The Instigator
mongeese
Pro (for)
Losing
10 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Winning
22 Points

Kleptin Tourney: This House Would Legally Recognize Homosexual Marriages

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
Danielle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/20/2010 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,639 times Debate No: 11811
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (90)
Votes (5)

 

mongeese

Pro

I would like to thank theLwerd for agreeing to be in this tournament.

This is a special debate for Kleptin's special debate tourney: http://www.debate.org...

The debate this is based off of is:
http://www.debate.org...

Voting rules:
"The categories give you 7 points to play with. The contender will always be the one trying to defeat his or her old arguments.

"Use the 7 points to show how well the contender managed to respond to his/her old arguments. A link to the contender's old debate should be available.

"If the contender made some roundabout attempt to avoid arguing against his/her old argument, then be the judge. If you felt it was clever and applicable, award full points. If you found it desperate and unconvincing, give points to the opponent."

Finally, only people participating in this tournament may vote.

Now, on to my contention (others may come later):

1. Equality

Equality under the law is guaranteed under the Fourteenth Amendment:
"No State shall... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com...

However, how can we have equal protection of the law if homosexual couples do not get the numerous priviledges, protections, and benefits that heterosexual couples receive, such as:
http://www.nolo.com...
The fact that heterosexual couples get a martial communications privelege, while homosexual couples do not, clearly violates the Fourteenth Amendment.

Even if one does not think that the Fourteenth Amendment is applicable to marriage, equality under the law is still one of the forefronts of American principles, especially in the civil rights era, and cannot be disregarded for any reason.

Good luck, theLwerd.
Danielle

Con

Many thanks to my opponent for sending me this challenge, and thanks to all who have stopped by to read this debate. Without further adieu...

1. Re: Equality

Pro states that equality under the law is guaranteed by the 14th amendment which is true. Marriage is defined as the social institution under which a man and a woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc. [1]. There is nothing in the law that that prohibits an individual - gay, straight or somewhere in between - from becoming married. Individual states do have provisions on what requirements they have for marriage, i.e. age, mutual consent, proof that both parties are not close blood relatives, etc. [2]. However, there is no clause in any federal or state law that prohibits a marriage... again, a commitment between a man and a woman (by definition)... based sexuality or sexual preference. Homosexuals are still afforded the right to marriage: a commitment between a man and a woman. Therefore, equality under the 14th amendment is adhered to and Pro's lone contention crumbles.

Thank you and good luck.

[1] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[2] http://www.usmarriagelaws.com...
Debate Round No. 1
mongeese

Pro

I would like to thank theLwerd for accepting this debate.

1+. Equality

My opponent's definition of "marriage" is not the only correct definiion. Why, there is a definition directly under hers that supports my position instead: "a similar institution involving partners of the same gender." Therefore, by definition, two gays of the same gender would be able to be married to each other.
Additionally, it could be said that a lack of legalization of homosexual marriage is sexist:
A man may marry a woman, but a woman may not marry a woman.
A woman may marry a man, but a man cannot marry a man.
This is rather blatant discrimination and inequality.

However, even if the equality is not protected under the fourteenth amendment, it is a lie that such an argument was my "lone contention"; indeed, I had one sentence after it: "Even if one does not think that the Fourteenth Amendment is applicable to marriage, equality under the law is still one of the forefronts of American principles, especially in the civil rights era, and cannot be disregarded for any reason." This statement was rather ignored.

Now, I'll make some more contentions as to why homosexual marriages should be legalized:

2+. STDs

A legally recognized marriage would help create a sense of commitment among homosexual partners. This would naturally make them less inclined to cheat on their partners, or visit prostituties. Both of these activities contribute to the spread of STDs, which makes the world generally less safe to live in, and makes health care prices go up for everybody.

3+. Why not?

Now, my opponent has no arguments whatsoever for her case, offering only a single counterargument, so I have nothing more to refute.

Now, my opponent gives no reasons why homosexual marriages SHOULDN'T be legalized.
Danielle

Con

Many thanks to Pro for the swift and timely rebuttal.

1A. Re: Equality

Pro brings up an alternative definition of the word marriage which reads, "a similar institution involving partners of the same gender." Most importantly here is the word 'similar.' Indeed marriage is either a legal or a SOCIAL contract [1] and homosexuals who are 'married' merely experience the social definition; not the legal one. Under U.S. laws, the first definition of marriage - i.e. a union between a man and a woman - applies. Proof of this can be found by using my 2nd link from R1 where I posted all of the terms and conditions for marriage in each state. When gay couples join in a similar union, it is called a "civil union" and not a marriage [2]. Now, while Pro might mention that civil unions do not afford all of the same rights and privileges as a marriage, and therefore inequality exists, then all he is really doing is proving that the rights of and privileges of civil unions should be extended to equal those of marriage, which I would obviously agree with.

