The Instigator
Agnostic86
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
ReformedArsenal
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points

Same-sex marriage (USA ONLY)

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision - Required
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/2/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,103 times Debate No: 16827
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (10)
Votes (2)

 

Agnostic86

Pro

Thank you to whoever accepts this. This is my opening argument.

Please note that this debate is just referring to the USA.

Opening syllogism

1. Marriage is a fundamental right
2. All citizens are entitled to the fundamental rights
3. Therefore, same-sex couples should have that right.

Contention 1: I contend that SSM should be legal because marriage is a fundamental right.

What is a fundamental right?

Fundamental rights are the most basic of all rights. They cannot be with-held based on race, gender, sexual orientation or any other factor. They are rights that cannot be taken away.


Evidence 1: Loving v. Virginia

Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival.... To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discrimination. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.-Supreme court decision, Loving v. Virginia


http://en.wikipedia.org......
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com......

The supreme court has ruled that marriage IS a fundamental right, therefore, to take away SSM is to deny the same-sex couples the right to a fundamental right. I ask you, if there is a ban on SSM, what is marriage then?


I am aware that this Loving v. Virginia case is referring to interracial marriage, but the US supreme court has ruled that marriage IS a fundamental right, therefore it cannot be taken away.


Contention 2

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."-Section 1, Admendment 14


In other words, anyone who is a citizen of the US have entitlements to life, liberty and property. No state can make or enforce any law that takes away those rights. Therefore, any attempt at a SSM ban, is unconstitutional. Because marriage is a fundamental right, it cannot be taken away.


Conclusion

In this round, I have shown evidence that marriage is a fundamental right, I have shown that all people are entitled to that right, and I have shown contitutional proof that it cannot be taken away.

Final questions

1. Why should SSM be illegal?
2. What secular reasons do you have for the illegalisation of SSM?
3. Where in the constitution does it say SSM is illegal?
4. Why shouldn't it be legal?


I ask my opponent to forgive me for this seemingly lousy opening arguments, I am relativiley new to the site and am not the best writer.


ReformedArsenal

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for proposing this debate.

A word about burden of proof. In a debate Pro has the burden of proof. This is intensified when Pro is also the instigator. This debate is no different. As such, my opponent has the burden of proof to show beyond reasonable doubt that what they are asserting is true. In this case my opponent has made two assertions, which lead to a conclusion. In order to affirm the resolution my opponent is required to prove that

1) Marriage is a fundamental right
2) All citizens are entitled to the fundamental rights.

Which leads to his conclusion that same-sex couples should have that right.

Refutation

This may seem strange, but I do not disagree with my opponent's syllogism. Marriage is indeed a fundamental right, as has been shown by my opponent's quotation. Furthermore, all citizens in good legal standing are entitled to that fundamental right. Where I disagree with this assertion however, is the conclusion.

Let us observe the defintion of marriage.

According to the United States Legal Code, Title 1, Chapter 1, Section 7, titled "Definition of 'marriage' and 'spouse,'" marriage is defined as follows:

"In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word “marriage” means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word “spouse” refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife." [A]

To summarize that, the fundamental right to marriage is refering to a legal union between one man and one woman.

Therefore, when we flesh out the syllogism to include this defintion we ge the following.

1) The right for a man to be legally united to a woman (or a woman to be legally united to a man) is a fundamental right
2) All citizens are entitled to the fundamental rights
3) Therefore, same-sex couples have the right to be legally wed to a woman (if a man) or man (if a woman).

My opponent concludes by saying "marriage is a fundamental right, I have shown that all people are entitled to that right, and I have shown constitutional proof that it cannot be taken away." My opponent is correct in his assertion that the legal right to be unified to a member of the opposite gender is a fundamental right that cannot be taken away. However, SSM does not fit this mold. My opponent ends with a series of questions. There is one common thread, it presupposes that SSM is already entitled to the afformentioned rights.

