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

Same Sex Marriage

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/1/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,189 times Debate No: 74462
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (42)
Votes (1)




This is a debate on the legal institute of marriage, and the application to same-sex couples. First round is acceptance.

(1.) DO NOT involve religion. Doing so will result in immediate forfeit of the debate.
(2.) Keep it friendly. Coexistence is the key to these debates, keep it civilized.
(3.) Do not include personal morals. Keep this debate purely intellectual and political.

Comment below to apply, I will choose an opponent. This debate should be impossible to accept, doing so without being chosen will result in immediate forfeit.


I accept on the conditions specified.

Thanks for the offer, bman!

This should be fun and educational and very timely with the Supreme Court's current deliberations.
Debate Round No. 1


I would like to thank my opponent for their spirit in this debate, and I look forward to enriching ideas in every argument.

My first point is that the legal institute of marriage is secular. Religion has no involvement in it. In legal marriage (L.M.), two individuals are unified in a dignifying agreement. While it is normal for a Christian wedding to be upheld, it's far form required. L.M. has no association with God, Allah, Satan, or any other deity. It is, in fact, a political and secular institute. While L.M. is not secular, it is optional to conduct religious ceremonies. However, this is not lawfully regulated. In fact, a priest can reject to conduct a marriage they do not agree with [1]. While it is a claim that priests will face arrests for this, it's just a use of propaganda.

Secondly, the very ban is discrimination based upon one's sex. Male X and Female X both want to marry Male Y, however Male X cannot simply because he is a male. Same-sex marriage discriminates upon someone who wishes to marry, but cannot due to their biology. How is this any different from forbidding someone to claim a child on taxes because of their gender?

I would like to ask my opponent how they define marriage. I do realize that the common idea of marriage is a bond between a man and a woman, but this institute is invented by man and can be redesigned by society. If my opponent suggests that such change is "un-American" or "immoral", then why should we judge past changes in social normalities any differently? Simply because a tradition has been upheld for several generations does not mean it cannot be changed.

Work Cited:


Now, the time has come for presentation of basic arguments. I will present three arguments against the legalization of SSM all of which involve economics to one degree or another.

First, 1) Legalization of SSM hurts the economy; 2) Whatever newly created laws impair the economy ought not to be implemented or ought to be struck down; 3) Therefore, legalization of SSM ought not to be implemented.

The next argument has to do with the impact of same-sex marriage on child-rearing and child behavior. The general flow of the argument is familial arrangements which increase instability or tend toward crime in a child's life tend to produce non-productive citizens. Whatever leads to non-productive citizens in undesirable. Therefore, SSM is undesirable.

The third argument is about studying the economic impact of new family situations in society. Normally, what sociologists and economists would do would try to examine a smaller demographic which is trying the new family situation out before leaping to the conclusion that it will be beneficial to all of society. But that hasn't been done in the SSM in America case. Here, we tend to rush to the conclusion that if we can interpret the Constitution to include some new right for an individual, therefore, it ought to be implemented nation-wide. But how will the ripple effect change the rest of society and the economy? It is a simple mistake and error in judgment to assume that every time we can extend a novel right to some individual or class of persons that society as a whole will benefit from that change.

For instance, if churches were shut down because they did not perform Same-sex marriages, how many jobs would be lost overnight? Already at the Supreme Court, as I write this, that is a very real possibility.

Let's take a look at the first argument.

How does SSM hurt the economy? Simply put, any vendors who refuse to violate their conscience and support same-sex marriages by catering or photography, etc., are fined and sometimes jailed and their business suffers. So, vendors can compete in the economy only if they sacrifice their beliefs. When they don't sacrifice their beliefs, they and their business suffer. That is not democratic nor fair.

