The Instigator
Con (against)
0 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
10 Points

RESOLVED: Gay marriage

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/9/2014 Category: People
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,605 times Debate No: 45510
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)




If you want to debate, by all means, do it. Don't give me hate comments. Rules:

(1. Religion can be brought up as gay marriage is opposed by many religions.
(2. No forfeits
(3. Calm anc collective (alliteration meaning have a calm and collective debate)

10,000 maximum
4 rounds
3 days


Given that this is merely an introductory round, I'll be very brief.

I would like to thank Con for issuing the challenge. Given that definitions are contentious (in the case of marriage) and abundantly clear ("gay" = homosexual), I'll leave it for now, in the hope we can avoid a semantics dispute. Hopefully, we can have a good exchange of ideas on what is a very important issue. I invite Con to make their case.


Debate Round No. 1


Stance I:

The institution of marriage has traditionally been defined as between a man and a woman.In the Oct. 15, 1971 decision Baker v. Nelson, the Supreme Court of Minnesota found that "The institution of marriage as a union of man and woman, uniquely involving the procreation and rearing of children within a family, is as old as the book of Genesis.”

Stance II:
Allowing gay couples to wed will further weaken the institution of marriage. Traditional marriage is already threatened with high divorce rates (between 40% and 50%) and with 40.6% of babies being born to unmarried mothers in 2008. Allowing same-sex couples to marry would further weaken the institution. As argued by Ryan T. Anderson, William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and a Free Society at The Heritage Foundation, "In recent decades, marriage has been weakened by a revisionist view that is more about adults’ desires than children’s needs... Redefining marriage to include same-sex relationships is the culmination of this revisionism, and it would leave emotional intensity as the only thing that sets marriage apart from other bonds."

Stance III:

Gay marriage could potentially lead down a "slippery slope" giving people in polygamous, incestuous, bestial, and other nontraditional relationships the right to marry. [10] Glen Lavy, JD, senior counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund, argued in a May 21, 2008 Los Angeles Times Op-Ed, "The movement for polygamy and polyamory is poised to use the successes of same-sex couples as a springboard for further de-institutionalizing marriage."[11] In April 2013, Slate published a plea for legal polygamy by writer Jillian Keenan: "Just like heterosexual marriage is no better or worse than homosexual marriage, marriage between two consenting adults is not inherently more or less 'correct' than marriage among three (or four, or six) consenting adults." [71]

Sstance IV:
People should not have their tax dollars used to support something they believe is wrong.Gay marriage would entitle gay couples to typical marriage benefits including claiming a tax exemption for a spouse, receiving social security payments from a deceased spouse, and coverage by a spouse’s health insurance policy. On Dec. 17, 2009, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the cost to the federal government of extending employment benefits to same-sex domestic partners of certain federal employees (making no mention of additional costs such as Social Security and inheritance taxes) would be $596 million in mandatory spending and $302 million in discretionary spending between 2010 and 2019. [37]

Stance 5:

Gay marriage may lead to more children being raised in same-sex households, which are not an optimum environment because children need both a mother and father. Girls who are raised apart from their fathers are reportedly at higher risk for early sexual activity and teenage pregnancy.[52] Children without a mother are deprived of the emotional security and unique advice that mothers provide. An Apr. 2001 study published in American Sociological Review suggesed that children with lesbian or gay parents are more likely to engage in homosexual behavior. [53] In the 1997 book Growing up in a Lesbian Family: Effects on Child Development, Fiona Tasker, PhD, and Susan Golombok, PhD, observed that 25% of sampled young adults raised by lesbian mothers had engaged in a homoerotic relationship, compared to 0% of sampled young adults raised by heterosexual mothers.[13]

Stance 6:

Gay marriage will accelerate the assimilation of gays into mainstream heterosexual culture to the detriment of the homosexual community. The gay community has created its own vibrant culture. By reducing the differences in opportunities and experiences between gay and heterosexual people, this unique culture may cease to exist. As M.V. Lee Badgett, PhD summarizes, "marriage means adopting heterosexual forms of family and giving up distinctively gay family forms and perhaps even gay and lesbian culture." [14]



Con’s plagiarism

Before I proceed in laying out a positive case for gay marriage (hereafter SSM), I want to regretfully draw attention to a serious breach in debate etiquette. Con’s entire round has been lifted verbatim from this website:

without any proper (or indeed any) citation. This amounts to academic plagiarism (1). Also, the video Con posted seems to satire her own position, making it abundantly clear Con has no interest in in a proper debate.