This debate is not about protecting existing rights, as Pro has framed it to be. It is about redefining an existing legal standing.

My opponent has burden of proof to show beyond a resonable doubt that this legal definition is substandard and should be changed.

[A] http://www.law.cornell.edu...
Debate Round No. 1
Agnostic86

Pro

Hello, ReformedArsenal, I thank you for accepting my challenge and wish you the best of luck.

What is marriage?

Contradiction has posted in the comments that I need to define marriage. I will argue that marriage is a legal union that creates kinship.

My opponent has claimed that he does NOT disagree with my syllogism. He has admited that marriage is a fundamental right and there is no more need to discuss.

However, in a nut shell, my opponent has used DOMA and the legal definition to show why same-sex couples should not be granted that right to marry. He claims that they cannot fit that definition of a man and a woman. I agree.

My opponent has given me this syllogism.

1) The right for a man to be legally united to a woman (or a woman to be legally united to a man) is a fundamental right
2) All citizens are entitled to the fundamental rights
3) Therefore, same-sex couples have the right to be legally wed to a woman (if a man) or man (if a woman).

I agree with 1 and 2. I disagree with 3. Same-sex couples do NOT have the right to marry, of course, unless they marry someone of the opposite sex, then they will not be "same-sex" couple.

The very question is whether the definition should be changed. My opponent has done nothing more than appealing to tradition by claiming same-sex couples should not be able to marry on the basis of the current definition.
Marriage, in many states, was once defined as a man and a woman of the same race. Therefore, by your logic, interracial couples should not be able to marry because they did not fit that definition. We obviously seen how that changed and thus I argue that the current definition should also change. In other words, my opponent just re-stated the resolution.

The definition of marriage is not as clear cut as it may seem. Each state has its own meaning of marriage.

I encourage my opponent to take a look at this chart and see how different marriage is between state and state.
http://www.clgs.org...

What is DOMA?

I will argue that DOMA is unconstitutional and should be repealed. I will give you a couple reasons why.

Before I can get into detail as to how it is unconstitutional, we must first understand what DOMA is. DOMA, otherwise called the "Defense of Marriage Act" was a bill signed in 1996 by president Bill Clinton.

DOMA defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. In addition, it applies that "[N]o state may be requiered to to recognize as a marriage a same-sex relationship considered a marriage in another state." (1) In other words, if Maine recognizes a same-sex union, I get married under there same-sex marriage law, and I move to Florida, Florida does not have to legally recognize that marriage.

DOMA is unconstitutional

1. Congress does NOT have the constitutional power to decide when, or which, state acts get interstate respect of when people are stripped of those rights as they travel through the country.
2.DOMA makes America a "house divided" for the couples who would be unsure whether they remaine married whenever they move or travel from state to state.
3. DOMA violates constitutional protection that forbids the Government from discriminating by creating disfavored, second-class citizens and disfavored, second-class marriages. Such unconstitutional election-year bills apeal to anti-gay disapproval, dislike, or discomfort the very animus rejected by the Supreme Court as a basis for government discrimination
4. Most importantly, DOMA violates the Constitution's Full Faith and Credit clause, which requires that official acts and proceedings of each state be recognized by sister states. Congress does NOT have the authority to decide when, or which state acts get interstate respect or when people are stripped of those rights. (2)
5. Lastly, congress does NOT have the power to give the legal meaning of marriage! The constitution clearly states that whatever powers are not listed in the constitution, it is given to the state.

Begging the question, how can congress pass a bill that allows for gay marriage?

The state cannot create a law that deprives people of fundamental rights. Therefore, the state has no power to deny same-sex couples the right to marry.

My opponent has burden of proof to show beyond a resonable doubt that this legal definition is substandard and should be changed.

You are correct. However, you have the burden of proof to show beyond a resonable doubt that this legal definition should stay the same.

In conclusion

I have given good reasons for DOMA to be unconstitutional
I have shown how congress can pass a bill allowing gay marriage

Back to you, con.

