The Instigator
Wayne
Pro (for)
Losing
26 Points
The Contender
symphonyofdissent
Con (against)
Winning
28 Points

Proposition 8 should not be passed.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/4/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,615 times Debate No: 5629
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (8)

 

Wayne

Pro

Proposition 8 is a motion that is based on irrational grounds.

It is a pointless fight against change because it is reasonable to predict that eventually,
gay marriage would be legal in all parts of the United States for the same reasons
that African Americans and woman now have the same rights as a white male.

The con side will have to prove why Proposition 8 should be passed.
symphonyofdissent

Con

First of all, I would like to offer the prelude that I am personally pro-gay marriage and chose this specific debate to accept rather than many of the other ones because it specifically refers to a ballot measure rather than to the nature of gay marriage itself. I will not be arguing against gay marriage but instead arguing that there is worth to allowing this measure on the ballot and that if the majority or super majority of the state of california want it, this should pass and possibly serve as a test case for the matter if brought before the supreme court of the united states which has yet to decide on this matter fully.

First of all, the purpose of a constitutional amendment in any state is to get something directly into enforcement around any other prohibitive amendments in the state. It is because the California supreme court has already found the legislative ban on gay marriage to be unconstitutional that this measure is even on the ballot. California is one of the most liberal states in terms of ballot measures allowing citizens to easily offer their own constitutional amendments. This is one of the essential foundations of democracy as established in the state. In california, it has been decided that the final voice can and should come form the people and that a majority should have a say even above a judiciary through this process. Again, we are not arguing over the right or wrong of this system, but only that it is the one that is in place.

Therefore, any ballot measure that is put forth in good faith and gets the proper signatures should be considered and be up for a vote by the people. It seems likely that this measure will be defeated in november, but if it manages to pass it will be a valid one in the state of california due to the very structure of the california system.

Of course, then I would expect this measure and the amendment to be taken up to the supreme court level of the United States Eventually. It is true that the precedents of Loving v. Virginia and Lawrence v. Texas among others make it likely that the supreme court will decide against the amendments and strike them down as violations of the supreme power invested in the federal constitution, but the thing is until this has been established definitively by a federal body such ballot measures if passed have a validity.

The pro side must find someway to definitively assert an authority other than the supreme court of the land ( which has yet to decide) which would make this ballot measure invalid or else find someway to declare outside of a democratic decision that one ballot measure is right and another wrong. In short, the pro side must actively show that in a democracy there is some force for judging before a case ever reaches a supreme court or a vote that there is as mechanism to show the worth of an amendment. The very structure of the pros initial comments demand this. It has taken up a very high burden that I fear it will never be able to reach.
Debate Round No. 1
Wayne

Pro

Before I start the arguments, I'd like to first thank the user "symphonyofdissent" for taking this debate,
the potential voters for reading through this, and debate.org for making all of this possible.

Now moving on to my response to the pro side...
It looks like the pro side has misconstrued my stance. I have not said that proposition 8 is an invalid/ improper proposition,
what I am advocating is that people do not vote yes on the bill. The con side's main contention is that any ballot measure "should be considered and be up for a vote by the people" once the proper procedures have been followed. On this note,
I do not dissent from the con's view.

Now to further elaborate my stance and my arguments, people should vote no on this proposition
because the issue of gay rights is parallel to woman's rights and African American rights. Just like gay rights,
civil rights for woman and African Americans were largely unpopular. There is no good reason to say that
gay rights is any different. To vote yes on the bill is simply slowing down the progress of inevitable change.
In essence, all oppositions to gay marriage would be futile eventually.
symphonyofdissent

Con

Thank you to the Pro Side for the response to my arguments. Unfortunately, I feel you do not understand my response and therefore completely drop my arguments.

Here is your original post

"Proposition 8 is a motion that is based on irrational grounds.

It is a pointless fight against change because it is reasonable to predict that eventually,
gay marriage would be legal in all parts of the United States for the same reasons
that African Americans and woman now have the same rights as a white male."

My argument is that we can never call a ballot measure irrational or based on irrational grounds until it has passed and been ruled on. Irrational aspires to a higher standard than merely wrong, to call something an irrational law means that it has no basis for being viewed as even a legitimate law.

With gay marriage this is clearly not true....

The supreme court is now widely conservative and may decide otherwise and actually rule against gay marriage were this brought to the supreme court. A majority of states now have bands against gay marriage. Though the court may look to good precedents such as Lawrence v. Texas and decide ( justly in my opinion) that gay marriage is a constitutional right, it is equally likely given the current composition that they will not do so.

To call anything a pointless fight against change is silly because any ballot measure, amendment or legislation is a change and this is just change in a direction that you personally do not deem just.

In your last post you attempt to argue that individuals should vote no on this amendment. I would hold that for many of the people planning to vote yes that there is a perfectly valid reason within their belief structure to vote yes. There are scriptural and spiritual reasons for individuals to view marriage as a necessary holy bond between man and woman. I need not prove that every person should vote yes, but I have already just shown that many individuals can have a reason to vote yes.

This is the nature of ballot measures, they give majorities the power to assert their views and will on the constitution. They push test cases to the court, they assert a states will to others to be seen. They have many legitimate purposes. Whether the supreme court of the United States in the end overrules this example of the people's will does not deny that there is a legitimate reason for those who oppose gay marriage for whatever reason to vote for this ammendment and to have it passed.

You have failed to show why passing such a ballot measure can not achieve the desired effect for those who want it enacted nor any reason that this action is truly meaningless or futile.

If you wish to debate whether or not gay marriage is a good or not please start a debate with that topic. This was not the case you presented or the task you offered me.
Debate Round No. 2
Wayne

Pro

As this is the last response I can give for this debate, I'd like to thank everyone again for this opportunity.

