The Instigator
MineesotaGopher
Pro (for)
Winning
39 Points
The Contender
Lord_Rapier
Con (against)
Losing
9 Points

Gay unions ought to be allowed.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/30/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,324 times Debate No: 1159
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (10)
Votes (16)

 

MineesotaGopher

Pro

First of all, I would like to ask that libertarians who oppose gay marriage on the idea that marriage should not be within the purview of the federal/any government avoid engaging me on this topic; I am more interested in the gay marriage debate from the perspective of what moral differences exist between gay and straight marriages, rather than a debate on the specific nature of liberty. Thanks in advance!

Many arguments are often given in opposition to legal gay marriage (for purposes of discussion, I'd like to define the term "gay marriage" as implying any form of union between gay couples that confers the legal rights and responsibilities of marriage in whole or in significant part). After examining some of these arguments, I will then explain why gay marriage ought to be affirmed.

1. It is often argued that recognising gay marriage will result in the collapse of society. Promiment Republican presidential hopefuls have often repeated that various European societies began to perform poorly after legalisation of gay marriage. While it is true that in many areas of Europe marriage rates have fallen post-legalisation, in many areas the "health of marriage" has increased (with larger numbers of heterosexual couples choosing to marry and stay married). However, using marriage as a metric for the health or vitality of a society is not appropriate when more direct metrics are availible. Indeed, when analysed, a different picture emerges: Societies that have allowed for gay marriage tend to have far higher levels of income equality, gross domestic product per capita, human development, gender equality, transparent government, democratic government, civil rights, and other metrics. As a nation becomes less tolerant of gays, it seems that such nation also tends to be poorer, more authoritarian, more corrupt, and more unstable. If we are to draw any correlation between gay marriage and the collapse of societies, it must be a negative one.

2a. Arguments appealing to the welfare of children are extremely common in the debate. Typically it is asserted that without the masculinising presence of a father and the feminising influence of a mother, children will be harmed. While recent research has tended to indicate the opposite, the argument itself assumes the presence of fixed gender-roles innate to the sexes, an assumption that is hardly warranted as gender roles have changed significantly throughout history between various societies. Indeed, it may be asserted that gender roles themselves are harmful in the vast majority of cases for it means the rejection of the logical choice in any given situation for the "manly" or "womanly" choice; men, for instance, often do not seek out a doctor when it is medically appropriate in order to conform to a masculine gender image. Problems such as body dismorphia have prominently affected women and also continue to affect men (though, again, men are far less likely to seek treatment). In these cases, the logical course of action would be "See a doctor" and "Eat/exercise in a sane manner", but they are rejected in favour of gender stereotypes.
b. Even supposing they are not harmful, they have changed significantly over time. It has become increasingly acceptable for women to behave (to some extent) in the masculine role (so-called "tomboys") especially as their political rights have expanded (the right to own property separate from the husband and the right to vote are two prominent ones), and gradually pressure to conform to the masculine role is easing. If any attempt at an argument based on gender stereotypes, the primary (and revealing) question that must be answered is "Which gender stereotypes?"

3. Various religious arguments are often put forward, but any attempt at successfully making this argument would require that one religion be proven true before the discussion could move on. Thus, if my opponent would like to put forth a religious argument, I will wait until it is revealed which religion we ought to accept as true.

4. Another argument that often comes up is that marriage is an institution for procreation, not for "love". Republicans often use the bizarre example of "loving ones mother" as an attempt to prove that marriage is not about love. This ignores the fact, of course, that there are vastly different kinds of love that our language simply does not differentiate between in colloquial speech. One typically has love for ones spouse, for instance, and will do things such as have sex with them. However, most people correctly recognise that this love would be repugnant if applied to a child or a parent. The argument that marriage is not about "love" relies on the intentional conflation of different forms of love in an attempt to deceive.
"Marriage" is an institution that has changed over time. For the vast majority of its history, marriage was not the (mostly) egalitarian contract that we see today, but rather a form of ownership over a woman in exchange for protection. In many societies it has been or is legal for a husband to (under modern US standards) abuse his wife and this is seen to be in accordance with the local holy text. The magical thing about definitions is that we can change them, through law and through use; "marriage" has no inherent meaning, but only the meaning that we assign to it.
Thus, to differentiate between different proposed meanings, we ought to look at the utility that each meaning gives us. Marriage as procreation appears to fail on this count for a number of reasons: It is quite rare today that a couple feels an imperative to marry. Indeed, most heterosexual couples will at some point in their relationship discuss whether they want children and how many to have. Were marriage about procreation, what we would see is that people would only get married as they raise children, and then would divorce when they discontinued rearing that child. Oddly, we do not see that: Even in couples who are childless, we see that marriages continue to rise and fall on their own merits. Even more oddly, there appear to be few Republican politicians willing to push for a definition of marriage that would invalidate all marriages that are not raising children, possibly showing the deceptive nature of this argument.
Furthermore, a case can easily be constructed as to how a procreative imperative must fall in the face of a world that already cannot support all of its inhabitants with a comfortable standard of living.