The next argument is about the negative effects of child-rearing in same-sex families. The results are very clear from the most comprehensive study performed by Mark Regnerus that same-sex parenting does not work: "Compared with children raised by their married biological parents (IBF), children of homosexual parents (LM and GF):
Are"much"more likely to have received welfare (IBF 17%; LM 69%; GF 57%)
Have lower educational attainment
Report less safety and security in their family of origin
Report more ongoing "negative impact" from their family of origin
Are more likely to suffer from depression
Have been arrested more often
If they are female, have had more sexual partners--both male"and"female" [1]

When same-sex partners attempt to have married status, they are then eligible to apply for adoption of children. If same-sex partners are treated like a normal, heterosexual married couple, that would be misleading since the children that they are raising are working against society rather than helping it.

The third argument is pretty self-explanatory. If society does not wait until proper data is gathered before it makes a decision to legalize same-sex marriage, particularly as to how it affects the integrity of marriage, then it cannot make a sound and wise decision on the matter. I believe that one of the supreme court justices had made the comment, "You are asking us to decide on a phenomenon which is more recent than cell phone technology!"

Thanks for the opportunity to interact on this topic. I look forward to the rebuttal phase of the discussion.

Debate Round No. 2


My opponent mentions the economy. First of all, Con's example of photographers refusing to serve same-sex couples is unethical. In the capitalist and corporate economy of America, you are providing a service to obtain revenue. The SSM ban has not prevented ceremonial marriage between couples, removing the ban would simply make the bond accepted by law. If you are providing a service for economical purposes, restricting customers because of your morality is simply absurd. Capitalism functions on the idea of greed and desire. Also, there is no federal act regarding denying service based upon sexual orientation. These laws are only in roughly 20 states, and a few local governments in which their state has not passed said law [1]. My opponent also mentions this is "not fair." It's very fair, seeing as every organization under the act must obey it.

I would like to address that, in my opponent's second argument, the statistic for single parents of both forms of marriage is left out. Dr. Amanda Gordon of the University of Canberra conducted a study on the success rate of homosexual civil unions, legalized in 2008, to heterosexual marriages conducted after 2008. Homosexual couples received roughly 1.1% divorce rate, with the heterosexual estimate about 33% [2]. This has been credited to the heterosexual pressure to find a spouse quickly. Homosexual couples are given more time to thoroughly and consciously decide upon the commitment. While it is also stated that the legalization of homosexual marriage would most likely mirror the heterosexual divorce rates, it proves the point that marriage requires hard work to succeed, often overlooked with heterosexual couples.

The issue of interpreting the Constitution in this matter is counteracted by the fact that this ban is discrimination of sex. A man cannot marry another man simply because he has a Y chromosome. Calling this phenomenon "new" is just displaying ignorance. Homosexuality is displayed in over 200 recorded species, and in a study by Nathan Bailey and Marlene Zuk, from the University of California, it is observed that in populations that contain female-to-female pairings increase evolutionary fitness. By making use of an excess population of females, the nurturing environment for the offspring was significantly more beneficial. It is also noted that, in certain species, "divorce" (in this case finding a new mate/partner) was less likely in populations with same-sex pairings. The flexibility also strengthened the social bond of the organisms [3].

I would like to address Con's statement about churches being shut down for failure to conduct same-sex marriage. This is a complete fallacy. It is already an active law that prohibits the act of forcing a priest to conduct a marriage that he/she does not agree with [4]. This is demonstrated in the common occurrence of Jew and non-Jew couples.

The purpose of marriage is not, in any way, to produce beneficial offspring for society. It is a legal institute to dignify two people as a union for taxes and property. Marriage exists so the spouse can make decisions if their partner is in terminal condition, joint taxes, and joint property ownership. This allows a safety net if the relationship falls. The prime example of this is the practice of prenuptial agreements, or prenups. This prenup is used often to ensure that you keep what you own if the marriage fails. Other common uses are to ensure that you do not acquire your spouse's debt and to set child property before the marriage is sanctified [5].

Works Cited



Now, that we are in the rebuttal phase of our debate, I will sort of work my way backwards through the items in this round and then to the previous round.