Next, Pro writes that not recognizing homosexual marriages is sexist. That is far from the truth. As I said in the last round, both men and women of any race, creed or sexuality can choose to obtain a marriage in the United States. Therefore, saying that the laws are "sexist" simply does not make any sense. A law would only be sexist if it discriminates (prohibits) based on gender, which marriage laws do not do. Both men and women can get married. If a man wants to marry a man or a woman wants to marry a woman, they can seek the legal equivalent of a civil union while still referring to their commitment socially as a marriage. In cases where civil unions are not an option for a gay couple, I would propose extending that option to them everywhere in the country - not legalizing gay marriage.

Here's an analogy: If the school cafeteria only sold apples but people thought oranges should be sold too to accommodate orange-lovers, then a change in policy would make both apples and oranges available, price them at the same amount, make sure that both fruits came from a good vendor, etc. However you wouldn't re-name oranges "apples" simply because they are now being included on the menu. At the end of the day, apples are still apples and oranges are still oranges, though both considered and treated equally, and/or both are an available option. The same logic applies to marriage and civil unions. If civil unions are afforded the same rights and privileges as marriage, then there is no need to change the legal definition when people can still socially refer to their civil union as a marriage.

1B. Re: Fourteenth Amendment / Equality

Pro says that I have ignored his argument that equality under the law is a long-standing American tradition. I did not ignore his argument; I noted that the 14th amendment granting equality was true and right. But sure. Let's assume I didn't respond to that direct sentence enough for Pro's liking. I'll begin by stating that under the law, Americans are not all expected to be equal but rather all afforded the same opportunities. For instance, if I was born into a rich family and Pro was born into a poor family, that does not mean that Pro and I are entitled to the same things under equality laws. On the contrary, we are simply equal in terms of opportunity, though it is just a sad coincidence that I was born rich and Pro was born poor. As long as his rights are not being violated, then no injustice is being committed.

Similarly, the same concept applies to marriage. If Pro was gay and I was straight, then under equality laws he and I could both still obtain a legal marriage. However, it would just be his poor and unfortunate circumstance that he was born gay while I was born straight, just as it is an unfortunate reality that some people are born poor and others are lucky enough to be born rich. So, if Pro's concept is that Americans should have equal legal rights, then yes I would tend to agree. Though Americans both gay and straight do have the equal right to marriage, and equal protections under the law does not translate to automatically giving everybody "the same." Instead, I have already proposed extending the right for everyone to obtain civil unions and ensure that civil unions afford the same rights and protections as heterosexual marriage. As Phil Ferrera says, "There's no use in trying to change the dictionary to push a social agenda." And remember that the definition of marriage that applied to gay couples merely said that it was a 'similar' union to marriage.

2. Re: STDs

Pro contends that recognizing marriage would help create a sense of commitment among homosexual partners, therefore encouraging them not to cheat on their spouse and limit the spread of STDs. So here I'll make 2 arguments. First, lesbians are the demographic LEAST likely to contract STDs so this statistic does not really apply for gay women [3]. Second, I pointed out in my previous debate that 60% of married men (heterosexual men) engage in extramarital affairs [4]. Since that is the case, then why should we assume that a commitment will keep homosexual men faithful while it does not keep heterosexual men faithful? The bottom line is that it is not the government's job to make sure that people stay STD-free or don't cheat on their partner. That is a moral preference and a personal responsibility that should be left up to the individual.

3. Re: Why not?

In the first round, my opponent made just one contention and thus I only had one contention to respond to. Since Pro expressed his right to list more contentions in R2, I feel I am obviously afforded the same privilege. In this round I talked about why it is unnecessary to legalize gay marriage if instead the rights of civil unions were expanded to be all-inclusive and guarantee the same privileges and benefits. I would also like to mention that this is a preferable alternative to those who feel marriage is a sacred religious experience - especially because 83% of Americans claim to be Christian [5]. My proposed solution is one that makes everyone happy. It keeps legal marriage between a man and a woman (appeasing conservatives and Christians); it gives gays equal marriage protection under a different term; and finally it allows gays to use their freedom of speech to call their union "marriage" whether anybody else likes it or not.

