The Instigator
Cindela
Pro (for)
Winning
64 Points
The Contender
GBretz
Con (against)
Losing
16 Points

It should be legal for NON-religious homosexuals to marry another person of the same gender.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/14/2008 Category: Religion
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,818 times Debate No: 1786
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (24)

 

Cindela

Pro

Before I start this debate, I would like to ask everyone who will eventually vote in this debate to please vote based upon the debate itself, and not upon the debaters or your own opinions. Thank you.

I have put out this debate to challenge anyone who wants to debate me. However, I would not like to debate anyone who shares my same views. I would like to find out why there are people who want to discriminate based upon sexual orientation.

Now to my actual argument:

According to the Human Rights Commision, there are approximatley 10 million homosexual people living in the United States today. They have all the freedoms that hetrosexuals have, except for one: the right to marry whom they wish. Gay people in many areas of the USA do not have the right to marry another gay person. They do, however, have the right to have a civil union. Most would say, 'Civil Unions are the same thing as marriage!' You are wrong. Civil unions often only give the gay couple some of the rights of male and female marriages. They often limit the things that the couple can do. Civil Unions are not the same as marriages.

The crux of my argument is simple and can be composed in a few questions:
Why is it that just because a gay person is gay, they cannot marry who they want?
Since when did the government have to right to limit our liberties and freedoms that do not matter in homeland security?
Why do we discriminate based upon sexual orientation, even though we don't discriminate based upon race or gender.

Thank you
GBretz

Con

Marriage is not an institution of the state, it is an institution of the Church. The Church has religious freedom, and the State cannot force it to perform marriages for homosexuals for that very reason. Homosexuals simply cannot have religious marriages because homosexuality is against the values of the institution that will perform those marriages.

The alternative to marriage is civil unions. Civil Unions were created to provide homosexuals with rights similar to those given to married, heterosexual couples. If the homosexuals find the rights given to them by civil unions are inadequate then change civil unions; don't change marriage.

One could also argue that homosexual couples do not contribute as much as heterosexual couples due to the impossibility to create offspring essential to maintain the US population. One interesting example is France, a country that has allowed same-sex marriage and consequently has a declining population. To prevent this same thing from occurring here, the US government can restrict the rights of civil unions to encourage normal marriages between heterosexuals.
Debate Round No. 1
Cindela

Pro

>>Marriage is not an institution of the state, it is an institution of the Church.
That is not true. Are you saying that Atheists cannot marry because they are not religious? Marriage is not exclusively Christian. Other people of other religions can marry, and if marriage was an institution of the Church, you would be saying that all of those people are actually not married, even though the government recognizes that they are.
>>The Church has religious freedom, and the State cannot force it to perform marriages for homosexuals for that very reason.
Not all marriages are conducted by the Church. You do not have to have a Christian marriage to become married.
>>Homosexuals simply cannot have religious marriages because homosexuality is against the values of the institution that will perform those marriages.
Again, not all marriages have to be through the Church.
>>Civil Unions were created to provide homosexuals with rights similar to those given to married, heterosexual couples. If the homosexuals find the rights given to them by civil unions are inadequate then change civil unions; don't change marriage.
If civil unions are basically the same as marriages, which they are not, then why can't we let homosexuals marry? Civil unions do not always give homosexuals the same rights as a marriage does. You are making a 'separate but equal' argument, and history has told us that 'separate' is never 'equal.' Therefore, we should not separate between homosexuals and hetrosexuals.

>>One could also argue that homosexual couples do not contribute as much as heterosexual couples due to the impossibility to create offspring essential to maintain the US population.
With modern technology, it is in fact possible to create offspring. (Sperm donors, etc.) Also, our country is already vastly overpopulated as is, and I don't see how this is such a bad idea. If the couple does not want a child, whose choice is that? Not all hetrosexual couples have children, yet we let them marry. There are people in the USA without the ability to have children, yet they are allowed to marry. The only people in the USA who do not have the freedom to marry whom they want are homosexuals.

You have not answered any of my arguments, so I have nothing left to say. Thank you
GBretz

Con

Actually, marriage IS an institution of the Church. By "Church," I mean the religious institutions performing the marriages, not necessarily only Christians. Other religions besides Christianity frown upon homosexual marriages as well. Also, some atheists have been turned away by some churches due to their lack of belief. If they can find a preacher that agrees to do their marriage, then they can be married, no problem. However, homosexuality is expressly condemned in the religions writings like the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and the Koran to name a few. In the eyes of most religious persons, marriages are degraded by allowing those obviously against the teachings of their faith and unwilling to change to participate in the same religious marriage ceremony as those of the faith.

