The Instigator
Pro (for)
11 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
6 Points

Prop 8. is constitutional

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/8/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,903 times Debate No: 24649
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (4)




1st round acceptance. BOP even.

Prop 8 -- California marriage protection act, limits marriage too one man and one Woman.


I accept the debate. The second round, I will use in order to establish some of the observations and definitions of my own for this debate.
Debate Round No. 1


C1) States interests

It is common for Justices and other legal associates to use states interest to prove a point. And much of the time they argue it can trump the constitution. For example, in Heller v. Washington DC a handgun ban was deemed unconstitutional. Though Justice Breyer argued a states interest in securing public safety trumped any right to bear arms [1]. Now most people if you look through my debates would see I disagree, but thats not the point. I do agree, however, if there is a compelling states interest it can trump any constitutional right. So is there a states interest in marriage?

A. Procreation

Procreation is likely the most common argument we hear when debating SSM, other then religion. The government uses this as a means to get people to do X. In this case procreate. This theory states that marriage, in a state setting, is to create a stable family unit which is created through procreation and marriage. Now the state is not trying to force procreation, rather encourage it. And they dont want reckless procreation either, but rather responsible procreation because a responsible procreative marriage has been linked to benefit a child's health [2]. In most court cases the state argues in favor of some procreative type goal. For example, in Vermont Same Sex marriage case the state argued the current traditional marriage law fulfilled states interest by “furthering the link between procreation and child rearing.”[3]

The US supreme court in Baker argued:

“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.”

And in a 2003 Arizona decision:

“[The state] has a legitimate interest in encouraging procreation and
child-rearing within the stable environment traditionally associated
with marriage, and that limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples is
rationally related to that interest. Essentially, the State asserts that
by legally sanctioning a heterosexual relationship through marriage,
thereby imposing both obligations and benefits on the couple and
inserting the State in the relationship, the State communicates to
parents and prospective parents that their long-term, committed
relationships are uniquely important as a public concern.” [3]

B. Child Rearing

Now the courts still rule against SSM due to the fact they are not the optimal couples to be raising children. The state here argues “Although, as appellants hasten to point out, married persons are not required to have children or even to engage in sexual relations, marriage is so clearly related to the public interest in affording a favorable environment for the growth of children that we are unable to say that there is not a rational basis upon which the state may limit the protection of its marriage laws to the legal union of one man and one woman.”[3] In other words, a man and a woman create better environments to children and therefore the states interest in promoting proper family structure is a compelling states interest and trumps any right to SSM if it even exists.

C2) No right to SSM

Is there a right to marriage? Yes. Is there a right to Same Sex Marriage? No. Here's why:

The debate over SSM is what marriage is, nothing else. As the famous Girgis paper points out, "Any legal system that distinguishes marriage from other, non-marital forms of association, romantic or not, will justly exclude some kinds of union from recognition. So before we can conclude that some marriage policy violates the Equal Protection Clause, or any other moral or constitutional principle, we have to determine what marriage actually is and why it should be recognized legally in the first place."[4]

Now my opponent will likely argue homosexual marriage is a right. But when he argues this he falsely assumes that there is such a right. Now only if this right exists can my opponent win this debate. Now all other constitutional argunments involve a basic right to marriage, though all those cases involved heteosexual relationships. So my opponent now must argue homosexuals share a right to marriage with heterosexuals, in doing this, however, he begs the question: what is marriage? For Gays to have a right to marriage, the definition must be along side with them. If not then their claims to a right are constitutionally invalid. So my question to my opponent is: what is marriage? Only when that is answered can my opponent win this debate.

A. What is marriage?

What marriage is was explained in C1, it is a relationship between one man and one woman who create an optimal situation for a family and respnsible procreation. My opponent now might argue there is no right to marriage at all in attempt to dodge the point and find another reason that it is unconstiutional. Though the only reason marriage is a right to heterosexuals is because of the procreative aspect of marriage. As Maggie Gallagher explaines the same thing as above. The only reason this right exists is because "only societies that reproduce survive."[5] The state, therefore, only has interests in subsidizing heterosexual marriages that are procreative in type. Homosexual unions are not procreative type unions in principle, and therefore fail to meet the bar of "fundamental right" status. Based on this valuble information they are now not being deprived any rights od due process or equal protection clauses.

