The Instigator
kenballer
Pro (for)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
FourTrouble
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points

Prop 8 is Constitutional

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
FourTrouble
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/5/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,375 times Debate No: 24533
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (3)

 

kenballer

Pro

FIRST ROUND WILL JUST BE FOR ACCEPTANCE AND RULES ONLY

In this debate, I will be the defendant showing how prop 8 is constitutional to the U.S. supreme court while the plaintiff will be CON explaining how it violates gay couples civil rights.

I expect CON to argue under this context.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
FourTrouble

Con

Accepted.
Debate Round No. 1
kenballer

Pro

THE DUE PROCESS CLAUSE

The U.S. Supreme Court has always defined marriage to be between a man and a woman for the continuation of society and never did they say that the fundamental right to marry included same sex marriage. In fact, the Supreme Court rejected the existence of such definitions or rights in the past and said there is no fundamental right to gay marriage .

After the Loving decision, The U.S. Supreme Court in Baker v. Nelson in 1972 regarding the issue of Same sex marriage endorsed a Minnesota supreme court decision. There are also plenty of state and federal courts that mention Baker as a U.S. SCOTUS ruling [1]. The case will show you that the same court in Loving v Virginia not only distinguished same sex marriage from interracial marriage, but established it as a right that does not exist under the constitution and never did. They also rejected and refuted many of the same arguments gay activists make today [2]:

"The institution of marriage as a union man and woman, uniquely involving the procreation and rearing of children within a family, is as old as the book of Genesis. Skinner V. Oklahoma ex rel. Williamson, 316 U.S. 535, 541, 62 S.Ct. 1110, 1113, 86 L.Ed. 1655, 1660 (1942), which invalidated Oklahoma's Habitual Criminal Sterilization Act on equal protection grounds, stated in part: "Marriage and procreation are fundamental to the very existence and survival of the race." This historic institution manifestly is more deeply founded than the asserted contemporary concept of marriage and societal interests for which petitioners contend. The due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment is not a charter for RESTRUCTURING it by judicial LEGISLATION."

As you can see, Marriage wouldn't be "fundamental" to the "existence" and "survival" of humanity if it was completely delinked from procreation or had nothing to do with reproductive potential. Marriage is the regulation of procreation and rearing of children. This has been deemed the most compelling of ALL compelling state interests by the U.S. supreme court several more times and let me explain precisely why this is the case:

The Purpose of CIVIL Marriage:

The traditional view of marriage is based on the "natural teleology of the body" where only a man and a woman, and only two people, not three, can generate a child and raise the child through the natural complimentary element of both genders.

Procreation and rearing of children is a biologically driven phenomena that happens either by choice or by accident [3]. The state regulates this by encouraging procreation and child-rearing to take place inside a marriage. This is done in order to make sure heterosexual couples do not procreate and/or rear children naturally in an unstable environment if they end up producing a family either by choice or by accident .

The Means to Achieve this Purpose:

The state uses the traditional idea of marriage ,as a means to achieve this purpose, in order to encourage heterosexual couples to obtain a marriage license. Then, the state issues marriage licenses in order to reinforce this meaning of marriage and ,as a result, provide legal and social support for their relationships. There are two elements about the definition of marriage that potentially help to achieve this purpose:

A. The Responsible Procreation Theory

The responsible procreation theory involves establishing family stablity where the state encourages heterosexual couples to procreate within an environment that is best situated to raise children [4]. Family stability is about how many transitions in the environment the child may experience during the child development process.

There is empirical evidence that supports this theory. In terms of the selection process, Studies show that people, who cohabit, compared to those who don't, have less traditional ideals or views of marriage. Then, according to other studies, they would not only be more likely to cohabit but more likely to divorce from prior cohabitation. [5]

B. The Optimal partnership theory

The optimal partnership theory involves establishing family structure where the state promotes the ideal partnership between two biological married parents. Family structure is about who the child is being raised with during the child development process.

There is also empirical evidence supporting this theory. Almost Every study demonstrates that children from two biological parents fare better in every category of social and psychological measurement. They are less likely to be poor, to exhibit behavioral problems, to struggle in school etc. than children in any other living arrangement [6].