I challenge you to find a legitimate religion that would happily marry a homosexual couple.

"If civil unions are basically the same as marriages, which they are not, then why can't we let homosexuals marry?"
Marriages are religious. They are designed to be a covenant between partner and partner to declare before their religious deity that they are forever one. Civil Unions are contracts made with the state to ensure the same economic and civil rights as those with marriage. They are not basically the same, civil unions have no religious significance.

The reason "separate but equal" didn't work was because the African-Americans were in very small minority and did not know how to stand up for their rights for a long time. However, homosexuals and homosexual sympathizers are not in a very small minority and they certainly know how to stand for their rights. Civil Unions can be changed to provide all the same rights as a marriage would. If they are given the same economic and civil liberties through civil unions, why do they wish to have marriage on top of that?

As for my last point about homosexual couples contributing less, I concede that it is possible for them to reproduce with the help of technology. I realize it was a long shot argument and I didn't expect it to be an important point. It doesn't affect my main points anyway.

And since you say I didn't respond to your arguments, I'll do so expressly now.

Why is it that just because a gay person is gay, they cannot marry who they want?
Because marriage is not controlled by the government, and many religious institutions do not wish to perform homosexual marriages.

Since when did the government have to right to limit our liberties and freedoms that do not matter in homeland security?
The government does not have this right. It can't force you to be straight. It also can't force you to accept homosexuality. The government has no say in the matter, but they did provide a nice compromise by creating civil unions that are supposed to give the same economic and civil liberties to homosexuals as marriages do for heterosexual couples.

Why do we discriminate based upon sexual orientation, even though we don't discriminate based upon race or gender?
Unfortunately, you cannot change what people think. Some people are racists, and there is absolutely nothing you can do legally to change that. Acting on your racism to break a law, however, is illegal. The same argument can be applied to the homosexual debate. You cannot stop religious institutions from condemning homosexuality as a sin and withholding their ceremonies, but you can prevent them from actively pursuing the end of homosexuality in violent manners. Homosexuals are not discriminated against except in certain social environments, and the government does not have the right to interfere as long as no laws are broken.

Homosexuals have the right to a state-recognized civil union that should grant them the same rights marriages between heterosexuals do. I ask you, why do Non-religious homosexuals wish to be married by a religious institution if they have the same rights as the heterosexual couples? You argue that they don't have the same rights, so I also ask you this: Why not just change civil unions to be equal to marriages in all legal matters?
Debate Round No. 2
Cindela

Pro

>>Actually, marriage IS an institution of the Church. By "Church," I mean the religious institutions performing the marriages, not necessarily only Christians. Other religions besides Christianity frown upon homosexual marriages as well. Also, some atheists have been turned away by some churches due to their lack of belief. If they can find a preacher that agrees to do their marriage, then they can be married, no problem. However, homosexuality is expressly condemned in the religions writings like the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and the Koran to name a few. In the eyes of most religious persons, marriages are degraded by allowing those obviously against the teachings of their faith and unwilling to change to participate in the same religious marriage ceremony as those of the faith.
Let me say this again. In the United States of America, it is not required to have a marriage through the Christian Church, or any religious institution. You can get married through the state. You just have to go to City Hall and register you and your partner as a married couple, and you are a married couple. I personaly know people who have gotten married without going through the Church (ie. my parents). Therefore, this point is irrelevant. This debate is about whether or not it should be legal to marry someone of the same gender, not if all the relgious institutions should accept gay marriage. I am not saying that. If there was any confusion, let me clear it up; I am arguing that gay people should LEGALLY be allowed to marry. Keyword: legally.
>>I challenge you to find a legitimate religion that would happily marry a homosexual couple.
Again, look at my previous statement.
>>Marriages are religious.
Are you saying that if you do not have a religion, you cannot marry? I refuse to believe this. Again, I personally know people who do not have a religion and have married.
>>They are designed to be a covenant between partner and partner to declare before their religious deity that they are forever one.
If the government is a religious diety, then I would agree with you. However, the government is NOT a religious diety, nor can it establish a certain diety to be the national diety of the USA. You can go to City Hall and tell them you are married to another person, and they will record it and you are married in the eyes of the state. You do not have to ask a priest to marry you.
>>Civil Unions are contracts made with the state to ensure the same economic and civil rights as those with marriage.
Civil unions do not give the same civil and economical rights as those with marriage. They may be similar in some aspects, but they do not give the same rights as a marriage does.
>>The reason "separate but equal" didn't work was because the African-Americans were in very small minority and did not know how to stand up for their rights for a long time.
Are you suggesting that it is the African Americans' fault that they were discriminated and considered inferior?
>>Civil Unions can be changed to provide all the same rights as a marriage would. If they are given the same economic and civil liberties through civil unions, why do they wish to have marriage on top of that?
Again, you are making a 'separate but equal' argument. Is there a reason they should not wish to be able to have marriage? Why do they have to have a civil union? Civil unions were created to give gay people the same rights as married people. However, history has shown us that separate can never be equal. Civil unions will never be the same as marriages.
>>As for my last point about homosexual couples contributing less, I concede that it is possible for them to reproduce with the help of technology.
Thank you