I will now counter what my opponent has previously said and then tell you why you should vote for pro.

My opponent said that "we can never call a ballot measure irrational or based on irrational grounds until it has passed and been ruled on. Irrational aspires to a higher standard than merely wrong, to call something an irrational law means that it has no basis for being viewed as even a legitimate law."

In other words, my opponent stated that in order to be able to call a ballot measure "irrational", it must have to be "passed and been ruled on" (presumably, ruled against). With this premise, a law can only be rational if it first become a "legitimate law". One should see the faultiness of this premise. How could one decide whether to vote yes or no on a ballot measure unless he has personally thought of whether a particular ballot is rational or not. Surly, one have to be able to judge the rationality of a ballot even before it is already seen as a legitimate law. On top of this, even if a ballot has turned into a "legitimate law", one could still argue whether the law is rational or not. History tell us that not all laws that were passed were rational. Indeed, laws have been passed and than nullified later. One example would be the 18th amendment. Before it was passed and after it was passed, people argue over whether it was rational or not, and it was only after it was passed, that it was realized the law was not rational. It was not rational to expect the government to be able to ban people from consuming alcohol.

Another point my opponent has brought up is that it is silly to call anything a pointless fight "because any ballot measure, amendment or legislation is a change"

Although technically, this is true, but really, proposition 8, if passed, would merely re-enforce the status quo. Gay couples were already not allowed to be married, even though this is not stated in the California constitution. However, courts in California have ruled against gay marriage.

Moving on, my opponent said that "many of the people planning to vote yes that there is a perfectly valid reason within their belief structure to vote yes"

Indeed, I believe people have reasons to vote no on this proposition, but the point is whether those reasons are rational.

Now that I have addressed my opponent's main points, I will tell you why the pro side has clearly won this debate.

The task I presented for my opponent is very simple: to show why proposition 8 should be passed, which would, by the California constitution, prohibit gay marriage. My opponent has not really showed why this proposition is based on rational grounds other than stating that there are religious reasons why certain individuals would want to see it pass. Instead of rebutting the base I presented, the main chunk of my opponent's writing advocates that the proposition should be put "up for a vote by the people", a stance that I have never opposed. Because my opponent's case never negated my arguments, the pro side has won the debate, so I strongly urge a pro-vote.
symphonyofdissent

Con

So I think I can make a rather brief rebuttal and still handily win this round...

What is my burden in this debate

To prove that at least for some people voting for this proposition is a valid and purely rational action.

Now lets assume you are a person who is personally opposed to gay marriage for a variety of reasons ( religious reasons being paramount). My opponent never responded to my basic statement that at least some people have such valid personal or social reasons.

Why should you vote for the ballot measure

1) Even if it does not pass you have consciously voted with your personal beliefs

2) The law is passed and the supreme court never rules on it or decides on it..This law stays on the books and is enforced

3) The law passes and the supreme court rules that it is Constitutional. In an increasingly polarized and conservative court especially if John McCain wins the presidency and gets to appoint justices, this is a real possibility.

4) This law passed and the Supreme Court rules it is unconstitutional. You have still lost nothing becuase the court could have taken a test case from any of the many other states that hold such beliefs.

In examples 2, 3 and 4 you have asserted a very powerful act of the peoples will. In examples 2 and 3 you actually get the result you want from voting.

Just based on these grounds I think I clearly and logically win the round.
________________________________________________

Just to respond to a bit of the other stuff.

My main argument is that to say a constitutional ammendment should not pass from our view is folly. We may not like the result of this amendment but an equally large quantity of people do like the theoretical results if they voted in favor for it. In the state of california they have a system of ballot measures that means that this people's will is the highest source of authority within the state in determining what laws are desirable.

My opponent uses the 18th amendment as an example, but the truth is that the 18th amendment was a social experiment that would not have clearly not worked. For it to have passed it was obviously the will of the majority of the people in the country at the time. It may not have worked ultimately but it was a rational attempt and completely valid under our governmental structure.

In other words, for something to be a rational law requires two things

1) It must be placed by a legitimate societal/legislative mechanism ( Passing a bill, amending a constitution etc.)
2) It must be viewed as desirable by at least a portion of those responsible for passing it.
3) In our system with a supreme court we have a third mechanism in which laws on any level lower than a federal amendment can be deemed irrational in relation to the highest laws of the land. This is a case by case basis that we can not predict when voting on most laws.

The results of a law my ultimately be folly and may be overturned as the 18th amendment was. However as I said and was never responded to, the word irrational aspires to a higher standard than merely wrong.

My opponent fails to understand the fundamental philosophy of law that makes our country function and shows a disdain for direct democracy that he never truly validates. The con side clearly wins this debate
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Wayne 8 years ago
Wayne
vote in favor? *wrong*
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
Pro argued that it (a) was inevitable and (b) was parallel to women's rights and other rights. He gave no argument as to why it was inevitable or why something being inevitable is a logical reason to vote in favor of it. He gave no reason why Prop 8 was parallel to other rights. Basically, Pro didn't show up for the debate.
Posted by sadolite 8 years ago
sadolite
Con handily wins as He/She stays on topic of pros first argument. Pro tried to change the subject of cons responsibility to prove prop 8 is irrational and should be thrown out. Pro tried to turn the argument into a "Ya" or "Na" vote based on ones beliefs in my opinion.
Posted by libertarian 8 years ago
libertarian
Say no 8! Don't support hate!
14th amendment: "No state shall deny equal protection under the laws."
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by Willoweed 5 years ago
Willoweed
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Reasons for voting decision: pro-equal right
Vote Placed by symphonyofdissent 8 years ago
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