There are countless more arguments that could possibly be addressed, but for the sake of space I will now move onto a critical component that is often overlooked in these debates: liberty. If a person has liberty, we can say that such a person is free to act in accordance with his or her own will so long as that will does not infringe upon the rights of others. Gay marriage does not infringe upon the liberty of any other person; If a gay couple marries in Massachusetts, the ability for a pastor in rural Alabama to speak his mind or vote or protest or hold property or otherwise pursue his life is not affected.

Liberty as a whole strengthens a society. When we recognise the idea that ultimately our preferences should not be forced upon other people, and instead allow people to develop into their own desires and potential in peace, the stability and fabric of the societies in question is strengthened, thus allowing those societies to tackle such problems as disease or hunger or the creation of wealth. To reject liberty in favour of moralist dogma flies in the face of the history of the democratic nations and in the face of any value that ultimately ties back to quality of life or to the rights of man. Thus, because gay marriage is fundamentally an issue of liberty, it ought to be affirmed solely on that basis.

I look forward to hearing the other side of this argument :)
Lord_Rapier

Con

okay i'm gonna keep this short and sweet, GAY MARRIAGE IS JUST NOT RIGHT.
only people that are actually gay will vote for gay marriage.
Debate Round No. 1
MineesotaGopher

Pro

But can you provide evidence and logical support for your first contention? Your second is both patently false (In the specific; there are many individuals, organisations, and politicians that support gay marriage which isn't possible unless the number of gay people in the US is far higher than previously estimated. As well, in the abstract; it is not the case that it is logically necessary that supporters of any sort of civil rights movement must be members of the group in question) and entirely irrelevant: regardless of whether a person who supports gay rights is themselves gay does not change in the least the arguments they give to support their position. Instead of arguing against the man, you ought to argue against the arguments. Feel free to do so.
Lord_Rapier

Con

Why should a person who does not believe in gay marriage be penalized for something that is biologically incorrect. Marriage in this country (and many others) is aided by federally funded monies (tax breaks, both from marriage and children). Why should my tax money be used to support the union of a gay couple? All of your arguments are relevant to the issue, but this argument can be ended with ONE issue: human biology. Human beings are heterosexual reproductive creatures. The anatomy of the intercourse is an obvious sign that gay relationships are not disputed by other humans, but it is disputed by nature itself.
Debate Round No. 2
MineesotaGopher

Pro

MineesotaGopher forfeited this round.
Lord_Rapier

Con

Lord_Rapier forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
MineesotaGopher

Pro

MineesotaGopher forfeited this round.
Lord_Rapier

Con

Lord_Rapier forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
MineesotaGopher

Pro

MineesotaGopher forfeited this round.
Lord_Rapier

Con

Lord_Rapier forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by liberal_at_heart 9 years ago
liberal_at_heart
all tho the aff has a better sound case i dont agree with him because humans where crated in the image of god and God did not create adam and steve or eve and evet but adam and eve ... its not so much as people fear gay couples is te fact its not natural or proves successful because when to humans of the same sex have intercourse its not the natural intended way ... there for the are signs pointing to its just a mid set a disease same sex relation ships where not meant to sucked homos are like there own race
in the eyes of God its any thing but natural
Posted by paul_tigger 9 years ago
paul_tigger
This is just a sorry example of a debate especially one that was asked to go 5 rounds. I agree with stilldirrtyja
that this topic is just being abused. What are we trying to debate here? It seems to me that the lines are drawn and people, one way or another, have made up their minds up on the matter. This topic seems to be more emotionally charged than logically. Regardless of who wins this debate, I believe the people of this world need not focus so much on what we do with the sexual organs in our pants and start focusing on the relationships we have with one another.
Posted by kenicks 9 years ago
kenicks
lord rapier, i'm sorry, but you are unprepared for this debate.
Posted by Thoreau 9 years ago
Thoreau
"It is disputed by nature itself"?