Therefore, it does not matter whether the cause of the good child outcomes from couples is based on the idea of traditional marriage that people believe in or the physical experience of marriage. It would still be warranted for the state to use and promote a traditonal notion of marriage to ensure a stable home for children.

WHAT ABOUT INFERTILE COUPLES?

The Fundamental right to marry:

Since Marriage between a man and a woman has been held to be a fundamental right, a law excluding infertile heterosexual couples would be constitutionally unenforceable. The state couldn't survive strict scrutiny because it would be overinclusive and not narrowly tailored. There are two more reasons why they allow the infertile to marry along with any other scenario dealing with heterosexual couples.

Responsible Procreation:

In order to actually know that couples are in fact infertile, the state would have to resort to intrusive fertility tests in order to establish that they are unable to have children. However, therapy and the availability of long-term fertility may reverse the prognosis (even in post menopausal women) making it medically impossible to fully establish infertility. Not to mention, the state would have to check almost every single couple that wants a marriage license. This clearly would take a large amount of resources to accomplish. Thus, it's costly, impractical, and unconstitutional. The law rightly assumes a presumption of reproductive and child rearing potential on the part of heterosexual couples.

Marriage:

As I explained before, Our marriage laws are there to shape culture and culture shapes conduct. Allowing infertile heterosexuals to marry does not attempt to take away the law's ability to recruit and influence the culture of heterosexuals who are "fertile" to make sure they create and/or raise their offspring's in a stable environment. Moreover, the state cannot promote responsible procreation and rearing of children without referencing and acknowledging the traditional definition of marriage because it's the only union that can perform this particular action.

Therefore, infertile couples (or ANY other heterosexual scenario) do not change the definition and ,thus, don't challenge the intention of the marriage institution. This is because the definition of marriage (the means) and the purpose of it (the ends) are synonymous.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://www.cas.umt.edu...
[3] http://www.cdc.gov...
[4] http://www.ca8.uscourts.gov... ......p.10,11
[5] http://eprints.qut.edu.au... ....p.2
[6] http://www.urban.org... Read Gary Gates
FourTrouble

Con

Thanks for the debate kenballer.

I begin with the understanding that, like race and gender, sexual orientation is not a choice. For example, the overwhelming scientific consensus suggests that sexual orientation is determined biologically. If my opponent wishes to debate this point, he is free to do so, but unless an argument is offered to challenge this view, I will proceed with the view that homosexuality is a form of self-identity that is beyond choice.

What's more, in Frontiero v. Richardson the Supreme Court ruled that sexual orientation "bears no relation to ability to perform or contribute to society." This ruling was backed up by a considerable body of sociological and scientific evidence, and was reaffirmed in Romer v. Evans and Lawrence v. Texas, where the Court overturned state regulations that discriminated against gays. The facts presented by these cases suggest sexual orientation is an irrelevant aspect of self-identity for the purposes of law and public policy.

Prop 8 denies gays the right to embrace their sexual-identity and choose who they marry. These are fundamental rights protected by the Constitution. As such, Prop 8 violates the Equal Protection Clause and Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. When a fundamental right is being denied, the burden is on the state to justify this discrimination.

The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees equal protection under the law. This means the law must extend the same legal benefits to every U.S. citizen. If marriage is a fundamental right (as Con himself argues), then it must be extended to everyone. And this means that if straight people can get married, so can gay people.

The Due Process Clause guarantees "[no State shall] deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." This means that each individual has the liberty to marry the person of their choice, regardless of sexual orientation. Prop 8 clearly violates the Due Process Clause because it deprives gay people the fundamental right to choose who they marry.

In Zablocki v. Redhail, the Court invalidated a Wisconsin law that prohibited the right to marriage to any resident who failed to fulfill court-ordered child support obligations. The Court opined that the Wisconsin statute "interfered with decisions to enter into ... marital relationships"; because the Wisconsin statute "absolutely prevented" the desired ritual, it was held to be unconstitutional on Equal Protection grounds. The same logic (not allowing people to enter marital relationships) could be applied to invalidate bans on same-sex marriage.

