The Instigator
KeytarHero
Pro (for)
Winning
18 Points
The Contender
Sitara
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Same-Sex Marriage Should Not Be Legalized

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
KeytarHero
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/1/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,166 times Debate No: 38369
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (3)

 

KeytarHero

Pro

Stepping away from my usual debates regarding abortion and the existence of God, I'd like to try my hand at debating this contentious topic. The argument I will present is as follows:

P1: Marriage has a special link to children.
P2: Same-sex couplings do not have a special link to children.
C1 (from 1 and 2): Therefore, same-sex couplings are not proper marriages.
C2: Therefore, same-sex marriage should not be legalized.

Round 1 -- acceptance.
Round 2 -- opening arguments/rebuttals.
Round 3 -- rebuttals.
Round 4 -- closing arguments.

I look forward to debating this topic with whomever would like to.
Sitara

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
KeytarHero

Pro

I wish to thank Sitara for accepting the debate challenge. My argument, as I laid out in the first round, is as follows:

P1: Marriage has a special link to children.
P2: Same-sex couplings do not have a special link to children.
C1 (from and 2): Therefore, same-sex couplings are not proper marriages.
C2: Therefore, same-sex marriage should not be legalized.

Defending premise 1.

Marriage, as properly defined, is a comprehensive union between man and wife with a special link to children. As Girgis, et al, write, "The conjugal view of marriage has long informed the law -- along with the literature, art, philosophy, religion, and social practice -- of our civilization...It is a vision of marriage as a bodily as well as an emotional and spiritual bond, distinguished thus by its comprehensiveness, which is, like all love, effusive: flowing out into the wide sharing of family life and ahead to lifelong fidelity. In marriage, so understood, the world rests its hope and finds ultimate renewal." [1]

What makes it a comprehensive union? It is because the married life is a kind of community that pursues certain goods and acitivities. Marriage unifies two people in mind and body, and it unifies them with respect to procreation and family life. Marriage is a unique kind of relationship in that it is the only relationship that is enriched and enhanced by the presence of children, and is lacking if a marriage lacks children. No other relationship has this unique bond, and only the conjugal view of marriage best explains this fact about marriage.

Defending premise 2.

This premise is self-explanatory. Same-sex relationships, by the very nature of their relationship, cannot produce children naturally (that is, without artificial means).

Defending Conclusion 1.

Since same-sex couplings cannot naturally produce children, they are not proper marriages. This is something that virtually all cultures throughout human history, even cultures like the ancient Greeks who embraced homosexuality, recognized. The fight to legalize same-sex marriage is not a fight for marriage equality, but a fight to redefine the act of marriage itself.

Defending Conclusion 2.

The conclusion stands affirmed. The government has no interest in same-sex marriages since the state only has an interest in the rearing of children to enter the work force and contribute to society to replace the elderly members of society who leave the workforce.

[1] Sherif Girgs, Ryan T. Anderson, and Robert P. George, What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense, Encounter Books, New York, NY, 2012, p. 1. Emphasis in original.
Sitara

Con

My opening argument is that marriage is about love, not biological sex or gender. Who cares if two men or two women want to get married as long as they are consenting adults? My rebuttals: P1: Marriage, as properly defined, is a comprehensive union between man and wife with a special link to children. As Girgis, et al, write, "The conjugal view of marriage has long informed the law -- along with the literature, art, philosophy, religion, and social practice -- of our civilization...It is a vision of marriage as a bodily as well as an emotional and spiritual bond, distinguished thus by its comprehensiveness, which is, like all love, effusive: flowing out into the wide sharing of family life and ahead to lifelong fidelity. In marriage, so understood, the world rests its hope and finds ultimate renewal." [1] My rebuttal is that this creates a whole bunch of second class citizens. Are you really saying that old people, people who don't want children, people who can't have children should not get married? Limiting marriage and sex to those that do implies a positive answer to my question. Marriage is not just about having children, it is about having someone to grow old with. P2: Same-sex couplings do not have a special link to children. My previous argument is relevant for this too. Are people who can't have children wrong to get married? My Conclusion 1: Marriage is about companionship too, not just reproduction. My Conclusion 2: Please see my first conclusion.
Debate Round No. 2
KeytarHero

Pro

I wish to thank Con for her reply.

