The Instigator
Pro (for)
7 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
19 Points

On balance, is heterosexual marriage is legal, so should gay marriage.

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Post Voting Period
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after 6 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/4/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,107 times Debate No: 18019
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (62)
Votes (6)





Gay Marriage: The practice of marriage between members of the same gender

On Balance:
The Burden of Proof is shared.

Opening Arguments

Syllogism by DetectableNinja

(P1) Homosexuality is not unnatural.[1]

(P2) Neither homosexuality, nor its acts have been proved inferior to heterosexuality or its acts.

(P3) Marriage is a basic human right.

(P4) Homosexual unions are unfairly not being given full and equal rights as heterosexual unions.

(C) Therefore, homosexual marriages with full and equal rights should be legalized and put into effect.

Defense of Each premise

(P1) Homosexuality is not unnatural.

It is estimated that more than 1,500 different species can experience homosexual tendencies. This includes the dwarf chimpanzees, "which is one of human's closest relatives."[2]

(P2) Neither homosexuality, nor its acts have been proved inferior to heterosexuality or its acts.

According to the American Psychological Association, it has officially been declared that homosexuality is not a choice or a decision[3]

The APA has stated that homosexuality is not a choice and has pointed out that homosexual acts themselves are clearly not. While some view this as a reason to be against homosexual marriage, I submit that this is a very valid reason to before homosexual marriage. Here is why: The fact that expecting homosexuals to repress sexual urges is just as unfair as expecting heterosexuals to repress their sexual s on simple logic grounds. It has been determined that neither heterosexuality nor homosexuality is conscious decisions. CON needs to give reasons why they are immoral. Therefore, logically speaking, one should not expect to repress any resulting desires (within reason) whilst the other is not expected to.

(P3) Marriage is a basic human right.

SP1: The Declaration of Human Rights.

In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it is stated that all men and women have the basic human right to be married and raise a family[4]. This was written by the UN as a standard for all nations (including the USA). Therefore, the USA should allow SSM.

SP2: Marriage is a fundamental right in the USA.

Even if one does not accept the DoHR, the US supreme court ruled 14 times that the right to marry is a fundamental right[5]

For example, let’s take the landmark case Turner v. Stafley, 482 US 78, 95 (1987) “[T]he decision to marry is a fundamental right” and marriage is an “expression of emotional support and public commitment.”); in Loving v. Virginia, 388 US 1, 12 (1967) the “freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.”)

SP3: Gay marriage bans violate the XIV amendment.

According to the XIV amendment, it requires that “[no State shall] deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”[6] Bans on SSM are in violation of this clause for two reasons:

1) They deny gay men and women the ability to marry the person of their choice; and

2) These single out and harm a suspect class by preventing only gays and lesbians from being able to marry. Because bans on these marriages unfairly put homosexuals at a disadvantage, they are in violation of the XIV amendment.

(P4) Homosexual unions are unfairly not being given full and equal rights as heterosexual unions.

This is an obvious, but sad fact. In the USA, the current definition for marriage is defined as "only a legal union between one man and a woman". But,, following the logic I laid out, that homosexuality is NOT A CONSCIOUS thus it is unfair and discriminatory for homosexual unions to be denied.

Heterosexual marriages are based upon love and commitment whilst enjoying a slew of federal rights--over 1,000[7]. Same-sex couples do not enjoy any of these benefits and therefore, SSM needs to be legal.


Throughout this essay, I have given the following reasons for gay marriage:

1) Homosexuality is not unnatural;

2) Same-sex attractions, nor acts, have proved to be inferior;

3) Marriage is a fundamental right;

  1. a. Universal declaration of human rights;
  2. b. Supreme court rulings;
  3. c. XIV amendment.

4) Homosexual unions are being unfairly discriminated against.

[1] By “natural” I refer to what our evolution has taught us to do. In other words, homosexuality is natural because we have been built in by evolution to have sexual attractions, and some, homosexual orientation.

[4] (article 16)

[5] See "Ted Olson Interview With Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace.”

[6] Mount, Steve. "The United States Constitution." The U.S. Constitution Online. 06 Mar. 2011.



Thanks for the challenge Kohai. As per the agreed rules, I will use this round for constructive, no refutation.