As I said before, the burden is on the state to justify discrimination of gays. My opponent offers two arguments in support of a case for state-sanctioned discrimination: (1) that marriage is heterosexual in nature; and (2) that marriage is reserved for procreation. These arguments are two sides of the same coin, so I will address both of them together.

My opponents says the true purpose of marriage is to procreate. But if the purpose of marriage is procreation, individual gay persons can procreate through means such as artificial insemination and surrogacy arrangements. My opponent argues, however, that it is the biological procreative capacity of male-female couples that justifies the unique status of marriage itself.

This argument is a non-starter for a number of reasons. First off, it is not clear that the state must sanction discrimination of gays if our species is to procreate and survive. Therefore, if gays are allowed to marry and have families, there is no reason to suppose our species would stop procreating. As such, my opponent has provided a compelling justification gay banning gay marriage that overrides a competing state interest in not discriminating against gays.

Second, no couple has ever been required to procreate in order to marry. Sterile couples and old couples can marry. Couples physically able to procreate but who do not want to procreate can marry. This proves that marriage is not essentially about procreation because procreation is not essential to any marriage.

My opponent says only allowing fertile couples to marry would be impractical. Actually, it is not as impractical as my opponent seems to think. All it would require is that prospective married couples sign an affidavit stating they are able to procreate and intend to do so. If it is found, after a few years, that a couple has been unable or unwilling to procreate, the marriage could be immediately dissolved. Of course, the fact that this has not been made a law demonstrates that procreation is not essential to marriage.

My opponent says that "children from two biological parents fare better in every category of social and psychological measurement." This point is irrelevant because of one simple fact: no serious opponent of gay marriage advocates removing children from gay parents. The facts are simple: gay families exist. As of today, over 1,000,000 children are raised by gay parents.

The important thing here is that gay families are not the top-down creations of government bureaucrats or radical visionaries. They are bottom-up facts of life. It is for this reason that no serious supporter of Prop 8 would suggest taking children away from gay parents. Because individual gays have access to procreation (through artificial insemination, for example), it should be evident that the optimal partnership theory is irrelevant for the purposes of law and public policy.

I have addressed my opponent's arguments and shown why Prop 8 is unconstitutional. In closing, I'd like to point out that the Supreme Court has never said that the purpose of marriage is procreation. In fact, there are many reasons the state has an interest in marriage that have nothing to do with procreation. For example, marriage provides the married person with a primary caretaker, channels sexual activity into monogamous commitments, stabilizes households, and serves a role signaling familial commitment to one's community. These are all legitimate reasons that the state has an interest in marriage.

Prop 8 clearly violates the Equal Protection Clause and Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Because Prop 8 denies citizens access to fundamental rights, the burden is on my opponent to justify state-sanctioned discrimination of gays.
Debate Round No. 2
kenballer

Pro

THE DUE PROCESS CLAUSE CONT....

Let me first respond to the logic behind CON's argument about gay marriage being a fundamental right because he seems to have committed the Question Begging fallacy here. YES, it has been determined that you have a fundamental right to marry by the supreme court that doesn't mean you have a right to marry your sister or marry polygamously.

For example, a bisexual who has this simultaneous feeling for both genders may argue that he has a fundamental right to marry. The answer would be YES, however , at this point in time, he does not have a right to marry two people in a threesome. The point is marriage has a legal conventional definition to it. The right to marry someone of the same sex would have to be established by the Supreme Court first, which leads me to address the Lawrence case he mentioned.

Lawrence v. Texas:

The Supreme Court did not sanction homosexual sex in Lawrence, rather the Court merely
held that Texas could not criminalize private sexual conduct between consenting adults of the same
sex:

"The present case does not involve minors. It does not involve persons who might be injured or coerced or who are situated in relationships where consent might not easily be refused. It does not involve public conduct or prostitution. It does not involve whether the government MUST GIVE formal recognition to any relationship that homosexual persons seek to enter."[1]

Also, In Lawrence, to justify his vote Kennedy mentioned a case called Dudgeon v. United Kingdom that dealt with bans on sodomy that was ruled by the European Union of Charter of human rights where they also overturned bans on sodomy. The significance of this is that the European court also decided a gay marriage case and they unanimously
rejected the claim that there was an universal right to gay marriage. In both cases, the European court distinguished between criminalzing private relationships and recognizing a relationship within the public institution of marriage, which I think
Kennedy and the rest will also do in this situation.