###Objection! The state does not care about sex!!

Why wouldn't they? Procreation is the only aspect of marriage, other then child rearing, that is worthy enough of any legal recognition. Procreation is something that is required for societies advancements, there's no two ways about that, its part of nature. The government therefore has compellng interest to attempt to promote this type of behavior.

###Objection! Gays can raise kids

Yes, yes they can. And this is a states interest, you are correct. Though my argunment is showing procreation is a larger aspect in the states interest then child rearing. But much research has been done on the subject. The majority of it, surprisingly, shows homosexuals are worse parents then normal heterosexual ones [6].


There is little evidence showing any right is being taken away, vote PRO.

[3] Duncan, William C., “The States Interest in Marriage” Avia Maria Law Review, (2004).
[4] Sherif Girgis, Robert P. George, and Ryan T. Anderson, "What is Marriage?" Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 34, (Winter 2010)
[5] Gallagher, Maggie "What is Marriage For? The Public Purposes of Marriage Law," Louisiana Law Review (2002)
[6] There are many studies, but here is the newest one:


It's great to face this debate again. I negate the resolution and stand on the CON in this debate arguing that Propostion 8 is not Constitutional. Before continuing in this debate, I would like to establish the following parameters in order to better understand the resolution.

Observation 1: The making of gay marriage legal or illegal depends on a state or government's establishment of a definition expanding or limiting marriage. This is why in gay marriage debates, we consistantly hear the terminology "redefinition of marriage." In this debate, what we are evaluating is a redefinition in the legal term "marriage" and whether or not this new definition violates the Constitution.
Observation 2: My opponent has more of the burden of proof because his side of the debate requires a full validation by the American Constitution. Whereas my opponent has to prove that Proposition 8 in no way violates any single prospect of the American Constituion, the CON is only required to provide even one such violation or reasoning for a violation.

With these parameters established in this resolution, I move on toward my contention:

Contention: In the context of the American Constitution, Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.
When looking at the intention of Proposition 8 and the result of its definition of marriage only to include heterosexual couples as well as how Proposition 8 functioned, we can see that the proposition violated both the Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution. This constitutes multiple violations to the American Constitution and henceforth, the proposition is unconstitutional.

Sub-point 1a: Proposition 8 violates the Ninth Amendment.
The following explains the intention and function of the Ninth Amendment of the American Constitution: "
The Ninth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads:
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be
construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
... It provides that the naming of certain rights in the Constitution does not take away from the people rights that are not named. " [1] The Framers of the Constitution realized that not every right belonging to the members of the citizenry can be explictitly enumerated by the document, and henceforth crafted this amendment in order to protect the basic, natural rights of human beings (which encompasses the definition of human rights with regard that natural rights are the rights that are placed upon human beings and are inalienable). Henceforth, the way to prove that Proposition 8 constitutes a violation to this amendment is if I prove that gay marrige is a natural right or the prohibition thereof constitutes a violation of a right or the principles of justice.

A. With the institution of Proposition 8, same-sex couples are left with only two options: enter into a domestic partnership (still legal under California law for homosexual couples) or not enter into any legal partnership recognized by state government. What we have here is involuntary consent of accepting a decision because of a lack of decent alternatives. Rational decisions imposed by another entity can be deemed fair or unfair according to the principle of non-dominance. [2] In the state of California, domestic partnerships do not acquire the same safeguards and protections as a marriage under its law. Domestic partnerships are not universally recognized, does not provide the same taxing benefits, does not demand that partners therein to support a child, and the list goes on. [3] Essentially, with marriage not an option as a result of the institutionalization of Proposition 8, same-sex partners have only two options: accept a partnership by the state that doesn't provide the same benefits that they would have if they were in a marriage or not enter into a partnership at all, be given no benefits at all, and have no safeguards at all by the government. There is obviously here a lack of decent alternatives. Homosexuals can get married, however, but it can only be to someone of the opposite gender, which is also a poor alternative because it isn't practical.
B. When looking directly at gay marriage itself s a right, we can see that its prohibition violates human rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights iterates what basic rights people have regardless of distinction (hence, they serve as natural rights). Article 16 of this document assures that men and women full of age can marry in the first clause, and in the second provides that the only requirement for a marriage to be rightfully existent is if both intending spouses provide free and full consent to marry. In the intention for couples to marry, these conditions are existent, but still denied by California's government on basis of their sex. The state of California has added an unneccesary obstacle and requirement in order for a couple to wed, constituting a hampering of this human right.