The problem with Con's opening argument is tht if marriage were only about love, then it's inexplicable why we should not allow most types of marriage? For example, incestuous marriage should be allowed, as should polyamorous (multiple spouse) marriages. Plus, if love is all that is required for marriage, then we should allow anyone to marry for the legal benefits, even people who aren't romantically attracted to each other, which would negate the reason those benefits exist in the first place: to encourage marriages that reproduce children to enter the work force.

But now let's turn to Con's response to my argument.

Let's respond to her critique of my two premises. It's true that my argument, at first blush, appears to exclude those who can't reproduce. But what we need to keep in mind is that male-female sexual unions are the type of sexual unions in which reproducton can take place. So even if a man and/or woman is sterile, they should still be allowed to marry because they are still a procreative-type union. Plus, male-female unions that can't reproduce can't reproduce due to some kind of anomaly that prevents it, whereas homosexual unions cannot reproduce by the very nature of the union. Advances in technology can help repair, in some instances (and perhaps more in the future), the anomaly that prevents conception in fertile couples.

So this doesn't create second-class citizens. This does not claim that those who can't reproduce should be denied marriage. This is saying that only certain marriages should be recognized as such, those that create a stable environment in which to sire and raise children to be productive members of society. In the case of couples who are unwilling to have children, I, personally, don't see any reason why they should be getting married. It certainly doesn't require a marriage certificate to declare your love to the world, and if a couple is marrying for the benefits, then they are marrying for the wrong reason.

Con's responses to my argument have no succeeded in undermining it, and Con's positive argument for the legalization of same-sex marriage has been shown to be an incorrect basis for marriage.
Sitara

Con

Pro says: The problem with Con's opening argument is tht if marriage were only about love, then it's inexplicable why we should not allow most types of marriage? For example, incestuous marriage should be allowed, as should polyamorous (multiple spouse) marriages. Plus, if love is all that is required for marriage, then we should allow anyone to marry for the legal benefits, even people who aren't romantically attracted to each other, which would negate the reason those benefits exist in the first place: to encourage marriages that reproduce children to enter the work force.
I say: It is a logical fallacy to compare a loving same sex marriage to incest marriage, child marriage, or polygamy. The slippery slope fallacy: https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com... to be specific. The same fallacy was committing when when women were permittied to vote in the USA. It was said that animals would vote next. This did not happen. I do not support incest because of the medical problems, and cultural conditioning that cause incest to be a negative. Child marriage is not okay because children are not ready in any way for marriage or childbearing. I will leave polygamy for another debate. Same sex marriage does not equal incest, zoophilia, pedophilia, or any other perversion: http://www.gaychristian101.com... or bestiality: http://www.gaychristian101.com... .
Pro says: Let's respond to her critique of my two premises. It's true that my argument, at first blush, appears to exclude those who can't reproduce. But what we need to keep in mind is that male-female sexual unions are the type of sexual unions in which reproducton can take place. So even if a man and/or woman is sterile, they should still be allowed to marry because they are still a procreative-type union. Plus, male-female unions that can't reproduce can't reproduce due to some kind of anomaly that prevents it, whereas homosexual unions cannot reproduce by the very nature of the union. Advances in technology can help repair, in some instances (and perhaps more in the future), the anomaly that prevents conception in fertile couples. So this doesn't create second-class citizens. This does not claim that those who can't reproduce should be denied marriage. This is saying that only certain marriages should be recognized as such, those that create a stable environment in which to sire and raise children to be productive members of society. In the case of couples who are unwilling to have children, I, personally, don't see any reason why they should be getting married. It certainly doesn't require a marriage certificate to declare your love to the world, and if a couple is marrying for the benefits, then they are marrying for the wrong reason. Con's responses to my argument have no succeeded in undermining it, and Con's positive argument for the legalization of same-sex marriage has been shown to be an incorrect basis for marriage.
I say: I will address as many arguments as possible. I am not wanting to run out of space. Ahem: Pro's claim is that their argument does not exclude nonchildbearing persons. I say: This is untrue. You are excluding gays who cannot bear children without IVF (in vitro fertilization). If you wish to discriminate against law abiding citizens for who they love, be honest. Pro's claim 2: The appeal to nature argument: you are on a computer. That in itself is against original nature. Your relationship with your computewr cannot produce children with any reproductive technology whatsoever, so should computers be banned? You failed to address those who are able but unwilling to bear children. Parenthood should be a free choice, not a requirement. Both men and women have the right to choose not to be parents. I myself am getting sterilizied as a free choice for personal reasons. Answer this: are opposite sex couples that choose not to have biological children in the wrong?
Pro says: Con's responses to my argument have no succeeded in undermining it, and Con's positive argument for the legalization of same-sex marriage has been shown to be an incorrect basis for marriage.
I say: you have committed the fallacy fallacy: just because you disagree with my argument does not make it a fallacy. My reference: https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com... . As always, no hard feelings, this is a passionate subject, and I look forward to finishing our debate. As salaam u alikum (peace be upon you in Arabic).
Debate Round No. 3
KeytarHero