Not to mention, this was not the case in Loving v. Virginia. In Loving, they actually did criminalized interracial marriages as well as denied public access.

EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE

Let me make something very clear here first. The U.S supreme court case law is the supreme law of the land and , As I explained before, they have always defined marriage between one man and one woman for responsible procreation and rearing of children. Prop 8 does not only say "Same sex couples are not allowed to get married".

In other words, this is not about whether a law banning same sex marriage is constitutional or whether we should legalize gay marriage based on the supposed effects as a matter of public policy as CON is suggesting. The legal issue that is before us is whether traditional marriage laws are based on invidious, arbitrary, discrimination involving prop 8.

JUSTICE UNDER THE LAW

Now, I demonstrated already that gay marriage is not legally a fundamental right and logically cannot be a right. In addition, Sexual orientation has not been ruled to be a suspect or quasi-suspect class and ,thus, rational basis is only required . Nevertheless, Let's pretend for the sake of argument that they are a suspect class ,which would require passing strict scrutiny from my side. Even if this is the case, my arguments would still pass the strict scrutiny test. I showed earlier how there's a compelling state interest for traditional marriage laws and addressed the infertile couples objection; now I will show how they are fully narrowly tailored:

GAY MARRIAGE INTERFERES WITH THIS PURPOSE

My argument, in a nutshell against gay marriage is this, where the possibility of natural children is nil in law, the meaning of marriage is nil. If marriage is allowed between members of the same sex, then the concept of marriage has been emptied of content except to ask whether the parties love each other. There would be no reason to have public recognition of marriage. Let me explain precisely how and why:

If the state were to call same sex unions a marriage in conjunction with opposite sex couples, the law would publicly declare that, from now on, Marriage can be understood apart from responsible procreation and natural parenthood.

Since the well-being of children would no longer be a component of the concept of marriage, the social stigma within choices (like divorce, cohabitation, fatherlessness etc.), which serves as a natural deterrent, would decay and its effect would basically be eliminated. This is because marriage ends up ONLY becoming a matter of choice between consenting adults who want to express their love a certain way.

THE CLAIM THAT GAY MARRIAGE IS A CIVIL RIGHT

Not only would the state no longer be able to encourage incoming generations of heterosexuals to create stable environments, as I previously explained, but it would end up discouraging them as well.

If the court rules that traditional marriage laws are based on invidious, arbitrary, discrimination under the equal protection clause, then the likely hood of the next generation holding and practicing this idea of marriage in the future would be virtually impossible.

In conclusion, since same sex couples are fundamentally different, an important governmental distinction between the two relationships would be reasonable in order to continue advancing this interest. The state uses the traditional definition to encourage procreation and rearing of children to take place within a marriage to each generation while the state can encourage homosexuals to adopt and stay together with civil unions.

JUSTICE is applied EQUALLY in each case.

Romer v. Evans:

The circumstances that involve prop 8 are nothing like the Romer case for several reasons. First reason, Prop 8 was proactively put on the ballot before the decision with a different ballot summary. It was only afterwards where a biased attorney general wrote "eliminating rights" on the ballot following the decision the ballot language was changed. In Romer,
they REACTED to the situation on impulse upon the right being given. However, When it came to bans on interracial marriage, they directly targeted interracial relationships because it was actually in WRITING.

Second, in Romer they took away so many rights that it made gays and lesbians complete strangers to the law. In this case, There is no fundamental right to gay marriage and they had the domestic partnerships. The only right that was taken away by prop 8 was the additional right to marry a person of the same sex created by the California supreme court.

Lastly, the intentions of prop 8 was based on a well established compelling state interest that was articulated by virtually every U.S. supreme court in the history of Civil marriage. In Romer, it was considered unprecedented and there was not any basis for it under any scrutiny.

REBUTTAL

I am afraid CON is straw-manning my argument. I never said that the purpose of marriage is for procreation in the first place. I made it clear that the purpose of marriage is to encourage couples to procreate and rear children inside a marriage just in case they do procreate naturally or not. There is a difference. In addition, when I say "encourage", I meant it in a indirect sense rather than directly by force.

