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

Resolved: The country of Scotland should legalize gay marriage.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/29/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,791 times Debate No: 24903
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)




This first round is for acceptance only.


I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


I affrim the resolution and stand on the PRO in this side of the debate. I have no parameters to establish, so I will move directly into the iteration of my case.

Because gay marriage provides the commercialism to boost an economy, helps to increase respect of the gay community thus ameliorating the suffering therein, and otherwise provides equal protection and respect for homosexuals in the eyes of the government, same-sex marriage should be legalized in the country of Scotland.


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 of Scotland, 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 criminals, second-class citizens have limited legal rights, civil rights and economic opportunities, and are often subject to mistreatment or neglect at the hands of their putative superiors." At the point where the government is limiting the rights of homosexuals when 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 the gay 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.


HelterSkelter forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Extend all arguments


I apologize for not refuting my opponent’s case earlier and I ask that the voters only penalize me by awarding conduct points to my opponent.

The ideal end of a state is to promote Justice, properly defined by Aristotle as “treating equals as equals and unequals as unequals” [1]. Philosopher John Rawls explains, “Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought. A theory however elegant and economical must be rejected or revised if it is untrue; likewise laws and institutions no matter how efficient and well-arranged must be reformed or abolished if they are unjust. Each person possesses an inviolability founded on justice that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override. For this reason justice denies that the loss of freedom for some is made right by a greater good shared by others. It does not allow that the sacrifices imposed on a few are outweighed by the larger sum of advantages enjoyed by many. The rights secured by justice are not subject to political bargaining or to the calculus of social interests. The only thing that permits us to acquiesce in an erroneous theory is the lack of a better one; analogously, an injustice is tolerable only when it is necessary to avoid an even greater injustice. Being first virtues of human activities, truth and justice are uncompromising.” [2] This has two important implications. First, my opponent must demonstrate that it is just to grant gays the right to marry each other and that second, social benefits to individuals and economic benefits of a policy are outside the realm of justice. Utilitarian calculations are not a good basis for affirming.

I have two brief observations. First, “marriage is fundamentally centered around procreative type acts. Since sexual acts between individuals of the same sex are not procreative in type, they do not qualify as marriages. This renders Con's response against the point that "Gays can't have children" to be irrelevant. Marriage is based on acts that are procreative in type, not whether they are procreative in effect. Infertile couple are therefore irrelevant to the argument.” [3] Second, my opponent’s argument really centers on the idea that the state should recognize marriage, and not that it shouldn’t ban marriage. Marriage is a process by which two individuals publicly commit to each other. Scotland does not prohibit gays from doing this; it simply refuses to grant state recognition to gay marriages. It is therefore within the scope of my argument to claim that Scotland should not actively prevent individuals from engaging in such behavior, but rather that it should not formally recognize such behavior.

My sole contention is that recognizing gay marriage is unjust. The state has no compelling reason to recognize same sex marriage.

1. Heterosexual union is the indispensable means by which humans come into existence and therefore has special social value (indeed, the greatest possible social value because it is the first precondition for society).

2. The indispensable means by which something of special social value can occur itself has special value.

3. What has special value to human society deserves special social recognition and sanction.

4. Civil ordinances which recognize gay marriage as comparable to heterosexual marriage constitute a rejection of the special value of heterosexual unions.

5. To deny the special social value of what has special social value is unjust.

6. Therefore, gay marriage is unjust. [4]


My opponent first claims that not recognizing gay marriage is a violation of marriage rights as described the Universal Declaration. This argument reveals a lack of understanding on the nature of rights. Rights entail negative interference and not positive enforcement. This means that the state has an obligation to not violate rights and not an obligation to provide for the means to rights. For example, the right to freedom of speech entails that the state does not inhibit my ability to express my opinion and not that it has to provide me with a means to express my opinion (such as access to radios) and also not a recognition of my opinions. What the Universal Declaration means when it outlines a right to marriage is that the state should not prevent individuals from marrying and not that it must recognize marriages. Scotland fits within these guidelines because it does not prevent gays from privately marrying; rather, it simply refuses to recognize these marriages. The state is not forcibly preventing such ceremonies from taking place and preventing people from engaging in gay activity. This means that the state is not violating the negative right to marriage.