Such a flagrant breach of debating practise should result in a forfeiture of the entire debate. At the very least, points should be deducted from Con, in terms of conduct and sources.

In the interests of thoroughness, I’ll proceed as if Con really does want to have a substantive debate and assume (just in case) that the voters are ultra-generous to Con and only deduct the source and conduct points. I’d be amazed however if anyone judged this behaviour as anything other than grounds for forfeiture of the entire debate.


In this round, I’ll be focusing solely on the case for SSM. First, the definition of marriage, beginning with a functional view of its social purpose.

Marriage - “a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship . . . an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged. “(2)

Obviously, there are additional criteria for marriage which we would recognise, so I would add (just to be clear) that this applies only to consenting adults, and that it is a relationship recognised by the state , both in terms of the legal permutations (spousal rights), and social
consequences (e.g. state benefits and such) for those who enter this relationship.

Where Con and I differ is in our approach to the availability of marriage:

Traditional Marriage (abbr. - TM) - “Marriage is the lifelong commitment and faithful union of one man and one woman. As such, marriage is the natural basis of the family because it secures the relationship between biological parents and their children.” (3)

Such a definition excludes same sex marriages. In laymen’s terms, it is the view that the institution of marriage should be preserved for one man, one woman, as Con indicates. This I take to be Con’s position.

Same Sex Marriage (SSM) - The ability for homosexual couples to enter a contract which is identical in the eyes of the law and society as that of a heterosexual marriage. This what we might call the inclusivist approach to marriage (or equal marriage), as it extends already existing marital rights to include couples of the same sex. This is synonymous with Gay marriage, although the label is perhaps a little more clear of including both male and female homosexual couples.

With that in mind, I’ll present the justification for my definition of marriage.

The case for SSM (Gay marriage)

I will seek to provide justification for the definition of marriage I sketched out earlier with 4 arguments, taken from my prevoius debate

A1 - The presumption of liberty

“It’s a travesty that people have forced someone who is gay to have to make their case that they deserve the same basic right as someone else.” (4) - Jon Stewart

Before, I make the argument here, I first want to establish that marriage is indeed a right (5). As Con is American, I will simply refer to the Supreme Court, who has, on 14 occasions, ruled that marriage is indeed a fundamental right. To use just one example,

“Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival“ (6).

Given this, the argument here, like the presumption of innocence, seeks to address where the burden of proof lies. It can be formalised thus:

P1 - If we are going to differentiate rights based on factors like sexual orientation, we should have overwhelming evidence that such an intervention is necessary for the public good.

P2 - Denying the right of marriage to same sex couples is based upon their sexual orientation.

C - :., We should have overwhelming evidence that such an intervention is necessary for the public good.

If sound, this argument demands that whomever wishes to act towards differently towards gay couples, (as would be the case with factors like race and so forth), simply has to accept that they have a massive burden of proof to show society should favour one group of people over another, when it comes to the right of marriage.

Defending P1 - Here, I will simply utilise the concept of Rawls’ veil of ignorance. The basic idea of this is to imagine a situation where:

“ no one knows his place in society, his class position or social status; nor does he know his fortune in the distribution of natural assets and abilities, his intelligence and strength, and the like.” (7)

Clearly, without content specifics, we would all accept P1 as a pretty important rule. If we didn’t know which criteria the state would differentiate on (race, gender, and so forth), we would hope that any preferential treatment of one group(s) over others would, at the very least, be exceptionally well justified, indeed even allowing that such a decision could even be so. To argue against P1, Con will have to argue against not only a principle pretty well enshrined in our moral sensibilities, but also one which features prominently within Western liberal democracy, including the US founding documents.

