The Instigator
Sketchy
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
thett3
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points

Gay marriage should be legalized

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/29/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,266 times Debate No: 18095
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (10)
Votes (4)

 

Sketchy

Pro

The first round will be for acceptance/introductions and the following 3 rounds will be the debate.

Definitions:

Gay Marriage - the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage

Legalize - to give legal validity or sanction to


If you would like a finite voting period or a different amount of rounds/characters simply ask in the comments section and I'll change it. This is my first time initiating a debate, so if I missed anything, please tell me. Thank you!
thett3

Con

I accept. Good luck.
Debate Round No. 1
Sketchy

Pro

I appreciate your quick acceptance of my debate. My arguments for the legalization of gay marriage all pretty much all stem from our freedoms as Americans.

1. Equality
I believe that it is very prejudiced to allow one group of people to marry and not allow another group. As years have gone by, we as a society have begun to open up our eyes to providing equality to all. In 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution was adopted, freeing all of the slaves. The Fourteenth Amendment was adopted in 1868 and ensured that all people born or naturalized in the United States were full citizens and that no State shall make or enforce any law which abridges the rights of any citizen. The Fifteenth Amendment ensured that all men had the right to vote. The Nineteenth Amendment ensured all citizens had the right to vote, no matter race, color, or sex. We continue to pass laws making sure that the government doesn’t favor and hold one group to a higher standard than any other person. (A) Marriage has many financial, medical, employment, and housing benefits (B) and denying these to homosexuals gives them a fairly large handicap. Why are homosexuals being punished for something that wasn’t even their choice?

2. Choice or Genetic?

Many people still believe that being gay, bisexual, transgender, etc. is a choice, despite the many articles and studies showing the contrary. Homosexuality has been proven in all mammal species (1). Do other mammals choose to be gay? Between 10-13% of men have had homosexual relations at least once in their life. (2)(3)(4) I know this may verge on ad populum, but why would 10% of men admit to having homosexual relations if it was a choice? Gays are constantly being harassed and bullied, sometimes to the point of suicide. Did the 31% of gay children who have been threatened or injured at school just choose to be bullied? (5)

I will end this argument on a more humorous note with this forum post I found. It pretty well shows how silly some of the common arguments are against gay marriage. http://www.blameitonthevoices.com...


A. The Constitution of the USA
B. http://www.nolo.com...

(0) - http://www.danaanpress.com...

(1) - http://www.guardian.co.uk...

(2) - http://www.springerlink.com...

(3) http://www.aftenposten.no...

(4) http://www.nmha.org...

thett3

Con

Thank you for your compelling thoughts sketchy. Also, if you could do me a favor, and wait as long as possible to post your next round (I will be at school tomorrow) I would apprciate that very much to avoid the possibility of a forfeit. I will be defending my position in this debate.

My official position: If the issue of gay marriage truly was one of equality, my position would be vastly different. I do not view it as such, however. There are questions that must be answered before we consider any position on this very complex issue. I will answer them to the best of my ability. I will also defend Jim Spiegels secular argument against gay marriage[1].

Why should marriage be recognized?

For such a seemingly simple concept, straight-foward concept, marriage certainly attracts an absurd amount of controversy. Why should the state recognize marriage at all? Truly, that the government gives legal benefits to certain couples is a strange concept to wrap ones mind around. Heterosexual couples deserve legal recognition because they bring unique benefits that are only intrinsic to heterosexual relationships. Research constistently shows[2][3] that the best way to raise a child is by a traditional mother and father. Societies that do not raise healthy children do not succeed. For this reason alone, same sex relationships ought not be recognized as equal because they are not of equal value. While I would much prefer a child to be raised with a gay couple than an orphanage, it is even more preferable for the child to be raised by a married mother and father. Since the research shows that a married mother and father are, on average, better for the child it is unjust to recognize same and opposite sex relationships as equal when they are not of equal value to society.

Procreation is also a unique benefit. While it is true that some heterosexual couples cannot or will not procreate, the fact is that procreation (which is needed for any society to survive) is principally possible in heterosexual relationships. This ability is enourmously beneficial to society, and since as a rule heterosexual couples can procreate, the state is jsutified in legistlating in favor of said rule.

Essentially, the reason that opposite sex relationships deserve unique protection and recognition is because the provide unique benefits. My Opponent must show the value of homosexual relationships to be equal of heterosexual ones in order to justify equal recognition.

What about equality?