Resolution analysis

The resolution presupposes that the government has an interest in some kind of relationships. The fundamental point of contention between my opponent and me will the answer to the question of which relationship types provide, on balance, the maximum benefits to society. Since marriage is currently the highest level of recognition our society commonly places on a relationship, justification for our respective positions must be found in an analysis of which relationships deserve the highest recognition. Appeals to equality are fallacious unless homosexual unions are shown to be of equal value to heterosexual ones. It will not be enough for my Opponent to show isolated cases of failed marriage and compare them to loving same-sex relationships in an attempt to discredit my argument. After all, the law is objective and cannot consider every scenario individually. The resolution states “on balance” as well, not “in every case” so isolated incidences ought not be considered when judging this round. Furthermore, a negative ballot is presumed because the negative is arguing for the status quo and historical precedent. If kohai’s impacts are equal to mine, than a Con vote must be cast.

Now without further ado, I will move on to my arguments.

Why is marriage recognized?

This is an extremely important question to consider when pondering the issue of same sex marriage. Why would the government recognize marriage, a primarily religious institution? There are only two probable answers to this, either the government sees a religious purpose in marriage, in which case gay marriages cannot be recognized due to the condemnation of homosexuality by the Abrahamic religions and the resolution must be negated. Far more likely however, is that the government sees practical/societal benefits in heterosexual unions. What exactly those benefits are will be explained in the next part of my case, however if I can show the government to have a justified interest in heterosexual unions that cannot be found in homosexual ones, than a denial of marriage to homosexuals is justified.

Is it about equality?

The most powerful weapon in the arsenal of every same sex marriage advocate is the belief that it is unjust to deny equality to same sex couples. However if the value of a same sex union is shown to be, on balance, less than an opposite sex one, than it is conversely unjust to recognize them as equal. While I have agreed to not yet refute my opponent’s case, a simple observation is that the main argument is fundamentally based on equality.

The value of heterosexual unions

It seems impossible to deny that heterosexual unions are extremely important to society. Indeed, the research consistently shows that the best way to raise a child is a married mother and father. Consider the following quote from Sociologist Paul Amato[1]: “Specifically, compared with children who grow up in stable, two-parent families, children born outside marriage reach adulthood with less education, earn less income, have lower occupational status, are more likely to be idle (that is, not employed and not in school), are more likely to have a non-marital birth (among daughters), have more troubled marriages, experience higher rates of divorce, and report more symptoms of depression… Research clearly demonstrates that children growing up with two continuously married parents are less likely than other children to experience a wide range of cognitive, emotional, and social problems, not only during childhood, but also in adulthood.”

It may be objected that my evidence does not specify a married heterosexual couple, however an extensive body of research concludes that children raised by their biological parents perform better. Children trends research center elaborates [2]:

“An extensive body of research tells us that children do best when they grow up with both biological parents in a low-conflict marriage… Thus, it is not simply the presence of two parents, as some have assumed, but the presence of two biological parents that seem to support child development.

A study from a diverse team of family scholars [3] found that children raised with married parents:

  • live longer, healthier lives both physically and mentally.
  • do better in school.
  • are more likely to graduate and attend college.
  • are less likely to live in poverty.
  • are less likely to be in trouble with the law.
  • are less likely to drink or do drugs.
  • are less likely to be violent or sexually active.
  • are less likely to be victims of sexual or physical violence.
  • are more likely to have successful marriage when they are older.

This clearly shows that heterosexual unions have a large value when it comes to raising children. Such a value must be recognized.

So if we accept that two biological parents provide the best condition for children to thrive, than we ought not recognize a homosexual union as being of equal value to a heterosexual one, because homosexuals cannot be the two biological parents of the same child. Thus it stands to reason that gay marriage is unjust.

Procreation is also a benefit provided by heterosexual couplings. A society that does not reproduce does not survive, so logically we should place a high value on those relationships which have the ability to perform this precondition to society.

Are non child-bearing relationships excluded?

This is the only legitimate concern in regards to my position, so I will attempt to preempt it now. The answer is no, heterosexual couples that cannot or will not bear children are not excluded from marriage. The reasoning for this is that procreation is still possible in principle. Recall that in my analysis of the resolution I stated that the law is black and white and cannot take each situation individually. This tells us that since as a rule, married heterosexuals procreate than the state is justified in legislating in the favor of that rule. Unless my opponent can give valid reasoning as to why the state should not pass laws that favor rules over exceptions, this objection to my position falls quite quick once applied to close scrutiny.


