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The Contender
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LGBT rights in America are equal to those of straight or cisgender people in the same country.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/30/2016 Category: People
Updated: 5 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 215 times Debate No: 90424
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)




Round 1: acceptance of debate
Round 2: state your case
Round 3: rebuttal
Round 4: conclusion

I believe that currently the rights of LGBT+ people are not equal to those of straight or cisgender people in the USA.

1. State your sources
2. The Bible is not a valid source
3.Please be kind

A note- I sometimes use capital letters for emphasis not to be mistaken for yelling.


LGBT rights in America are equal to those of straight or cisgender people in the same country. The term "rights" can be very ambiguous, as many people often confuse it with "privilege". For the purpose of this debate, I am using the term "rights" as the unalienable rights we receive as citizens of The United States of America.

I will start by disclosing that I am a gay male, and I have a unique perspective on this particular topic. I am also an American citizen, and I am originally from the state of Alabama where many will argue that members of the LGBT community are scrutinized more than those in other parts of the nation. However, I firmly believe that I have equal constitutional rights as those of straight or cisgender people in our nation. The First Amendment of the Constitution promises the freedom of speech, religion, press, and assembly. I, as a gay man, have these exact same rights as any other person in this country, gay or straight. The Gay Pride parade held in my resident city of New York is a illustrious example of these rights.

The confusion between a right and a privilege is very critical to this argument. Do I think that it is unfair that I feel compelled to hide the fact that I am gay from my entire family? Yes. Do I think it is unfair that people will refuse service to me because of sexual orientation? Absolutely. But, neither of these scenarios infringe on my legal rights as a U.S. citizen. My parents have the freedom to respect or admonish my decisions. Private businesses are private for a reason. They can choose to run their businesses however they desire. The only true hinderance on LGBT rights was same-sex marriage, and as of June 26, 2015, this is now legal in all 50 states.

Yes, the United States has a long way to go in terms of how we address sexual orientation as a society. But, LGBT people of America, including myself, are able to enjoy the same legal rights as any other U.S. citizen.

The United States Constitution
Wall Street Journal
Debate Round No. 1



Oxford dictionary

Thank you for accepting my debate. I would like to begin by saying that i am in the LGBT+ community and i am looking forward to a fun debate.

Rights- are legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people, according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory.

Privilege- a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.

so what qualifies as a Right? To cite the American Declaration of Independence, all men (i.e. mankind) are Created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights such as Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Originally, in place of "the Pursuit of Happiness". John Locke was the first to summarize this. He stated that everyone is entitled to live once they are created; that everyone is entitled to do as they please so long as it does not conflict with the first right
What qualifies as a privilege? In a broad sense it refers to special powers or immunities held as a consequence of political power, social status, or wealth.

I believe that the LGBT+ community is lacking both rights and privileges. Some examples of this are-
The HB2 bill passed in North Carolina. The inability to use the bathroom of your gender is not only unfair but a right it is a social principle of entitlement.
HB 1523 bill passed in Mississippi I understand that you addressed this but can you turn down business to someone because they are black? No you can not. Why should I be denied business because of my romantic,sexual,or gender orientation. People say that this is the protection of religious freedom but you can not deny someone business because of a religion either. If someone walks into your shop with a hijab you can not refuse to sell them a donut.
In Florida and Alabama your own state bills are being addressed that would make adoption agencies unable to give a same sex couple a child. This is unfair in some of the same ways as the HB 1523 bill. If you are unable to have a child for whatever reason then adoption is your best bet on fulfilling the dream of a family. Should you be denied that because you love someone of your own gender and want to have a family with them.
My own state of Oklahoma is promoting "conversion therapy" as though I am sick, mentally ill, or depressed. I however am none of these things.

These are just some of the unfair and unjust bills and laws circulating around my country. I am not sick but me and many others are being denied rights and privileges that straight or cisgender people get in a heartbeat.


You have made some very strong points in your argument. However, I do not believe that it fully refutes the idea that LGBT rights in America are equal to those of straight or cisgender people in America.