Same sex marriage proponents (including my Opponent) often argue that since marriage is a right, we cannot exclude any individuals from it. Unfortunately, this argument falls because it misses the fundamental point that before any denial of rights can be claimed, it must be established what the right is to begin with. Traditionally, marriage is solely between a man and a woman. The burden of proof is solidly on my Opponent, because he is advocating a change in the status quo and historical precedent. What grounds then, does the government exclude homosexual relationships from marriage? Indeed a mere three, perhaps four decades ago, the idea of a same sex marriage would be considered absolutely absurd! Marriage is between a man and a woman, and always has been-why change a good thing? We must consider, like my first point mentions, why such relationships ought to be recognized at all. The state has every right to deny equal recognition to a relationship that is not equal. You certainly do not see incestuous marriage being a common issue-it's simply out of the question. It is widely known that said relationships are not of equal value to currently recognized marriages.

Jim Spiegel's argument

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 only premise I see that is not self explanatory would be premise four. A rejection is constituted in the fact that homosexual relationships are on balance of lesser value to heterosexual ones. Imagine if the military awarded every soldier in the army a citation for bravery. Wouldn't that constitute a rejection of the bravery of those who actually earned it? Likewise, homosexual relationships do not, and cannot, have the same value as opposite sex ones. Just like a brave soldier is on balance of more value than a cowardly one, it is unjust to not recognize him as such.

My Opponents argument about equality has already been refuted. His second contention does not address the issue. Who cares if it's not a choice?

Sources:

1. http://wisdomandfollyblog.com...
2. http://scholarship.law.wm.edu...
3. http://www.citizenlink.com...

Debate Round No. 2
Sketchy

Pro


Sorry for making the time for each round so short, but I’m sort of impatient and I don’t like sometimes waiting days for people to post. If you ever think you have to miss a round, just message me and we can work it out. Also, if I ever come off as snarky it’s nothing personal, it’s just how I tend to debate.



First, I’ll deconstruct Jim Spiegel’s argument.



  1. Heterosexual union is by far the most common method, but Spiegel seems to forget about surrogate mothers and artificial insemination. Both can, and have created humans before.

  2. It isn’t the indispensable way, so it doesn’t have special social value. Also, I’m curious what special social value is defined as.

  3. This is where I completely disagree. Since special is synonymous with better than usual, that means that according to you, anyone who is better than the norm should get special permission. If my driving skills are better than normal, does that mean I don’t have to follow the speed limit?

  4. I think now I have to define value. Value = relative worth, merit, or importance. You clarified down below that homosexual relationships have less value, and thus less importance or worth than heterosexual relationships. Calling one group of people more important than another and that they deserve better treatment is the definition of elitism, and is exactly what happened prior to the civil rights movement.

  5. I had to reread this one several times, and I still don’t really understand it. Are you saying that it’s morally wrong to acknowledge that something has importance? The more I think about it the more confused I get.

  6. Q.E.D.? Not really.



Now onto your specific arguments:



Why should a marriage be recognized? – Rebuttal


You were almost onto something when you were questioning why the state even recognized marriage, but I knew it was too good to be true. It doesn’t matter how many unique benefits someone brings to society, they shouldn’t get special treatment from it. The President doesn’t get tax cuts or extra options for estate trusts and neither should some couples. I checked out your two websites, and I couldn’t find anything specifically damaging to same-sex couples. I would like to make it clear that I do not have to prove same-sex couples have the right to adopt or have children for this debate. You state that societies that don’t raise healthy children do not succeed, but I would like to remind you that only about 12% of men have had homosexual relations. This includes men who have just had gay sex once, and not all of them will necessarily marry another gay man. A small population like this won’t destroy a society, and there are much worse things to worry about for children than gay parents. Divorce is a huge issue that affects around 41% of parents. (1) This dramatically increases the rate of psychological and behavioral problems, and the child is more likely to be depressed later in life. (2) Are we going to ban divorces anytime soon? Probably not. “While I would much prefer a child to be raised with a gay couple than an orphanage, it is even more preferable for the child to be raised by a married mother and father.” But would you rather a child be adopted by a gay couple, or a single homosexual father or mother?


“Procreation is also a unique benefit. While it is true that some heterosexual couples cannot or will not procreate, the fact is that procreation (which is needed for any society to survive) is principally possible in heterosexual relationships. This ability is enourmously beneficial to society, and since as a rule heterosexual couples can procreate, the state is jsutified in legistlating in favor of said rule“. The government doesn’t care about how many children you have, and allowing gays to marry won’t affect procreation at all. When you think about it, there are two options. Allow homosexuals to marry, and they will probably not have as many children as heterosexuals, or don’t allow homosexuals to marry, and they will probably not have children. Gays won’t just become straight because the government denies them the right to get married.


What about equality?


