Is Homosexuality Immoral?
[Message to voters: This is a restart of an earlier debate that I accidentally forfeited. The original debate can be viewed here: http://www.debate.org...]
Hello! I will argue that homosexuality is moral and my opponent will argue that it is not. I would like to point out that this is not a religious debate and arguments stemming from religion shall be considered invalid.
Homosexuality: Immoral: violating moral principles; not conforming to the patterns of conduct usually accepted or established as consistent with principles of personal and social ethics. 
First round is acceptance.
I accept. I will argue that homosexuality is immoral. I am not arguing that people who have a homosexual orientation are inherently immoral, but that engaging in a homosexual activity is immoral. I look forward to a spirited debate.
I would like to thank Pro for accepting this debate.
For sexual activity to be moral, it has to satisfy these criteria:
a. is consensual
b. does not inherently result in harm to either parties
c. is within the realm of natural sexual behavior (things like pedophilia or bestiality would be in violation of this)
Please tell me if I've forgotten any criteria. I will now prove that homosexual activity is not in violation of any of these criteria.
Well, this one should be pretty obvious. Homosexuality and heterosexuality alike are not inherently nonconsensual, so this criterion is met.
There is a higher risk for certain STDs in certain activities, but this is something both parties consider before partaking in said activities. Because there is no inherent risk or harm, this criterion is met.
3. Is it natural?
Here's where most of the modern debate is. First of all, it technically satisfies my definition because it is more natural than bestiality of pedophilia, but in case there's any doubt about it, homosexuality in animals is common  and there is increasing scientific evidence that homosexuality may be genetic. 
These arguments have been rather short because the BoP is on you--an act should be considered moral until it has been proven to be immoral.
Looking forward to your arguments!
In this round I will focus on the dangers involved in anal intercourse. Unlike the vagina, the anus is not designed for receptive sexual intercourse. The following information was published by WebMD, a mainstream health information provider.
Anal Sex Safety and Health Concerns
Is Anal Sex Safe?
Preventing Anal Sex Problems
An estimated 90% of men who have sex with men and as many as 5% to 10% of sexually active women engage in receptive anal intercourse.
Often referred to simply as anal sex, anal intercourse is sexual activity that involves inserting the penis into the anus. People may engage in anal intercourse, which has health risks, because the anus is full of nerve endings, making it very sensitive. For some recipients of anal sex, the anus can be an erogenous zone that responds to sexual stimulation. For the giving partner, the anus may provide a pleasing tightness around the penis.
While some people find anal sex enjoyable, the practice has downsides and requires special safety precautions.
Is Anal Sex Safe?
There are a number of health risks with anal sex, and anal intercourse is the riskiest form of sexual activity for several reasons, including the following:
The anus lacks the natural lubrication the vagina has. Penetration can tear the tissue inside the anus, allowing bacteria and viruses to enter the bloodstream. This can result in the spread of sexually transmitted infections including HIV. Studies have suggested that anal exposure to HIV poses 30 times more risk for the receptive partner than vaginal exposure. Exposure to the human papillomavirus (HPV) may also lead to the development of anal warts and anal cancer. Using lubricants can help some, but doesn't completely prevent tearing.
The tissue inside the anus is not as well protected as the skin outside the anus. Our external tissue has layers of dead cells that serve as a protective barrier against infection. The tissue inside the anus does not have this natural protection, which leaves it vulnerable to tearing and the spread of infection.
The anus was designed to hold in feces. The anus is surrounded with a ring-like muscle, called the anal sphincter, which tightens after we defecate. When the muscle is tight, anal penetration can be painful and difficult. Repetitive anal sex may lead to weakening of the anal sphincter, making it difficult to hold in feces until you can get to the toilet. However, Kegel exercises to strengthen the sphincter may help prevent this problem or correct it.
The anus is full of bacteria. Even if both partners do not have a sexually-transmitted infection or disease, bacteria normally in the anus can potentially infect the giving partner. Anal sex can carry other risks as well. Oral contact with the anus can put both partners at risk for hepatitis, herpes, HPV, and other infections.
