The Instigator
ournamestoolong
Pro (for)
Losing
21 Points
The Contender
Chestertonian
Con (against)
Winning
29 Points

Homosexual Marriage

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/31/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,766 times Debate No: 6704
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (22)
Votes (8)

 

ournamestoolong

Pro

RESOLVED: Homosexuals should be allowed to legally marry in the United States

I'll let my opponent start

(NOTE: If you accept this debate YOU MUST START.)
Chestertonian

Con

Personally, I think the idea of a homosexual marriage is a contradiction in terms. You can only define an institution like marriage in three ways: religiously, socio-historically, or by linguistic cop out (That is, there are no set definitions, a word only means what people agree it means).

Obviously, homosexual marriage is rarely possible in a religious sense.

In the socio-historical sense it is similarly difficult. The expectation of children was implicit in marriage, and the emphasis on love is only a recent development. Even if we accept love as the primary point of marriage, however, the socio-historical sense of marriage still would not allow homosexual marriage. Marriage is a union BEFORE A COMMUNITY. In the case of homosexual marriage, the community rejects the action as invalid. In this way an action meant to be a sign of respect and harmony with the community becomes a slap in the face of the community. And while some might claim that homosexual marriage does not weaken marriage, removing the communal aspect would certainly be detrimental (Now, this principle might seem to invalidate inter-racial marriages as well, which would put me in a rather undesirable position, but this is exactly why the religious nature of marriage is important. For while one might not be able to stand up before just any community in marriage, many church communities would accept the action as valid. Thus the communal aspect is preserved).

In the linguistic sense that everyone agrees upon and thus defines the meaning of a term, homosexual marriage is also impossible. The fact that even California cannot produce a majority in against defining marriage in the traditional sense indicates that definition by consensus will not justify the existence of gay marriage.

And while the first two senses of homosexual marriage are interesting, it is the linguistic sense that we must be concerned with. Religious definitions (I am told) must be kept out of the government, and the government landing on one side or the other in a religious debate is coercion. As for the socio-historical sense of marriage, it is irrelevant in policy debate. Our country prides itself on breaking traditions and this issue will be no different. The matter will not be resolved by an appeal to the past. It only makes sense for a democracy that legal definitions be decided democratically. But to be truly valid and representative, the definitions should not be based on a mere majority, but by an overwhelming consensus. Marriage is an institution with massive implications in society and religion and relatively minor legal implications. The government has no right to come down on one side or the other. Society ought to shape government, not government society.

The only reasonable and fair thing to do is to follow the European example. The government should bow out. Government should refrain from defining marriage at all and allow whatever civil unions are reasonable. Any citizen ought to have the right to define his legal relations with others. And no government ought to be able to legislate societal structures.

In the final analysis, the claim that there is one definition of marriage in this country is absurd. The debate itself disqualifies legal definition. That is all.

Et memores, si metrum non habet, non est poema.
Debate Round No. 1
ournamestoolong

Pro

I see your argument, but there are legal reasons for marriage too.
These are some of the benefits from marriage

joint parenting;
joint adoption;
joint foster care, custody, and visitation (including non-biological parents);
status as next-of-kin for hospital visits and medical decisions where one partner is too ill to be competent;
joint insurance policies for home, auto and health;
dissolution and divorce protections such as community property and child support;
immigration and residency for partners from other countries;
inheritance automatically in the absence of a will;
joint leases with automatic renewal rights in the event one partner dies or leaves the house or apartment;
inheritance of jointly-owned real and personal property through the right of survivorship (which avoids the time and expense and taxes in probate);
benefits such as annuities, pension plans, Social Security, and Medicare;
spousal exemptions to property tax increases upon the death of one partner who is a co-owner of the home;
veterans' discounts on medical care, education, and home loans; joint filing of tax returns;
joint filing of customs claims when traveling;
wrongful death benefits for a surviving partner and children;
bereavement or sick leave to care for a partner or child;
decision-making power with respect to whether a deceased partner will be cremated or not and where to bury him or her;
crime victims' recovery benefits;
loss of consortium tort benefits;
domestic violence protection orders;
judicial protections and evidentiary immunity;
and more....
http://www.religioustolerance.org...

There is no reason that Heterosexual couples should have these rights while Homosexual couples don't. If they make the commitment. And as for there being one definition of marraige, due to the resolution, we will use the legal resolution.

"And while the first two senses of homosexual marriage are interesting, it is the linguistic sense that we must be concerned with. Religious definitions (I am told) must be kept out of the government, and the government landing on one side or the other in a religious debate is coercion. As for the socio-historical sense of marriage, it is irrelevant in policy debate. Our country prides itself on breaking traditions and this issue will be no different. The matter will not be resolved by an appeal to the past. It only makes sense for a democracy that legal definitions be decided democratically. But to be truly valid and representative, the definitions should not be based on a mere majority, but by an overwhelming consensus. Marriage is an institution with massive implications in society and religion and relatively minor legal implications. The government has no right to come down on one side or the other. Society ought to shape government, not government society."