Pro

I wish to thank Con, again, for her response. The same-sex marriage debate is, indeed, a sensitive one. So I'm glad I was able to find someone who can debate the topic with a cool head. Also, while space is an issue, a suggestion I might offer Con in the future is not to copy and paste your opponent's argument in its entirety. That will greatly cut down on the amount of space you'll use up (as I only really gave one argument, though I gave a few responses to her opening argument and her critique of my argument).

Con's Argument

So let's respond to Con's critique of my argument.

I have one thing to say about slippery slope arguments. Like most fallacies, they are not always fallacies. A slippery slope argument is not a fallacy if you have warrant for the slippery slope. [1] I think we can argue that there may be sufficient warrant, especially since we now have organizations like the Man-Boy Love Association, [2] and organizations that support the legalization of polygamy. [3]

However, Con has misunderstood my argument. Pro-same-sex marriage philosopher John Corvino recognizes that there are two different types of PIB (Polygamy-Incest-Bestiality) arguments, a slippery-slope version (which Con was responding to) and a logical version (which I made). He writes, "The logical version states that the reasons for accepting same-sex marriage are equally good reasons for accepting polygamy, incest, and bestiality, so that if you embrace the one you have no principled reasons for rejecting the others." [4] This is the argument I was making.

Now I want to point out that I purposely omitted bestiality and adults marrying minors, since Con's case was based on consenting adults, and minors cannot consent under the law. Also, while animal rights activist Peter Singer may argue that animals can consent to sex, [5] I find this claim very dubious and I'm positive that they cannot consent to all that marriage entails, even from the revisionist view (which is the view that Con holds). Therefore, I am not arguing that her reasons can lead to bestiality marriages or adults marrying minors.

The only qualification for marriage Con laid out at the opening was, 1) that marriage is about love, and 2) they must be consenting adults. Based on these two qualifications, then incestuous relationships (provided they are between consenting adults) and polyamorous marriages (as well as possibly others) should also be allowed.

Con says she doesn't support incest because of the cultural conditioning, but our culture was once conditioned to find homosexuality repulsive. I'm sure she would not argue that cultural conditioning means that something is wrong (I do believe homosexual relations to be sinful, but that's not the claim I am defending in this debate). Plus, the only medical problems one need be concerned with in incestuous marriages are the possible problems that may develop in the children, but according to Con's claim marriage is not about rearing children. The concern for children only makes sense if you take the conjugal view, in which childrearing is a major component of marriage. Plus, an incestuous couple need only to have themselves willingly sterilized to avoid that issue.

I will avoid her arguments against child marriage as I already indicated that I don't believe her argument would lead to child marriages. Same for beastiality. However, she has not commented on polygamy. She unfortunately left it for another debate, but since we're debating the legitimacy of other forms of marriage it seems that it's a relevant concern (and since this is our closing round, if she responds to it in this round, I will not be able to offer a response).

As we can plainly see, the revisionist view of marriage, which indicates that marriage is only about love and not the necessity of rearing children, plainly fails. Not only can the same logic be used to legalize other forms of marriage, which is something even the Supreme Court recognized before they gave their final ruling on overturning a crucial section of the Defense of Marriage Act, but childrearing is a necessary component of marriage.

My case.

So now let's response to Con's critique of my argument.

Con mentions IVF, which is a very controversial procedure. While it can be used to repair an infertile couple's inability to have children, the reason it is controversial is because excess human embryos are created and either destroyed or frozen for possible future adoption or to be experimented on. If these embryos are full human persons (as I argue they are, but it is not within the scope of this debate to argue for), then IVF is a procedure that either should not be use, or only enough embryos should be created that a woman would be willing to be impregnated with and raise, which would be much more costly a procedure than it is now. However, that's still irrelevant to my case, as my argument is that same-sex couples cannot naturally reproduce. Heterosexual couples can, which is why the state has an interest in their marriages so that they can produce children to replace the older people.

