The Instigator
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The Contender
Con (against)
1 Points

Gay marriage should be legalized.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/11/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,348 times Debate No: 23543
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




People need to recognize the difference in between what they think is "moral" and what is legal. One of the main things that distinguishes America from many other countries is our set limitations on such things; for instance, the right to practice different religions and traditions. It does not matter if someone finds another citizens beliefs against their own. I think, even though I'm certainly NOT gay, that it is illogical to take the rights from our fellow people to marry, no mater what the relationship is. I feel it would be WRONG to ignore this fact and not fight with them. Doing such would equalize in my mind to be as wrong as standing by in times of crises; such as, the Holocaust or slavery.


I will argue that there are no good reasons that same-sex marriage should be legalized. My opponent did not state this round is solely for acceptance, so I will briefly reply to a few points my opponent made in the first round. I will offer and defend my argument against same-sex marriage in the second round.

1) My opponent argues that there is a difference between what is "moral" and what is "legal." I agree, and since this debate is about what should be "legalized," it is a debate about legal issues, not morality

2) My opponent argues that "it does not matter if someone finds another citizen's beliefs against their own." Agreed. People are allowed to hold different beleifs. This does not mean people are allowed to act on any belief they hold. If someone believed that killing the jews (as Nazi's surely believed) is good, it does not follow that they should be allowed, by law, to practice that belief. There is a difference between privately believing things and publicly acting on those beliefs.

3) My opponent argues that it is "illogical to take the rights from our fellow people to marry," regardless of what kind of "relationship" it is. I agree that everyone has the right to enter a committed relationship with another person of their choosing (same-sex relationships are okay), but I do not agree that everyone has the right to "marriage." Marriage is a legal contract afforded to people by the state. It is not a human right.

4) My opponent compares the imperative (from my opponent's perspective, of course) to legalize same-sex marriage to "times of crises" such as the "Holocaust or slavery." This comparison is patently false, as it it completely reduces the violence to humanity that was slavery and the Holocaust to the relatively harmless issue that is same-sex marriage. Slavery is immoral and impermissible to a degree that denying people access to marriage could never even come close to. The systematic slaughter of jews is hardly comparable to denying homosexuals the right to marry people of the same-sex. That my opponent even considers this comparison apt is, as far as I'm concerned, extremely problematic.

And with that, I turn it over to my opponent. I look forward to his or her arguments in support of same-sex marriage.
Debate Round No. 1


FourTrouble, I would like to begin with an apology. This is my first debate and I struggle to adjust to the routine. Hopefully, I will learn quickly. Although, I must ask for your patients with me, for I am am new to this. I also ask you do not hesitate to inform me of any error I may make. Upon assumption that you will do this for me, I thank you before hand. I also realize that this is to be written in terms of "to my opponent," for the sake of the reader. I find this difficult because I feel as though these should be directed at you. I think the reader will be able to interpret what is being said even with we addressing things to you. I will try to keep it in mind as I write.

1) I greatly agree with your point on weather or not one should ACT on any belief. I see now that my reference to Hitler backfired as I thought it would. I must give you credit for your amazing ability to turn that around. However, I see a distinctive difference between the reference you made as to the unjust killings of Jewish people. I believe that you should be able to act on your beliefs as long as it does not take the rights from others. In the case of the Nazi's, their practice directly took the rights of the Jewish people. This is a great example of limitations gone to far. I find it a great challenge to find balance between the right to your own rights, and to others.

With the case of gay marriage, I do not see the harm in allowing them to LEGALLY bond. By doing this they are not taking others rights, the rights for heterosexuals to marry. They are only taking their own rights, the right for homosexuals to marry.

2) I agree that marriage is a legal contract. I also agree that it IS not a human right. However, I am arguing that it should BECOME a right for the people to marry no matter what the relationship is. Again, I do not see how this effects the rights of others.

3) I understand your concern for my comparison. I feel perhaps you took it the wrong way. I was trying to compare the bystanders, not the actual offenders. Meaning, I meant only that the situations reminded me of how the people unaffected by the matter reacted in other, more sever, cases. And although the comparisons of slavery and the Holocaust are to a far more extreme than the case of legalized same-sex marriage, they have something in common, the unwillingness for someone to fight for fairness when they are the ones gaining from the inequality. I apologize for any misunderstandings.

4) You argue "that there are no good reasons that same-sex marriage should be legalized." Is the happiness of fellow people not a real reason for an action. That alone should be enough to make us at least consider the possibility.

With that said, I eagerly await my opponent to reply.


My opponent agrees that marriage is not a fundamental human right, but argues that it should be a right. Why? My opponent offers no compelling reason to recognize marriage, and particularly same-sex marriage, as a fundamental human right that should be extended to everyone. It is arguable that marriage is a social construct and demanding that it be extended to include homosexual unions is completely arbitrary and groundless.

