The Instigator
Pro (for)
14 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
5 Points

Resolved: Gay marriage should be legalized in the United States

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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: 12/27/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,372 times Debate No: 28677
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
Votes (4)




The first round would be for the acceptance of the topic.


I accept this challenge. This has been somewhat of a touchy topic and I never really wanted to debate this, but sure! Why not?

Debate Round No. 1


I thank my opponent for agreeing to come debate with me, and for this resolution, I affirm. Before continuing, I establish only a single parameter:


1. Because the resolution specifies the United States as the location in which gay marriage should be legalized, the resolution looks at the country as a whole rather than its individual states.

The denial of the passage of gay marriage in the United States results in the following: (1) A breach in the constitutional/civil rights of people, and (2) A decline in the well-being of the society. Henceforth, the United States should legalize gay marriage as a whole in the country.

Contention 1: Legalization of gay marriage provides equal protection of rights.
Marriages are a fundemental human right, just like the prevention of unfair discrimination. When gay marriage is kept prohibited, it infringes on the right to marry in the practical sense as well as to be protected from discrimination.

Sub-point 1a: Prohibitions inhibit the right to marriage.
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. The current law, however, provides an extra and unneccesary prerequisite in order to be able to marry, which only works to inhibit the practice of this right.

Sub-point 1b: Denial of gay marriage creates second-class citizens.
The definition of second-class citizens is the following: "an informal term used to describe a person who is systematically discriminated against within a state or other political jurisdiction, despite their nominal status as a citizen or legal resident there. While not necessarily slaves, outlaws or by Savings Sidekick" href="../../Resolved-The-country-of-Scotland-should-legalize-gay-marriage./1/">criminals, second-class citizens have limited legal rights, civil rights and economic opportunities, and are often subject to mistreatment or neglect atthe hands of their putative superiors." At the point where the government is limiting the rights of homosexualswhen it comes to the marriage they can have, this is inherently discrimination by the state against a group of people, creating a set of second-class citizens. When a marriage is only allowed for a heterosexual couple rather than a homosexual couple, it implies that a heterosexual couple is more in worth than a homosexual one.

Contention 2: Gay marriage benefits society.
On a more practical level, the legalization of gay marriage can be beneficial for society:

Sub-point 2a:
The supplement to tolerance of the homosexual community as a result of legalization of gay marriage has helped to reduce negative statistics in the homosexual community.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention writes on homophobia and AIDS rates: " Stigma and homophobia may have a profound impact on the lives of MSM, especially their mental and sexual health. Internalized homophobia may impact men’s ability to make healthy choices, including decisions around sex and substance use. Stigma and homophobia may limit the willingness of MSM to access HIV prevention and care, isolate them from family and community support, and create cultural barriers that inhibit integration into social networks." In the Emory University study provided, the study confirms that denial of gay marriage is a form of intolerance, and with the passage of legislation denying same-sex marriage, AIDS rates among homosexuals will increase by 4 per 100,000 cases, while legalizing will reduce by 1 per 100,000 cases.

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explain, intolerance is greatly negative for the health of thegay community:

"Negative attitudes about homosexuality can lead to rejection by friends and family, discriminatory acts and violence that harm specific individuals, and laws and policies that adversely affect the lives of many people; this can have damaging effects on the health of MSM and other sexual minorities. Homophobia, stigma and discrimination can:
  • Limit MSM's ability to access high quality health care that is responsive to health issues of MSM
  • Affect income, employment status, and the ability to get and keep health insurance
  • Contribute to poor mental health and unhealthy behaviors, such as substance abuse, risky sexual behaviors, and suicide attempts
  • Affect MSM's ability to establish and maintain long-term same-sex relationships that reduce HIV & STD risk
  • Make it difficult for some MSM to be open about same-sex behaviors with others, which can increase stress, limit social support, and negatively affect health

The effects of homophobia, stigma and discrimination can be especially hard on adolescents and young adults. Young MSM and other sexual minorities are at increased risk of being bullied in school. They are also at risk of being rejected by their families and, as a result, are at increased risk of homelessness. A study published in 2009 compared gay, lesbian, and bisexual young adults who experienced strong rejection from their families with their peers who had more supportive families. The researchers found that those who experienced stronger rejection were:

  • 8.4 times momore likely to report high levels of depression
  • 3.4 times more likely to use illegal drugs
  • 3.4 times more likely to have risky sex
  • 4.0 times more likely to commit suicide
The very same report explains that social support is the key toward reducing the problems of homophobia in the country and hence reduce the problems that result from this.