This is not about society, it is about the legal benefits and merit of marriage

"The only reasonable and fair thing to do is to follow the European example. The government should bow out. Government should refrain from defining marriage at all and allow whatever civil unions are reasonable. Any citizen ought to have the right to define his legal relations with others. And no government ought to be able to legislate societal structures."

I need some clarification, So are you saying we destroy the government involvment in any marriage?

That is all.
Chestertonian

Con

"There is no reason that Heterosexual couples should have these rights while Homosexual couples don't."

I agree that there is no reason why people shouldn't have those rights, even beyond couples. Many of those rights we ought to be able to delegate to friends and relatives as well. This is why I think we need a reasonable way of going about civil unions.

"This is not about society, it is about the legal benefits and merit of marriage"
False. Marriage is a societal institution. The government can't come down on one side or the other without changing society. The legal benefits of marriage are completely covered by civil unions. Given that and the controversy in society over this issue, there is absolutely no democratic legal basis for the government to intervene.

"I need some clarification, So are you saying we destroy the government involvement in any marriage?"
Absolutely. Look at it this way. Do you think the government has any right to say who can get married? I sure don't. This is because marriage is more than a legal institution. Marriage goes beyond legality. And because of that, the legal system has no right to interfere with it at all.

Just to summarise, the only argument that you've put forth (that I can tell) is that we are denying homosexuals legal rights. These rights are found in civil unions, so that isn't much of an argument at all. I also contend that the government has no right to define marriage anyway.

The end. (Well, not really, but a round closer)
Debate Round No. 2
ournamestoolong

Pro

"I agree that there is no reason why people shouldn't have those rights, even beyond couples. Many of those rights we ought to be able to delegate to friends and relatives as well. This is why I think we need a reasonable way of going about civil unions."

Ok I think we agree

"False. Marriage is a societal institution. The government can't come down on one side or the other without changing society. The legal benefits of marriage are completely covered by civil unions. Given that and the controversy in society over this issue, there is absolutely no democratic legal basis for the government to intervene."

Marriage is not societal, by giving legal benefits to married couples the government is intervening in marriage. This does change society, however society should not change legality. Because we grant some citizens legal benefits, we must grant all citizens those legal benefits. THAT is the Democratic legal basis for the government to intervene. All people are created equal, after all.

"Absolutely. Look at it this way. Do you think the government has any right to say who can get married? I sure don't. This is because marriage is more than a legal institution. Marriage goes beyond legality. And because of that, the legal system has no right to interfere with it at all."

Marriage must have some legality to make it official. Without that there is no commitment, and many laws pertaining to marriage would have to be changed.

"Just to summarise, the only argument that you've put forth (that I can tell) is that we are denying homosexuals legal rights. These rights are found in civil unions, so that isn't much of an argument at all. I also contend that the government has no right to define marriage anyway."

Civil Unions only provide the marriage rights provided by respective states, not the entire country.

However I will put forth more arguments

1: Equality
Other people are granted these benefits. There is no reason homosexuals should not be granted these rights

2: Commitment
Marriage is a sign of commitment that people should be able to show to their life partner

3: It only affects homosexuals
I really don't see the negative effect in allowing gay marriage. It only affects the homosexuals, and I don't see why it "bothers" people to see others expressing love.
Chestertonian

Con

"Marriage is not societal, by giving legal benefits to married couples the government is intervening in marriage."
Which it ought to stop doing.

"This does change society, however society should not change legality."
Come again? You're say that laws SHOULDN'T be based on the society they belong to? I really don't understand that.

"Because we grant some citizens legal benefits, we must grant all citizens those legal benefits. THAT is the Democratic legal basis for the government to intervene. All people are created equal, after all."
Those benefits can be granted in ways other than marriage. And since we can't agree what a marriage even is, it makes sense that we provide equal benefits based on something we can agree upon. It works in Europe.

"Marriage must have some legality to make it official. Without that there is no commitment, and many laws pertaining to marriage would have to be changed."
Given the divorce rates in this country, I question how much commitment there is anyway. Besides, if a marriage is recognized legally by becoming a civil union, there really is no objection here. As for changing laws, well, our politicians may as well have something productive to do. Just because something is hard doesn't mean it isn't right. Besides, you'd have to change a lot more laws to legalize same sex marriages.

"Civil Unions only provide the marriage rights provided by respective states, not the entire country."
And same sex marriages provide rights in only two states. A system of civil unions could be done more easily (relative to same sex marriage, anyway) and faster than what you propose.

"1: Equality
Other people are granted these benefits. There is no reason homosexuals should not be granted these rights"
That's not true. The government does not have the authority to define what is and is not a marriage. Marriage is not a right to be granted but an institution to be kept from the filthy paws of politicians.

"2: Commitment
Marriage is a sign of commitment that people should be able to show to their life partner"
I thought you wanted to talk about legality. You've wandered into the realm of shaping society, and neither you nor anyone else has the right to do that through legislation.