4. Furthermore, for a Con argument, I'd like to point out that marriage isn't a right at all for anyone either gay or straight. Anyone can choose to be in a long-term relationship with a consenting partner; however, one does not have the right to marriage i.e. the right to demand special privileges or tax breaks because they are choosing to be in a long-term relationship. This is essentially rewarding people for putting a title to their commitment which is technically unconstitutional. Therefore, by allowing gay marriage, you're simply perpetuating an already bad standard thus not solving the problem. For instance, if I murdered Pro's mother - and that was wrong - should Pro be allowed to murder my mother just to have "equality?" The answer is obviously no. This Con's position states that the fairest solution to this issue would either be (a) implement my civil union policy detailed in Point 3; or (b) negate marriage as a government standing all-together. Both of these proposed alternatives are superior to Pro's suggestion of legalizing gay marriage.

Thank you.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://www.wisegeek.com...
[3] http://www.guttmacher.org...
[4] http://menstuff.org...
[5] http://abcnews.go.com...
Debate Round No. 2
mongeese

Pro

I would like to thank theLwerd for her response.

1+. Equality

A.
My opponent "obviously agrees" with extending the rights and priveleges sof civil unions to the level currently found in marriages. However, in that case, a civil union is, by definition, a homosexual marriage, the definition being "a similar institution involving partners of the same gender." If the same rights and priveleges are involved in marriage and civil unions, then the two institutions are obviously very similar. We know that we can't be talking about the first sub-definition of "marriage" when we discuss "homosexual marriage" because under the first sub-definition, "homosexual marriage" cannot exist, leaving only the second definition, which pretty much IS a civil union. My opponent agrees with the legalization of civil unions, and civil unions are, by definition, homosexual marriages, so my opponent agrees with the resolution, a fatal mistake for PRO.

My opponent claims that not legalizing homosexual marriages would not discriminate based on gender, and yet it does. She admits that men may not marry men, while women may marry men, and women may not marry women, while men may marry women. My opponent's alternative, a civil union, is marriage; however, if you do not think that a civil union is, by definition, a marriage, then that is still sexist; my opponent cannot make a disctinction between civil unions and marriages, and then claim that civil unions are equal to marriages.

As for my opponent's analogy, an orange is not, by definition, an apple. However, a civil union is, by definition, a marriage. Therefore, the analogy is not completely appropriate.

B.

Extend my previous arguments about why civil unions are marriages.

"And remember that the definition of marriage that applied to gay couples merely said that it was a 'similar' union to marriage."
Yes, but the definition is for "marriage," so it is a marriage because it is similar to another type of marriage.

2+. STDs

My opponent claims that because a large number of men cheat on their wives, marriage will not help keep partners committed to each other. However, "studies repeatedly demonstrate that people who marry tend to be better off financially, emotionally, psychologically, and even medically" [1], and as people who are emotionally better off tend not to try to forget their troubles through something new like a new parter or a prostitute, it stands to reason that such things would be lessened by legalization of marriage.

My opponent claims that it is not the government's job to help protect people from STDs. However, if the government tries to protect heterosexual couples from STDs through marriage, it should do the same for homosexual couples.

3+. Why not?

Although religious people get religious marriages, not all marriages are religious, as they do not even require a priest or other religious person to be present at the marriage. "Civil marriage is the legal concept of marriage as a governmental institution irrespective of religious affiliation, in accordance with marriage laws of the jurisdiction" [2]. As we are talking about legalization, civil marriages are the ones we are concerned with.

My opponent argues that because America is mostly a Christian nation, they consider marriage a sacred religious experience. However, they aren't complaining about the lack of a priest attending non-religious weddings. As long as their churches aren't required to hold homosexual weddings, there isn't a problem. Additionally, many Americans used to have problems with inter-racial marriages. Would this be justification to not label such marriages as marriages? Finally, extend the argument that civil unions are homosexual marriages, so my opponent is still affirming the resolution while seeking to negate it.

4-. Marriage and Government

The entire purpose of this debate is for my opponent to go devil's advocate against a position that she holds. However, this argument - that government should not be involved in marriage - does nothing for that purpose. According to the debate rules, my opponent has to be arguing directly against her old arguments. Arguing for no government intervention in marriage whatsoever - something that CON never did in the linked debate - is a desperate bypass of having to face her own position. Therefore, this argument should be considred null.

Now, I am in complete support of removing tax breaks from marriage, but there are special priveleges that we would definitely want to extend to homosexual couples, but would not need individual people to have, including the right to open joint bank accounts, the right to inherit each other's property, the right to visit each other in the hospital, the right to visit each other in a morgue, the right to adopt children, etc.

My opponent argues unconstitutionality, but does not source the Constitution at all. The Constitution is kind of important in determining constitutionality.

Finally, the equivocation of murder to granting married people the right to open a joint bank account is rather crazy. Plus, a more appropriate analogy would be stealing (A steals from B, so B steals from A, and all is fair), which or direct, not indirect, murder (A murders B, so the state has A killed, but the jury's still out on that one). My opponent is trying to construe an analogy in the weirdest, most biased way possible.