He next claims that the state is creating second class citizens. First, according to his definition, second-class citizens are systematically denied legal rights, civil rights, and economic opportunity in addition to being harassed and mistreated. Gays are not treated in such a manner in Scotland, so they are not second-class citizens; they have all the political, legal, and civil rights that heterosexual individuals have. This leads to my second response, namely that gays are not denied the right to marry. Scotland is not Iran; the state is not actively preventing gays from forming relationships and privately marrying. Not only are gays permitted to privately marry but they also have state recognition of any marriage to a consenting adult individual of the opposite sex. This is the same recognition afforded to heterosexuals, so even if my opponent convinces you that the denial of marriage recognition classifies gays as second class citizens, his argument still fails. Third, even if you see this lack of recognition is turning them into second-class citizens, keep in mind that injustices are permitted in order to prevent larger injustices (as noted by the Rawls analysis). Denying heterosexual marriage its proper special social status is a larger injustice than not recognizing the private marriages of gays, so this injustice would still be permitted.

He next says that prejudice against gays is detrimental. I agree. This is why we should be attacking the root of the issue, prejudice, instead of granting gay marriage undue social recognition. Granting gay marriages governmental recognition will do nothing to alter the negative perceptions that the religious right have towards gayity. He cites a study from the APA that discusses the impact of Prop 8’s passage, but I would contend that this has nothing to do with gay marriage and rather has everything to do with the heightened scrutiny and attacks that these groups fell prey to during the election process. Correlation is not causation; he needs to critically examine the study. In addition, even if it does cause them stress, it doesn’t matter because this utilitarian calculation is not to be taken into account when determining the justness of the nonrecognition. There is no inherent right to not be stressed, and society has no obligation to reduce the stress of individuals within it. The indigent are under more stress than the rich, but that doesn’t mean that it is just to redistribute wealth in order to make the groups financially equal.

He next discusses commerce. First, as per the Rawls card, social and economic benefits do not impact what individuals are due, so they are not to be taken into account when determining if an action is just. In addition, this benefit is nonunique. Gays can still get married Scotland, meaning that all of the economic benefits can still be enjoyed even if the state does not recognize gay marriage. Gays are choosing not to get privately married; nobody is preventing them from doing so.



  2. A Theory of Justice, John Rawls, pgs. 1-2



Debate Round No. 3


[CON Case]
Aristotle definition: It's evident that my opponent wishes to make justice the ultimate deciding factor in the debate for gay marriage, but the definition that she uses is arbitrary with consideration that there is no thershold within the definition as to what "unequals" would entail. This is important because too much flexibility in the characterization could ultimately result in unfair discrimination. Take for example if I were to think that African Americans were unequals, any unequal treatment done against them would be justified. I'm sure that my opponent would argue against this claim, but when there's no context or threshold as to what is an unequal within her definition, such an argument would be defenseless against my own. With this definition, my opponent would then have the burden to prove that gay couples (as a unit) are less deserving for the right to marriage than a heterosexual couple, implying that my opponent would need to prove that gay couples are unequals. The definition she provides is even further vague with consideration that she doesn't explain what being treated as an "unequal" would entail.
John Rawls: Looking at the theory itself in juxtaposition with her definition of justice from Aristotle, we can clearly see a road bump in the reasoning of my opponent's framework: Rawls and Aristotle have different definitions of what entails justice--the difference being that Rawls's theory contends that every person is entitled to an extensive list of basic liberties and makes no distinction between "equals" and "unequals." [1] While it seems that my opponent's ideas logically flow, the foundational basis of Rawls's arguments conflicts with her earlier definition. At the risk of being claimed to make an accusation, it seems like my opponent selectively cut out a part of Rawl's theory and attached it with a customized definition; while my opponent uses the theory, she doesn't use the theory in its entirety. In fact, the theory of Aristotle, most notably Nicomachean Ethics, argues that the highest good for all human beings is happiness and well-being (utilitarianism). [2] The argument about legislations that are not just must be abolished from society hangs from an arbitrary definition of what "just" entails and begs the question of the definition of "just." I use the Merriam-Webster definition of it, and the said definition can encompass utilitarian arguments based on what it's defined as. For that reason, it isn't fair for my opponent to make that argument that utilitarian arguments don't count when it all depends on how "just" is defined, and considering the arbitrary nature of my opponent's standard for it, it is evident that mine should be considered over hers.
Observation 1: My opponent argues that marriage is based around procreative type acts and anything that does not result in procreation does not qualify for the distinction of marriage, meaning that gay peple should be allowed to marry one another and infertile couples are irrelevant to the scope of the argument. This means one of two things: this argument is either a double-standard or just discriminatory depending on whether or not reproduction is the ultimate goal for my opponent's definition of marriage. If it is, the argument is a double-standard because the argument sanctifies infertile couples over gay ones despite the fact that both are equal in product, and if it is not, then gay couples are being excluded out of marriage for no relevant reason.
Sylloligism: My opponent's argument has a lot of parts, so I will argue the logic according to the part number.