I have shown that the issue of same sex marriage is not one of equality. There is a compelling state interest in heterosexual unions that does not exist in homosexual ones. I will now turn it over to my opponent in the sincere hopes that he will prove me wrong and show the state to have a legitimate interest in same sex couplings.

However until that happens I respectfully urge a Con ballot. Thank you.


Debate Round No. 1


I want to thank my opponent for his opening arguments. I shall now continue to show how my opponent's pro-creation/children's arguments are invalid, to say the least.

Resolution Analysis

I have no particular qualms to what my opponent has stated.

Why is marriage recognized?

Why should the gov't recognize marriage? For this my opponent has given two reasons:
  1. Religious institution; or
  2. A practical/societal benefit.
It is my opinion that marriage was not something the government created to make couples commit to each other, but it already existed. In fact, if we go along with number 2, all what I need to do is show how homosexuals benefit society!

Is it about equality?

My opponent seems to think that it is unjust to recognize them as equal and has not yet shown why that is the case. Please give me a justification.

The Value of Heterosexual Unions.

My opponent uses a lot of straw-ment tactics in this portion of his arguments. All of these contentions can be proved as false.

Dr. Ellen Perrin states, "The vast consensus of all the studies shows that children of same-sex parents do as well as children whose parents are heterosexual in every way -- In some ways children of same-sex parents actually may have advantages over other family structures -- They did better in discipline, self-esteem, and had less psychosocial difficulties at home and at school [1]." Moreover, according to the same source, there are also two other large studies that have found that same-sex parents also had contact with extended family, social support, and had more equitable division of labor in the home which led to a better up-bringing for the child.

Sociologists at the USC state that children with gay parents show more empathy for social diversity and are less confined by sterotypes. This study also indicates that sexual orientation has no measurable effect on the quality of parent-child relationships or on the mental health of children. In addition, there are many advantages to having lesbian parents. For example, a female couple tends to be more involved in the children's lives which leads to greater harmony in terms of parenting approaches. It has also been noted that daughters with lesbian mothers are more likely to reject gender stereotypes and take intrest in things considered masculine (i.e. sports, math, and science) [2].

kids with gay parents-feelings.

Jessey Levey, a Republican activist notes, "I am a well-adjusted heterosexual whose upbringing proves that love, not gender, makes a family... My family had strong family values. I was raised in a loving, caring household that let me be a free thinker... I'm tired of hearing that their family isn't legitimate" [3].

Are non child-bearing relationships excluded?

My opponent makes a huge flaw. He contradicted himself. Is marriage procreative in principle or is it procreative in act?


I have shown that children with homosexual parents have nothing differnet than people with straight parents. In fact, I proved that, in some cases, there are ADVANTAGES to gay adoptions. FACT: There are 16.2 million double-orphans in the world [4]. CON wouuld rather hvae these children homeless and familyless than have them with homosexual parents. CON has the BOP to show that this is better than allowing gay parents to adopt.

My opponent needs to show how children are the only factor remaining that prevents gays from being married.




Special thanks to Danielle;



Thanks for a speedy response kohai. I will now refute my Opponents case, and address his concerns to mine. Please note that if I fail to address all of his statements, it's due to a lack of space not dropping arguments.

Pros syllogism


The naturalness of homosexuality irrelevant when we're discussing whether homosexual unions deserve legal recognition.


Pro intially defends this premise by stating that homosexuality is not a choice. However recall that in my objection to his premise one that the naturalness of homosexuality has no relevance as to whther or not legal recognition is justified.

Homosexual acts however, can easily be proven to be inferior to heterosexual acts. When heterosexuals engage in intercourse, the act itself is an imitation (or example) of procreation, which is the first precondition to society. Thus a unique value can be found in heterosexual relationshps that does not, and never can, be found in homosexuality.

Pro then argues that "The fact that expecting homosexuals to repress sexual urges is just as unfair as expecting heterosexuals to repress their sexual s on simple logic grounds" This statement is incredibly puzzling. Who is asking homosxuals to repress their urges, and what does their right to sexual expression have to do with legal recognition? Pro seems to be preempting an argument that I didn't make, and don't intend to. Pro states that I need to show homosexuality to be immoral, but why? If I can show that the compelling state interest in a homosexual relationship is less than a heterosexual one, than I have met my burden of proof and justified not granting the same benefits to the two.