The reduction in homophobia alone doesn't just account for this, but also the very marriage itself and the nature of it does, as Brian Mustanski, Ph.D from Northwestern University explains: " It should come to no surprise that having a shoulder to lean on during difficult times, a partner contributing income and effort to sustaining the household, legal protections of your relationship, and a person to help multiple the joys of life has many health benefits. More recently, research has shown that making it more difficult for some people to reap these benefits imposes health risks. The January 2009 issue of the Journal of Counseling Psychology has several articles reporting novel research on this topic. According to the press release for the issue, "Amendments that restrict civil marriage rights of same-sex couples - such as Proposition 8 that recently passed in California - have led to higher levels of stress and anxiety among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults, as well as among their families of origin, according to several new studies to be published by the American Psychological Association." The release reports results from an online study of 1,552 lesbian, gay and bisexual adults from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. According to the researchers, led by Dr. Sharon Scales Rostosky, at the University of Kentucky, "The results of this study demonstrate that living in a state that has just passed a marriage amendment is associated with higher levels of psychological stress for lesbian, gay and bisexual citizens," Rostosky said. "And this stress is not due to other pre-existing conditions or factors; it is a direct result of the negative images and messages associated with the ballot campaign and the passage of the amendment."

Sub-point 2b: Legalization of same-sex marriage has been beneficial to commerce.
The following evidence of economy after the passage of legalization of same-sex marriage shows us that the legalization is a great supplement to commerce because of the increase of demand for products.
Disclaimer: I know this is an old case. Too much research done to put it all into new case


The_Master_Riddler forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


My opponent forfeited this round. Extend all arguments across the flow.


Sorry, I got sidetracked in all of my other debates. Here are my counter arguments.

Legalization of gay rights provides equal protection.
I will concede to that statement, but the problem is that there will be people who will lose their individual rights as well. 60% of marriages are in churches and other religious places. Most churches don't offer marriage to a gay Christian, and because of that, the gay person can sue the church and can be entitled to get married at that church. Now, the pastor of that church loses his right of religion so that gay people can get married.

Gay marriage benefits society.
Gay marriage might help make money, but that doesn't mean it is right or good. Alcohol makes money for society, but that doesn't mean that it is good. Many people have died from alcohol. As my opponent stated, people get rejected from just being gay. Letting them get married will cause more turmoil and strife.

Marriage is defined as the unification of male and female. Therefore, there is no point in trying to legalize a marriage that isn't marriage at all.
In the dictionary, marriage is defined as the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law. As you can see, in that definition, marriage is the unification of opposite genders, not the same gender. Therefore, it is not marriage that would be legalized.

Gay marriage will not benefit children. Let's say two lesbian women are raising an adopted kid. That kid would possibly go to jail and become criminals just because there is no father. President Barack Obama said that "We know the statistics—that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and twenty times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home, or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it." As you can see, with the absence of a father, there might not be a good future for them and it will also weaken the community.
Debate Round No. 3


I thank my opponent for providing a response. Considering that I've already extended my arguments and my opponent clearly forfeited a round, I'm already winning this debate through the argumentation and conduct point. However, for the sake of providing a response, I will do so accordingly.

[PRO Case]

Contention 1: My opponent's response to my first contention isn't so much an argument inasmuch as it is a statement that another group of people's rights may be infringed with the passage of gay marriage. My opponent concurs that the denial of gay marriage will create second-class citizens and inhibit the right to marriage, so inevitably, this contention is extended across the flow. As we can agree, denial of gay marriage violates rights. My opponent's only response is that churches would be forced to do gay marriages even though marriages can be held in other locations. This is proven through my opponent's own 60% comment. If 40% of marriages occur outside of churches, it shows that gay marriages have multiple locations where they can be held and won't necessarily have to infringe on the spaces of conservative Christianity. My opponent states that churches could be sued for a gay marriage despite the fact that he provides no cases where a gay couple was able to successfully force a church to give a gay marriage as upheld through a gay marriage law. In my argument, I would state that churches shouldn't be required to hold gay marriages that they don't support, but the fact that there are other locations where marriages can be done show that the rights of Christians and gays can be made equal to some degree. As my opponent clearly agrees, the total denial of gay marriage infringes on rights totally. As the readers can see, the PRO world can better support all rights than the CON world.
Contention 2: It's a good thing that my argument is not only that gay marriage can be socially productive, but as I've explained, the acceptance of gay marriage better provides justice for gay couples while still upholding the religious rights of those in opposition of gay marriage. My opponent claims that allowing gays to get married will cause more turmoil and strife. The petty reactions of those opposing the equal rights of gays is not a legitimate reason for the government disapproval of gay marriage. To deny gay rights simply because people don't like it is similar to an ad Populum argument, which is just a fallacy. Furthermore, my opponent proves neither the extremities or the existence of the turmoil and strife.