Even though serious injury from anal sex is not common, it can occur. Bleeding after anal sex could be due to a hemorrhoid or tear, or something more serious such as a perforation (hole) in the colon. This is a dangerous problem that requires immediate medical attention. Treatment involves a hospital stay, surgery, and antibiotics to prevent infection.Preventing Anal Sex Problems
The only way to completely avoid anal sex risks is to abstain from anal sex. If you engage in anal sex, it is always important to use a condom to protect against the spread of infections and diseases.
Since you have not presented an opposing set of moral criteria, I will assume that we will use mine for the remainder of the debate.
First of all, I would like to point out that your entire argument is just your WebMD article copied word for word. Hardly an original argument.
Secondly, anal sex is not exclusively homosexual, nor is homosexual activity exclusively anal sex. To fulfill your BoP, you have to prove that all homosexual activity is immoral, and that it is immoral because it is homosexual. You completely exclude lesbianism from your argument, and fail to point out that anal sex can be heterosexual as well. Do you mean to tell me that anal sex is moral if a man and a woman do it but not if two men do it?
I acknowledge the risks involved in anal sex, but all sexual activity has risks. As long as both parties have realized the risk and it is completely consensual, I see no problem with this. It does not inherently result in harm to either person involved, and is thus moral by my definition of morality, which we will take as true because you have not challenged it.
Please note that in the remaining rounds you must prove that all homosexual acts are immoral, including but not limited to:
In addition to these, you must prove that all sexual practices listed here are immoral:
Thank you and looking forward to your response!
I thank my worthy opponent for his response. He has proposed some moral criteria by which we can evaluate homosexuality. I am happy to use this criteria to demonstrate why homosexuality is immoral. Before I proceed, I want to again reiterate that I am not proposing that if a person has a homosexual orientation that they are inherently immoral, it is only the homosexual activity that is immoral.
I began my argument in the last round focusing on the dangers of anal sex. Pro correctly pointed out that I relied on medical information provided by the non-partisan WebMd. Since the argument was premised on medical evidence it seemed prudent to use a direct source in proving this point. While I will still use sources on my other arguments, much of my remaining case is grounded in common sense arguments.
My impassioned opponent was also correct in pointing out that I did exclude lesbians from my argument about the dangers of anal sex (for obvious reason). While my "nature" argument against homosexuality below, would apply to lesbians, the dangers of anal sex are not applicable.
It is also a valid point that a man can have anal sex with a woman, but as the WebMD article shows “only 5 to 10% of women engage in it, while 90% of gay men do”. Additionally, the gay male population has a much higher rate of HIV versus heterosexual men. Time Magazine, citing the CDC reports, "There is no denying that the highest infection rates occur in gay and bisexual men. Although they account for 4% of the male population in the United States, their HIV-infection rate is 44 times the rate of heterosexual men." To suggest that anal sex by heterosexual men with women is the same as between two gay men may be politically correct, but ponder for a moment that statistic (Gay HIV-infection rate is 44 times the rate of heterosexual men.), that difference is staggering when looked at objectively.
Con has also suggested that high-risk homosexual sex is moral as long as both parties consent. Con stated “There is a higher risk for certain STDs in certain activities, but this is something both parties consider before partaking in said activities.” I challenge that premise. Do we really want to say that a gay man who knowingly is infected with HIV is acting morally when he engages in high-risk sex, just because the sexual partner knows or does not inquire on his HIV status?
I would hope we could all agree that any gay man who knows he is HIV positive and yet engages in anal intercourse is acting immorally. However what about gay men who do not know their HIV status? Statistics show that only 50% of homosexual men even know their HIV status. To be a member of the high-risk group of gay men and to continue to engage in risky sexual activity with other men, while uncertain of their HIV status is also clearly immoral. If this is not immoral, then what is?
The Nature Argument
Con has correctly pointed out that there are examples of homosexuality in the animal kingdom. While this is true it does not necessarily follow that that means it is moral. In the animal kingdom there are also examples of mothers eating their newborns upon birth, and the black widow spider eats their mate after sex. While these things occur in the animal kingdom, no human would suggest that these things are moral.