Sub-point 1b: Propostion 8 constitutes a violation of the Equal Protection Clause.
In the Minnesota Supreme Court case Baker v. Nelson (1971), the Supreme Court of the state provided that the condition at which constitutes a violation of the Equal Protection Clause is if a governmental decision is done on basis of discrimination. [4] Loving v. Virginia (1967) added that a marriage cannot be limited without an exceedingly good reason. [5] Proposition 8 was a referendum, meaning that the basis for the decision was rested in the hands of the people of California. If I prove that the basis for even one person was because of unfair discrimination or poor reason, this constitutes a violation of this clause.

A. William Tam, one of the five official proponents of Proposition 8 aruged the following about why Proposition 8 should be supported: " It is very important that our children won't grow up to fantasize or think about, 'Should I marry Jane or John?' " He also argued that the acceptance of gay marriage would lead to the legalization of polygamy, incest, pedophillia, etc. [6]
B. The court trial over Proposition 8 presented evidence that proponents of the referendum's decision were incredibly vitriolic and discriminatory toward gay people, including in their decisions. [7]

Debate Round No. 2


There is a right to marriage?

I agree with my opponent that there is a right to marriage, but I disagree on the point if there is a right to SSM. In other words we disagree on what we think marriage entails.

Ninth amendment and equal protection clause are irrelevant to homosexual unions

The debate over SSM is what marriage is, my opponent would likely agree with that statement. One cannot argue/claim a violation of equal rights or discrimination without answering this vital question. To claim a liberty is being violated, in the sense of marriage, marriage must be a clear concept and legally/socially defined. In other words legally we must go based on current definitions. I will bring forth the quote I presented last round:

“Any legal system that distinguishes marriage from other, nonmarital forms of association, romantic or not, will justly exclude some kinds of union from recognition. So before we can conclude that some marriage policy violates the Equal Protection Clause, or any other moral or constitutional principle, we have to determine what marriage actually is and why it should be recognized legally in the first place. [Emphasis added] That will establish which criteria (like kinship status) are relevant, and which (like race) are irrelevant to a policy that aims to recognize real marriages. So it will establish when, if ever, it is a marriage that is being denied legal recognition, and when it is something else that is being excluded.”[1]

In arguing homosexuals are being denied freedoms through constitutional purposes he assumes there is such a right, to homosexual couples, therefore based on his argumentative structure he now has the BOP to prove such a right exists. Now only if this freedom/right exists will the discrimination and constitutional argument be successful. In arguing that this right exists he begs the question by arguing the conception of marriage entails the right to homosexuals to marry. If this right does not exist the notions of the ninth amendment and equal protection do not apply and is irrelevant.

The argument my opponent brings forth needs to have some certain definition to it, and therefore assumes a certain conception of marriage, which only exists in his head. He has failed to justify this conception of marriage in his opening statements.

What marriage is

Now why would this definition fail? Well the state currently regulates marriage; Proposition 8 is a good example of this. If this where the case why would the government regulate marriage at all? There is no interest in a purely romantic relationship. As the Girgis paper notes, “Why does the state not set terms for our ordinary friendships? Why does it not create civil causes of action for neglecting or even betraying our friends? Why are there no civil ceremonies for forming friendships or legal obstacles to ending them?”[1] This brings up a valid point, does it not? Friendships and other romantic relationships would fit into this definition of marriage; therefore it would be in the states interest to regulate it. There are no such regulations. It is now logical to assume that the government would not be in the marriage business if that were a supposed states interest.

As my answer is the same as the one Girgis points out, but lets see their response/answer to the question “why not regulate friendships”, they note, “[…]because ordinary friendships do not affect the political common good in structured ways that justify or warrant legal regulation.”[1] The same would be true if that was the definition of marriage. It is an inadequate definition to a legal definition. It is true marriage is a fundamental right, but why is it regarded as that? Marriage is only a fundamental right because only societies that reproduce can survive. The procreative type act is what marriage is legally defined as. As Skinner v. Oklahoma concluded, “marriage and procreation are fundamental to the very existence and survival of the [human] race.” This definition fits a traditionalist definition of marriage ­­– a definition of one man and one woman. The state, therefore, only has a reason to regulate heterosexual unions and not homosexual ones. Homosexual unions are not able to procreate in principle. Therefore they do not count as marriages to start off with. Therefore they are not being denied any marital rights as they don’t count as marriages to begin with.