So you're saying that we shouldn't use any of the ideas that man has come up with, ever, and should ban chimpanzees (and other tool-using animals) from using things they think up? After all, they weren't made by nature either. Homosexuality is simply another idea that man (and in fact some animals as well) have come up with. It does not harm others any more than heterosexuality does.
Posted by Logical-Master 9 years ago
Logical-Master
MineesotaGopher has clearly destroyed Lord Rapier as Rapier has failed to counter the arguments of Gopher's constructive.
Posted by Whiplash 9 years ago
Whiplash
Morality is decided by whether or not an action hurts something, correct? (If not, I guess the 10 Commandments were just one big typo?)

Does homosexuality hurt anyone?
Posted by MineesotaGopher 9 years ago
MineesotaGopher
Arguments from nature are unfortunately very bad arguments to make in the case of gay marriage. The first reason is that ultimately nature itself is quite irrelevant to whether a thing is moral or not; consider computer technology, a most unnatural thing, that we would never say is "wrong". Consider rape; that action is quite "natural" in that it has been observed basically everywhere in life (including human life), but obviously it is a repugnant thing that humans ought to use their greater intellect to reject. We have a case of a thing that is unnatural but good, and a case of a thing that is natural but bad - we ultimately cannot derive any knowledge as to whether a thing is good or bad purely on its "natural" state. This, of course, ignores the fact that homosexuality is seen throughout the animal kingdom.

You make a massive leap from an is to an ought when you say that gay marriage is "biologically incorrect"; biology is neither a thing that is correct or incorrect, but rather it is a set of facts that we can use to judge the correctness or incorrectness of certain statements. Thus, we can use our knowledge of biology to judge the statement "Humans have ten arms" to be incorrect. However, those are descriptive statements; they deal with how the world is and how it exists. To say "gay marriage is wrong" is a normative statement, dealing with how the world ought to be, and thus you cannot appeal to biology whatsoever.

As Raisor points out, you assume that marriage is for reproduction; an assumption that both he and I have already dealt with. Indeed, if you introduce the concept that ultimately reproductive imperative ought to be valued above a persons liberty, what you advocate is a state-based tyranny that would wantonly violate the rights of people in an attempt to actualise "reproduction" - we saw this to some extent in Communist Romania, where the dictator there was obsessed with having a high population. This, of course, is not a desirable situation.
Posted by Raisor 9 years ago
Raisor
How does the anatomy of intercourse show that gay marriage is wrong?

How does the fact that humans reproduce heterosexualy have any bearing on which humans can love which humans? Please show me the premises which lead to this conclusion.

This stance holds as an invisible premise that romantic relationships MUST serve the purpose of reproduction. Any other benefits are incidental to the relationship. If this is not the case, then other benefits of relationships could be used to show the legitimacy of homosexual relationships.

If that premise is true, then every marriage has an obligation to do everything in their power to produce children. Also, infertile people have no justification for relationships.

This argument from "nature itself" is so often repeated, yet so poorly designed. How does the biology of reproductive sex relate to homosexuality?

Does the fact the people eat with their mouths mean that medicine given rectally is wrong?
Posted by RMK 9 years ago
RMK
Why should a person who does not believe in gay marriage be penalized for something that is biologically incorrect. Marriage in this country (and many others) is aided by federally funded monies (tax breaks, both from marriage and children). Why should my tax money be used to support the union of a gay couple? All of your arguments are relevant to the issue, but this argument can be ended with ONE issue: human biology. Human beings are heterosexual reproductive creatures. The anatomy of the intercourse is an obvious sign that gay relationships are not disputed by other humans, but it is disputed by nature itself.
Posted by stilldirrtyja 9 years ago
stilldirrtyja
Ugh this debate has already happened like 20 times already :(
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Vote Placed by Kals 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by gwrIII 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by libertyforall 9 years ago
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