Resolved: Parents ought be banned from forcing minors into ex-gay therapy or conversion practices.
This debate comes as an offshoot of the one that I am currently having with Danielle. If you liked that debate, then you should like this one. First round is acceptance.
I thank my opponent for accepting my debate (excuse the rather last-minute debate case), and I would like to affirm the resolution and stand on the PRO end of this debate with the following parameters to establish, beginning with the definitions of the resolution:
ought(v.): Used to indicate duty or correctness; moral should
force (v.): To gain by the use of force or coercion.
ex-gay therapy (n.): a type of sexual orientation change effort that attempts to change the sexual orientation of a person from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual.
I establish the following observations for this debate:
Observation 1: The scenario being evaluated for the qualification of banning is the following: a parent wants to place their child (a minor) into any sort of therapy or practice that attempts to change their sexual orientation through means of coercion.
Observation 2: Based on the definition of ought in the resolution, the evaluation in this debate on the ban is a moral one.
With the establishment of morality as the lens at which this debate will be evaluated, I establish my lens for which I am looking at morality: consequentialism, harm principle, and justice.
With my parameters established, I move on to the iteration of my points:
Contention 1: Ex-gay therapy is inadequate and immoral
The practice of ex-gay therapy is completely contradictory to the general intent of the practice of psychology, causes negative effects to the individual in the long run, and perpetuates a general ideology that causes harm to the members of the LGBT community. For these reasons, ex-gay therapy is inadequate and immoral for society in general, let alone children.
Sub-point 1a: Ex-gay therapy is inherently immoral.
Because the general idea of ex-gay therapy inherently condemns homosexuality in general and aligns itself with a mindset prejudiced against this group of people, ex-gay therapy is inherently immoral in reason. The Pan-American Health Organization commented: "Health professionals who offer “reparative therapies” align themselves with social prejudices and reflect a stark ignorance in matters of sexuality and sexual health. Contrary to what many people believe or assume, there is no reason — with the exception of the stigma resulting from those very prejudices — why homosexual persons should be unable to enjoy a full and satisfying life. The task of health professionals is to not cause harm and to offer support to patients to alleviate their complaints and problems, not to make these more severe. A therapist who classifies non-heterosexual patients as “deviant” not only offends them but also contributes to the aggravation of their problems."
Sub-point 1b: Ex-gay therapy causes harm in the long run.
The practice at which ex-gay therapy is done and its effects further invalidate ex-gay therapy as anything moral. The APA reports:"The APA's Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation reached its conclusion based on a lengthy (137-page) review of over 80 studies conducted from 1960 to 2007. They found an overall abysmal state of research, with "serious methodological problems" in most of the studies. The reputable studies, they found, overwhelmingly show that long-term change in a person's sexual orientation is "uncommon." Those who underwent such therapies frequently reported subsequent difficulties, including loss of sexual feeling, suicidality, depression and anxiety. As a result of these findings, the group passed a resolution warning its over 150,000 members not to advise clients to attempt to use therapy to change their sexual orientation...Contrary to claims of sexual orientation change advocates and practitioners, there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation," said Judith M. Glassgold, chairwoman of the task force that presented the report at the group's annual meeting in Toronto, Canada. "At most, certain studies suggested that some individuals learned how to ignore or not act on their homosexual attractions. Yet, these studies did not indicate for whom this was possible, how long it lasted or its long-term mental health effects. Also, this result was much less likely to be true for people who started out only attracted to people of the same sex." The inefficiency of this practice further contributes to the idea that this practice is impractical and immoral with consideration that it receives money in order to do a practice that is potentially harmful and generally dysfunctional.
"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:
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:
Contention 2: Coercion to enter ex-gay therapy is a violation of rights.
When looking from the scope of human rights, we can see that ex-gay therapy is a complete violation to the inherent rights of the minor not only for the reason of being exposed to potential harm by the parent, but also for the reason of the fact that the minor in question is being coerced against his will. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which specifically iterates the human rights of people and provides a universal and ubiquitous template for human rights, states in Article 20 that humans have the right not be forced into associations along with Article 3 describing the human right to life and the security of the person.
I would like to begin by wholeheartedly thanking my opponent for instigating this debate.