Conclusion+:
Civil unions, by definition, are marriages.
Benefits of these civil unions would include increased equality, and increased prosperity and happiness for the homosexual population.

That will be all for now. Thank you.

1. http://atheism.about.com...
2. http://en.wikipedia.org...
Danielle

Con

Thank you, Pro, for your response.

1A. Re: Equality

My opponent's response has been a desperate reach for semantics, however, all attempts fail. Pro says, "My opponent 'obviously agrees' with extending the rights and privileges..." etc. Yes, Pro, I "obviously agree." Did putting the fact that I "obviously agree" in quotations somehow make a point? I think not. Pro's whole argument here is, "If the same rights and privileges are involved in marriage and civil unions, then the two institutions are obviously very similar." Obviously I am not denying that they are similar. Them being similar - i.e. granting equal rights - is the entire point. However for the reasons I mentioned in the previous round, calling the homosexual union very similar to marriage a 'civil union' under the law is the most beneficial for all of these reasons I mentioned and Pro seems to have ignored:

"It keeps legal marriage between a man and a woman (appeasing conservatives and Christians); it gives gays equal marriage protection under a different term; and finally it allows gays to use their freedom of speech to call their union 'marriage' whether anybody else likes it or not."

Next Pro writes, "We know that we can't be talking about the first sub-definition of 'marriage' when we discuss 'homosexual marriage' because under the first sub-definition, 'homosexual marriage' cannot exist, leaving only the second definition, which pretty much IS a civil union." I have to admit that I have absolutely no idea what my opponent is talking about. I would like my opponent to clarify what this actually means, because to me it just seems like one run-on sentence that isn't actually making a point.

Also, regardless of what my opponent is trying to say -- saying something is "pretty much" a civil union is not really relevant to this debate. I've said that civil unions ought to extend the same rights, privileges and benefits to homosexual couples that the concept of marriage is afforded to straight couples. Since there is no sense in changing the definition of the word marriage in the legal sense (see: apples and oranges example), then it makes sense to call the legal binding a 'civil union' and if gay couples want to call their civil union "marriage" in a social context, then it would be okay because they have that right thanks to the wonderful concept of free speech. With my proposal, everybody wins.

Pro concludes this portion of his argument by saying, "My opponent agrees with the legalization of civil unions, and civil unions are, by definition, homosexual marriages, so my opponent agrees with the resolution, a fatal mistake for PRO." However, that is not the definition of civil union that I have provided, nor has my opponent provided that definition to me. In fact, the definition of civil unions that I provided as determined by Wikipedia (to which Pro has not contended, and which it would be too late to in the last round) specifically notes a civil union as a, "legally recognized union SIMILAR to marriage." In other words, Pro's notation that civil unions = homosexual marriage is actually something he just made up for his own convenience.

Furthermore, there are indeed jurisdictions in which civil unions are granted to OPPOSITE SEX COUPLES [1]. Therefore, Pro's statement that I made a "fatal mistake" is actually quite false; he is the one in making the mistake in implying that civil unions means "homosexual marriage." In fact, it simply refers to a legal union similar to marriage. Therefore, Pro's argument fails.

1B. Re: Sexism

First, Pro insists that marriage discriminates based on gender. It is a complete waste of my character space to force me to repeat the same arguments as I did in the last round (bad conduct). As I said in R2, marriage laws would only discriminate based on gender if they prohibited a certain gender from having them. Every gender is free to marry and utilize marriage. However, they are not permitted to marry someone of the same gender and have it CALLED marriage, because it wouldn't be marriage - it would be something else.

Just as everyone would have the equal right to marry regardless of gender, they would have the equal right to obtain a civil union regardless of their gender. In other words, everyone has the right to enter into a similar legal commitment and receive the same benefits; however, what that commitment is called is based on who they choose to be with. Pro also says, "my opponent cannot make a distinction between civil unions and marriages, and then claim that civil unions are equal to marriages." However, I never said that civil unions were equal to marriages. I said that they were SIMILAR, and then I explained their similarities (same rights, privileges, etc.) and differences (based on the gender of people entering the union). Pro is completely ignoring and straw manning my arguments.

2. Re: STDs

Pro's statistic about married couples is irrelevant. People aren't happier and healthier because they're in a commitment called marriage; they're better off because of their commitment itself - not the title of their commitment. Therefore saying that couples have to be married in order to receive the benefits of married couples (non-legal) is bad logic. Also, Pro claims that the government tries to protect heterosexuals from STDs through marriage. However, you'll notice that Pro has not provided a source proving that this is true.