Our nation is founded on the principles that you addressed in your statement, that all men are created equal. This is the bedrock of The United States of America following the (arguably) oppressive regime of King George III. Unfortunately, human beings tend to stray from these values and isolate those who are different from themselves. The very ideas that were the foundation of a country become corroded.

I agree with you completely that people in the LGBT community are not treated the same as straight people. Those tendencies that I mentioned earlier result in terrible circumstances for LGBT people in our nation. However, when it boils down to the unalienable rights, we are on a level playing field with our straight or cisgender counterparts.

The HB2 bill in North Carolina is horribly unfair for transgender Americans. However, I believe the media has largely blown this out of proportion and there are several ways to circumnavigate this issue. Firstly, the bill does not become effective until July 1, 2016 so there is time for an appeal. The bill to repeal HB2 was sent to the North Carolina Senate's Ways and Means which is believed to be very unpromising, but the HB2 is still not a guarantee. Federal intervention, as it has many times before (see Arizona immigration law and same-sex marriage), will likely prevent this nightmare from becoming a reality. Also, many cities in the U.S. are moving toward gender-neutral restrooms which will eventually negate the vicious legislation such as HB2 if it even becomes effective.

As far as other freedoms go, you mentioned that someone cannot deny business to another because of race or religion, and that is absolutely right. Being a gay individual, I find it very difficult to compare the LGBT plight to that of African Americans. We, as LGBT Americans, were never enslaved or abused as African Americans have been throughout history. Our nation had one of the most notable civil rights movements in world history to get us to where we are today. (Please note, I understand that there are many gay African Americans who have endured both struggles, but this is beside the point).

In fact, it was during the Civil Rights movement that the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 was established which "prohibits discrimination by privately owned places of public accommodation on the basis of race, color, religion or national origin". Sexual orientation was not a prolific topic when this bill was passed, which is why it is not included. So, private business owners have every right to withhold services as long as they do so in compliance with the FCRA 1964.

Do I think it is right for someone to not sell me a donut because I am gay? Absolutely not. But, that person has his or her own rights to religious freedom. I grew up in a very religious town, and although I may not agree with their intolerance for homosexuality, I still believe it is important to respect their own religious freedom.

Your other point is regarding adoption by same-sex couples. And while my native state of Alabama and others may be considering their own measures regarding adoption for same-sex couples, it is legal in all 50 states and the District of Columbia following the monumental Supreme Court ruling on June 26, 2015 which I addressed in my initial argument.

Of course, we are treated unfairly by many of our fellow Americans because of sexual orientation. People will always find ways to ostracize those who are different. In Kindergarten, I was made fun of because I was very tall. In fact, one kid would not even talk to me until 2nd grade (guess he needed to catch up in height). But, at this very moment I firmly believe that LGBT rights in America are equal to those of anyone else based on the above points. No collection of human beings will ever be able to master equality, but I believe that our country is becoming more progressive every day. The nation has drastically changed since the days of John Locke and the Founding Fathers, but I am still entitled to the same "Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness " they promised.

Debate Round No. 2


Thank you.

The pursuit of happiness is defined as a fundamental right mentioned in the Declaration of Independence to freely pursue joy and live life in a way that makes you happy, as long as you don't do anything illegal or violate the rights of others. The majority of LGBT people are not doing anything illegal of violating others rights. However as stated in my previous speech there are many bills and laws being or that are passed that are violating our rights.
A quick overview of my speech: I will first attack my opponent's previous speech and then end with a small summary of my case.
" the bill does not become effective until July 1, 2016 so there is time for an appeal" I would like to attack this point as it is a big issue. Despite the fact that it is yet to be enacted the fact that this bill has been passed is a violation of rights. In your final speech could you please provide the source in which you found the evidence "The bill to repeal HB2 was sent to the North Carolina Senate"? I have been unable to find any articles or documents stating such by myself or in your list of sources.
"I find it very difficult to compare the LGBT plight to that of African Americans. We, as LGBT Americans, were never enslaved or abused as African Americans have been throughout history" In my speech I was using african americans as an example I was not in any way trying to say that we have it worse or as bad as they have. I was naming another minority as a comparison to LGBT people. You believe that this is protecting religious freedom, "I still believe it is important to respect their own religious freedom" or "But, that person has his or her own rights to religious freedom"
However I believe that many "types" of people could go against certain religions such as

Psalm 5:5, "The boastful shall not stand before Thine eyes; Thou dost hate all who do iniquity,"

Psalm 11:5, "The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, and the one who loves violence His soul hates."

