The Instigator
emery
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Guidestone
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points

Homosexuals have a right to marriage.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Guidestone
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/14/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 664 times Debate No: 56613
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (2)

 

emery

Pro

Resolved: Homosexuals have a right to marriage.

Value: equal rights
Criterion: upholding of the American constitution

Definitions:
Equal rights- allowing everyone the same opportunities
Uphold- to support or defend

My criterion supports my value because our constitution allows every citizen that has not broken the law the same opportunities.

C1: Homosexuals are citizens.
As stated in my introduction law following citizens are provided with equal rights. One of these rights is the right to marry whoever & how ever many times they want. Homosexual citizens should be allowed this same right because,as stated, they're still citizens of this country.

C2: Homosexuals are people.
As obvious as that is it needs to said. We are given by our creators the unalienable rights: life, liberty, & happiness. Not allowing Homosexuals to marry violates all three of theses unalienable rights in one way or another. The most obvious is that you're taking away their right to enjoy the HAPPINESS of marrying their significant other. Also not allowing them to marry takes away LIBERTY because your interfering with their right to marry. The saddest violation of unalienable rights is that shaming them for being homosexual has caused some to take their own lives removing LIFE.
Guidestone

Con

I accept this debate, and I hope each of us can gain better insight on the questions driving this debate.

My position is that marriage is a privilege, not a right.

1. Equal Application & Marriage
My opponent said "our constitution allows every citizen that has not broken the law the same opportunities". This is part of the 14th amendment and it's known as the equal protection clause. "The equal protection clause is not intended to provide 'equality' among individuals or classes, but only 'equal application' of the laws. The result, therefore, of a law is not relevant so long as there is no discrimination in its application. [1]" In the application of the traditional marriage laws they do not discriminate because everyone can marry one person of the opposite sex. This shows Tradional Marriage laws fulfill the first part of the equal protection clause. However, this would also be true of interracial marriages too, since everyone could marry one person of the same race. This is why the Supreme Court has certain testing. "Traditionally, the Court finds a state classification constitutional if it has 'a rational basis' to a 'legitimate state purpose.' The Supreme Court, however, has applied more stringent analysis in certain cases. It will 'strictly scrutinize' a distinction when it embodies a 'suspect classification.' In order for a classification to be subject to strict scrutiny, it must be shown that the state law or its administration is meant to discriminate" [1]. These will be discussed in the points below.

2. Legitimate State Purpose
Is there a purpose to define marriage between one man and one woman. If there isn't, then the law would violate the equal protection clause and be unconstitutional. However, there is a legitimate state purpose in traditional marriage laws. [2]. First, traditional marriage promotes responsible procreation. "A core purpose of marriage is to guarantee that, insofar as possible, each child is emotionally, morally, practically, and legally affiliated with the woman and the man whose sexual union brought the child into the world." [2] This shows that marriage is about procreation. This why the government regulates it. "'[S]ex makes babies, society needs babies, and children need mothers and fathers.' Connecting sex, babies, and moms and dads is the social function of marriage and helps explain why the government rightly recognizes and addresses this aspect of our social lives." [2] Second, children do best when raised by their biological parents, which is promoted by traditional marriage laws. [3]. Third, it preserves the institution of marriage. "Sweden began offering same-sex couples benefits in 1987, followed by Denmark in 1989 and Norway in 1993. According to a Feb. 29, 2004 report by Stanley Kurtz, PhD, from 1990 to 2000, Norway's out-of-wedlock birthrate rose from 39% to 50% and Sweden's rose from 47% to 55%. Unmarried parenthood in Denmark rose 25% during the 1990s, and approximately 60% of first born Danish children have unmarried parents. As Kurtz states, 'Marriage is slowly dying in Scandinavia.'" [4]. These three points show there is a legitimate state purpose. This is unlike what opponents interracial marriage had. In Loving v. Virginia, the case that struck down interracial marriage bans, the state argued "the scientific evidence is substantially in doubt and, consequently, this Court should defer to the wisdom of the state legislature in adopting its policy of discouraging interracial marriages" [5]. This means traditional marriage passes the second test of the equal protection clause.