My opponent argues that the "happiness of fellow people" is a reason to legalize same-sex marriage. According to this logic, there will also be many people who will not be happy if same-sex marriage is legalized (as it offends their deeply held beliefs and values). Many people believe that homosexuality is immoral, and if the state were to condone immoral actions, they would be extremely offended and disturbed. That is precisely why same-sex marriage is a highly contested belief, and claiming that it make some people happy completely neglects the fact that it will make just as large a group of people unhappy.

None of the arguments my opponent has offered thus far provide a compelling reason to legalize gay marriage. To affirm the resolution, my opponent has the burden to prove two things: 1) that the state has an interest in recognizing marriage as a human right; and 2) that this right should be defined to include same-sex unions. As of yet, my opponent has proven neither.

Although my opponent's arguments have been negated, I will continue to argue against same-sex marriage by defending philosopher Jim Spiegel's argument [1]:

1. Heterosexual union is the indispensable means by which humans come into existence and therefore has special social value (indeed, the greatest possible social value because it is the first precondition for society).

2. The indispensable means by which something of special social value can occur itself has special value.

3. What has special value to human society deserves special social recognition and sanction.

4. Civil ordinances which recognize gay marriage as comparable to heterosexual marriage constitute a rejection of the special value of heterosexual unions.

5. To deny the special social value of what has special social value is unjust.

6. Therefore, gay marriage is unjust.

The force of this argument is relatively clear: because heterosexual marriage provides a framework for procreation and child-rearing, it has "special social value" and should therefore be recognized as such by the state. If there state were to recognize same-sex marriage as comparable to heterosexual marriage, it would in effect deny the special social value for which marriage is justified as a legal contract in the first place. Hence, the conclusion: same-sex marriage should not be legalized.

The resolution is negated.

Debate Round No. 2


My opponent believes that "It is arguable that marriage is a social construct and demanding that it be extended to include homosexual unions is completely arbitrary and groundless." I COMPLETELY disagree! Marriage can be looked at in many ways, and yes, it can be considered a "social construct," but it can also be looked at in many different ways. To only look at it as a social construct in the decision making process of legalizing gay marriage is completely unreasonable.
First of all, Even if it is arguable that marriage is a "social construct," that doesn't mean that it isn't anything else. Lets say to one group of people its a sacred religious tradition, to another group it could simply be documentation. Lets say you have been happily married to your partner for 20 years. He/she Falls sick and is unable to speak for him/her self. The 20 year partner can then help with medical decisions instead of a family member he/she no-longer speaks with. Should a gay couple not have the right to this?
Currently speaking marriage is a legal thing, and if it wasn't you would have no right to legally stop it, and because it is, you need to (LEGALLY) equally distribute the right to it.

Secondly, my opponent argues that the happiness it will create for everyone, no matter what the gender is, to be permitted to marry will take the happiness from those who believe they should have more freedoms than others. With this logic I'm sure it took happiness from slave owners to have to treat darker skinned people as though they were actual people. So, I'm sure, seeing as how gays aren't real people, it's fine. I hope my sarcasm was thick enough.

Also, the most common reason for a person to be against gay marriage is because of their religious beliefs. If we were to follow everything the bible tells us we would have a very horrific world. For example; the bible states we shall kill anyone who strikes his or her mother, destroy all inhabitants of any town that worships another god, murder fortune tellers, stone homosexuals and kill the children of sinners. I am not saying that one should not believe in the bible, but that if they can find new meaning to these things, why not in the meaning of homosexuality.

You wish for me to prove that marriage is a human right and that same-sex partnerships should be included. The world is not perfect. We are about as far from that as we can be. That does not mean we shouldn't try. I feel that if it is a right for ANYONE, it should be a right for EVERYONE. And although this is often not the case, we should still attempt to accomplish this. I think in order for me to explain why it is a human right, you are going to have to explain to me why you think it isn't. I feel that with the argument of human rights we are arguing semantics!

1) So, what my opponent is saying about the social value of heterosexual marriage is that heterosexuals, because they have the ability to reproduce, have EARNED the right to the titles Mr. and Mrs. This argument, although logic based, seems absurd to me.
2) With this argument you are stating the only purpose of marriage is the social standing. As I have stated above, marriage can be personally looked at in many different ways. I argue that it is a right to do such things. The state should look at marriage as a persons individual want to bond with another human being, may it be spiritually or legally. Trying to force everyone into agreement onto what marriage is, is a nearly impossible task. That would leave the majority of people unsatisfied with the compromise.
3) It is not as though all human existence would die out if every person wasn't reproducing as much as humanly possible! In fact, some countries have created laws restricting the number children allowed to a family.

My opponent has failed to debate any of my arguments towards the fact that we are all people and we all deserve the right to an opinion on what marriage is.

I would like to apologize for my absence in this discussion. I have had no possible way of sharing these thoughts without an internet connection and hope my opponent will be able to further debate this despite the lack of time.


1) My argument against same-sex marriage makes no reference to religious or the bible.

2) My opponent offers no compelling reason to believe marriage is a fundamental human right.

3) This is a debate about whether gay marriage should be legalized. This means that whatever people might think marriage is, those are opinions and not relevant to this debate. What matters is whether the government has a compelling reason to give its citizens the legal benefits associated with marriage. The compelling reason, I argue, is for the purpose of procreation.