Lev. 20:23, "Moreover, you shall not follow the customs of the nation which I shall drive out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I have abhorred them."

Prov. 6:16-19, "There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: 17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,18 A heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, 19 A false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers."

Hosea 9:15, "All their evil is at Gilgal; indeed, I came to hate them there! Because of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of My house! I will love them no more; All their princes are rebels."
I am not using the bible as a source but to make a point. Shown above you can see that god hates "sinners" would someone who has lied or done bad things not get that donut? That person is not protected in the law that prohibits discrimination by privately owned places of public accommodation on the basis of race, color, religion or national origin. So Should LGBT people get turned down either? No. Your argument on the fact that the Mississippi law protects religious freedom is invalid. It protects homophobes from the LGBT community.
Yes at the moment same sex couples can adopt but they are working to take that right away from us. So not only are rights currently unequal but more and more bills to revoke more and more rights are in the course of being passed. Our country HAS changed from the days of John Locke so shouldn't we be a more welcoming society instead of revoking rights because of an orientation.
In conclusion I would like to provide a small summary of my case and arguments.
I have provided the definition between rights and privileges as my opponent was under the impression I had mixed them up. I showed a few of the many examples of bills and laws that prevent LGBT people from having equal rights. I have stated that people in the LGBT community have a lack of rights and privileges that may prevent them from pursuing happiness. I have revisited why the HB2 and HB1523 bills are revoking rights, privileges, and fairness. I hope that someday I get equal rights but right now I do not have them. It is for this reason that I urge you to vote con. Thank you for your time and a wonderful debate.


In order to close my argument, I would like to (1) respond to the previous submission of DonutQueen and (2) summarize the points I have made to in favor of my argument that LGBT rights in America are equal to those of straight or cisgender people.

When you refuted my point regarding the religious freedom of others, you used Biblical to scripture to substantiate your point. Per the instructions of the debate, I did not take into consideration these references. I understand that you did not intend the Bible to be used as a source, but you still use it to make a point which is against the parameters of this debate. Therefore, I do not believe there is sufficient evidence to discredit the fact that other Americans have the right to religious freedom just as we have our own rights as LGBT individuals.

What you have to understand is that homosexuality has many more implications to a "religious" person than the other demographics you have outlined. To these people, the LGBT community infringes on one of the most sacred Biblical traditions: marriage between a man and a woman. Thieves and criminals do not have the same resounding effect on their beliefs, so that is not an effective point. Yes, these religious individuals should do more to understand our side of the coin, but the same can be said about us.

You also addressed that some of our rights are going to be taken from us. However, this is largely speculation and there is more evidence in our favor that these attempts at injustice will be defeated. The recent rulings of the Supreme Court (and the fact that we have a Democratic President) are in favor of pro-LGBT legislation prevailing.

I think you have made an excellent argument that there is room for improvement in terms of how LGBT people are treated. However, the argument has failed to debunk the fact that the inalienable rights of LGBT Americans are any less than those of straight or cisgender people in this nation. I think this debate has been very constructive in highlighting ways that our nation can improve, and I believe that it has served its purpose of creating stimulating conversation among the American people. When it is all said and done, I think it is pivotal that we realize how far we have come. As LGBT people, we can marry, we can adopt, we have the freedom of speech, we have the freedom of religion, and we have the right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

(I have provided a link below regarding the bill in the Ways and Means Committee of the North Carolina Senate to repeal HB2.)
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by DonutQueen 5 months ago
Sadly no one voted. However I enjoyed debating with you! Prehaps we can do it again some time :-)
No votes have been placed for this debate.