3. Purpose of Tradional Marriage Laws

This brings us to the last point about the purpose of the laws. If the laws were made purposely to discriminate, then they are unconstitutional. "May 17, 2004: Massachusetts becomes the first state in the United States to allow same-sex couples to share in the freedom to marry" [6]. This means laws defining marriage between one man and one woman must have been there since the beginning of marriage laws. Which it is highly unlikely they created the marriage laws to discriminate. However, if it was meant to discriminate that means we have a suspect classification which is gender. It is not a sexual preference because the marriage laws are neutral on their face, because marriage licenses do not inquire as to a person's sexual preference, it matters on the gender of those involved. "Usually, if a purpose to discriminate is found the classification will be strictly scrutinized if it is based on race, national origin, or, in some situations, non U.S. citizenship (the suspect classes). In order for a classification to be found permissible under this test it must be proven, by the state, that there is a compelling interest to the law and that the classification is necessary to further that interest" [1]. Although, "The Supreme Court also requires states to show more than a rational basis (though it does not apply the strictly scrutiny test) for classifications based on gender or a child's status as illegitimate" [1] I will still use the strictly scrutiny test. If homosexuals would marry it would prohibit all the state's interest listed in the previous points. Firstly, homosexuals cannot procreate with each other. Second, homosexuals cannot both be the biological parents of the children. Third, it would remove marriages link with procreation, which undermines the institution of marriage. This means even if it were to discriminate it passes the test, that makes it legitimate. Concluding, traditional marriage laws pass the third and final equal protection test; therefore, traditional marriage laws are constitutional showing there is no right for homosexuals to marry.

I look forward to my opponent's response.


Sources
[1] http://www.law.cornell.edu...
[2] http://www.scribd.com...
[3] http://www.familystructurestudies.com...
[4] http://www.weeklystandard.com...
[5] http://www.law.cornell.edu...
[6] http://www.freedomtomarry.org...




Debate Round No. 1
emery

Pro

C1)"our constitution allows every citizen that has not broken the law the same opportunities" This is not from the 14th amendment. It's simply from the basis of our constitution that allows law following citizens the rights we're given in our constitution "The equal protection clause is not intended to provide 'equality' among individuals or classes, but only 'equal application' of the laws." Equal Application of the laws! If heterosexual citizens can marry anyone they please, then in order to have "equal application" of the law, homosexuals should be able to marry anyone they please too. "The result, therefore, of a law is not relevant so long as there is no discrimination in its application. [1]" In the application of the traditional marriage laws they do not discriminate because everyone can marry one person of the opposite sex." It is discrimination if you're telling a person they can't marry a person they love. It discriminates because it only allows people to marry members of the opposite sex. Homosexuals are grill citizens of this country, and if they follow the laws they should be given the right to marry who they please just like everyone else.

C2)"First, traditional marriage promotes responsible procreation. "A core purpose of marriage is to guarantee that, insofar as possible, each child is emotionally, morally, practically, and legally affiliated with the woman and the man whose sexual union brought the child into the world." [2] This shows that marriage is about procreation. This why the government regulates it." Heterosexuals aren't going to stop existing if homosexuals can marry. The idea that everyone gets married and has kids after their married is not always the case any more. Lots of people have a child out of wedlock & they do just fine. Marriage is not only about procreation it's about marrying someone you love, & wanting to be with them forever. Not everyone wants to have children so should they not be allowed to get married since "marriage is about procreation"? "'[S]ex makes babies, society needs babies, and children need mothers and fathers.' Connecting sex, babies, and moms and dads is the social function of marriage and helps explain why the government rightly recognizes and addresses this aspect of our social lives." The world isn't going to stop making children just because homosexuals can get married. That being said there are lots of children who need homes. Many homosexuals have common law marriages, and adopt children. You connect a child with parents making the "social function of marriage", & you stated "the government rightly recognizes and addresses this aspect of our social lives". Since homosexuals are unable to fulfill their right to marriage the government cannot recognize this "aspect of our social lives". "Second, children do best when raised by their biological parents, which is promoted by traditional marriage laws" this is not true at all. There are thousands of people who have had successful lives, & where raised by adoptive parents. It doesn't matter what type of couple raises you. There are thousands upon thousands of people with married heterosexual parents that have screwed up their lives. The institution of marriage "is a socially or ritually recognized union or legal contract between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between them, between them and their children, and between them and their in-laws." Allowing homosexuals to marry would in no way damage the institution of marriage. If anything not letting them marry would hurt it. With common law marriages there aren't established rights between the spouses. As you stated "sex makes babies", so there is no correlation between these European countries allowing homosexuals to marry and the out of wedlock birth rate. Homosexuals can't have children, so why would them being able to marry have any effect on those that can he paving children out of wedlock? There is no "legitimate state purpose" because homosexuals, that are law following citizens, have the same right as heterosexuals citizens that follow the law to marry whom ever they please.

C3)"If the laws were made purposely to discriminate, then they are unconstitutional." When these laws were made they were not meant to discriminate because homosexuality was not a normal part of society. Now it is a normal part of society, so now that law has become discriminatory, and is now unconstitutional. It is a sexual preference homosexuals prefer people of their same gender. "Firstly, homosexuals cannot procreate with each other. Second, homosexuals cannot both be the biological parents of the children. Third, it would remove marriages link with procreation, which undermines the institution of marriage" I have already refuted these arguments, but I shall restate the definition of the institution of marriage: "is a socially or ritually recognized union or legal contract between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between them, between them and their children, and between them and their in-laws." Homosexuals marriage would in no way violate, or undermine the institution of marriage. Traditional marriage laws are no longer constitutional because they leave out homosexual and their sexual preferences.
I stand by my argument: Homosexuals that re law following citizens have the right to marry whomever they please, just as heterosexual citizens who follow the law do.