Another criticism of Pros syllogism up to this point is that just because something is natural does not justify legal recognition. It is perfectly natural for people (especially males) to lust after more than one mate. Should we recognize polygamous relationships as marriages just because it's a natural urge?


Pros argument here is a fine example of circular reasoning. He argues that since marriage is a right, we must grant marriage to all! Unfortunately, he fails to realize that A) The Universial declaration of Human Rights is not legally binding, and B) Before we grant everyone marriage under the guise of equality, we must address why it is recognized, and what exactly it is. While all people have the right to get married, homosexuals can't claim that their rights are violatd until we figure out what marriage is. I can claim that my right to marriage includes giving me the legal right to take $100 dollars from kohai whenever I want to. Or claim that my right to marriage includes my right to get married to my dog, or to my sister. We must both give compelling reasons for the state to grant marriage to each type of couples, which Pro has failed to do so far.

Pro's equal protection argument falls under the same logic. It must be established what marriage is before we can claim rights are being violated. The fundamental argument behind this debate is answering the question of what marriage is.


Pro argues that since homosexuality is not a choice, not allowing homosexual marriage is "discriminatory". However as previously stated, just because something is natural does not mean it should be legally recognized. Attraction to more than one person is undeniably natural, but should polygamy be legal? The people in NAMBLA (North American Man Boy Love Association) argue that their lust for young men is natural. Imagine if they were right, does that mean we should give legal recognition to pedophilia?

Pro must show the value of a homosexual union to be the same as a heterosexual one to justify equal recognition.


Why is marriage recognized?

Pro attacks literally nothing I say here. Please extend it all. Pro argues that he only need to show how homosexuals benefit society according to my point. Thaat may be so if we were debating whether any recognition ought to be granted to homosexuals, but we are arguing whether equal recognition needs to be granted. So his burden of proof is to show homosexual relationships to be of equal value.


Pro leaves this practically untouched as well. His only objection is wondering why it's unjsut to recognize two things of equal value if thy are not. It seems rather obvious. Imagine if the military gave every soldier a citation for bravery, or the NFL paid the first string quarterback the same as the fourth string one. It's unjust because they aren't of equal value.

Value of heterosexuality

Pro accuses me of straw manning. Apparently he does not know what a straw-man argument is, but that's irrelevant. Pro sources his objection quite well, linking a study that children raised by homosexual couples perform the same or better than heterosexual ones. Sadly, the study itself is of rather poor quality. Here's a quote from the article "Researchers looked at information gleaned from 15 studies on more than 500 children" 500 children? It's a time tested fact that children are raised better with a married mother and father, and I've provided a link citing over 30 years of research supporting that fact. Clearly my sources are better, not to mention that the article itself even states that the information was "gleaned", gleaned being defined as "Collect gradually and bit by bit", which indicates a strong possibility for bias. Pros second study is undoubtebly biased, the main author is also the "San Francisco-based National Center for Lesbian Rights" and a lesbian herself.

Regardless, since this is the only point of mine kohai actually attacked, I'll bring in more evidence in support. The Witherspoon institute reports[1]

"Children receive gender specific support from having a mother and a father. Research shows that particular roles of mothers (e.g., to nurture) and fathers (e.g., to discipline), as well as complex biologically rooted interactions, are important for the development of boys and girls "

The Heritage foundation[2] reports that "In married families, about one- third of adolescents are sexually active. For teenagers in stepfamilies, cohabiting households, divorced families, and those with single unwed parents, the percentage rises above one-half"

The report also shows that depression is less common amoong those raised by their biological parents, only 5.2% of children from married families report depression, compared with 8.5% to a cohabilitating couple (which includes homosexual coupls).

At this point, it should be quite clear that a married mother and father raise children the best. That's not to imply that homosexuals cannot raise children, they just cannot in general do it as effectively as a married mother and father.

Pro also completely drops the procreation argument, so extend it.

Are non child-bearing relationships excluded?

Pro claims that I contradictd myself, asking " Is marriage procreative in principle or is it procreative in act?" This shows a misunderstanding of my argument. It is both. Heterosexual acts are procreative in principle.

Pro's conclusion is an appeal to emotion stating that there are unadopted children. Unfortunately, this has nothing to do with the argument at hand. Not allowing gays to marry is nowhere near the same as not allowing them to raise children.

I respectfully urge a Con ballot.