For example, The mere appearance and understanding of a green/ red traffic signals helps us know when to make the right choice to drive so drivers won't harm themselves and others. Now, our understanding that green light means "go" encourages to drive and red light means "stop" to discourage us from driving. Our understanding that marriage is between a man and a woman encourages us to procreate inside a marriage and not outside of it. However, unlike traffic signals and lights, we have the freedom to marry and procreate or to not do so.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
FourTrouble

Con

My opponent writes the following: "The legal issue that is before us is whether traditional marriage laws are based on invidious, arbitrary, discrimination involving prop 8."

The issue at stake is not whether denying gays the right to marriage is discriminatory - it is an irrefutable fact about Prop 8 that it discriminates against gays. The question at stake is whether the discrimination of gays can be justified under the U.S. Constitution. My opponent argues that it is lawful to discriminate against gays whereas I argue that it is unlawful, according to the Constitution.

My opponent continues to argue that discrimination can be justified because same-sex couples cannot procreate. I already discussed this argument in the previous round: procreation is not essential to marriage because the law does not require couples to procreate in order to get married. But even if procreation were essential to marriage, this does not change the fact that gays can procreate through artificial insemination and surrogacy.

If a "natural" capacity to procreate were essential to marriage (as my opponent argues), marriage would be an arbitrary institution. The reason it would be arbitrary is because the definition of "natural" is arbitrary - what makes heterosexual procreation more "natural" than homosexual procreation? All forms of procreation are a part of the natural world insofar as everything exists in and comes from the natural world. If the institution of marriage were arbitrary (as my opponent argues), then it would be unconstitutional because it would discriminate against gays. Therefore, my opponent's definition of marriage cannot be correct. In fact, the Supreme Court has explicitly said that marriage is a fundamental right. This means that marriage is not arbitrary and that it must be extended to everyone. As I have said before, if straight people can get married, so can gays.

My opponent argues that allowing same-sex marriage would somehow change the traditional view of marriage. So what? Throughout history the traditional view of marriage has undergone radical change. In fact, many of the changes that the institution of marriage has gone through have been far more radical than allowing same-sex marriage. For example, no-fault divorce, which allows divorce without showing or wrong-doing or without need of any proceeding at all. In comparison, gay marriages will represent a minor change, the addition of maybe 2% in the number of married couples. The very institution of divorce itself was a far greater change to the traditional view of marriage than allowing same-sex marriage will ever be. So if history teaches us anything, it teaches us that the institution of marriage is an ever-changing one.

My opponent concedes the argument that procreation is not essential to marriage, but more importantly, my opponent completely drops my argument that gay families already exist. No one would ever advocate removing children from their gay parents. Therefore, the existence of gay families, of gay couples who raise children together, demonstrates that same-sex marriage is justified. Even my opponent says that the purpose of marriage is to "encourage" couples to "rear children," which is exactly what same-sex marriage will do - encourage same-sex couples to raise children together.

There is really nothing else to say. My opponent has dropped the majority of my arguments, and most of his arguments are red herrings. It should be clear that Prop 8 is unconstitutional. It discriminates against gays, and as I have shown, the discrimination is unjustifiable.

The resolution is negated.
Debate Round No. 3
kenballer

Pro

1.The Fundamental Right to Marry Heterosexually

I have provided my opponent with two quotes from two U.S. supreme court cases (Baker and Lawrence) showing that there is no right to gay marriage as well as show the flaw reasoning by CON to show that there is a right.

My opponent did not respond back to this argument and basically "drops" the argument altogether showing a concession on his part.

2. The Purpose of Civil Marriage

Again, The mere appearance, existence, or understanding that marriage is between a man and a woman only indirectly encourages us to procreate inside a marriage and not outside of it. In other words, The law does not make us do right from wrong but helps us understand what is right and wrong regarding the well-being of children. Whether or not we choose to do what's right is entirely our choice. We are all allowed to raise a family outside of a marriage or without the father and not get penalized. So I never said the willingness or capacity to procreate was essential to marriage, You have the freedom to marry or procreate and not get married or procreate.