Instead, I will contend that the government mandates blood tests to people who want to seek marriage; however, that in no way implies that they're trying to "protect" people from GETTING the STDs; instead they just want to mandate that people know if they HAVE or if their partner already has an STD. So overall, all of this logic fails. Pro also never responded to my point about how marriage doesn't stop men from straying, nor did he comment on the fact that lesbians are by far the lowest demographic with STDs.

3. Re: Why Not

Pro says that not all marriages are religious. This is irrelevant; I never implied that all marriages are religious. I said some people consider marriage to be a religious ordeal, therefore calling homosexual commitments "civil unions" appeases them. Though of course, gays can call their commitment whatever they want (free speech). Pro also questions, "Additionally, many Americans used to have problems with inter-racial marriages. Would this be justification to not label such marriages as marriages?" The answer is no, because marriage is never and was never defined as the union between people of the same race. However, marriage WAS/IS defined as a man and a woman, therefore this point is also irrelevant.

4. Re: Marriage and Government

Pro states, "The entire purpose of this debate is for my opponent to go devil's advocate against a position that she holds." This is INCORRECT and a straw man of the tournament's parameters. This debate is not about going against a position that we hold; it's about going against a position that we have debated and won in the past. Fortunately for me, I agree with everything I have said in this debate - especially the part about non-legalized marriage for both gays and straights (this contention). I do not believe that the government has any place in marriage whatsoever. However, I frequently argue in favor of gay marriage on this site.

What we debate does not always line up with what we believe, therefore Pro is taking the tournament out of context. Furthermore, he says that my last argument should not be included because I did not argue this position in the past. I believe that this is the most ridiculous thing said, as clearly I have not mentioned this in my previous debate because I WAS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RESOLUTION. In short, Pro completely ignored one of my strongest contentions for absolutely no reason. Extend it.

/ Character Space,

Thank you.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
mongeese

Pro

Thank you, theLwerd, for your quick response.

1+. Equality

A.

Now, my opponent continually denies that civil unions are marriages, so I'm going to go back to the basics here.
According to Dictionary.com [1], the dictionary we've been using since Round 1 (as theLwerd's 1st source), marriage is defined as:
"the social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc."
As a homosexual marriage cannot be between a man and a woman, this definition is obviously not what we're looking for.
However, there is a second definition:
"a similar institution involving partners of the same gender: gay marriage."
This is clearly the definition of "homosexual marriage" that the resolution is looking for.
Now, let's look at a civil union.
Is a civil union an institution similar to marriage?
theLwerd: "Obviously I am not denying that they are similar."
Does a civil union involve partners of the same gender?
theLwerd: "civil unions are granted to OPPOSITE SEX COUPLES"
And so, a civil union, being an institution similar to marriage involving partners of the same gender, is, by definition, marriage.
This should explain the "run-on" sentence.
My opponent's mistake seems to have been looking at the Wiki definition of "civil union" and seeing if homosexual marriages are civil unions. However, the proper method is to use the definition of "homosexual marriage" and see if civil unions are homosexual marriages.

My opponent argues that legally, a civil union would not be called a marriage. However, there is no legal definition of "homosexual marriage," so trying to use a legal dictionary to define the resolution would be pointless. Dictionary.com proves sufficient enough. Additionally, it doesn't matter whether or not the government calls a civil union a marriage; it is still a marriage, by definition. If the government does not legally declare its own actions to be tyranny, does that mean that its actions are not tyranny? Not at all. In the same vein, if a government does not legally declare civil unions to be marriages, does that mean that civil unions are not marriages? No.

My opponent claims that I made civil unions equal homosexual marriage for my own convenience. However, Dictionary.com obviously beat me to the punch, as did Merriam-Webster [2], Wikipedia [3], About.com [4], and almost every other online dictionary one can find.

B.

A man cannot marry a man, but a woman can. Only a certain gender (female) can marry men. Not every gender is free to marry men. That's sexism. Simple enough.

My opponent complains of wasted characters (even though I used over 1,500 to explain why civil unions are marriages, even though I've established it long ago), but I would like to point out that according to the voting rules (outlined in Round 1), conduct isn't even a voting category; all seven points are used to grade the Contender's ability to play devil's advocate. Just a reminder in case you forgot.

2+. STDs

Extend the solid argument that civil unions are marriages.

My opponent claims that mandated blood tests are not designed to protect people from STDs. However, this is obviously a lie. The blood tests are mandated so that a person knows whether or not their partner has an STD, allowing that person to either take necessary precautions against the spread of that STD or end the engagement; both cases help protect the person from an STD.

My opponent claims that I said nothing about men cheating on their wives, but I pointed out that this does not immediately mean a lack of a correlation between marriage and true commitment. As for lesbian STD rates, low rates aren't zero rates, so what does it really matter? Marriage would still help.