A homosexual “rights” activist cannot give any compelling reasons the state should allow this marital union between people of the same sex. A reason must be given to prove a right is being infringed. At this very point all of my opponents constitutional arguments fail, as homosexual marriage is not really marriage, therefore the “right” does not apply.

My opponent notes, “marriage cannot be limited without an exceedingly good reason.” This is correct; marriage rights cannot be limited without good reason. There is no right to marriage therefore it can be constitutionally taken away without any problem as the rights do not apply to homosexual couples.

For my opponents case to be valid he must accomplish two things:

1) Justify a definition for marriage that proves marital rghts apply to homosexual couples

2) Must show how this definition makes any sense in the eyes of the state (fufills a type of states interest).

My opponents concluding remarks:

A. Support for the bill is irrelevant to its constitutionality

B. There is no discrimination if no rights are being infringed


My oppponents argunments are extremely weak. The government only issuing marriage liscense based on the actual nature of marriage does not equate discrimintion. As the Public Discource notes, “[...] state’s granting marriage licenses only to opposite-sex couples is based on the nature of marriage and does not constitute unjust discrimination. The state grants a license to do X only to someone presumptively capable of doing X.”

I have established established why heterosexual marriage is beneficial to society and showed a states interest where the current definition of marriage was upheld. Homosexuals lack these qualities of marital rights or fufilling the states interest. This shows that SSM is not a right.

Based on the evidence I have shown the decision should be a clear reason to vote PRO.


[1] Sherif Girgis, Robert P. George, and Ryan T. Anderson, What is Marriage? Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 34, (Winter 2010)



I'm going to argue my opponent's case accordingly: move from his case and then toward my own. Before continuing, however, I must emphasize the scenario of Proposition 8 when it was enacted in 2008. A California Supreme Court had ruled in the state that same-sex marriage must be legalized, redefining marriage to include same-sex couples. What Proposition 8 did was put on referendum whether or not the definition should once again be changed only to include heterosexual couplings.

[PRO Case]
Burden of Proof and Thesis: My opponent establishes burdens on my case that are completely contradictory to my position as the CON outlined by my Observation 2, an observation he didn't argue against and is extended across the flow (meaning that judges should not allow my opponent to argue against it). His thesis is that because there is compelling state interest to ban gay marriage, Proposition 8 is Constitutional under the court proceedings that he had listed before. He then states that it is my burden to prove that the state has compelling interest to approve of same-sex marriage, even though as the CON, he's making me use the criterion for determination of constitutionality that he uses in his thesis. Essentially, he makes an attempt to apply his thesis's criterion to be the evaluator for the debate even though we're looking at constitutionality. If anything, my burden as the CON is to prove that there is not sufficient state interest in order to trump any existent right to gay marriage or constitutional protections thereof. I, again, substantiate this claim with the O2 my opponent did not argue against.
"What is Marriage?": Throughout my opponent's case, he makes the argument about what the definition of marriage is and what the intention of it thereof is and adds that gay marriage doesn't squeeze within the scope of this definition and intention. As I argued in my Observation 1 however (also extended and unattested), this entire debate is about changing the definition of marriage. He's arguing for the definition he provides through the very same definition that was subject to change and was subject to be changed to after the passage of Prop 8. This is circular reasoning. He's trying to protect the definition that Prop 8 was going to change marriage to with the definition that Prop 8 was going to change marriage to. It is for my O1 and simple logic of the scenario that I have no obligation to explain what marriage "is" because what marriage "is" is what's subject to change. Judges, remember again that pretty much my opponent's ENTIRE case rests on this singular thesis. My concern is not with the matters of the state, but with the Constitution.
Compelling state interest: The arguments and reasoning that my opponent holds to be compelling state interests don't hold water for the following reasons: (1) My opponent has only proven why heterosexual marriage is practical for society, but not why these reasons are ones why gay marriage should be prohibited. My opponent in no way explains why the interest of responsible procreation or child rearing will be harmed or contradicted by allowing SSM. What it seems to me here is that there is compelling reason to protect heterosexual marriage, but not enough to prohibit gay marriage. The big argument on this case is the encouragement for procreation, but my opponent has no evidence of why that will be harmed and provides a source as to why gays cannot make for child rearing under the assumption all gay couples want children. Furthermore, this study included only the information that it sampled on people in general whose parent(s) has had a same-sex attraction, not a model of of a gay parenting in totality, which has been shown to be just as effective in quality as a heterosexual relationship [1-3]. (2) My opponent uses every resource in the book to protect the idea that California state government has an interest in procreation and child rearing except California itself. My opponent has in no way proven that California has this interest at all for their marriages. (3) My opponent holds procreation to be a Holy Grail of sorts, even though it is something that needs to be controlled because of possible overpopulation, decline of resources, and other problems that come from uncontrolled procreation. If it's really true that gay marriage hinders this, it is practical anyways environmentally [4], a concern that the state of California actually HAS proven to be concerned about.