The first law of nature is the ability of nature to sustain its species, this can only be done by reproducing. Reproducing requires the joining of male and female. Quite simply, the heterosexual relationship fulfills this first law of nature, while the homosexual relationships whether gay men or lesbians obviously do not.
Put in more blunt terms, it is clear that the penis and the vagina were designed to go together, the ultimate proof of this design is its capability of creating the miracle of life. Conversely, it is also clear that the penis and the anus were not designed to go together, as the WebMD article detailed, “The anus was designed to hold in feces.” and repetitive anal sex may lead to weakening of the anal sphincter, making it difficult to hold in feces until you can get to the toilet.” These facts show that anal intercourse runs contrary to what nature designed the anus for, while vaginal intercourse between a man and woman accomplishes the goal for which nature intended.
In this round I have answered all the criteria that Con laid out as the basis for evaluating the morality of homosexuality. I now turn it back over to my esteemed opponent for his closing remarks, and I thank him for this spirited debate.
Thank you for your arguments.
About the dangers of anal sex--this argument is going nowhere. I am going to make a choice that probably isn't good debate strategy, but I will concede for the sake of argument that anal sex is immoral. This is not because I can't think of a rebuttal, but rather because you have gotten nowhere close to fulfilling your BoP. Thus I am conceding your arguments about consent and harmful activity and will focus on the nature argument for this round.
"While this is true it does not necessarily follow that that means it is moral."
No, of course not. I never said that it was. I simply meant that an activity cannot be moral if it is sufficiently unnatural. Your points about other "immoral" activities in the animal kingdom quite obviously violate other criteria that I have listed above.
"The first law of nature is the ability of nature to sustain its species, this can only be done by reproducing."
This is true, but another thing that is very pertinent to this point is that the human race is in no danger of dying out (at least not by lack of reproduction). If violating this first law is to be considered immoral, then abstaining from sex would also be immoral, and it certainly isn't. If the human race were in danger of becoming extinct, then abstaining from sexual intercourse would indeed be immoral, but seeing as this will not happen, this point is moot.
To conclude, you also have not responded to my point about homosexuality being genetic, and you have failed to prove that low-risk activities such as tribadism, frottage, and mutual masturbation are immoral.
Thank you for this debate. I've learned a lot and best wishes to you! :)
I want to thank my debate partner for a serious and thoughtful debate. Below, I will responded to Cons closing argument, and then present my closing arguments.
"This is true, but another thing that is very pertinent to this point is that the human race is in no danger of dying out (at least not by lack of reproduction). "
"you also have not responded to my point about homosexuality being genetic, and you have failed to prove that low-risk activities such as tribadism, frottage, and mutual masturbation are immoral."
I believe that sexual orientation is likely genetic. I have also not argued that the population will die out, if some engage in homosexual activity. I also acknowledge that there are other sexual activities that are lower risk such as tribadism, frottage, and mutual masturbation. In any event, none of these acknowledgments change the fact that there are no homosexual acts (either by gay men or lesbians) that fulfill the first law of nature. Additionally, anal intercourse which is widespread among male homosexuals specifically runs counter to natures intended use for the anus. I have largely focused on this dangerous activity in my arguments, since it addresses both the nature argument, as well as the health and harmful activity argument.
I was reluctant to accept this debate since the word immoral is very strong. I realize there are many people on this website will identify themselves as homosexual, and I want to repeat what I said at the outset of this debate "I am not arguing that people who have a homosexual orientation are inherently immoral, but that engaging in a homosexual activity is immoral."
I believe the terms moral and immoral are just other words for right and wrong. I’ve argued in this debate that homosexual sex is wrong, I base my arguments on nature as well as the deadly health consequences (as it relates to male on male anal sex). While good people can disagree on the nature argument there is no doubt of the health risk involved in male male anal intercourse. Even today, but all the health advances in HIV, people can and do still die from AIDS.
I do not believe gay people choose their sexual orientation, however you do choose whether to engage in homosexual sex. The decision you make can quite literally be a life-and-death decision. I do not want to see homosexuals dying from AIDS or "living with HIV". Making the choice that preserves your life, and does not put other peoples lives at risk is the right and moral choice to make.
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