Resource (s):
http://en.wikipedia.org...
Guidestone

Con

I thank my opponent for their responses, but I think there are misunderstandings.

1. Equal Application & Marriage

My opponent claims that their phrase is not based on the 14th amendment, but no where else in the constitution does equal protection exist. I challenge my opponent to then find where in the constitution it mentions this. Also, if you Google the phrase presented by my opponent one of the top results was my source from Cornell about the equal protection clause.


My opponent claims there is not an equal application of the law because heterosexuals can marry anyone they please, but homosexuals cannot. There are several things wrong with this claim. First, this is a misunderstanding of what the laws say. Traditional marriage laws usually look similar to this "Only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this state and its political subdivisions. This state and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage" [1]. This is a definition, and this applies to everyone equally. Second, Heterosexuals cannot marry anyone they please because we have laws against Polygamy, Incest, and Homosexual marriages. Third, as stated in the previous round this is not about sexual preference discrimination because when you apply for a marriage there is not a sexual preference record needed. This shows that the law does equally apply to all citizens.

My opponent claims that such laws do discriminate because it only allows to marry the opposite sex and not the person you love. First, we need the definition of discrimination as used in this context which is "the practice of unfairly treating a person or group of people differently from other people or groups of people" [2]. Second, my opponent also states "When these laws were made they were not meant to discriminate...". I would just like to make the point that discrimination does not change because anything something is more accepted, if a law unfairly treats a group it does not matter when this law was made it would still be discriminatory. Third, as stated before is not about sexual preference discrimination because when you apply for a marriage, there is not a sexual preference record needed. This shows not only does my opponent contradict themselves, the initial claim of discrimination is false.

2. Legitimate State Purpose

Now is a good time to note that this debate is not about if Homosexual marriage should be allowed, but rather is there a right to Homosexual marriage. I could think gay marriage should be legal, but there is no right to it because marriage is a privilege not a right.

My opponent claims that "Heterosexuals aren't going to stop existing if homosexuals can marry". I agree, but I don't see how this has any relevance since I never made the claim opposing this.

My opponent also claims "
Marriage is not only about procreation, it's about marrying someone you love, & wanting to be with them forever." Here I also agree. Marriage is not only about procreation there is more to it, but procreation is a main reason for marriage. It also appears that my opponent thinks marriage is linked to procreation because they say "it is not only about" meaning that it is part of it but does not make up the sole purpose. It is true marriage is about procreation, but it also about partnership and trust. This shows my opponent has agreed that marriage has to do with procreation. As stated procreation is a legitimate state interest.

With my claim of "...
society needs babies, and children need mothers and fathers.' Connecting sex, babies, and moms and dads is the social function of marriage..." my opponent only addresses the first three words here, and not the main claim which is about connecting families.

My opponent claims that children do not do best when raised by their biological parents. I provide sociological data supporting my stance, I would ask for my opponent to back up their claim with any evidence.

My opponent claims "there is no correlation between these European countries allowing homosexuals to marry and the out of wedlock birth rate" This is false. When Homosexual unions were allowed the wedlock birth rate went up. That is, by definition, a correlation.


The three state interest I gave were

  1. Responsible procreation, even my opponent has admitted that marriage deals with procreation.
  2. Connecting families, this was never rebutted by my opponent.
  3. Preserving the institution, in which my opponent denied the link between homosexual unions and out of wedlock babies, but I showed there was a correlation.

All of these are still valid reasons why the state promotes traditional marriage.

3. Purpose of Traditional Marriage Laws

As stated before "I would just like to make the point that discrimination does not change because anything is more accepted, if a law unfairly treats a group it does not matter when this law was made, it would still be discriminatory." My opponent conceded the point that the laws were not meant to discriminate. This means it automatically passes the third and final test to be a constitutional law.



Sources
[1]
http://www.legislature.state.oh.us...
[2]
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

Debate Round No. 2
emery

Pro

emery forfeited this round.
Guidestone

Con

It is unfortunate that my opponent forfeited the final round. I was looking forward to an interesting conclusion to the debate.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 2 years ago
dsjpk5
emeryGuidestoneTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro ff a round and did not offer a logical defense for her premise. Con also provided more sources.
Vote Placed by Martley 2 years ago
Martley
emeryGuidestoneTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro argued this debate poorly, the only source that was given to support claims was wikipedia. Con put forth a more concise rebuttal with solid sources. Also Pro forfeited final round. I have no choice but to vote Con.