[CON Case]
Sub-point 1a: My opponent states that I need to prove that gay marriage is a right, but part B of this sub-point was dedicated toward explaining that there is a natural right to gay marriage and that the state of California is providing an obstruction to a natural right. My opponent in no way argued against that, meaning that this is extended across the flow. Once again, do not allow my opponent to argue against this in the next rebuttal. He also failed to make any argument against part A explaining that Proposition 8 leaves gay couples with an unreasonable decision, violating non-domination principle in fair decisions and violating a gay couple's right to a fair decision. Also extend this across the flow and do not permit my opponent to argue against it. Part A also shows us that California certainly does have some interest in providing benefits for gay couples, meaning that this contributes to the very state issues that my opponent is trying to protect.
Sub-point 1b: My opponent goes from dropping arguments to complete strawman by bringing up the right to gay marriage in my explanation as to why Prop 8 violates the 14th Amendment. In the explanation for the 14th Amendment, I wasn't arguing that the people had violated a fundemental right (which would fit in the Due Process Clause, and not the Equal Protection Clause). I was arguing that the conduction of Prop 8 had a basis in discrimination. My opponent provides many many reasons why gay marriage should be prohibited, but ultimately, the basis for Proposition 8 rested in the people who voted in it. The question here is: what was the basis for the decisions for "yes" in Prop 8? Even if one person discriminated, there proves that there was a basis in discrimination for the passing of Prop 8, constituting a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. The same applies for any law passed on irrational reasoning, as my evidence had sustained. In both cases, I have proven that such irrational or discriminatory reasoning for passing Prop 8, meaning that it violated the 14th Amendment. This is because the PEOPLE decided on the issue to make this change. My opponent argued nothing in this sub-point, meaning it's extended as well.

My opponent's rebuttal has addressed nothing in my case, and the things he dropped are the very things that prove wrong everything he said in his previous rebuttal, answered his questions, and proved that his case is a big load of circular reasoning. We're arguing about whether or not the definition of marriage should've been changed, and my opponent's entire case is based on the very definition arguing that marriage should be changed to. My opponent has not proved that passing or keeping gay marriage would in anyway counteract with state interest. My opponent hasn't even proved that there is such a state interest for procreation or child rearing. For these reasons, I urge a CON vote.

[1] [2];

Debate Round No. 3


Are my points irrelevant?

A theme amongst my opponent’s case is that my rebuttal was “irrelevant”. So instead of rebutting every single point that argues this, I will just clump it all together. Just like what I did last round. My opponents reasoning here are flawed. Just because I do not state the 9th amendment is irrelevant because… does not mean my points where irrelevant or any points where dropped. My opponent’s case relies on two aspects:

  1. It violates the 9th amendment

  2. It violates the equal protection clause

Now for something to violate the ninth amendment, it must violate some unnamed right. For it to violate the equal protection clause, some right and liberty must be being violated. My case rebuts the heart of these contentions. For this to be valid, marriage must be defined. My opponent cited many court cases that stated marriage was a right and the right should not be violated. Surprisingly I agree! Marriage is a right; the disagreement is what marriage right entails. Marriage is defined as a right, as stated, as the purpose of marriage is to facilitate procreation. This makes it necessary to involve one man and one woman. Therefore when a court argues marriage is a right, it does not mean gay “marriage” is a right. The right of marriage, therefore, simply does not apply. There is no right to same-sex marriage, in other words.