I think CON probably did not understand the argument I made about the actual purpose of civil marriage and expected a different but more commonly understood version of it. However, its not my fault that he does not understand my argument as it is. I made it very clear to him. I even provided a court case called Citizens for equal protection v. Bruning that explicitly confirms that this is the actual state purpose of marriage.

Lastly, CON failed to respond to the other reasons why the state allows the infertile to marry. Therefore, he concedes this as well.

3. Equal Protection Clause

Since prop 8 only requires the rational basis test, It was not necessary to provide over and under inclusive arguments as to why prop 8 is constitutional. Nevertheless, I showed anyways how and why redefining marriage to include same sex couples interferes with this purpose of marriage. However, since CON has failed to understand the true nature of my purpose of civil marriage argument or just ignored it altogether, I have decided to do a different take on this argument and address something that CON said.

CON claims that the traditional view of marriage has gone through many radical changes in U.S. history. I am afraid well established case law from the supreme law of the land says otherwise:

In Murphy v. Ramsey (1885) the U.S. Supreme Court stated:

"[C]ertainly no legislation can be supposed more wholesome and necessary in the founding of a free, self-governing commonwealth, fit to rank as one of
the coordinate state of the Union, than that which seeks to establish it on the basis of the idea of the family, as consisting in and springing from the union for life of one MAN and one WOMAN in the holy state of matrimony; the sure
foundation of all that is stable and noble in our civilization; the best guaranty of the reverent morality which is the source of all beneficent progress in social and political improvement."

The U.S. supreme court , which interprets from the supreme law of the land, has been 100% consistent throughout the history of marriage ranging from plural marriage ( Murphy v. Ramsey), from interracial marriage (Loving v Virginia), to even same sex marriage (Baker v. Nelson) that marriage is between one man and one woman and the purpose of it is to encourage procreation and rearing of children naturally to take place in a marriage.

Now, here is my argument. The history of marriage and the history of racism are two completely different histories. Even if CON were to compare it to slavery, it would still Beg the Question "What about the history of marriage"?

If we were to take the analogy seriously, we would have to make this conclusion: Every U.S. Supreme Court since the republic that has defined marriage between a man and a woman and/or has said the purpose of marriage is for the continuation of society has, essentially, only been attempting to invidiously and arbitrarily discriminate against
gay people.

So I pose this question to CON: The U.S. supreme court in numerous occasions defined marriage traditionally well before Congress and the defendants have done. Is CON also claiming invidious, arbitrary discrimination against sexual
orientation of those past decisions from the U.S. supreme court?

If my opponent says "no" or "I don't know" to such a claim, then how can he say or know prop 8 was based on animus when prop 8 proponents were only trying to conform to the U.S. Supreme Courts in the past? Just something to think about while you vote.

Lastly, The fact is Prop 8 did not take away all of the rights that allow gay couples to have and support their families under the Domestic partner law [1].

"297.5. (a) Registered domestic partners shall have the same rights,
protections, and benefits, .......... imposed upon spouses."

CONCLUSION

I have showed how prop 8 only took away the additional right ,created by the California supreme court, for same couples to marry. It did not take away the well established fundamental right to marry traditionally or the benefits that come with marriage. However, even if it did take away all those other rights or that Sexual orientation was suspect class, I showed that even on the strict scrutiny how prop 8 would pass the test on every level and justify the incidental taking away of a created right.

The rest of CON's argument were completely off topic so I did not directly address them. Again, need I remind the voters out there that this debate is about what "IS" under the law NOT about what we "ought" to do as a matter of public policy. For the sake of argument, Legalizing gay marriage may very well be the right thing to do in terms of policy making , but Prop 8 has nothing to do with that. I would gladly debate CON on the public policy issues another time and address those kind of arguments with great impetus.