(4) This is where the logic hits a speed bump. My opponent states that recognizing gay marriage is a rejection of the special value of heterosexual unions, yet doesn't explain why. One of the most important questions in this logic is what or who assigns special social value, and not only doesn't my opponent define that, but she also doesn't prove that this entity assigning special social value will recognize heterosexual unions with any less value with the establishment of gay marriage.
(2) This argument implies that gay marriage cannot be a means in which reproduction can occur. Gay couples can themselves reproduce even though it's not through conventional standards. Nevertheless, it assigns the special value of reproduction regardless.
(5) This is the most important part because my opponent has changed her standard as to what encompasses justice. Earlier, she mentioned that justice was treating equal people equally and unequals unequally even though in conflicts with the arguments of John Rawls, but now argues that denying special value to what possesses special value (assuming there is some entity that had assigned such a special value) is unjust. This connects in no way to her earlier statement of what justice is or why according to the definition she explicitly defined, denying special social value is inherently unjust.

[PRO Case]
1: Marriage is an institution formed and regulated by the government, so in reality, gays cannot "privately marry" if marriage is an institution of the very government that states that they cannot marry. Because of the very nature of marriage and its institution, by government's denial to recognize gay marriage, it in effect bans it, henceforth violating the rights in the way that my opponent described. Consider this as a response not only to this particular subset of my opponent's rebuttal, but also as a response to my opponent's Observation 2.

2: By actively rejecting gays equal status in the scope of their marriages to other gays and making laws explicitly restricting their abilities, the government actively discriminates against them and puts them closer toward being second-class citizens. In the most practical sense, the government creates a standard of marriage that can only really restrict their relationships because while heterosexuals also cannot marry people of the same sex, they wouldn't need to because they have no attractions toward people of the same sex. Technically, the restrictions are not discriminatory, but practically and structually, they are because the restrictions can apply only to them. As I've explained earlier in my case in a human rights sense, the right to marriage doesn't require it to only be with memebers of the opposite sex, and by Scotland's government actively putting more inhibitations in order to exercise this right through the provision of additional prerequisites, the government inherently violates human rights. Furthermore, my opponent's third response doesn't hold much water with consideration that she doesn't provide any mode of measurement as to how to evaluate one injustice is greater than another, let alone prove that denying gay marriage is a greater injustice than denying any special value to heterosexual marriage.

3 and 4: This can be coupled into a single response because the response can be the same for both as far as its inclusion in the justification argument goes. Under Aristotle's standards, the justification would be that gay marriage helps to advance the happiness of the society--the standard from the person whom my opponent takes a definition from. The implications of my opponent's framework paint a grim standard: that utilitarian benefits to the gay community don't matter and the consideration that their community could face significant problems therein are not to be considered in the scope of justification. Gays can get "privately married," but there's no incentive to with consideration that in a legal and practical sense, it means nothing. Henceforth, there is no incentive to spend. Further, the study in question was looking at all amendments that restrict gay marriage and not just Prop 8. The justness of the decision really depends on the definition of "just," and for her Rawls argument to be valid, she needs to provide a warrant as to why it is the best perspective and wht her definition of "just" is better.