>>Because marriage is not controlled by the government, and many religious institutions do not wish to perform homosexual marriages.
Again, you can walk into City Hall, and tell them you are married to a certain person, and City Hall records that you are now married. You do not have to ask the Church whether or not you can be married.
>>It also can't force you to accept homosexuality.
I am not saying that the government has to force everyone in the USA to accept gay people. I agree, there are a lot of people out there who do not like gay marriage. However, why should the people who do not like gay marriage be allowed to say that there can be no gay marriage?

>>You cannot stop religious institutions from condemning homosexuality as a sin and withholding their ceremonies,
Yes, but you do not have to go through a religious institution to get married, so this point is irrelevent. City Hall!

>>government does not have the right to interfere as long as no laws are broken.
Actually, you are wrong. The government was created to ensure that everyone had the same rights and liberties, and if one division of the people do not have a certain right, it should be the government's duty to give it to them. All men were created equal. They all have certain unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happyness. If one group of people do not have the right to marry, and they do not have the same liberties as everyone else, shouldn't we give it to them?

>>Homosexuals have the right to a state-recognized civil union that should grant them the same rights marriages between heterosexuals do.
Again, civil unions do not always grant the same rights as marriages.

>> I ask you, why do Non-religious homosexuals wish to be married by a religious institution if they have the same rights as the heterosexual couples?
You do not have to be married by a religious institution for you to be married. You can get married through the state. Also, CIVIL UNIONS DO NOT GRANT THE SAME RIGHTS AS A MARRIAGE.

>>Why not just change civil unions to be equal to marriages in all legal matters?
BECAUSE SEPARATE CAN NEVER BE EQUAL. You are a high school student, and I am sure that you have heard this phrase. You must also know, being a high school students, that it is true. If you do not know this phrase, please look it up.

I shall conclude my argument with this: if the gay person wishes to be married through the state, and is a non-religious person, why can't they do so? The obvious answer would be that it is illegal. However, we must ask ourselves, why is it illegal? Because the majority of the USA does not want gay marriage.

Why should the majority be able to tell the minority what to do? What gave the majority the ability to take away rights from the minority? My opponent might argue that it goes against their religion, and therefore they are against it. However, if the gay person is non-religious, why should someone else's religion affect their personal life?

I leave you with this, and thank you for the debate.
GBretz

Con

Okay, the basic argument line has been this:

GBretz: Marriage is a religious institution.
Cindela: No, it is a legal institution.
GBretz: If you want only a legal recognition of your marriage, why not civil unions?
Cindela: Civil Unions create a "separate but equal" situation, and history shows this to be impossible.

Now, I rebut that last response earlier saying you cannot compare the homosexual marriage debate question to the civil rights movement of the Ffrican-Americans, and I said my reasons why. Cindela said, "Are you suggesting that it is the African Americans' fault that they were discriminated and considered inferior?" This is NOT what I was saying, if it was, I would've said so.

What I did say was, "The reason "separate but equal" didn't work was because the African-Americans were in very small minority and did not know how to stand up for their rights for a long time. However, homosexuals and homosexual sympathizers are not in a very small minority and they certainly know how to stand for their rights. Civil Unions can be changed to provide all the same rights as a marriage would. If they are given the same economic and civil liberties through civil unions, why do they wish to have marriage on top of that?"

This means that African-Americans were less in number and uneducated for a long time after they were granted freedom, so they were unable to stand for their rights. I don't know where you got the idea I was blaming the African-Americans for their plight.