[CON case]

Definition: My opponent fails to understand that legalization of gay marriage will require a change in the definition of marriage. The definition of marriage in the current federal sense is what we're arguing in this debate, and for my opponent to use the definition in defense of itself is just circular reason. He also is stating that gay marriage should not be legalized because the current law states that marriage is between man and woman, so he's boiling his first reason for not supporting gay marriage to the following: gay marriage shouldn't be legalized because gay marriage is illegal, even though we're questioning whether or not we should change the law. He's also implying that the law is supreme and ultimate by saying that gay marriage is illegal. Laws aren't always just or correct, as Jim Crow laws, slavery, laws against women voting, and others have shown us, and the fact that my opponent concurs that laws against gay marriage violate rights shows that the illegality of gay marriage should be changed.
Children and gay couples: First of all, Barack Obama is not a sociologist neither does he specify where this information was attained, so already my opponent's sources are completely skewed. My opponent claims that children will suffer under gay parenting. My evidence says otherwise: "To evaluate that concern, William Meezan and Jonathan Rauch review the growing body of research on how same-sex parenting affects children. After considering the methodological problems inherent in studying small, hard-to-locate populations—problems that have bedeviled this literature—the authors find that the children who have been studied are doing about as well as children normally do. What the research does not yet show is whether the children studied are typical of the general population of children raised by gay and lesbian couples. A second important question is how same-sex marriage might affect children who are already being raised by same-sex couples. Meezan and Rauch observe that marriage confers on children three types of benefits that seem likely to carry over to children in same-sex families. First, marriage may increase children’s material well-being through such benefits as family leave from work and spousal health insurance eligibility. It may also help ensure financial continuity, should a spouse die or be disabled. Second, same-sex marriage may benefit children by increasing the durability and stability of their parents’ relationship. Finally, marriage may bring increased social acceptance of and support for same-sex families, although those benefits might not materialize in communities that meet same-sex marriage with rejection or hostility." [1]

Question to my opponent: If I provide evidence that the quality of parenting by a gay couple has equal ability to produce healthy children as a heterosexual couple, would this drop your second point?

[1] "Gay Marriage, Same-Sex Parenting, and America’s Children," 97


The_Master_Riddler forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


It is apparent to me that I am the winner of this debate. Not only has my opponent twice forfeited the debate, earning me the conduct point, but he hasn't responded to either my statement nor my counterarguments. Ultimately, everything has been extended across the flow and goes unargumented. I've provided the evidence that I need, and considering that it's more scholarly and methodological than my opponent's, I should also earn the sources point. Judges, if my opponent tries to make any arguments after this, please do not allow him to considering that I have absolutely no way of responding to them now that the debate is at a close.

Thank you. Vote for PRO.


I'm sorry! Vote Pro!
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by GarretKadeDupre 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:15 
Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeited, so conduct to Pro. Sources to Con for the merriam-webster dictionary, which he sources to back up his most important argument. It would have been easier for me to vote Con had he noted conceded that legalizing gay marriage violates rights. But he redeemed himself with the claim that "Marriage is defined as the unification of male and female. Therefore, there is no point in trying to legalize a marriage that isn't marriage at all." Pro fails to refute this by saying "My opponent fails to understand that legalization of gay marriage will require a change in the definition of marriage." It makes no sense to legalize something by changing it's definition. It simply... makes no sense. This leaves Con with the upper hand... and even though he ends up forfeiting AGAIN, the debate ends with his most important argument still unrefuted. So arguments to Con. Pro could have stood a chance simply by not conceding the definition of marriage as pointed out by Con.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit and concession get the argument point, the sources should be obvious...I was tempted not to award conduct to either because Con at least admitted he effed up, but ultimately a forfeit is a forfeit, and it sucks to wait until the time expires all the time.
Vote Placed by Ike-Jin-Park 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: FF. I think Pro had done a good job in presenting his argument in a systematic manner.