[1] http://www.sos.ca.gov...
FourTrouble

Con

My opponent states he has provided "two U.S. supreme court cases (Baker and Lawrence) showing that there is no right to gay marriage." This is false, as the U.S. Supreme Court has never ruled against same-sex marriage. The first case my opponent cites, Baker v. Nelson, is NOT a U.S. Supreme Court case - it is a Minnesota Supreme Court case. My opponent has misrepresented the facts here by trying to make the ruling of a state court the equivalent of the U.S. Supreme Court. As for Lawrence v. Texas, that indeed was a U.S. Supreme Court case, but it ruled that same-sex activity is legal in every U.S. state. It says absolutely nothing to suggest that same-sex marriage should be banned. If anything, it suggests the opposite by demonstrating the same-sex sexual activity is legal under the U.S. Constitution.

My opponent argues that marriage "indirectly encourages us to procreate." Therefore, my opponent concedes that procreation is not essential to marriage. My opponent continues: "the law does not make us do right from wrong." If the law does not force us to do right from wrong, then why should it criminalize same-sex marriage? My opponent concedes that the law allows each individual to raise a family outside of marriage. All of these facts suggest that same-sex marriage is a legal right of individuals, as the "capacity to procreate" is not essential to marriage. In fact, my opponent states this much when he writes: "I never said the willingness or capacity to procreate was essential to marriage." My opponent concedes the debate on this point alone, as it exposes not only the many inconsistencies in my opponent's position, it also undermines his case.

My opponent claims that same-sex marriage "interferes" with the "purpose of marriage." What is this so-called purpose that my opponent speaks of? My opponent says the purpose of marriage is to "encourage" procreation. This purpose completely ignores and neglects the many other purposes to marriage, nor does it justify the many legal benefits granted citizens as a result of marriage... but suppose we grant my opponent that this is the purpose of marriage. So what? How does same-sex marriage interfere with THIS purpose? It doesn't, because same-sex couples can procreate and raise children. In fact, the evidence suggests that same-sex couples are ALREADY raising children.

My opponent argues that marriage is supposed to encourage "natural" procreation. What does "natural" procreation even mean? The word "natural" refers to anything that is not magical or supernatural. The ability of same-sex couples to procreate and raise children is perfectly natural. The fact that no one considers taking away children from gay parents (my opponent has not said they should, so I imagine he concedes this point) demonstrates that gay parents are legally allowed to procreate and raise children. It is perfectly natural.

But what if it same-sex procreation and child-rearing isn't natural? Suppose we grant my opponent that much. It still does not follow that same-sex marriage is unconstitutional - the U.S. Constitution NEVER says anything about marriage having to be "natural" in this way. In fact, marriage is explicitly a social contract, an "artificial" union between two people, designed to give certain legal benefits that aid in raising a child, providing a legal caretaker, and other such benefits.

My opponent argues against the analogy between the history of marriage and history of racism, but I never made this comparison.

My opponent asks: "Is CON also claiming invidious, arbitrary discrimination against sexual orientation of those past decisions from U.S. supreme court?" If the U.S. Supreme Court has ever ruled against same-sex marriage (it hasn't), or if the U.S. Supreme Court ever does rule against it, then the U.S. Supreme Court will be engaging in discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. That is a fact. Whether this discrimination would be "arbitrary" or "justified" is the very question we are debating, but for some reason, my opponent seems unable to understand the difference between "arbitrary" and "justified" discrimination. My opponent seems to think the U.S. Supreme Court is not liable to error, or has never made any mistakes regarding their interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, but this is obviously false. There have been many U.S. Supreme Court decisions that have been overturned because they were deemed unconstitutional. So my opponent's arguments do nothing but expose his misunderstanding of the issues at stake in this debate as well as a misunderstanding of the legal system in general.

My opponent writes: "If my opponent says "no" or "I don't know" to such a claim, then how can he say or know prop 8 was based on animus when prop 8 proponents were only trying to conform to the U.S. Supreme Courts in the past? Just something to think about while you vote." I urge my opponent and readers to take a look at the paragraph immediately preceding this one, which answers the question in two ways: saying "yes" AND pointing out that the question is irrelevant to this debate because it conceals the real issue at stake - arbitrary discrimination as opposed to justified discrimination.

My opponent concludes by saying this is a debate about what "IS" under the law. I agree, which is why I suggest my opponent refer to the U.S. Constitution instead of referring to a tradition and history of marriage that have nothing to do with the U.S. Constitution.