For clarifications my arguments in the round will go as follows
- Con arguments
- Pro Rebuttals
= Definitions =
My opponent's provided definitions are almost acceptable,. the given definitions for ought and force are unbiased provide adequate ground for both my opponent. ex-gay therapy, hereafter EGT, however, does not. My opponent's definition here is blatantly one-sided and fails to take into account EGT which aims not to change one's sexual orientation, but to help consolidate said orientation with their desires and/or beliefs.
That said, I would like to further this definition to include practices and clinics which help individuals to deal with their sexual desire such as the International Healing Foundation
If my opponent objects to this I ask the he voice his concerns in the following round, however a thorough review of the IHF's website will show this alteration as legitimate, and one which levels the ground of the debate.
= Framework =
The Pro's burden is to ban parent's from putting their children through EGT. The only way that the Pro can warrant a vote for themselves is if they fulfill this burden beyond reasonable doubt - if they fail to do so then the vote must default Con as the Pro has the burden to change the status quo. I aim to show that affirming is immoral and a violation of a parentel rights.
The burden of the Con in this debate will be to defend parental rights to raise their children in a manner they deem acceptable and appropriate. Even if the child would protest.
Furthermore it should be noted that it is not the Con's responsibility to defend EGT, but instead to show that it is immoral to ban parents from forcing their kids through it. I repeat; This debate is not one of EGT's moral legitimacy, but of parental rights.
I accept the two observations offered by my opponent, however I argue against that my opponent's lense to evaluate morality is insufficient. These standards while acceptable in theory are inadequate in practice as human morality is not as dogmatic in application as Consequentialism and the Harm Principle are. Morality is an inborn value unique to each person. Therefore I argue that instead the voters should interpret the arguments presented in this debate through their own moral compass, barring they do not use such an interpretation to make biased votes.
Justice is completely irrelevant because it is based in law, not ethics.
= Con Arguments =
1. Minors have limited rights.
My opponent and I both live in the United States; he in Georgia, and I in Texas. Accordingly this and all following arguments shall be measured through U.S. law.
a. Limited Rights-
In our society there are many things which have age restrictions on them, (drinking, driving, sex, etc.) and with good reason. We wouldn't want a five year old driving down the interstate when before he's old enough to read the traffic signs, or a thirteen year old getting wasted at a birthday party. For that reason we don't let minors engage themselves in any and everything they want to.
There isn't a concrete consensus among doctors as to when the brain has fully developed, but the accepted age is between 23 and 30. The impact here is that minors aren't yet capable of making completely logical decisions, as they lack the mental facilities to do so. This is where a parent's responsibility comes in, legislation which would prohibit parental action could serious harm a child.
A minor's objection to something that their parents have "forced" them to do isn't a legitimate warrant to a violation of their human rights. Where this the case then it would be impossible for parents to raise their children in a responsible way, as there would be to no proper response to a cranky child refusing to go to bed or eat their broccoli.
2. Parental Rights-
Pretty self-explanatory; the first amendment contends that congress cannot respect or prohibit any establishment of religion. When we realize that many, if not all, EGTs have their roots in religious beliefs we also realize that banning a parent from putting their children through EGT is a violation of those rights. If when the child grows up, he or she decides they does not want to continue such therapy, then that is their prerogative. It is now however the responsibility or the place of the state to interfere here.
b. Distasteful banning is immoral-
This gets to the heart of the issue and will likely be extended throughout the remainder of this debate. It is immoral and unjust to ban others from being involved in any practice because another person finds said act immoral. Therefore if no acceptable reason can be found to ban something, then it needs to be left alone; so far my opponent has offer none for the resolution's proposition.
The general public, and especially governmental legislation must stay out of the lives of private citizens, especially when it comes to parenting. There are some exceptions such as child-abuse, however EGT does not constitute abuse any more than forcing a child to go to school or church does.
= Pro Refutations =
Contention 1- EGT is inadequate and immoral
There are a lot of claims here, but none are backed up with any kind of warrant. Furthermore, my opponent does not source this argument, so it's impossible to review their data and verify it's legitimacy.
a. EGT is inherently immoral
First; this argument has teh same problems as my opponent's previous one; there is no warrant and no source to back up the data offered.
Second; the distasteful argument I offer in my own contention two is applicable here. My opponent's objection lies in an assumption that the child is legitimately a homosexual, and not just confused about their sexuality because they are at "that age". Children cannot be lumped into the LGBTQ community, as they ought not have to deal with anything sexual at such an age.
Finally; I'd like to extend Coming out loved through this argument.
b. EGT causes harm in the long run-
I hate to have to make this argument, but until my opponent provides sources there's not much I can do to attack this argument head-on.