I would be more than happy to debate rights, whether we are born with them, if they change with time, etc. but I think that is going a little off-topic. “Traditionally, marriage is solely between a man and a woman.” Traditionally, schools were segregated by race. Traditionally, Africans were kidnapped and forced into slavery. See where I’m going with this? I agree that I have the burden of proof, and my main goal is to show that there should be a change in the status quo. “The state has every right to deny equal recognition to a relationship that is not equal.” I don’t see why it isn’t equal. “You certainly do not see incestuous marriage being a common issue-it’s simply out of the question.” Incestuous marriage is kind of an oxymoron, because the definition of incest is sexual intercourse between persons so closely related that they are forbidden by law to marry. So no matter what, the government can’t make incestuous marriage legal, due to the word’s definition. I do believe however, that any two adults that can sign a legal document and both agree should be allowed to marry. Sure it’s extreme, but I think people should have as much freedom and liberty as possible.


One thing I noticed…


One of Con’s main arguments is that heterosexuals can have children and homosexuals cannot. This isn’t necessarily true, but even if it was, it doesn’t mean that heterosexual relationships are better. To put it bluntly, we don’t need a bigger population. The Earth’s population is growing very quickly, especially in developing countries, and it is going to get very crowded soon. America doesn’t need a bigger population. This is a pretty big part of my rebuttal, so I’ll reiterate. America does not need a bigger population.


“Who cares if it’s not a choice?” It’s a big deal, and it destroys your soldier analogy. One soldier chose to be cowardly, and another chose to be brave. The brave soldier was awarded for his brave choice. I don’t believe Con refuted my arguments, so I’ll extend them onto the next round.


thett3

Con


Thanks again Sketchy. Judges before voting on this round, please read the comments section. My Opponent has gracefully agreed via PM that round three can be the last round in this debate, so please excuse my likely forfeit of round four.





Now I will explain why a Con ballot is needed in this debate.





=Defense of Spiegel’s argument=



Premise one:



My Opponent has argued that artificial insemination and surrogate mothers prove this premise false. However he fails to understand that these births are still the result of a heterosexual union, I.E. a union of sperm and egg. Heterosexual unions have a special value to society, and since opposite sex relationships are the only relationships in which this ability is intrinsic, this premise stands.



Premise two:



My Opponent again argues that it is not the indispensible way, however it is. Procreation cannot occur outside of a heterosexual union (sperm and egg). Procreation is the first pre-condition for the continuation of a society, and since opposite couples are the only relationship in which this ability is principally possible, they are of more value that other relationship kinds. The definition of special social value lies in the phrase itself, anything that has value to society and is special (IE unique). Heterosexual couples bring unique benefits, homosexual ones do not.



Premise three:



Pro actually makes a very valid objection here. Unfortunately, his driving analogy falls for a few reasons.



1. His ability to drive well is already rewarded, IE the benefit of a drivers license. TURN: If one type of relationship does not have the same intrinsic value as another type, it is wrong to recognize them as such. Likewise, a bad driver is intrinsically of less value on the road as an average driver, and should not be awarded a drivers license, just like gay couples should not be awarded marriage licenses.



2. His definition of special as better than the norm does not fit the context of the argument. A definition of special that would better fir the context would be unique. Heterosexual unions provide unique benefits to society, homosexual ones do not.



Premise four:



My Opponent attempts to link the civil rights movement with gay marriage. Sadly, he has provided no warrant for this claim. Blacks are equal to whites because race is irrelevant to a person’s functionality society, not to mention that blacks were denied many rights, where as homosexuals are only denied the “right” to marry (and I have already shown this debate to not be about equality). The benefits the government provides to married couples stem from the unique benefits they provide (like being the best way to raise a child), which are not provided by homosexual couples and thus the state is justified in denying equal benefits to relationships which are principally unequal. Again, a rejection is constituted because it is recognizing two types of relationships as being of equal value, when I have shown that they are not.



Premise five:



Pro misunderstands this premise. It is morally wrong to deny the value of that which has value.



Why the recognition?



Pro makes a weak objection to this argument, saying “It doesn’t matter how many unique benefits someone brings to society, they shouldn’t get special treatment from it.” Umm what? They very well should and do get special treatment based on their merit-that’s how society works. A more valuable employee gets paid more than a less valuable one. His president analogy can be turned to my side, because the president’s life is extremely important and thus justifies the special protection provided to him. Besides, this objection addresses individuals, not type. Heterosexual relationships are more valuable on balance than homosexual once, so justice demands that they are not recognized as equal. He also cites the relatively low number of homosexual men in society, but this has absolutely no bearing on the argument at hand. Who cares? He states “a small population like this won’t destroy society.” I agree, homosexuals will not destroy society. This is, however, non topical. The best way to raise a child is a married mother and father, a fact Pro has not disputed. Pro argues that divorce is more harmful on children than homosexual parenting. Ok? This supports my side. A divorced relationship is, on balance, of lesser value than a married relationship which explains why marriage benefits are not conferred to divorced relationships. As to whether a single parent is worse for a child than two homosexual ones, who cares? The fact of the matter is that neither of them are raise children as effectively as heterosexual marriages so they ought not be recognized as such.