Plus, children have a natural right to both of their parents, mother and father. This is why I also oppose no-fault divorce, and I believe that it was instrumental in the denigration of the family structure in this country. But the solution is not to denigrate the family structure even more by just allowing anyone who wants to to marry. The solution is to fix the problem, put things right again by not allowing no-fault divorce. So since children have a natural right to both of their parents, allowing same-sex couples to reproduce through IVF is a serious harm to the children that they produce. [6]

Con's argument about my computer and me is a red herring, since I am not advocating that humans and computers should be able to marry. Also, I did address those who are unwilling to bear children. I indicated that they probably should not be getting married. I would not complain if the state forbade couples who absolutely do not want to produce children to marry, as that's a key component of marriage. One does not need a paper from the government to express one's undying love to their mate. I also agree with Con that parenthood should be a choice. But if one wishes to be married, it is not a choice. So opposite-sex couples who do not want children are not in the wrong, but opposite-sex spouses who choose not to are in the wrong. There may be certain extreme mitigating circumstances that would prevent one or both from conceiving, but these are exceptions, not the rule, and exceptions do not prove a rule. That's why they are exception.

Conclusion

I once again wish to thank Con for debating this topic with me. To reiterate, Con's case fails because it proves too much. Her case would allow incestuous marriages, polygamy, etc. Plus, it would alllow just anyone to be married (and she never responded to this claim), including best friends, sisters who are not sexually involved, etc.

My case succeeds because Con has not successfully refuted it. Children are a key component in marriage and to deny this not only ignores all of human history, but is also a severe harm to children.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://www.nambla.org...;
[3] www.truthbearer.org
[4] John Corvino and Maggie Gallagher, Debating Same-Sex Marriage, (Oxford University Press, New York, NY, 2012), p. 65
[5] Peter Singer, "Heavy Petting," Nerve, 2001, which can be found here: http://www.utilitarianism.net...;
[6] For more on this, see: http://www.christianitytoday.com...;
Sitara

Con

Sitara forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Projectid 3 years ago
Projectid
" P1: Marriage has a special link to children"

This premise is faulty because not all marriages equate to children. So do we assume that those who marry and never have or plan to have kids are truly not married, or they do not fit the said definition of marriage in all perceived cases?

"P2: Same-sex couplings do not have a special link to children." .... "This premise is self-explanatory. Same-sex relationships, by the very nature of their relationship, cannot produce children naturally (that is, without artificial means)."

So if a marriage that involves a man and a women do not have their children naturally they should not be able to be married, and therefore do not have a "Special link" to children by your definition?

These two premises are faulty.
Posted by KeytarHero 3 years ago
KeytarHero
Anytime you're ready, just let me know, and we can begin another one.
Posted by Sitara 3 years ago
Sitara
All of the above. Thank you sweetie.
Posted by KeytarHero 3 years ago
KeytarHero
No worries. Hope you're feeling better. If you're up for a rematch, just let me know. Also, I noticed that you consider yourself a Christian (or at least a follower of Jesus). If you'd like to debate whether or not the Bible supports homosexuality, we could do that. Or if you just want to debate this topic again, just let me know.
Posted by Sitara 3 years ago
Sitara
I have been sick, otherwise I would not have forfeited. I concede...for now. ;)
Posted by KeytarHero 3 years ago
KeytarHero
Sommerville,

Some same-sex marriage advocates, like John Corvino, would disagree with your assessment. They would argue that if you're going to set it apart but make them both essentially the same, then you've created a distinction without a difference, and you're implicitly treating same-sex couplings as inferior to heterosexual marriages.
Posted by Sommerville 3 years ago
Sommerville
I DISAGREE WITH BOTH, same sex marraige should just be called something else therefore marraige can be for straights who want kids and gays have something else to celebrate there love.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by 1Devilsadvocate 3 years ago
1Devilsadvocate
KeytarHeroSitaraTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Unfortunately, Con F.F. the last round. (Which is pretty ironic considering that in the previous round he wrote "and I look forward to finishing our debate.")
Vote Placed by Weiler 3 years ago
Weiler
KeytarHeroSitaraTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: SITARA NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! I love reading your debates, but you can't FF especially in the last round, to do so leaves all of your opponent's final arguments and sources standing as true.
Vote Placed by Volcanoes13 3 years ago
Volcanoes13
KeytarHeroSitaraTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: I agree with what pro said, he gave more convicting arguments.