3+. Why Not?

This is pretty much irrelevant, given that civil unions are marriages, regardless of what the government calls it.

4-. Marriage and Government

My opponent practically screams at me for accusing her of not using arguments that she used before. However, she completely straw-mans me. I stated that she should be arguing AGAINST her old arguments, as per tournament rules. I never said that she must maintain arguments of PRO as CON.

Finally, my opponent claims that I "completely ignored" one of her "strongest" contentions. However, I had three more nice paragraphs for that very purpose, which I shall post here again for your viewing pleasure:

"Now, I am in complete support of removing tax breaks from marriage, but there are special priveleges that we would definitely want to extend to homosexual couples, but would not need individual people to have, including the right to open joint bank accounts, the right to inherit each other's property, the right to visit each other in the hospital, the right to visit each other in a morgue, the right to adopt children, etc.

"My opponent argues unconstitutionality, but does not source the Constitution at all. The Constitution is kind of important in determining constitutionality.

"Finally, the equivocation of murder to granting married people the right to open a joint bank account is rather crazy. Plus, a more appropriate analogy would be stealing (A steals from B, so B steals from A, and all is fair), which or direct, not indirect, murder (A murders B, so the state has A killed, but the jury's still out on that one). My opponent is trying to construe an analogy in the weirdest, most biased way possible."

My opponent has apparently read over all of these. By ignoring my counter-arguments to Contention 4-, she drops her sole argument that isn't just a counter to one of my own. By choosing not to respond to any of my arguments for Contention 4-, she forfeits them to be true, and may not provide any counter to them in her half of this round; such would be an abuse of the system, and a strategic forfeit.

To prevent my opponent from trying to bypass this standard, I've found an example of my opponent agreeing to the standard rule that dropped arguments are automatically conceded, just in case:
"Pro completely dropped this argument and therefore this point is awarded to the Con" [5].

With that, all that I need to point out is that I've solidly, though the use of an agreed-upon dictionary and my opponent's own quotes, proven that civil unions are homosexual marriages, so all of my opponent's arguments that pre-assume that civil unions exist to ensure equality actually affirm the resolution, rather than negate it.
My opponent's only contention that did not involve civil unions, Contention 4-, was dropped last round, and is therefore void.
My opponent has no leg to stand on. The resolution is affirmed. Vote PRO.

Thanks to theLwerd, for the debate, and to the voters, for the time and your RFDs that you will hopefully give, and to Kleptin, for organizing the tournament that this debate is a part of.

1. http://dictionary.reference.com...
2. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
3. http://en.wikipedia.org...
4. http://marriage.about.com...
5. http://www.debate.org...

One last reminder of the voting rules:

Voting rules:
"The categories give you 7 points to play with. The contender will always be the one trying to defeat his or her old arguments.
"Use the 7 points to show how well the contender managed to respond to his/her old arguments. A link to the contender's old debate should be available.
"If the contender made some roundabout attempt to avoid arguing against his/her old argument, then be the judge. If you felt it was clever and applicable, award full points. If you found it desperate and unconvincing, give points to the opponent."
People not participating in the tournament may not vote. Please don't.
Danielle

Con

Thanks, Pro.

1A. Re: Equality

My opponent begins by noting, "Now, my opponent continually denies that civil unions are marriages." I would like to clarify something that has supposedly been misinterpreted or misconstrued (as you can tell from the Comments Section of this debate). I stand by the fact that civil unions are NOT legal marriages. Under the dictionary definition provided, marriage is strictly limited to occur between a man or a woman (definition 1). The second notation of marriage Pro refers to notes, "a similar institution involving partners of the same gender: gay marriage." However, that very definition itself specifically states that gay marriage is a SIMILAR institution to marriage, indicating that it's NOT marriage.

So, we can take the notation of "gay marriage" being referred to as a similar institution to mean that 'gay marriage' is strictly 'marriage' between gays in a social sense - not a legal sense. Pro's affirmation of gay marriage being 'similar' to marriage acknowledges that the two are not the same. Furthermore, gay marriage and/or civil unions do NOT offer the same rights, privileges and benefits as (heterosexual) marriage. Thus, the two are not the same thing - they're merely similar.

To clarify, marriage is an institution limited to a man and a woman. A similar institution to marriage that is available to same-sex couples are called civil unions. However, civil unions are not LIMITED to homosexuals like marriage is to heterosexuals; a straight couple can indeed obtain a civil union. That is why Pro's contention that civil unions = homosexual marriages are wrong. Civil unions can NOT be defined as homosexual marriages (since heterosexuals can obtain them).