Thanks for the opportunity to look into this topic together.

Let's look at the primary economic objection to SSM. The state governments are trying to compel business proprietors to cater to or celebrate public same-sex wedding ceremonies. If the state did not allow same-sex marriages, then there would be no problem. Business proprietors could serve whomever they wanted to and refuse service to those who were engaging in practices that did not agree with their faith tradition.

No one would expect a Muslim baker to bake a cake with the words, "Jesus is Lord over all" on top of the cake for a Christian confirmation ceremony. So, why are religious people who do not believe in same-sex marriage being forced to serve in a ceremony celebrating same-sex marriage?

The simplest course of action is to recognize same-sex orientation and not same-sex marriage. Not serving the former would be disallowed but not participating in the latter would be freedom of conscience since it's not a valid marriage.

The citation of the legalzoom page by my opponent strengthens my argument. If states distinguished between sexual orientation and same-sex marriage, then there wouldn't be any problem. Many businesses, if not all, who have been economically discriminated against for not serving in public same-sex wedding ceremonies have no issues in serving those who have a different sexual orientation! In fact, Arlene's Flowers who was discriminated against for her stand of religious conscience was already friends with those of different sexual orientation and had already served said customers. "For nine years, she lovingly served the same-sex couple who would later sue her" and request that the state prosecute her faith. [1]

My opponent faults me for citing a study that compares the results of child-rearing in homosexual and heterosexual couples. But that is not faulty! That is what we are talking about and what we are comparing. Also, my opponent drops the ball here and does not interact with the negative effects that these homosexual couples produced in their children including greater rates of depression and greater crime rates.

A good reason for not comparing the Regnerus Study with the Canberry Study is that the report showed that most marriages (heterosexual) lasted at least 13 years. Since this study began in 2008, that would not be a valid comparison. Also, the ACT has a population of about 385,000 whereas Australia has over 21,000,000. So, no matter what results this study comes up with, it is not necessarily indicative of Australia.

Regarding homosexuality in other animal species, that is an interesting point, I grant you. However, what bearing exactly does that have on the marriage ceremony and the inducement to monogamy that the human species maintains? Other animal species might maintain positive balance through forms of homosexual mating, but that may not correlate with the way that heterosexual monogamy leads to order and stability among humans. I would be interested in seeing your full argument on this question.

I do believe that Pro misunderstands my position in regards to churches being forced to perform marriages they do not agree with in their faith tradition. This was misunderstood because I was referring to potential conflicts of the current (not yet law) decision under deliberation by the Supreme Court.

My opponent argues that the purpose of marriage is not to produce beneficial offspring. That is just plain wrong. It has been contradicted by the courts of Massachussetts. "He concluded that prohibiting same-sex marriage rationally furthers the Legislature's legitimate interest in safeguarding the "primary purpose" of marriage, "procreation." The Legislature may rationally limit marriage to opposite-sex couples, he concluded, because those couples are "theoretically . . . capable of procreation," they do not rely on "inherently more cumbersome" noncoital means of reproduction, and they are more likely than same-sex couples to have children, or more children." [2]

Now, I'll move into the previous round. My opponent had commented that marriage is secular. But that's just an assertion. He actually provides no rationale for that claim. History contradicts it, of course. People recognized that marriage was a public commitment before God and if they divorced or broke up monogamy they would be accountable to God for their decision to break up. It was (and still is) a great way to maintain stability and monogamy.

Second, it's not merely about chromosomes that one cannot marry. It's about marriage a complementary chromosome in order that children may result from the union which is economically beneficial, both to the state and to society in general.

I would define marriage as the union of two people of the opposite sex. That makes the most sense economically and seems the best for society.

Thanks again for this stimulating interaction. I look forward to further conversation on this topic.


Debate Round No. 3


I cannot over exaggerate my appreciation for my opponent's respect and conduct in this debate.