The government doesn’t care about how many children you have, and allowing gays to marry won’t affect procreation at all.



Actually, since procreation is a precondition to society the government has a vested interest in children. Look to history for an example, when birth rates fall below the replacement rate (as has happened in the U.S. in recent years) government policy begins to encourage procreation. Nowhere have I argued that allowing gays to get married will lessen procreation, instead my argument was that they do not provide the procreative benefits and should not be given equal benefits.



Equality?



Pro tries, and fails, to link the rejection of same sex marriage to racial discrimination. Fortunately, the denial of same sex marriage is not based on an arbitrary thing like skin color, it’s based on what relationships are of maximum value and which are not. So his baseless claim falls.



“So no matter what, the government can’t make incestuous marriage legal, due to the word’s definition” TURN: Marriage is defined as “The formal union of a man and a woman, typically recognized by law, by which they become husband and wife”. By the long term definition of the word, homosexuals can’t marry.





Pros final attempt at rebuttal is that we do not need a bigger population. This however, fails to address the argument that procreation is still a needed precondition for society, so procreative type relationships are needed and must be granted the benefits they deserve.





Pro argues that homosexuality not being a choice voids my solider analogy because bravery/cowardice is a choice. First of all, people tend to be either brave or cowardly, often it is not something that can be chosen. Regardless, if we change it to a strong soldier compared to a weak one, or a large solider to a small one, you can see how the analogy stands.





In conclusion:



I have shown heterosexual unions to have a special value that cannot be duplicated by homosexual unions. My opponent failed to refute this. My Opponents second contention does not pertain to the debate, and his arguments on equality have already been answered-it is not a matter of equality. I respectfully urge you to vote Con.



END OF DEBATE




Debate Round No. 3
Sketchy

Pro

End of debate.
thett3

Con

Thank you so much for your courtesy in agreeing to end this early. I hope you stay on this site for a long time, we can always use good debaters.
Debate Round No. 4
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Contradiction 2 years ago
Contradiction
Idiotic, eh?
Posted by kohai 2 years ago
kohai
I agree with yyw. It is amazing speigle's idiotic argument
Posted by YYW 2 years ago
YYW
Thett, nothing personal but Spiegel's argument get's old.
Posted by thett3 2 years ago
thett3
**NOTE, I will almost certainly miss the fourth round due to other obligations (school) Sketchy has gracefully agreed to allow round 3 to be the last round in this debate, so please disregard round 4 when judging.
Posted by thett3 2 years ago
thett3
I'll post my argument towards the end of my time, to minimize the risk of a forfeit.
Posted by thett3 2 years ago
thett3
Thank you. It probably would've been prudent of me to read th comments before accepting.. I'm sorry.
Posted by freedomsquared 2 years ago
freedomsquared
Damn, oh well, good luck thett3.
Posted by freedomsquared 2 years ago
freedomsquared
Accept my friend request so I can discuss in PM and make sure you're ok with what I'd do.
Posted by Sketchy 2 years ago
Sketchy
I wouldn't really consider that semantics...I'm curious where you're going with this.
Posted by freedomsquared 2 years ago
freedomsquared
Would you consider it semantics if I didn't argue against gay unification per se, but rather the legality of marriage and how that should apply to gays.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Double_R 2 years ago
Double_R
Sketchythett3Tied
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Total points awarded:16 
Reasons for voting decision: Counter to MassDebators votebomb
Vote Placed by MassDebator255 2 years ago
MassDebator255
Sketchythett3Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: I didnt even read it...just know that everyone deserves an opportunity to enjoy marriage.
Vote Placed by 000ike 2 years ago
000ike
Sketchythett3Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro created a red herring when he talked about not needing the world population bigger, and that weakened his argument. I was a little disappointed at the lack of sources on both sides however.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 2 years ago
Man-is-good
Sketchythett3Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: While Sketchy made a formidable attempt to refute thett3's case, he concede and did not dispute certain points (i.e. the best conditions for the rearing of a child, and so on) and made several arguments that thett3 proved to be quite irrelevant to the debate. Good job to the both of you, but I have to give my vote to Con.