You stressed the importance of the fact "separate but equal" never works. Your proof is the historical record. But you cannot compare the plight of the African-American people to the "plight" of the gay people. In the words of Rev. Jesse Jackson, "The comparison with slavery is a stretch in that some slave masters were gay, in that gays were never called three-fifths human in the Constitution and in that they did not require the Voting Rights Act to have the right to vote."

The point is, marriage is not a "right" described in the Constitution. It is not something that needs to be defined in the Constitution either. Gays are not in an unfair plight that goes against their rights as described by the Constitution. All men were created equal, all men have the undeniable rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. But that has little or nothing to do with the homosexual marriage debate, since marriage is NOT an undeniable right upheld in the Constitution.

You said couples can be married through city hall. I grant you that, however, marriage done only through city hall is the equivalent to a civil union, except of course, civil union don't grant the same rights as marriage. You said this many times, and I offered you a solution to it many times, and you say "separate but equal" doesn't work. I say it can and will, and that your references to the racial civil rights movement is flawed and does not relate. We seem to be arguing in a circle. So I'll take us out of this loop.

The differing point between the rights granted through marriage and the rights granted through civil unions is that civil unions give all the rights at the state level, but do not have the authority to grant the rights at a federal level. However, many of these rights concern children and tax benefits for them and such. Since homosexuals cannot reproduce without their child being considered adopted (even test tube babies)these rights wouldn't even apply to them anyway. As for the rights that do concern homosexuals, like social security and other social services, there is nothing preventing the gay rights activists from pursuing these liberties to be allowed in civil unions.

You concluded: "Why should the majority be able to tell the minority what to do? What gave the majority the ability to take away rights from the minority?"
I'll tell you what did, its called democracy. The will of the majority over the will of the minority, that's what democracy is all about. Its to prevent a small group of people from controlling the government for their own special interests. Obviously the minority should not be discriminated against, but gays are not being discriminated against. They already have civil unions, and can work to make them better, and they will NOT have an inferior system, despite the cries of, "Separate but equal never works!"

And you know what? It does go against my religion, but not once did I use that as an argument against the granting of legal rights to homosexuals in this debate. (Which is what you said this was all about, "I am arguing that gay people should LEGALLY be allowed to marry. Keyword: legally.") My religion should not interfere in someone else's personal life. I also believe their personal views on life shouldn't be forced upon me and my religion. Homosexuals have the right to civil unions and they have the right to improve those civil unions to the point equality with marriage. Why redefine marriage for the rest of us?

I leave you with that, and thank you for the debate.

I would also like to ask the voters to vote on the debate itself and not on their personal views on the matter. Read thoroughly and carefully before casting your vote.
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by JonJon 9 years ago
JonJon
the separate but equal argument is nothing but prejudice. There are almost 1200 rights heterosexuals have when they married that are not available to homosexual "civil unions" in the US.

It's just not a big deal. Biblical hetero marriage was more about property than love. This "institution thing" was made up in recent history.

People don't like gays getting married primarily because of the "ick" factor, pure and simple. Time to get over it. Many countries offer both marriage and civil unions. The sky hasn't fallen.

If you're so concerned about the "institution" of marriage, perhaps you should be attacking the 50+% rate of divorce, especially amonngst the christers. Once you clean up your own us, then talk about my rights.
Posted by mjg283 9 years ago
mjg283
"Marriage is about love."

People get married for many reasons, some of which have nothing to do with love.

"Straight does not equal better."

I never said or meant to imply it did.

"Just because you don't like the idea of homosexuality does not make you right."

Show me where I wrote or implied that I have anything against homosexuals or homosexuality.

"My life has been so much better now that my mom has found the woman she loves than it was when she was married to my dad or my step dad. Don't bring up children because I am a firm believer in not sticking together for the child because that does more damage than good."

That's fine, and I'm glad you and your mother found happiness. I did not mean to imply that one should stick together for the child's sake when there is clearly a bad situation. My point was that the whole marriage regime was in place to GENERALLY encourage a situation where children are born in wedlock with parents who are committed to stay together (assuming that situation doesn't make things worse, as you noted). The reasons for this are obvious: two incomes are better than one, two parents are there to share the household and parenting responsibilities, the children are exposed to both male and female positive role models, etc . . .