The way to properly define a civil union is exactly how I presented it: a union similar to marriage afforded to both heterosexual and homosexual couples. A direct quote I used in R1 explains, "When gay couples join in a similar union, it is called a 'civil union' and not a marriage." Nowhere in that description did I say that heterosexuals could not get one; indeed I explained in the last round how heterosexuals CAN get one. So as you can see, any and every attempt my opponent makes to straw man me falls flat. Everything that I have said about marriage and CU's is correct, and I find this focus on semantics to be a gigantic distraction from the debate at hand (he used a good 5 paragraphs desperately trying to present a contradiction that does not exist), though I expected nothing less.

1B. Re: Sexism

Pro continues to post the exact same argument repeatedly regardless of how many times I have specifically addressed it. His argument reads, "A man cannot marry a man, but a woman can. Only a certain gender (female) can marry men. Not every gender is free to marry men. That's sexism. Simple enough." Now instead of wasting time repeating myself, I will merely copy and paste the same exact thing I have been saying for the past 2 rounds:

"Marriage laws would only discriminate based on gender if they prohibited a certain gender from having them. Every gender is free to marry and utilize marriage. However, they are not permitted to marry someone of the same gender and have it CALLED marriage, because it wouldn't be marriage - it would be something else. Just as everyone would have the equal right to marry regardless of gender, they would have the equal right to obtain a civil union regardless of their gender. In other words, everyone has the right to enter into a similar legal commitment and receive the same benefits; however, what that commitment is called is based on who they choose to be with."

As you can see, I have already addressed the sexism argument - twice - and my answer is still the same and has yet to be successfully refuted.

2. Re: STDs

Here Pro begins this by saying, "Extend the solid argument that civil unions are marriages." This is laughable to me; I don't know how many times I have to explain that civil unions are not marriages. If civil unions were marriages, they would be called marriages - not civil unions. Civil unions are not marriages because (a) CU's can be granted to both homosexual and heterosexual couples - marriages can not; (b) CU's are not regarded the same as marriage in terms of government benefits, afforded the same rights, etc. Thus, civil unions are not marriages.

Moving on, I will copy and paste Pro's arguments about why granting gay marriage (i.e. extending marriage rights to homosexuals) will somehow prevent the spread of STDs. Pro writes, "A legally recognized marriage would help create a sense of commitment among homosexual partners. This would naturally make them less inclined to cheat on their partners, or visit prostitutes. Both of these activities contribute to the spread of STDs, which makes the world generally less safe to live in." So let's dissect these assertions one by one since I have already addressed them all but somehow Pro's understanding was distorted.

First, why should we assume that legally recognized marriages would create a sense of commitment among gays that would prevent them from cheating? For one thing, gays have a long history of solid, monogamous relationships regardless of whether the government considers them "marriage" or not. Second, I have presented evidence that 60% of heterosexual married males cheat on their spouse. Thus, we have no reason to believe that putting a title on a relationship will give gay men an incentive not to stray when the title does not seemingly help straight males. And finally, I have explained that it is not the government's job to force citizens to take mandatory STD tests as a requirement for marriage; that is intrusive and unconstitutional. People are responsible for their own bodies and sexual acts.

3. Re: Why Not?

Pro's only 'argument' here reads:

"This is pretty much irrelevant, given that civil unions are marriages, regardless of what the government calls it."

Since this is entirely wrong and I have explained why, please extend my other third point argument.

4. Re: Marriage and Govt.

Pro says, "I stated that she should be arguing AGAINST her old arguments" here which is non-sensical. Pro presented my old arguments to me and I have refuted them. My 4th argument was a contention on my part to help my negative side of the debate; nowhere do the rules say that I cannot introduce new arguments as that is to be expected since we have to argue an entire new side of the debate. Nevertheless, Pro writes that he would be in favor of eliminating tax breaks for homosexual couples though gay couples should be afforded other privileges, such as being able to open up joint bank accounts, visit gay partners in the hospital, etc.

First, two people of any gender or sexuality can open up a joint bank account together rendering this example useless. Second, all of these privileges can be made simply by obtaining legal documentation listing anyone as your "power of attorney" in case of a death or medical emergency. In other words, even though I cannot marry my girlfriend, I can still put her in charge of my person, estate, etc. simply by seeing a lawyer. Seeing a lawyer to do this is not any more difficult than seeing a priest or judge to be married.

I will concede that I did not provide a direct link to the constitution in my last round; I could not afford the characters. However, Pro cannot simply deem my analogy flawed because he thinks "murder" is too extreme and uses "stealing" in its place instead. Regardless of how you look at the analogy - either with stealing or murder - my analogy is still valid. If Pro steals from me - and stealing is wrong - then I should not be able to steal from Pro just because he stole from me. So here I am not making any new argument; I am simply explaining why my old argument was correct and Pro's logic was - not shockingly - flawed.