I have gone through each of my opponent's arguments. I have responded carefully to each, showing the flaws in each argument, through the debate. I'm glad it's over, as most of my opponent's arguments are misunderstandings, straw men, red herring, and other such things.

The resolution is negated.
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by socialpinko 4 years ago
socialpinko
On arguments, Ft basically destroyed each of Pro's points. What natural procreation means was never expounded upon nor was it constitutionally defended as to why it even held relevance in marriage. Even without that the concession of procreation not being necessary for marriage lost Pro the debate on its own. Claiming that marriage only serves to encourage procreation plays right into SSM marriage seeing as there's no categorical difference between the incentives towards gay couples and those towards straight couples concerning procreation.

And from that Pro's claim serves on it's own to justify SSM since extending marriage rights to homosexuals would encourage gay couples to procreate or rear children. Con's point that gay couple's ability to raise children has been implicitly conceded since gay couples are currently allowed to raise children went completely unrefuted and was never even responded to.

On sources, pro would have gotten the points had he not falsely claimed a Minnesota Supreme Court Case to be a Federal Supreme Court Case. This mistake was either due to intentional lying (in which case Pro would also lose the conduct vote) or it was due to poor fact checking in Pro's sources. From what I can tell I don't think Pro would do this on purpose so I'm chalking it up to poor fact checking, thus Pro loses source too.
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
Sources: PRO had them. Arguments: Pro had the BOP, and did not specify otherwise. He, therefore, had to prove his point. Con destroyed many of pros points, and many of them where irrelevant to the constitution or pro never linked them over even if they where relevant. He did show, however, banning SSM is just from a legal standpoint. Different topic. Pro also never refereed to the constitution or showed there is no right to SSM. Con won by showing this and poking holes in the little relevant content that was left of pros case.
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
Con won
Posted by FourTrouble 4 years ago
FourTrouble
Thanks a lot for the RFD Stupidwalrus, you articulated and clearly understood the key points in the debate very well.
Posted by Stupidwalrus 4 years ago
Stupidwalrus
Sorry than I can't vote. Just want to be able to voice my opinion.
Posted by Stupidwalrus 4 years ago
Stupidwalrus
Can't vote because I haven't completed my three debates, but I figured I'd post my RFD.

Hands down, con won. Pro would have had a decent shot if the resolution was "Prop 8 is justified" or something. But the fact that it dealt with constitutionality negated most of his arguments, which con pointed out in round 4.

Baker vs. Nelson was not a U.S. supreme Court case, as con showed. Pro mentioned that the U.S. court "endorsed it", but they simply decided not to hear it. Different things.

Con won on Lawrence vs. Texas. Pro said that because the court did not sanction gay marriage, it "showed that there is no right to gay marriage." However, pro has the burden of proof. You cannot say that gay marriage is bad because the supreme court hasn't said it is good.

Pro then lost his only effective argument. Arguments about the purpose of marriage have no effect in the debate, because it doesn't deal with the constitution. Had pro found a quote from the Supreme Court or the Constitution that defined the purpose of marriage, then he could have successfully used the argument.

Pro tried to use the quote that "marriage and procreation are fundamental to the very existence and survival of the race." This does not show, at all, that marriage is for the purpose of procreation. Furthermore, con pointed out that gay couples can procreate. Pro's mention of "natural procreation" has no meaning, as none of his Supreme Court quotes mention anything about what is "natural" and what isn't.

Another great quote from con was "If the law does not force us to do right from wrong, then why should it criminalize same-sex marriage?" Pro conceded that the law does not force us, just encourages us. While I disagree with this, con took advantage of it and showed that the law should then not force gay couples to not marry.

"I suggest my opponent refer to the U.S. Constitution instead of referring to a tradition and history of marriage that have nothing to do with the U.S. Constitution.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by socialpinko 4 years ago
socialpinko
kenballerFourTroubleTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by ceruleanpolymer 4 years ago
ceruleanpolymer
kenballerFourTroubleTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Easy win. Pro never upheld his burden by proving that the supreme court had any precedent in striking down same sex partnerships or anything remotely close to that. The precedents on the other hand show that the court has been sympathetic to the same sex movement.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
kenballerFourTroubleTied
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD barely over 500