First; There's no source here. When one is presented an empirically based argument without the evidence it's rooted in, it becomes unfalsifiable, and illegitimate.
Second; bringing down the extended definition we see that this argument is completely biased, and rules out the possibility of sexual counseling in order to deal with one's desires over living a homosexual lifestyle. They're only minors, their expressed desire isn't the end-all.
Extend everything from b., It applies.
As soon as my opponent sources his arguments I'll come back and attack these arguments more thoroughly
2. Coercion to enter EGT is a violation of rights-
Extend my own contention 1 down here. This is no more a violation of rights than forcing kids to go to school is.
= Conclusions =
I wish I could offer more clash in the Pro rebuttals, but like I've iterated many times thus far, I can't until I have my opponent's evidence in this round to thumb through and get at the heart of that data.
I'd also like to point out that I'd waited well over 48 hours for my opponent to source his arguments. You can see I've left two messages about it in the comments.
Beyond that I'd also like to note that the majority of the content of my opponent's arguments have to do with EGT, and a parent forcing their child into such therapy. Accordingly most of what my opponent has argued in the last round isn't even topical to the resolution.
I thank my opponent.
= Sources =
ScarletGhost4396 forfeited this round.
This is a five-round debate, so I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt that he just couldn't post in time. I ask that the voters take this into consideration if he comes back, and that you not dock him for conduct.
Until then have some Karmin
Framework: My opponent's idea of morality in this framework and how to evaluate this round is inefficient and impossible. He talks about how morality is inherent in the individual person, meaning that this is how the judges should vote in this debate without being biased, but at the point where the judges are going to be looking into their own personal set of ideas in order to evaluate the debate, this is inherently biased on its own, meaning it would be impossible to give an unbiased point of view. In my opponent's worldview, morality would pretty much be irrelevant since pretty much any morality would be fine because the individual would be the arbiter of supreme morality. This means that at some level, any action could be deemed moral, including murder, rape, and other things that are detrimental to society. This is all counterintuitive to the supreme purpose of morality which is to maintain societal order and ameliorate suffering, and when it comes down to the level where a certain morality is needed that best achieves this, my morality is much better to look at than my opponent's despite its more dogmatic nature.
Justice is only the quality of giving each his/her due, and this is a concept not construed only to the bounds of law.
Limited Rights, Impact, Parental Responsibility: The basis of these two arguments are centered around the idea of a greater good and how these rights need to be limited as such. The limitation of these rights, as I see it, should be to the extent until it harms another person, and when it comes to the idea of children going to bed at night or eating their broccoli, their rights can also be limited to a point to reach a greater good, meaning that it would be morally permissible. What's the problem? As I have shown you through my case, there is neither a practical reason to place a child in an institution such as this and the harms that can come out of the research itself further warrants that parents ought not abuse power by placing them in such an institution. My opponent talks in his sub-point 2c how the government should not interfere unless it's in cases like child abuse, but I disagree on my opponent's statement about how this is not child abuse when such incredible harms come from this institution. I ask my opponent at what threshold government should come in and dictate parental decisions and at what level does something constitute child abuse?
Development: I'll return to this in the next round.
Religion: First of all, what we are debating here is the resolution that is given to us, and nowhere does it state in that resolution that we are looking from a United States perspective. Our residency should be kept independent of this debate. This means that any arguments that my opponent brought up about the American Constitution are irrelevant in the context of this debate. My opponent's logic doesn't make any sense because he's saying that the religious rights of parents would be violated by not allowing them to place their children in such institutions, yet he makes no sort of consideration about the religious rights of the child himself/herself and makes no explanation as to why their rights when it comes to this matter should be limited or to what point should they be limited. There is no practical reason for a point at which a child's religious rights ought be construed based on the little I see in this point.
Distasteful Banning: My opponent claims there is no practical reason for which this practice should be banned even though I provided an entire point underneath one of my contentions explaining the harms at which this practice brings to people. My opponent claims that it's distasteful to ban something because someone else finds it immoral, but that also would mean that things like murder, rape, robbery, etc. would also be distasteful banning because it was banned because someone else thought it was immoral. I ask for a distinction in this scenario.
Sources and Warrants: I see that pretty much most of my opponent's rebuttal on my Contention One is centered around the citations. I will provide my citations at the end of this round, and for now, I'm going to address the other arguments that my opponent made in this matter.