My points are not irrelevant as it refutes the sole contention of my opponent.

Burden of proof

It was decided in round one the BOP is even, I would also note my opponent is actually the one arguing the loss of liberty. Therefore my opponent is actually the one making a claim. The burden is even. That was a pre-determined variable. And even if I have the BOP, I have showed there is no right to SSM therefore there is no logical way that proposition 8 is unconstitutional.

What Marriage is

My opponents claim is that proposition 8 is not infringing on what marriage actually is. Though this is false. Though the reason I did not refute O1 is because the definition of marriage was already established in Round one and by California law. In California law proposition 22, which was passed in 2000, has the same wording as proposition eight [1]. Further, my opponents O1 is actually dodging what the constitution is, it shows that my opponent does not comprehend marriage and constitutional law. In any legal system where the government can distinguish marriage and non-marrital relationships they are going to face some type of “discrimination”. Therefore, based on constitutional law, it is okay to limit marriage to certain individuals as long as marriage is properly defined, like it was in proposition 22. Therefore my opponent still needs to find a state worthy definition of marriage, instead of dodging the point and falsely claiming observations need to be refuted.

The states interest

My opponent brings up many good points, and they are numbered, so I will rebut them in the same format.

(1)My opponent claims I need to show how the state should not allow SSM. Though the reasoning was explained in round one, meaning my opponent likely has not read my case in depth. I will explain the reasoning, again. When the state recognizes marriage, it gives many benefits to the couples (tax benefits, as well as many others). All of these cost money. Basically marriage couples are subsidized. So the state has the reason to ask: why? This is a compelling reason to ban something as giving costly benefits out for no reason hurts the state. So they have the right to ask: why does this interest us? Marriage between two heterosexual couples, in a proper setting in which the state creates, encourages (though does not mandate) procreation which creates a stable family unit and new children. This is essential in raising a healthy society, and therefore it’s in the states interest so subsidize it. Homosexual couples, however, rarely create children unless through artificial techniques. This is insidious to the family unit and hurts propagation to society. Therefore homosexuals fail to meet the compelling states interest heterosexuals meet [2].

(2)My opponent claims I must prove that California’s interest is in procreation/family rising. But responsible procreation, which is not excessive, something heterosexual marriage laws enforce, helps raise a proper and growing society. This is always in the states interest. Now as the state subsidizes it there is a states interest, the question is “what is it”. My solution is a logical one; my opponent has failed to offer any counter examples therefore, just like definitions in a debate, the offered definition stands. In this case states interest. And to bring it up in the last round would be a conduct violation (as it would be impossible to respond too).

(3)My opponent’s response here is actually quite weak. The states interest is not procreation until you have eight kids, rather responsible procreation which is the creation of one or two kids. This keeps the population semi-stable or on a decreasing path. I would also like to note we are not overpopulated, and projections say our population will likely flatling at 9 billion. Also fertility rates have been dropping for a long time. Based on this graph, population is set to increase very slowly and then (if it stays on course) begin to decline:

Further the argument does not prove procreation is intrinsically bad, rather too much of it is. That’s why I argued, as well as law scholars and the government contends, that responsible procreation is the states interest.

[--Con Case--]

  1. There is a right to marriage, I stated, not a right to gay marriage. My opponent uses a straw man here. As stated, marriage is a right as it is defined clearly as a heterosexual union in which will likely [responsibly] procreate. Unreasonable decision? So? If there is no right for it, whether or not it is just is a different debate. This is irrelevant as that decision is not a right.

  2. Strawman? That is not a strawman, I encourage readers to read my opponents argument, “Propostion 8 constitutes a violation of the Equal Protection Clause” The equal protection clause is part of the 14th amendment, therefore my rebuttal applies and I extend my points.