Con refers back to the issue of economic restrictions. I would like to point out that the Muslim baker, mentioned in my my opponent's example, would not be able to refuse o service the Christian customers for their religious values. As stated in my citation to the legalzoom article, service cannot be denied because of religious identification. If you provide a service, such as a bakery, catering, and floral arrangements, you are economically obligated to service a paying customer regardless of your opinion of them. Refusal to serve a SSM ceremony blocks the flow of currency in the economy, effectively causing more of an economical burden than being forced to serve against your beliefs.

For instance, there are still those who disapprove of interracial marriage. They are still obligated to service an interracial weeding against their personal beliefs. The identification of sexual orientation as a birth trait on the national level would give it the same protection as religion and race, including in acts of marriage.

My opponent brings up my reference to other animals displaying homosexual pairings, and continues to call humans monogamous. In fact, humans are not monogamous. Unless a person shows affection only to a single person throughout their life, they are not sexually monogamous. Social monogamy implies that the romantic bond remains, but sex can be wavered. Both of these are rare in humans. In fact, humans are not monogamous but polygamous. We have multiple mates throughout our lifespan.

I apologize for the short argument, but I have run into an issue with my charger so I figured I should at least get something posted.



Thanks again for your response. I know how it is with technology failing and busy schedules.

The issue in the case of the Muslim baker and the "Jesus is Lord" cake is that our Constitution
guarantees freedom of religious expression. That entails that no one can be compelled to perform
a religious expression or act against their conscience or faith tradition. So, if Christian customer enters
and asks for a cake for Aunt Jemima's 75th birthday, the cake must be made. But if the customer is
demanding that the baker make a cake which compels religious expression that is against the Baker's
conscience, then it is absolutely illegal and UnConstitutional for the state to enter and attempt to
fine or impose penalties requiring a certain type of religious expression against conscience.

This freedom of religion process works the same for compelling an act of participation in a same-sex
marriage contrary to one's conscience. This is such a big issue that Mitt Romney had to make provision
for Justices of the Peace in the state of Massachussetts.

On the economic angle, when the state tries to compel this religious expression, it disrupts the economy.
Bakers and caterers who cannot in good conscience participate in the same-sex wedding ceremonies recommend
alternative businesses to these clients, thus giving business opportunities to others. However, having
the state enter legally to compel the performance does hurt the economy because it causes hard-working business
owners to go out of business or bear extreme legal cost, as in the case of Arlene's Flowers [1] or Colorado
Baker under fire [2] for his faith.

On the topic of "Interracial Marriage," if you are not serving due to someone's "race" or "ethnicity," that
is different than if your religious (or non-religious, such as Neo-Aryan) denomination did not hold to
"inter-racial" marriage. In that race, you could be required to serve the various races but not celebrate
a public wedding which would be against the Constitution.

Regarding homosexual pairings in other animal species, I had asked my opponent (since he brought up the
topic for discussion) to clarify his argument. What I had counter-argued was that homosexual pairings might
serve some different purpose in a non-human animal species than it would serve in the human population.
Currently, I don't see you addressing that objection *and* I thought your original presentation of it was
unusually brief.

What I had argued about monogamy was that heterosexual marriage may be an inducement to stability in society
as well as monogamy. That doesn't mean that all couples will be monogamous throughout their lifetimes. It
just means that it will help to stability the society.

In the next round, could you develop your thinking along those lines about how homosexual pairing would serve
the same function in animal communities as it does in human societies a bit more in detail? Thanks!

I'm really looking forward to our final round together.

Thanks for the time you are devoting to this topic!


Debate Round No. 4


bman7720 forfeited this round.


Well, the time has come for the final round. I want to thank Bman for opening up this topic and for accepting me as an opponent, even though I do not have very many completed debates on this site as yet.

This is an interesting and timely topic. As we argue over the finer points, the Supreme Court, as far as I know, is deliberating on whether legalization of same-sex marriage will take place on a national scale.