Sub-point 1a: I already responded to the distasteful banning argument for now, meaning I'd have to continue with this argumentation in the next rebuttal. It's also evident that my opponent misunderstands my general point here because this is based on the idea that a science is being used to promote a mindset detrimental to the community, especially to the context of members of the LGBT community who aren't just confused about their sexuality. My opponent extends his evidence in this sub-point, but this is only one organization in contrast to several who try to provide this sort of treatment. This doesn't speak to all organizations.
Sub-point 1b: My opponent keeps talking a lot about the citation of resources, but in no way cites in own as to where he got his definition, so according to his own logic, his definition is illegitimate anyway. Regardless, however, my opponent doesn't really respond exactly to what the evidence is saying about conversion practices in general, meaning at some level, I'm proving that conversion practices are still harmful.
"GAY NEWS." It's About Time: Psychologists Repudiate 'Ex-Gay Therapy' Web. 02 June 2012. <http://www.realjock.com...;.
"Stigma and Discrimination." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 03 Mar. 2011. Web. 02 June 2012. <http://www.cdc.gov...;.
Pan American Health Organization Condemns Ex-Gay Therapy." ThinkProgress. Web. 02 June 2012. <http://thinkprogress.org...;.
(Excuse the poor presentation of the rebuttal. My Rich Text isn't working for some reason)
Welcome back, thanks again for the debate :-)
For the sake of clarity on behalf of the voters, I'm just going to follow the flow of my opponent's previous round arguments straight down the flow. I'll offer Pro/Con specific voters in the final round when I offer voters.
Furthermore, I intend to expand on my argument concerning coming out loved in this round, as it would appear my opponent dropped this argument completely.
= Arguments =
We really to focus in on this point as it plays a huge part in the debate in terms of how we interpret the ought clause. My opponent doesn't ever respond to the point that Consequentialism and the Harms Principle only exist in theory, not in practice. It's impractical to force the voter to view the round through such parameters when many of them may not even be aware of what those things are.
Furthermore it's impossible for a person to separate themselves from their moral conviction completely condemning the moral codes of the voters is unnecessary. They have common sense are aren't going to vote based on skewed moral frameworks, (and even they did establish an objective moral code wouldn't stop them).
The only real objection here is in restricting rights only to the point it harms another person. However this argument leaves out organizations such as coming out loved which aim not to change a person's gender/sexual orientation, but instead to offer an outlet to help them consolidate their sexuality with their faith, and or their desires. This organization realizes that sexual orientation is not a choice (something I never deny, and even openly admit).
At that point Justice overwhelmingly flows Con.
> Parental Rights
My opponent's refutation to parental exercise of power is exceedingly insufficient, as he never identifies that standard which dictates when the exercise of parental control is necessary for the greater good. This is huge as it just throws this ability out the window for parents and leaves them a grey area where they're left asking "what can I do?"
Furthermore, my opponent still does not cover "Coming Out Loved" which can hardly be viewed as child abuse.
Dropped for now. Although I ask that the voters consider this drop, as my opponent had more than enough character space to cover it.
Several things here
1. We do both live in the United States, so realistically this is the only way we can really interpret such situations.
2. Religion is a human right, not a right solely delegated to US citizens. So even if my opponent wants to claim that the the US constitution is irrelevant, this argument is still warranted under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
3. The framers of the constitution wrote the Bill of Rights to be applicable to all men, not just United States Citizens. Just look at the Declaration of Independence, the writers cried out justice and equality for all people.
4. Children don't typically have religions that combat their parents religion, and for the most part willingly adopt it for themselves.
5. My opponent still doesn't address this argument. He basically says it's unimportant, and rejects it.
> Distasteful Banning
It seems that before I begin the refutation of EGT being banned for being distasteful, I have to show how Rape and Murder is different from EGT. The answer is very simple here, people die and experience irreversible emotional scars. This is undeniable a crime against all parties involved aside from the perpetrator.
EGT isn't. Especially when we extend Coming Out Loved which my opponent completely ignores. Beyond that, my opponent rejects my argument here, but never truly refutes it. Please extend this across, as it's a huge voting issue which I will expand upon further in the final round.
I don't harp on my opponent's sources all that much really, I just wanted to see them and where he got his arguments. Also;
The first source seems to be a gay dating site, with no education content concerning the link he gave.
The second link is broken, and the end states that the aforementioned article has been deleted.