Please extend all my R2-3 arguments.

/Characters
Debate Round No. 4
90 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
Okay, I did not write that. mongoose must have, when I forgot to log out.

But yes, I stand by that fact.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
theLwerd: blah blah My proposition would have the two similar

Thus, your proposition would have it clearly follow the defenition of marriage. Thus, you are arguing for it.
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
WJM: Great point. Bravo.

Mongeese: I refuted it in the debate. I am so sick of copy-pasting my arguments. This is the most PATHETIC thing I have seen in the past, hmm, few hours (cuz philosphical hasn't been online).

"Additionally, it doesn't matter whether or not the government calls a civil union a marriage; it is still a marriage, by definition."

Lmfao. I did not refute that in the debate? Please. Please tell me you stand by the fact that I did not refute this.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
"My opponent argues that legally, a civil union would not be called a marriage. However, there is no legal definition of 'homosexual marriage,' so trying to use a legal dictionary to define the resolution would be pointless. Dictionary.com proves sufficient enough. Additionally, it doesn't matter whether or not the government calls a civil union a marriage; it is still a marriage, by definition. If the government does not legally declare its own actions to be tyranny, does that mean that its actions are not tyranny? Not at all. In the same vein, if a government does not legally declare civil unions to be marriages, does that mean that civil unions are not marriages? No."

This entire paragraph went unrefuted, which tends to mean that the argument was dropped. I had two paragraphs explaining that unrefuted arguments are dropped, but lo and behold, they were dropped, too.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
"Comment debate ftw"

Yeah, I know. Raise your hand if you DID NOT see this coming.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
Comment debate ftw
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
"And yet, I spent an entire paragraph explaining why the social definition was all that was needed to affirm the resolution, and it was completely ignored by every single voter reading this debate!"

Wait, wut? Why would the social definition be all that is needed? This doesn't even make any sense... prolly why people are ignoring you (as if you even get to decide what matters and what doesn't lololol). You guys crack me up. Keep this coming, actually. It's hilarious.
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
... Pfft LOL!

"(WHERE DID I EVER POST THAT THEY WERE NOT SIMILAR?)"
"CUs as they stand do NOT have all or even SIMILAR legal privileges (as marriage)."
See the capitalized words.

Yes, I said AS THEY STAND civil unions do not have similar legal privileges.

Defenition of [ gay ] marriage: "a similar institution involving partners of the same gender."
By defenition, you are calling a civil union in which gay couples join is a marriage.
Thus, you concede.

... Lmfao! I conceded absolutely nothing. This is you making no point at all again. Blabbidy blah blah blah blah blabbidy blah blah. Yes, by definition, a civil union is a similar institution to marriage. I agree. Where did I ever say that a civil union was not a similar institution to marriage? Up there I said they were not similar in a LEGAL sense, but if you post the continuation of that (obviously you won't bc it shows how fail your point is), you'll see that I said they are similar in a SOCIAL sense. Do you need me to copy and paste that or are you competent enough to read it for yourself? Oh wait... why am I asking that... of course you're not. Let me copy and paste it for you:

"Indeed marriage is either a legal or a SOCIAL contract [1] and homosexuals who are 'married' merely experience the social definition; not the legal one." ----- Con (Me) From Round 2

In other words, a civil union as it currently stands is similar to marriage in the social sense. Under my proposition, it would be similar in both a social and a legal stance. As such, I have said (over and over and over... and over) that the 2 are similar in a social sense, but not in a legal sense, though my proposition calls for them to be even more similar. Where is the contradiction? Answer: absolutely nowhere. Just give it up. It's kind of pathetic.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
"homosexuals who are 'married' merely experience the social definition"

And yet, I spent an entire paragraph explaining why the social definition was all that was needed to affirm the resolution, and it was completely ignored by every single voter reading this debate! Blast it!
Posted by mongoose 7 years ago
mongoose
"(WHERE DID I EVER POST THAT THEY WERE NOT SIMILAR?)"

"CUs as they stand do NOT have all or even SIMILAR legal privileges (as marriage). Under my proposition, "marriage" would continue to be a religious or socially ceremonial thing, as all citizens (unions) would have the same legal rights regardless of sexuality / sex. Religious or social groups or whatever could limit their unions to being called "marriage" and the definition of marriage (a man and a woman) would not be altered. Though if gay people want to call their union marriage, they can under free speech laws."

See the capitalized words.

" I wrote in the debate that when gay couples join in a similar union [to marriage]"

Defenition of marriage: "a similar institution involving partners of the same gender."

By defenition, you are calling a civil union in which gay couples join is a marriage.

Thus, you concede.
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