We see my opponent must have felt the pressure as I logically and legally proved there is no right to same sex marriage. He argues my points where “irrelevant” as still has to prove homosexual marriage is a right so my opponents contention works. My opponent has failed to do so therefore the point stands refuted. With no right being infringed, there is no constitutional problem. Taking away a privilege is not unconstitutional. My opponent’s case fails, and is extremely weak. My opponent’s rebuttal shows she has not read the debate in depth. As no rights are being infringed, vote PRO. Also, I will bring forth the quote… again:

“Any legal system that distinguishes marriage from other, non-marital forms of association, romantic or not, will justly exclude some kinds of union from recognition. So before we can conclude that some marriage policy violates the Equal Protection Clause, or any other moral or constitutional principle, we have to determine what marriage actually is and why it should be recognized legally in the first place.”[3]

As we can see pro shuld win this debate.




[3] Sherif Girgis, Robert P. George, and Ryan T. Anderson, "What is Marriage?" Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 34, (Winter 2010)



Ninth Amendment: I'd like to point out again that my opponent hasn't responded to the defense of the existence of a right to gay marriage in the sub-point, so it's extended across the flow. I have proven that in some way through human and natural rights (in contrast to my opponent's argument through the definition of marriage we're evaluating), the right to gay marriage exists because as the human right dictates, the only criteria that needs to be met in order for a marriage to be valid is for two adults to conscent. Proposition 8 provides an unneccessary restriction and burden to that, as I've explained. The reason why my opponent shouldn't be so nonchalant about the unreasonable decision argument is because the non-domination principle is the arbiter of what constitutes that people are being treated fairly in their options. Even if gay marriage isn't a right as my opponent explains, the fact that the elimination of gay marriage takes away the reasonable alternative leaves gay couples to choose between two bad options. What I am explaining here is that fairness is a right and fair decisions are a right, and when gay marriage is taken out, gays are violated in their right not of gay marriage, but of a reasonable option. Whether or not gay marriage is a right is irrelevant in this scope. None of these arguments are attested by my opponent, so they are extended.
Fourteenth Amendment: My opponent's strawman lies not in what I've said I was defending, but in what are the ramifications I claim at which what I said I'm defending has been violated. In the evaluation of a violation of this amendment, I was looking not to gay marriage itself, but how Proposition 8 was decided upon. I could explain the holes in my opponent's arguments, but nevertheless, my opponent makes a rational argument as to why gay marriage should not be legalized. The real question remaining, however, is if the people who voted in Proposition 8 for "yes" voted with this same reasoning. I explained earlier in my case the Supreme Court cases that determined what were the criteria for a violation of the Equal Protection Clause. My opponent states such a violation comes in whenever a right is violated. That is for Due Process Clause. The Equal Protection Clause protects against unfair, irrational, or invidious discrimination. My evidence explained that in Baker v. Nelson (1971). What I proved through my evidence is that Proposition 8's decision was based not on rational arguments like what my opponent posts, but on personal disliking of homosexuals, personal religious beliefs discriminating against homosexuals, arguments that gay marriage will lead to polygamy, bestiality, destruction of society, etc. Even if there was one case of that, Prop 8 had some basis in discrimination. This is why Prop 8 violated the Equal Protection Clause: its passage was based on discrimination and not rationality.
BOP: I concede that BOP is shared. However, the specific BOP that I explained I needed to uphold has not been argued against. I explained my position of the CON only to prove a single violation of the Constitution and how I didn't need to argue that the state has an interest to uphold gay marriage because that was my opponent's thesis and BOP, not mine. Henceforth, those arguments are extended across the flow.
What Marriage Is: I never said that Prop 8 infringes on what marriage is. I said that Prop 8 changes what marriage is. Before Prop 8 was instituted, a California Supreme Court case overturned the illegality of gay marriage. Proposition 22 had been struck down by this court ruling [1].This signifies that there was a change in the definition to something expansive to include gay marriage before Prop 8 was passed, and Prop 8's action was to change the definition of marriage back to only include heterosexual couples. It sounds like I'm only reiterating everything I said, but that's because my opponent never argued against what I iterated before. My opponent explains that certain people can be excluded from marriage as long as it's properly defined, but as I explained with my O1 and just simple understanding of legislation of legalizing gay marriage, this debate is about changing a proper definition to something more restrictive. My opponent never defined marriage but what Prop 8 did. This is where my argument comes in that my opponent's entire case is nothing but circular reasoning. He's arguing for Prop 8, a legislation that changed the definition of marriage, with the definition of marriage that Prop 8 is changing marriage to. He's using a premise in on itself. I don't need to find a definition for marriage, as I explained earlier, because the debate is about changing a definition. Everything in my case needs to be refuted so that it won't go extended across the flow. For arguing against an observation that I've already extended, you can definately take off the conduct vote from my opponent.
States Interest: My opponent went through numbering, so I'll follow the same procedure for the sake of comprehensibility in my arguments. (1) My opponent goes through his arguments again more clearly about why anything he said earlier warrants the need to stop gay marriage, but with newer arguments. He makes a brand-new economics argument stating that the government benefits and subsidization of marriage is costly, so the government should pick marriage that are worth subsidizing. He's switching his reasons for protection of procreation and child rearing; earlier he said that procreation and child rearing are good for maintaining society and stable families. Now, he's arguing that it's costly. There's no solidarity in my opponent's argument. The part that you will pay attention to most is the fact that my opponent contradicts himself when he states that gay marriages rarely procreate. He wants to subsidize marriages only of a procreative type, and the fact that he himself states that gay marriage can procreate at all means that at some level gay marriages can achieve the purposes that my opponent is trying to argue for. He says that artificial means of procreation is bad for society, but never explains a reason why let alone provides evidence that this claim is true. Gay marriages rarely procreate, but as my opponent himself said, procreation is encouraged and not mandated, and the fact that they can procreate at all shows us that it can fit in the definition that my opponent is trying to protect and the purpose of marriage that fits with that definition. My opponent proved for me that gay marriage can go into state interest. This one statement pretty much drops his entire case. He also never argues against my arguments of his research on gay parenting nor refutes the evidence I brought up. (2) My opponent proves that responsible procreation can encourage a growing and proper society, but he never proves that California wishes to achieve a growing and proper society through procreation. My opponent is making an assumption. (3) I completely understand that procration per family would be 2 or 3 children in the world of my opponent, but the key words are that my opponent wants to create a growing society, as he said previously. My evidence points out that this doesn't make population amounts go on a decreasing path. He states that the world is not overpopulated despite the fact that we have 7 billion people (and growing) populating a finite space. Fertility rates have been dropping, but that's because of a variety of reasons including that more and more countries developing and fertility rates aren't the only factor that leads toward overpopulation. The fact that my opponent is trying to encourage procreation, however, only proves to us he's trying to make fertility rates increase.