Debate Round No. 2


Apologize to my opponent but I forfeit this debate. Congratulations on the win and I urge a vote for CON.

ps. I now believe marriage should not be supported both heterosexual and homosexual.


Kohai has forfeited. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3


Vote Con!
Debate Round No. 4
62 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Gi 3 years ago
Although it may have somewhat been implied, Con never wrote out the full argument on the government's interest being with heterosexual marriages, so I just want to complete that argument.

The government decided to give rights to heterosexual marriages because it benefits society and their country.

How does it benefit society?
As Con very well argued and sourced, children, as a whole, turn out the best when raised by their married biological mother and father.

How does it benefit the country?
A country wants it's population to grow, despite any "overpopulation of the earth" arguments. Of course they don't want it to rise too quickly for them to handle, but population growth for a country means economic growth and military growth, to name two big ones.

If a country's citizens won't procreate, they'll come up with incentives for their citizens to procreate. Enter marriage rights. Over 1000 marriage rights, many to do with children. The government knows that the best bet for procreation is marriage between heterosexuals. They need this group to feel special, rewarded, since after all, they want something from them. So they offer marriage rights as an incentive for heterosexuals.

Since Gay marriage does not lead to procreation, it is therefore undeserving of the incentives the govt offers through marriage rights. It's simply a waste of time and money because the gov't isn't getting their benefit, which is population growth for their country.

Also, it devalues the incentives given to the group that will procreate. If everyone has marriage rights, where's the incentive?

Should gay couples have the right to visit their sick partner in the hospital? My opinion is yes. Should they be allowed to transfer their assests upon death like married folks? My opinion is yes. Some of the rights afforded to married couples should be extended to others, just not All of them, because it isn't an equal trade. Make some of these rights available through Civil Uni
Posted by seraine 6 years ago
Meh... Con's argument seems lacking. Both homo and hetero marriages provide benefits, it's just that hetero relationships can arguably provide more benefits. If you really are going to recognize marriage, just give heteros' a bigger tax break or whatever.

Also, methinks that gay marriages provide less of a benefit because of social factors. Most gays obviously don't have the same social factors as straights.
Posted by Winged 6 years ago
kohai, is a very confused individual. He needs to sit down and think through his positions on the issues, and the reasons he does so. Once he's done that, he needs to make sure his stand on one issue does not conflict with that of the other issues. I believe that he was opening this debate in search of a religious opponent, but was too surprised by a utilitarian one to make much of an arguement.
Posted by Contradiction 6 years ago
Posted by thett3 6 years ago
Probably to formulate a coherent response
Posted by 000ike 6 years ago
He went offline.
Posted by thett3 6 years ago
Who cares which God? I never even implied religion. Although it's a very odd position for an atheist to have.

Question: What makes your perception of "negative" superior to mine?
Posted by 000ike 6 years ago
You're not responding to what I'm saying, just repeating the same vain mantra about an evil race.

" But you're making the assumption that most white people sought to oppress people, or that most white people were the worst. I frown upon such unjust generalization as I would frown upon the same talk of any race. People do not think or act in such a uniform manner as to allow you to accurately pin action by race."
Posted by kohai 6 years ago
I judge based upon if an action is going to leave a positive or a negative legacy. They all left negative. You think you gotta be religious for objecI've morality, but which god??
Posted by thett3 6 years ago
" Martin Luter, Calivin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson--All evil men."

How do you judge evil? I didn't know you believed in objective morality. Sorry, but you just lost any credibility you had left.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: This vote has been posted as a response to MassDebator's vote bomb...His own RFD is ridiculous...Con did not argue against Pro's point about animal homosexuality but discussed the social values of heterosexual marriage, first of all. And if "homosexuality is not natural", then--may I ask MassDebator255--how did you come to support Kohai in all terms?
Vote Placed by MassDebator255 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con did not provide convincing arguments..he avoided pros questions like a red herring... just because animals have sex with the same sex doesnt mean humans should. Animals arent ATTRACTED to the same sex, they are just trying to get their rocks off...a dog will hump a leg, a stuff animal, a girl a doesnt matter to the dog...that doesnt make him a homosexual... homosexuality is not natural.
Vote Placed by seraine 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Obvious.
Vote Placed by wjmelements 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Concession
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Concession?
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Thett's competitors just run away and forfeit when they see his arguments or are convinced by them. Arguments to Con for convincing his opponent. Conduct tied as Pro never actually forfeited.