"3: It only affects homosexuals
I really don't see the negative effect in allowing gay marriage. It only affects the homosexuals, and I don't see why it "bothers" people to see others expressing love."
If you don't see the reason for something, you're the last person to have the right to criticize it. And anyway, how would you like to be told that your religion is wrong? How would you like to be told that by the government? How would you like to see legislation telling you your view of love is misguided? That wouldn't affect you? That wouldn't make you think twice about either your religion or your country? 51% of California (California for crying out loud!) seems to believe that gay marriage does affect them, and I'm inclined to agree.

Whatever side you're on, you have to recognize that the government really doesn't have the authority to decide this issue. They've got no right to come into a cultural debate and take sides. Civil unions are more agreeable, easier to get, and would achieve the disputed rights more quickly. There is no reason to prefer marriage to civil unions, except for the sake of imposing one's views on society. I've been told time and time again that I shouldn't try to force my views on others and that religion shouldn't interfere in government. Well now I ask that other's views should not be forced on an unwilling society and that government not interfere with what I consider to be a very dear religious institution.

I leave that to your judgement.
Debate Round No. 3
22 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by sienkinm 7 years ago
sienkinm
Given the religious tangles with the definition of marriage has anyone ever argued on this site that homosexual civil unions should have the same rights as a marriage based on the 14th ammendment therefore providing a different title and institution that sanctioned the joint relationship? I know the argument of separate but equal will come up but I haven't been able to find a discussion debating this aspect of gay rights.
Posted by ournamestoolong 7 years ago
ournamestoolong
Why are you against gay marriage.

If you believe that every issue should be voted on, Bush would not be president
Posted by ConservativesRule 7 years ago
ConservativesRule
Quite honestly, the ideal of homosexual marriage being made legal is absolutely ludicrous! The majority of Americans are opposed to it. I live in California. WE VOTED AGAINST IT (TWICE) AND THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST LIBERAL STATES IN THE UNION!!!!!!!!! The ONLY reason we had to vote a second time is because three knucklebrained judges up in the liberal utopia known as San Fransisco decided to overturn what WE THE PEOPLE put in place!!!!!!!!!
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 7 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
"
The grotty acts you describe can in NO WAY qualify as sex, for the reasons already stated."

If it doesn't qualify as sex, then obviously there is no biblical prohibition on it, since it is even more unequivocally "not lying with man as with woman."

So hooray, sticking something up the backdoor is perfectly Christian, as long as you don't use the word "Sex" :)
Posted by Maya9 7 years ago
Maya9
So you're essentially admitting that the Old Testament and the New Testament contradict?

You're really in no position to dictate what sex is or isn't. In fact, not even the Bible really makes distinction. You said that homosexual partners can't physically "couple". I proved that they can. You were wrong, whether you care to admit it or not.

I don't want to debate you, because you clearly have no interest in debate. You are not willing to give an ear to logic. You are not willing to change your opinions, even when they are proven wrong. Debating with you would be a complete waste of time. There is no point in trying to reason with people who are afraid of shadows and boogeymen.

Finally, don't presume to understand my beliefs. You clearly do not. Since they can't be argued from your Christian point of view, there is clearly no point in discussing them at all since you are obviously incapable of looking at any other point of view.
Posted by ournamestoolong 7 years ago
ournamestoolong
I know. I just voted.
Posted by Chestertonian 7 years ago
Chestertonian
I did. I checked like an hour after it went into the voting period and no one had voted yet so I broke the tie. But I'm guessing you haven't voted yet which would make us tied again if you vote everything for yourself. I wish more people would vote on it though.
Posted by ournamestoolong 7 years ago
ournamestoolong
Did you vote chesteronian?
Posted by DATCMOTO 7 years ago
DATCMOTO
I was referring to the old testament (old covenant)
The grotty acts you describe can in NO WAY qualify as sex, for the reasons already stated.
AND if you had the slightest inkling of who satan really is and what his intention in your life is you
would not use that icon nor profess the things you do on your profile..
In fact, shall we debate on 'the enemy' ? As long as I'm against him I don't mind the angle..
Posted by Maya9 7 years ago
Maya9
DATCMOTO, I'm not sure what Bible you've been reading. Perhaps it is an edition where Corinthians is absent. It must be, because Corinthians very clearly seperates sex from marriage:

1 Corinthians 7:1-2 - "It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband."

In other words, sex without marriage is fornication. Obviously, sex and marriage are not the same.

1 Corinthians 7:7-9 - "For I would that all men were even as I myself.... I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn."

In other words, it is better to remain celibate than to marry. However, if a person cannot contain their lusts, they should marry or otherwise suffer eternal damnation for the sin of sex outside of marriage. Again, sex and marriage are seperate.

1 Corinthians 7:29 - "But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none."

More helpful marital advice from Corinthians. If you are already stuck with a wife, it is virtuous for you to act as if you did not have one (i.e. don't have sex with her). Again, sex and marriage are treated as seperate.

Furthermore, you fail to seperate religious marriage from civil marriage. A civil marriage remains valid even if the couple never have sex.

If you think that people of the same sex can't couple, I can only say that you suffer from a puritan lack of imagination. Men may not possess vaginas, but they do have two other orifices perfectly suitable for penetration. As for the union of two women, neither may have penises, but they do have other appendages suitable for such use.
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