I upheld my BOP, my opponent's case is circular reasoning, and my opponent is only trying to support marriage of procreative type but concedes that at some level, gay marriage can procreate.

Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Man-is-good 6 years ago
And a couple of other notes: Spelling and grammar were given to Pro as a proxy point for organization.
Posted by Man-is-good 6 years ago
Continued RFD. in particular how a delineation of marriage would preclude consideration of other relationships that were supposedly more of the state's interest (another point of contention whether in terms of demographics or economics). This issue was, given how even such an issue permeated other areas of Con's argument, important and Con's dismissal weakened his case; if the debate itself were to re-define the definition of marriage, then why not supply one to challenge Pro's??
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
Magicrs vote is funny!
Posted by ScarletGhost4396 6 years ago
What are YOU facepalming for? You're winning. lol
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con's case had some good points and its presentation of the supposed violation of precedents appeared strong; however, Con's dismissal and refusal of a need of definition of marriage that was the basis of the moral constitution proved detrimental: in the very act of attempting to show the state's enterprise on procreation irrelevant compared to such an obstruction, Con failed to define the marriage that was the basis of consent, especially in face of a number of counters by Pro--(see comments)
Vote Placed by PolitcsMaster 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con had better arguments, but worse grammer and sources.
Vote Placed by Magicr 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Args. to Con. Contrary to what Pro said, Con provided an internationally accepted definition of marriage as well as showed how it gay marriage is a right via the 9th and this definition. Pro failed to show that legalizing gay marriage would hurt the state. Pro also failed to show that Prop 8 does not violate the Constitution as Con said it did. His main argument was that it had not been established as a right, when in reality it had been. Everything else about equal. A good debate on both sides.
Vote Placed by TUF 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: conduct for the poor organizations on the con side. spacing, and tab-ing really helps people read debates easier. The moral constituation point from pro went un refuted, which I think could have won the debate easier for Con if she were to really hammer down hard on this, rather than just saying it is irrelevant. I widely dis-agree with the pro on this debate for the contentions he used, but would have liked con to touch more on those specifics and elaborate. Good job to both debaters.