Sources in comments



Please note that as of 8:09 A.M., my opponent has not posted any of his sources for the second round.
Con Case
My opponent has agreed to adopt the standard of Justice for this round, so whoever best upholds Justice should gain your vote.
I offered Aristotle's definition of Justice, namely that of "treating equals as equals and unequals and unequals." He first claims that this definition of Justice is poor because it does not provide any threshold as to what being unequal would entail. This really isn't a good argument. At this point in the case, we are debating philosophy, and not law. It is not the purpose of philosophers to define what the law should entail, but rather to grant a set of universal principles that can be applied by politicians to legal decisions. The reason that the treatment isn't defined is that it varies from situation to situation. In the case of hiring, unequals wouldn't be considered for the job (for example, people without medical degrees would not be considered for a job as a physician), and in the case of criminal trials, unequals wouldn't go to jail (noncriminals would not be punished while criminals would). The point is that my definition isn't supposed to provide specific legal standards because it is a universal standard that can be applied to a wide variety of situations. This isn't a reason to reject a philosophical idea.
He then claims that this could result in unfair discrimination and would allow any number of atrocities. He cites the examples of blacks, for examples. The reason that this doesn't make sense is that he is ignoring the fact that Justice must be applied holistically, and that the unequal treatment is only for specific scenarios in which there is a significant difference between two groups such that they merit unequal treatment. I'll use his own example to clarify. Blacks have been systematically discriminated against throughout history. It is therefore just to compensate the victims of discrimination. Individuals who have not been discriminated against (whites, for example), don't merit compensation since they are unequal with regards to being discriminated against. This doesn't mean that we can strip whites of all of their right to life, however, just because they are unequal in that one regard. Whites and blacks are humans and thus both deserve to have the right to life. Stripping whites of their right to life in this situation would be unjust because they are equals to blacks in this regard and if we stripped them of their rights, they would be wrongfully treated as unequals. The difference in treatment only extends to the specific situation in which they are unequals; it does not extend to realms in which the groups are equals. Therefore, the standard I provide safeguards against unfair discrimination.
Finally, he accepts Justice as the standard but does not provide any alternative definition. He claims to use the Merriam-Webster version, but that was neither posted in his arguments nor was it sourced, and Merriam Webster has seven different definitions of Justice. [1] Since he hasn't provided any clear definition of Justice, we accept my standard. This will have implications that I will explain later.
Aristotle and Rawls
The Rawls analysis explains that each individual has inviolable dignity that cannot be overridden by social calculations of good, which do not consider what individual is due. My opponent first claims that Rawls and Aristotle have different definitions of justice because Rawls enumerates rights that people have. This is false. Rawls uses the same definition of Justice as Aristotle, and the rights that he enumerates are those rights that people have by virtue of the fact that they are equal. The fact that Rawls has the same definition is evident through his difference principle. According to the difference principle, inequalities in the distribution of goods are fair if those inequalities benefit the worst-off members of society [2]. In other words, the people who are worst off deserve some sort of special consideration, while their unequals, the people who are best off, do not merit this treatment. Rawls is using the same standard as Aristotle; he is treating equals (the worst off) in a different manner than the unequals (the best off).
My opponent next claims that Aristotelian ethics are incompatible with Rawls' analysis because Aristotle argues in favor of utilitarianism. I'll first note that I never adopted Aristotle's ethical theory; I simply used his definition of Justice, which is the same standard that Rawls uses. Next, I'll note that this argument is false; Aristotle's version of eudaimonic happiness is completely different from utilitarianism's hedonic happiness. Utilitarianism's hedonic happiness allows for individuals to do as they please in order to maximize happiness in society [3]. Aristotle explicitly rejects this hedonic calculation and instead argues that some means of pursuing happiness, while yielding pleasure, do not promote well-being because they do not promote achieving the human potential [4]. Just feeling good isn't enough to pursue happiness (which is what utilitarians like Jeremy Bentham claim) [4]. In fact, Aristotle would reject homosexuality and non-procreative sex entirely since they don't utilize the sexual organs to their full potential (procreation) and thus submit to base pleasures instead of eudaimonic happiness.
The implications of this are twofold. First, Aristotelian ethics do not promote utilitarianism and do not conflict with Rawls' analysis. Second, since my opponent adopts Aristotle's theory in his arguments, and Aristotle would reject non-procreative sex, his philosophical structure is turned entirely and flows Con.
He next claims that his definition of Justice permits utilitarianism and that my rejection of util is unfair since other standards permit it. I'll first note that he never specified which of Merriam-Webster's seven definitions of Justice he is using, and some of them reject utilitarianism entirely. We are accepting my standard because he has not provided any other clear definition. Second, my rejection of utilitarianism stems from Rawls' argument that because all individuals are equal, they have basic rights that cannot be stripped away from social calculations that consider social good but not what each individual is due. Util only looks at majoritarian benefit, but not at individual rights. The only conceptions of justice that permit util are those that reject rights entirely, and he cannot use any of those standards because one of the arguments in his case was about civil rights. He has to accept my standard because using any of those other standards would contradict his own case.
Observation 1