Defending P2 - This I take to be a tautology. Traditional marriage necessitates differentiating between heterosexual and same-sex couples, solely based on sexual preference. As such, P2 is true by definition.

If this argument is true, it means that any treatment of couples must be equivalent, unless Con can provide this massive support to warrant differentiation. If there is any doubt to the efficacy of his case, we should all presume liberty. The importance of such a high standard of proof is heightened even more however when we recognise that gays are a historically persecuted minority, especially in the eyes of the law. The existence of sodomy laws (8), for example, is just one such instance of bigoted and hateful persecution of gays which was (in many cases) legitimised by the legislature.

Unless and until, Con can meet this massive burden, which she hasn’t even begun to do, we are justified seeing SSM as the option which preserves liberty for all.

A2 - Institutionalised bigotry

Treating same sex couples as morally inferior or deviant, which exclusionary marriage does, perpetuates and crystallises bigotry, and does so with the approval of the state. Life choices or preferences are matters for the individual to decide, if this action does not harm or affect other people. As the bumper sticker quips, “If you don’t like SSM, don’t have one.”

Furthermore, bullying towards gay and lesbian teens is rife, perhaps even 3 times as much as their heterosexual peers. This can also lead to an increase in the rate of physical and mental health problems for these teens later on in life (9). Witness also the stream of horrendous violence against the gay and lesbian community, the most tragic example of which was the brutal torture and murder of Matthew Shepard, a crime committed solely because of hatred towards homosexuality (10). It’s clear that state-sponsored discrimination towards homosexuals is tacit approval of the mindset which treats gays and lesbians as inferior to heterosexuals, or as a group to be dehumanised. An embodiment of such discriminatory action by the government by denying SSM simply perpetuates the conditions for this hatred, and as such, we should seek to eliminate it.

A3 - Equality

By denying SSM, a homosexual couple will be arbitrarily cut off from many benefits and privileges afforded to their heterosexual counterparts:

“Same sex couples who are prohibited from marrying are excluded from a panoply of legal benefits specifically tied to legally recognized marriage: for example, access to a spouse's medical, life and disability insurance; hospital visitation and medical decision-making privileges… workers' compensation survivor benefits; spousal benefits under annuity and retirement plans…the right to refuse to testify against one's spouse…” and many other things. (11)

Provision of many of these benefits would not even be monetarily based, so denying these rights to one’s life partner because they are of the same sex seems unnecessary, cruel and a massive encroachment on the private affairs of individuals, especially when this can be so easily remedied by allowing SSM.

A4 - Extension of marriage

This last point is relatively simple. Given that we both (I would presume) agree that society should maximise goods, and that marriage itself provides many goods (e.g. stability, health benefits, better commitment and so on) wholly apart from procreation, we should do whatever we can to encourage an increase in the number of marriage, and SSM would obviously help do that. As such, SSM would help maximise the benefits of marriage, by extending these benefits to a greater number of loving couples.






5. Several of the points made are taken from Freeman in his excellent debate here







Debate Round No. 2


PeriodicPatriot forfeited this round.


Under Rule 2, as specified by Con in R1 ("No forfeits"), Con"s concession of the last round is a concession of the debate.

Given that Con plagiarised her case wholesale in the first debating round, it"s obvious she had no interest in a serious debate in any case, as well as conducting herself poorly.

I"d like to apologise to the voters on Con"s behalf and ask she quickly concede the last round, rather than waiting out the 3 day deadline.

Vote Pro
Debate Round No. 3


PeriodicPatriot forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by PeriodicPatriot 3 years ago
R1 is a acceptance round.
Posted by unitedandy 3 years ago
Hey, just wondered if you wanted me to start in Round 1, or whether it is an acceptance round.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by zmikecuber 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: FF. Also Con plagiarized as pointed out by Pro.
Vote Placed by GarretKadeDupre 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro didn't forfeit, and his arguments that he should win were most convincing.