The third is a biased news source as it's aimed at those withing the LGBT community, not a third party with an unbiased public opinion. It would have been better had my opponent just linked me directly to the Pan American Health Organization's announcement directly.
> Sub-Point 1a.
First, it is completely inappropriate to claim I don't understand an argument instead of refuting what I said in the first place. That is exactly what my opponent did here.
Finally my opponent mentions coming out loved, but her never refutes that they are a therapy whose end is to help these kids consolidate their faith with their sexuality. Furthermore Coming Out Loved is the only organization I offered in that round because I meant it as a standard to expand my opponent's otherwise narrow definition, but there are certainly others as well; Desert Stream Ministries, Exodus International and One by One are just a few. Beyond that, I'd to note ow my opponent hasn't bothered to list any harmful organizations by name while I've willing listed four.
> Sub-Point 1b
The warrant is offered first and foremost when mentioning Coming Out Loved, and I've strengthened it three-fold as of the last argument. I don't really know how much more I could warrant it aside from listing even more organizations which aim to consolidate sexual orientation with a person's faith.
I will if my opponent wishes, but It would be nice if he could offer a few examples of his own first.
= Conclusion =
There's a lot of content to consider and a lot of clash in this round. I'll spell out the voters more clearly in the next round, but as of now the biggest issue I ask you to consider is nothing more than the fact that not all conversion clinics aim to change orientation. My opponent demonizes these institutes, and while some are admittedly bad, they aren't all so awful.
Besides that, my opponent doesn't even offer any specific examples of these harmful therapies.
I ask that you vote pro, and I thank my opponent once again for this debate!
= Sources =
Parental Rights: If my opponent is stating that I have not defined at what point parents can exercise their ability, then my opponent has obviously not been paying attention to what I had been saying. I clearly stated that parental power is limited up to the point where the exercise causes harm to the child and if the action violates a right of the child but benefits the child, then the action is at the very least morally permissible. If it fits within these bounds, the action is right. I have explained why placing children into ex-gay therapy would suit neither.
Development: Looking from the context of what my opponent himself said about the nature of homosexuality, he even agrees that it's something that cannot be changed, inherently meaning that this is a part of development that parents absolutely have no control over. This means that regardless of the extent at which a parent has over a child to exercise their rights because of their immature development, the nature of homosexuality warrants that a parent's jurisdiction is out of bounds with sexual orientation.
(1)No it doesn't. The only thing that matters in the context of what we're debating is the explicit words of the resolution, and nowhere therein does it say anything about the United States. Ex-gay therapy is ubiquitous and worldwide. The United States Constitution is not. It doesn't make sense to construe the debate to the United States. Our places of residency should be kept out of this debate. The United States Constitution may be written for all men as my opponent states, but it only has jurisdiction here in the USA and nowhere else.
(2)My opponent says that children don't typically have religions that contrast their parents', implying that at some level, there is even ONE circumstance where religions conflict. This begs the question about "what if they do," and if they do, my opponent's case essentially dictates that parental religion can supersede that of the child. Even if the child and parent fall into the same religion, they could still have contrasting ideals, and my opponent's case would allow parents to overshadow the rights of the child in their religion. At the end of the day, a religious right is being violated. This can include the Coming Out Loved organization because a parent would be placing a child there based on THEIR views, not that of the child. Contrary to what my opponent says, this is no justice.
Distasteful Banning: My opponent states that EGT isn't harmful nor does it cause irreversible problem even though I've provided evidence that it does, defended the evidence at hand, and in this rebuttal explained that at the end of the day, a child's religious rights are being violated at some level, even if it is an inkling of amount of times.
Sources: What matters from these sources are the statistics that they report, not exactly who "they" are. The sites report information from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and the American Psychological Association, credited organizations that are actually reliable sources. This is what really matters, and my opponent has done absolutely nothing to repudiate these claims and information. This is all extended across the flow. I figured that there may be broken links, which is why I offered a full citation to find them online.
Sub-point 1a: I had nothing to refute because my opponent hadn't said anything about the point itself, requiring me to reiterate and summarize the point of this section of the debate. I have also gone over as of now how coercing children into such organizations would still be immoral.
Sub-point 1b: My opponent continues to extend the point of Coming Out Loved although he consistently fails to respond to the other portion of the debate—the part about the conversion practices. All of this is extended across the flow.
buckIPDA forfeited this round.