To say that such things as family and children are not relevant in a same sex marriage (calling it "gay marriage" is underinclusive because some heterosexuals would probably get "married" to someone of the same sex for financial reasons -- see Adam Sandler and Kevin James in "Chuck and Larry," for example) debate is ridiculous. That's exactly what the debate is about. The prevailing opinion in American society right now is that same sex households are inferior when it comes to nurturing families and raising children. THAT is where marriage advocates should focus their efforts, not on vindicating "rights".
Posted by katieJ8 9 years ago
katieJ8
Whatever 283 Marriage is about love. At least it is for me. You marry someone because you love them and hope if you have children your good parents. Straight does not equal better. Just because you don't like the idea of homosexuality does not make you right. My life has been so much better now that my mom has found the woman she loves than it was when she was married to my dad or my step dad. Don't bring up children because I am a firm believer in not sticking together for the child because that does more damage than good. This is about gay marriage. You wanna talk about marriage and kids start another debate.
Posted by SolaGratia 9 years ago
SolaGratia
The crucial argument is that marriage is not part of the state, but of the church. Therefore, the state cannot legislate who is married and who is not. Civil Unions should be more legitimized, but marriage should be for heterosexual couples only.
Posted by mjg283 9 years ago
mjg283
I think one point is being overlooked in this debate. There's discussion of civil unions as being an alternative to marriage for same sex couples, and there seems to be an assumption that civil unions are widely available. They are not.They're only recognized right now in a handful of states: Connecticut, Vermont and New Jersey if memory serves (in addition to Massachusetts recognizing same sex marriage). I believe California and local jurisdictions like New York City also recognize "Domestic Partnerships."
Posted by Kleptin 9 years ago
Kleptin
I think there are a few sticking points in this debate.

My main concern is the issue of whether marriage is or is not a religious institution. If marriage is purely a religious institution, then Con would have won this debate hands down with the point about civil unions.

Pro argued that since marriage is undertaken by non-religious people, that makes it automatically a secular institution.

Though I find this to be an iffy point, I must consider this: When a couple is married, the marriage is validated based on power *bestowed upon the priest by their current legislature*. I'm only going by what I see on TV and in the movies, but isn't it always "the power vested in me by the state of New York"?

I believe Pro won this one.
Posted by mjg283 9 years ago
mjg283
Thing is, with same sex marriage, you're not really arguing for "to each their own." This isn't about tolerance and letting people live their private lives as they want. Marriage involves the state giving its stamp of approval on the relationship, along with state sponsored benefits, legal protections, and community acceptance and celebration of the relationship. "Live and let live" and "give my relationship a stamp of approval" are two dramatically different things.

As I said in my prior post, marriage IS denied to heterosexuals in a myriad of situations. Saying what if opposite sex marriage was completely outlawed is like saying what if an apple wasn't an apple? Most dictionaries and statutes DEFINE marriage as man/woman, and the reason for that has nothing to do with rights. Marriage wasn't put in place to give anybody any rights. It was put in place to ensure that parents remain together and that children are raised in a stable, two-parent home. It always bothers me when people talk about marriage in terms of "rights". When you enter into a marriage, you're not gaining rights -- if anything, you're sacrificing your own self-interest in order to care for the well-being of your spouse and your children.

That's why I don't think the push for same sex marriage will get anywhere as long as the dialogue is about "rights". The focus should not be on the "right" to marry, but rather why same sex marriage is beneficial, perhaps even vital in certain circumstances to the well-being of the children involved.
Posted by katieJ8 9 years ago
katieJ8
Why does the rest of the world get to say how I should live my life? I am not Christian. I am Pagan and I believe to each their own. How would you feel if everything was reversed and heterosexual marriage was forbidden? Its not right. It goes against what this country stands for. Freedom of Religion and the pursuit of happiness. We have as much right as anyone else to be happy. Religion has nothing to do with love. When you think of denying us our rights think how you're life would be if you were denied this simple but wonderful thing.
Posted by mjg283 9 years ago
mjg283
Heterosexuals do not have the right to marry anybody they wish. If a heterosexual wishes to enter into a polygamous or incestuous relationship or a relationship with a minor under the age of consent, they are in no better position than a homosexual wishing to marry somebody of the same sex.

In addition, some heterosexuals might desire a same sex marriage for financial reasons (marriages aren't always about love and attraction), and they are out of luck as well.

I would however, avoid, arguments like this: "One interesting example is France, a country that has allowed same-sex marriage and consequently has a declining population."

This is a classic example of the logical fallacy post hoc ergo propter hoc (B occurred after A occurred therefore A caused B). There are a myriad of possible causes for a country's declining population that are unrelated to same sex marriage: the rise of abortion, more people marrying later in life or choosing not to marry at all, people having fewer kids after gettng married, etc . . .
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