I demonstrated that the notion of infertile couples is irrelevant since marriage is about actions that are procreative in type and not in effect. He argues that this is a double standard because they are the same in effect. It really isn't a double standard because marriages are about actions that are procreative in type and not in effect. What makes an act procreative in type is the nature of the act itself, and not any external factors which may be imposed on it [5]. Gay sex is not procreative in type while heterosexual sex is; the infertility of one of the partners is an external factor that is being imposed [5]. If it really bothers my opponent, however, I'm willing to argue that infertile marriages should not be recognized by the state as well.
The following premises of my syllogism were conceded: 1, 3, and 6.
He rejects premise 4 on the basis that granting gay marriages licenses does not detract from the special social value of heterosexual marriage in any way. (The question of who assigns the value is nonsensical because it is obviously the government. That was made very clear throughout the debate.) The problem is that premise 3 explains why this is the case. Premise 3 (which was entirely conceded by my opponent) notes that What has special value to human society deserves special social recognition and sanction. Granting gay marriages the same recognition as heterosexual marriages (which do have special social value as noted by the conceded premise 1) would be a denial of the special social value of heterosexual marriages since they would not be receiving the special social recognition and sanction that they merit as per premise 3; rather, they would be receiving the same recognition as the gay marriages which do not deserve that recognition.
He next attacks premise 2 by claiming that gay couples can reproduce. This is false. Gay couples cannot reproduce with each other; rather, they use heterosexual unions to reproduce. As premise 1 notes, heterosexual union is still the indispensable means through which life (which is a precondition to society) begins, even for gay couples. His argument holds no water.
He rejects premise 5 on the basis that it's incompatible with my definition of justice. This doesn't even make sense. The point of the syllogism is to prove that homosexual marriage and heterosexual marriage are unequals and thus merit unequal treatment. The equal marriages (heterosexual) are being treated one way; the unequal marriages (gay) are being treated another. This fits the definition.
Pro Case
In response to his claim about civil rights, I noted that as long as the state does not interfere with private gay marriage, failing to recognize such marriages is not a violation of rights because rights are negative. He claims that because marriage is formed and regulated by government, if the state does not grant licenses, it is banning it. This is utterly false. First, marriages were not created by the state; rather, they predate the state and human society altogether [6]. Second, he's confusing recognition with regulation. The state is not regulating marriage because it is not granting specific groups special licenses to conduct marriage ceremonies and it is not forcing people to go through specific ceremonies in order to be regarded as privately married. All of these aspects are regulated by private individuals. The only thing that the state does is grant recognition to heterosexual marriages; it does nothing else. If the state were regulating marriage, it would be dictating who can privately marry whom and would be forcibly breaking up private marriages that it disagreed with. This isn't the case in Scotland; governmental recognition of one's relationship is not a precondition to being privately married.
I used his own definition of second class citizen to disprove his claim that gays are second class citizens. He has now shifted his claim to the idea that they are "closer" to being second class citizens. The fact of the matter is that by his own definition, they are not second class citizens, so no violation is taking place. There is no standard for being "close" to a second class citizen; either someone is a second class citizen or someone is not. He's just being vague to cover the fact that his own definition disagrees with his argument. He next concedes that since the provisions against same sex marriage also apply to heterosexuals, the state is not technically discriminating against gays, but the then claims that since only gays would want to marry gays, they are being discriminated against. It doesn't matter if gays are the only people who want to marry gays; the standard applies to all people regardless of sexual orientation. His argument is similar to claiming that prohibitions against pedophilia are discriminatory because only pedophiles want to engage in such behavior. This doesn't make any sense because the standard is applying to all people regardless of their desires. Discrimination implies unequal treatment, and the treatment here is completely equal.
He next claims that Aristotle's justification of happiness would promote gay marriage, so utilitarian calculations should be considered. I've already explained why 1. Aristotle opposes utilitarianism and 2. He opposes homosexual and non-procreative sex. His theory isn't about increasing hedonic happiness; it is about achieving eudaimonic happiness. This response holds no water and I also turn the structure of his case. He next says that there is no incentive for gays to get privately married. This doesn't make sense. The value of marriage stems entirely from the love and commitment one has to one's partner, and not from a piece of paper that someone else gives you claiming that he recognizes your marriage. If gays really love each other, they have plenty of incentive to get privately married.
In response to his Prop 8 study, I claimed that the reason that gays felt stress was that they came under increased scrutiny and attack. He says that his study examines all such amendments. His response is nonresponsive. Gays came under increasing scrutiny and attacks when all of those amendments were being issued, meaning that this explains the stress in all cases.
He finally reiterates his point about defending my conception of justice. Note that he didn't provide any definition, so mine must be used.
Debate Round No. 4


ScarletGhost4396 forfeited this round.


HelterSkelter forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by YYW 6 years ago
I would have to resist the temptation to bring kilts into discussion....
Posted by ScarletGhost4396 6 years ago
Scotland is considering legalizing gay marriage.
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
Why Scotland?
Posted by YYW 6 years ago
I would accept this, but DDO won't let me because I am already debating you about something else.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ron-Paul 6 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
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Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: I'll give Pro the win since Con's account is one, no longer active, and two, he had one more forfeit than pro did.