacked as a clear sign that he had no case. The claims he made should have been used to show exactly how weak his claims were rather than to be dropped and appear to be valid rebuttals.

Yes. You hinted at and suggested a number of the same arguments as my arguments were largely improved versions of your arguments. However my main point is not that the arguments were bad but rather that you did a really bad job at arguing them. You should have pointed out the mistakes he made, highlighted them and use them as an argument as to how bad your opponents arguments are. He falls back to states rights? States rights? That's all he has. You know another time states rights were invoked concerning marriage... the interracial marriage debates. If he has any reason which could conceivable be valid it must not be a copy and pasted versions of those same bad hateful arguments. Make no mistake. This is bigotry pure and simple. Destroy the fabric of society! Tramples state rights! Next thing we know God wouldn't want gays to marry because they were put on different conte... Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve... -- Honestly, this is the set of arguments you're dealing with and you couldn't rip them to shreds. Hah! Swounds!

The California Supreme Court struck down the ban. I said, "California currently has legalized gay marriage and rightly so." -- This is true. You need not pass a law to make something legal. Striking down the law that made it illegal would do just as well.
Posted by Maya9 8 years ago
Maya9
I did a poor job? I used exactly the same arguments you just used!

States don't have the right to "abridge the privileges" (words I only used because those were the words used in the Constitution) or deny rights to citizens.

A person has the right to marry a female, but only if said person is male.

You just restated my arguments after accusing me of doing a bad job.

By the way, California didn't legalize gay marriage. The Supreme Court struck down a ban making it illegal for homosexual couples to marry. If a law had to be made saying gay marriage is legal, additional laws would have to be made stating all the other marriages that were legal.
Posted by Xera 8 years ago
Xera
Happy to anytime CIRro. I get to take my ex to court today, so will know how much time I can devote to a good debate after that.
Posted by Tatarize 8 years ago
Tatarize
Maya just did a poor job arguing. I sound pretty egotistical but I would'a' wiped the floor with CiRrO. The arguments tended to have easy responses that were let to sit there.

"Legalizing gay marriage undermines states rights!"

States don't have the right to deny rights to the citizenry. Saying that marriage is not included within the enumeration of rights of the constitution shall not, by the 9th, amendment be construed to deny that citizens have a right to marriage. The Supreme Court has found in Loving v. Virgina and other cases that there is a right to marriage. Further, nothing about the premise demands that the legalization of gay marriage must occur at the federal level. There is no federal law against interracial marriage rather a judgment that such a law would violate the rights of the people. California currently has legalized gay marriage and rightly so.

Then even the arguments pro had right were attacked on stupid grounds and just let slip by. I have the right to marry the women of my dreams, but if I were female I wouldn't have that right? I would be forced, by the state, to either marry nobody or somebody I wasn't attracted to.

Pro just did a really really bad job.
Posted by CiRrO 8 years ago
CiRrO
Thank you Xera. Maybe on a topic me and you could have a go?
Posted by Xera 8 years ago
Xera
This is a very well thought out and executed debate. In latter rounds Pro became a bit more focused on one or two issues, ignoring others, which is why I voted Con, but you both did an admiral job.
Posted by Maya9 8 years ago
Maya9
I'd be glad to debate you on that subject.
Posted by CiRrO 8 years ago
CiRrO
Your abortion debate with that girl was terrible (Not you specifically, the debate in general), u mind if I challenge you on that issue?
Posted by CiRrO 8 years ago
CiRrO
This has been a very good debate so far, gl maya.
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Vote Placed by donald.keller 3 years ago
donald.keller
Maya9CiRrOTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Everything was pretty equal... I felt Con simply had a better argument.
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JBlake
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