4) My opponent claims I did not respond to his argument that "we are all people andwe all deserve the right to an opinion on what marriage is." Sure, anyone can have an opinion. That doesn't make the opinion true or correct.
Debate Round No. 3



1) My reference to the bible was for the many voters I just KNEW were thinking it.

2) I still stand with what I said about it being semantics. My opponent obviously has a completely different view as to what "human rights" are. And without my opponent's opinion, which I directly asked for, I cannot defend my point. You cannot fight for something if you are unaware of the point. Furthermore, when we were speaking of human rights, I simply said (in order to avoid this whole confusion in the first place) that, "it should BECOME a right for the people to marry no matter what the relationship is." This is my argument.

3) As my opponent has stated the obvious, this is a debate about whether gay marriage should be legalized. My opponent claims that the compelling reason for the government to give its citizens the legal benefits associated with marriage "is for the purpose of procreation." I have already given my thoughts on this and my opponent has chosen to ignore them. We all look at marriage in different ways. This does not mean people should not get equal benefits just because of a difference in opinion.

4) My opponent argues that there is a right and wrong side to an opinion. I disagree. My point to my statement on opinions was to point out the different meanings in marriage. Seeing as how we all look at in different ways, the government should keep that in mind. Why shouldn't a same sax partnership have equal rights to the benefits of marriage?


1) Gays should have equal rights to marriage. Why shouldn't homosexuals have the same rights as heterosexuals? Why shouldn't they both receive legal benefits of marriage, such as; tax, estate building, family, medical, and employment benefits? As I have said throughout this entire debate, we all have rights! Not permitting same-sex marriage is against our own constitution (The Fourteenth Amendment [specifically the Equal protection clause]). Personally I think going against our constitution is, as my opponent would say, "groundless."

2) Gay couples not only properly care for children, but take in large numbers of children who are without any parents at all, thus HELPING the community.

3) Marriage can also be looked at as a way to bond a family; it can enforce security throughout the home. Restricting the rights of same sex marriage would take that security from children raised by homosexuals throughout the U.S.

4) A person does not voluntarily decide their sexual … orientation or their preference, just as a person does not decide their gender, or ethnicity. It is unjust to decide what you can and cannot do based on these things. After all, what kind of "melting pot" would America be if we did not mix ethnicities and culture?

I hope my opponent has not taken offense to anything I have said. I wish my opponent luck, and await his reply.


1) My opponent has provided no argument that marriage is a fundamental human right. Conside the followin: if a nation did not provide government-sanctioned marriage contracts, would it be violating basic human rights? Would this provide a moral and legal justification for war (as an intervention in human rights violations)? This example shows that access to marriage is not a human right, it is an arbitrary legal contract granted to citizens because it fulfills particular state interests.

2) My opponent claims claims that we "all look at marriage in different ways." So what? If I want to marry my dog (because I see marriage as a legal contract between humans and their pets), should I be allowed to? The government is not in the business of redefining marriage in whatever way individual citizens desire, as that would be the equivalent of anarchy.

3) My opponent claims that same-sex partnerships are being unjustly denied the right to marry. As I have already pointed out, this argument presupposes that there is such a right to begin with. Only if there is a right to marry in the first place does this argument work. Because there is no such right to begin with, the notions of Equal Protection and Due Process in the Fourteenth Amendment do not apply.

4) Just because gay couples have the capacity to care for children does not mean they should care for children. Moreoever, my opponent fails to realize that the issue at stake in this debate is a capacity to procreate. Gay couples are unable, by their nature, to create children.

5) Again, my opponent attacks another straw man (last round my opponent attacked religion and the bible when I made no reference to religion or the bible): I clearly stated that same-sex partnerships are allowed. My point is that same-sex marriage should not be legalized, but that gay couples are allowed by law to exist. There is an important difference. Humans have the right to enter a long-term relationship with anyone they choose. They do not have the right to marriage.

6) I extend my arguments from the previous rounds, as none of them have been adequately refuted. Heterosexual marriage provides a framework for procreation, it has "special social value" and should therefore be recognized as such by the state. If the state were to recognize same-sex marriage as comparable to heterosexual marriage, it would in effect deny the special social value of marriage. If the special social value of marriage is denied, then the government has no legally tenable justification for offering its citizens marriage contracts in the first place. If state-sanctioned marriage can be legally justified as a legal contract, it follows that same-sex marriage cannot be legally justified. My opponent has yet to respond to this argument.
Debate Round No. 4


unknownamous forfeited this round.


My opponent has forfeited. Please vote Con.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by unknownamous 4 years ago
I did not mean to forfeit! oops!? Anyways, Great job FourTrouble!
Posted by Sly 4 years ago
I am very impressed at the arguments here. Almost all arguments against gay marriage that I have seen prior have been religious and/or bigoted, yet con has done an excellent job of going to neither of those and still supporting his argument. Good job!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 1dustpelt 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: ff