The Instigator
Antnego
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
MilesandMilesofMiles
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Marriage Laws violate the equal protection clause and blur the line between church and state

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/30/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 810 times Debate No: 31900
Debate Rounds (5)
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Votes (0)

 

Antnego

Pro

In the US, marriage is currently recognized as a legal union between a man and a woman. The roots if marriage lie in spiritual and cultural traditions of old. In the US, the legal concept of marriage is influenced by the traditions of Abrahamic religions, most notably Puritanical Christianity. Our country's current debate about Gay Marriage centers around this concept - that marriage should only be recognized when the couple is a man and a woman, an idea based on the Bible (and which current laws reflect).

Why should marriage laws benefit one group of people and exclude another? Marriage is a traditional spiritual institution, not a secular one. I say that all benefits gained through legal marriage should be abolished (tax advantages, credits, medical benefits, etc.). Having one group of people "privileged" under the law while another is denied monetary advantages violates the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. Marriage should be a private, spiritual/traditional contract, and not be a legal institution with "perks." Divorce laws should be abolished too, and matters of property disputes be handled with private prenuptial contracts (if the couple chooses to do so). Custody and child supports laws could remain intact.
MilesandMilesofMiles

Con

If I understand your argument correctly you are saying that marriage was popularized by religious institutions and therefore cannot be moderated by the federal government because of the separation of church and state.

As you recognized, the government has already institutionalized marriage on both a state and federal level. This favoritism or advantage you suggest married couples have is actually more for convenience sake, like being able to claim your spouse on health care or tax statements instead of filing them separately. Most of these benefits can be achieved through civil unions if people are really that opposed to the 'institution' of marriage, but the government has already adopted this apparent religious institution.

Instead of marriage being accepted as a religious institution as it may have been a hundred or so years ago, I propose we recognize marriage in a more relevant manner: as a societal institution. Marriage may have been popularized by religion, but that hardly makes all married couple religious, and it is ignorant to group all marriages as religious unions. Therefore we need to realize that state laws prohibiting gay marriage violate the equal protection clause more than they would if gay marriage were symbolically institutionalized. I say symbolically because that's what this is all about. Marriage is not some greater statement of ones love for another, but instead a social statement to be able to proclaim that two people are married. And not extending the same family oriented benefits we give married couples to gay couples seeking to marry is a greater contradiction to the fourteenth amendment than extending them would be.
Debate Round No. 1
Antnego

Pro

Equal protection under the law ties back to the government (or other individuals) NOT interfering with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness of another. It's offering everyone an equal chance prosper, granted they do not break Federal or State criminal laws designed to protect individuals from one another (and from the government).

At the core of the marriage debate is the ability to prosper. Is the ability to marry (or form a civil union) necessary for prosperity? Only under our current system that rewards some (those who are married, namely a man, woman, or civil union as you mentioned), and does not reward others. I argue that REWARDING a marriage and/or civil union is inherently unequal. What about, say, an atheist (just using "atheist" as a poor example ;) ) who does not believe in "civil unions" or "marriage" due to his principles. The atheist doesn't get a tax break. The atheist doesn't get to put his or her partner on their medical insurance. So what our example atheist believes denies him the same "benefits" as one who believes in "civil unions" or "marriage." And I'd hardly say marriage (or a civil union) is any kind of convenience, save for tax simplification. The financial consequences of separation and divorce are hardly worth the tax write-off =)
MilesandMilesofMiles

Con

MilesandMilesofMiles forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Antnego

Pro

Antnego forfeited this round.
MilesandMilesofMiles

Con

MilesandMilesofMiles forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Antnego

Pro

Antnego forfeited this round.
MilesandMilesofMiles

Con

MilesandMilesofMiles forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Antnego

Pro

Antnego forfeited this round.
MilesandMilesofMiles

Con

Ladies and gentlemen my opponent has lost with grace and dignity. As you can clearly see the winner, I thank him for having a good go at it! and I hope this was a learning experience for him as much as it was an exercise for me.
Debate Round No. 5
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