First, a quick recap. Bman did address my argument against SSM based on economic disadvantage. I maintain that if an honest religious person who owns a business who can make a referral elsewhere does not want to participate in a public ceremony where religious expression is implied or compelled, that is their right of conscience and it would violate the First Amendment of Freedom of Religion to punish that business owner economically through fines and sanctions. If the State is compelling religious speech, even if it's making an atheist saying "one nation under God" in the pledge of Allegiance, that is against the Constitution and someone's conscience. To fine someone for that sort of non-participation creates economic woe and hardship as well as being UnConstitutional.

Next, Bman did not tackle the behavioral problems present in Same-Sex couples who raised children but instead he choose to look at a limited Australian study which points out that homosexual marriage may have higher rates than heterosexual marriage. This may be true but since the study acknowledged that 13 years was the average length of heterosexual marriages in this part of Australia, there was not enough time to know whether the average length of homosexual marriages would be shorter or longer than the heterosexual marriages. Also, Bman did not cite how these marriages would not produce the sort of negative child-rearing effects cited in my Regnerus study.

Bman uses an interesting example of both a single man and a single woman who want to marry the same single man (Round 2). This poses an interesting dilemma. Unless the state is allowing polygamy, obviously only one of the two can marry the single man. I had counter-argued to this example that the state has a legitimate interest in securing and incentivizing relationships which could possibly produce offspring since that would be more economically advantageous than not. In supporting that point, I cited the full documentation for the Massachusetts case where the state's interest in securing heterosexual marriage was deliberated upon.

Finally, Bman brings up a very interesting analogy between non-human animal and human animal relationships. I pointed out that he raises the possibility between homosexual pairings being pragmatically viable in both groups but that he does not really develop his argument. In order for Bman to argue for the plausibility of economic (and other) advantages resulting from homosexual pairings in the human animal kingdom, he would need to show that homosexual pairing would confer the same (or similar) evolutionary advantages for non-human animal and human animal groups.

I would be really interested in seeing a more fully developed argument to make this case. I would recommend to him the work of a primatologist or perhaps ethicist, Peter Singer, who has done much work in the area of moral theory and animal and human communities.

Thank you again for your time and effort on behalf on this topic and perhaps we can address it again someday in the future.
Debate Round No. 5
42 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by theisticscuffles 1 year ago

No problem. You've still got over 23 hours to go.

You'll be fine. You can borrow my charger.
Posted by bman7720 1 year ago
I may be a bit late on my arguments due to technology failures, my charger being broken. Apologies if I do end up having to forfeit the debate!
Posted by bman7720 1 year ago
@theist, however the government cannot force a priest, or any religious authority, to conduct a marriage that they do not agree with. This happens with Jew's and Non-Jew's all the time.
Posted by theisticscuffles 1 year ago
What the Supreme Court is looking at right now could remove the tax-exempt status and possibly penalize monetarily or with jail time *any* religious institution or private school which upholds its moral convictions regarding traditional marriage:
Posted by theisticscuffles 1 year ago
This is a rather sad story about what happens when the government refuses to uphold freedom of religious expression and conviction involving severe economic loss:
Posted by HomelySherlock 1 year ago
Why is slavery bad? Why is witch-burning bad? You said morality doesn't matter, so your point is irrelevant.
Posted by bman7720 1 year ago
@cole Slavery was a tradition that was upheld longer than the institute of marriage. Witch-hunting was a tradition that was upheld even longer. Your point is that we are not to change tradition, but that is the very purpose of social evolution.
Posted by ColeTrain 1 year ago
@bman lol. No, my logic does not permit such things, you simply fail to understand tradition and religion.
Posted by bman7720 1 year ago
@cole By your logic, slavery should never have been abolished. Burning witches should never of been abolished. It is the purpose of society to adapt tradition and standards as we evolve socially.
Posted by ColeTrain 1 year ago
@bman Except for the tradition that has been held for millennia.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro ff a round