Source
1. http://en.wikipedia.org...

2. http://www.ucc.org...
ReformedArsenal

Con

I would like to summarize my argument before proceeding. I will then summarize my opponent's rebuttal, and then proceed further.

Negative Argument Summary

My opponent claims that homosexual marriage is a fundamental right, because marriage is a fundamental right. He argues that homosexuals do not have the fundamental right to marry, and therefore we live in an unjust system that needs to be changed. However, this is not an accurate reflection of reality.

In reality, every American in good legal standing has the same rights. They have the right to form a legal union with a willing member of the opposite gender. What my opponent is arguing is that homosexuals do not have equal rights because they cannot marry someone of the same gender. However, this is an additional right that my opponent is advocating. His burden of proof therefore is to show beyond a reasonable doubt that this additional right is not only permissible, but is necessary to preserve justice. If he fails to show reasonable proof for this assertion, he loses the debate. Plain and simple.

Affirmative Argument Summary

C1) My opponent argues that since interracial marriages were once outside of the boundary of the definition of marriage, and has since been changed, that we must view homosexual marriage in a similar light.

C2) DOMA (the Bill that created the definition of marriage) is unconstitutional and therefore should be repealed.

Rebuttals

RC1) My opponent has failed to provide any sources that verifiy his claim that interracial marriages were once illegal. Unil he does, this point stands on an unproven assertion and cannot be considered. Furthermore, my opponent also fails to show why comparing interracial marriages to homosexual marriages is a valid comparison. This point cannot be considered forceful since it rests on two unproven assertions, and until these assertions are proven this conention should be dismissed as two instances of begging the question.

RC2) I shall divide this into sub points to address each point of my opponent's contention.

RC2.1) My opponent claims that Congress does noe the right to strop people of rights when they travel through the country. However, this rests on the assumption that congress is taking away a right that people inherantly have. He is presupposing that homosexual marriage is a right, and therefore this point can be discarded (begging the question).

RC2.2)
There are other laws that make america a "house divided" that my opponent is not taking issue with. Age of concent in Minnesota is 16, while in other states it may be 17 or 18. In some states a person cannot view pornography until they are 21, while in others it is 18. Furthermore, my opponent masks his argument in a pseudo-defense of State's Rights, however if the State has the right to prohibit or allow homosexual marriage, then the "House Divided" issue MUST remain, otherwise all states would have to have uniform rights and therefore would not have individual rights. My opponent's argument is self defeating.


RC2.3)
My opponent again begs the question. In order for homosexuals to be considered 2nd class citizens they would have to be prohibited a right that others are allowed. In this case my opponent claims that the right to marry someone of the same gender is being witheld from homosexuals. However this has not been shown to be a valid right, nor has it been shown to be equal to the right to marry someone of the opposite gender. As such, all persons have the same rights, so there is no second class citizen being created.


RC2.4)
How is it Congress's responibility to ensure that Minnesota respects Wisconsin's laws? How does DOMA have anything to do with this? DOMA is not causing states to respect or ignore acts by sister states, that is the state's responsibility. If anything, DOMA compliance woiuld cause compliance as every state would have uniform regulations in this area.


RC2.5)
My opponent may be correct in this assertion, however since he is arguing that homosexual marriage should be legal for the whole country, he is self defeating again as this would only be possible by a federal law issued from congress. However, Congress does have the authority to issues laws that govern federal regulations (such as tax laws) and therefore can determine what the Federal Definition of marriage is. If individual states wish to have differing definitions for their state taxes, that is within their perview, however teh congress is well within its role to define a federal definition of marriage.


Final Thoughts
My opponent writes "However, you have the burden of proof to show beyond a resonable doubt that this legal definition should stay the same." However, this is pattenly incorrect. As Con, my only burden is to cast doubt on your assertion. I have no burden to show that the legal definition should stay the same. That isn't how debates work. If you wished to have debate that had shared burden of proof, you should have defined that in your oppening argument.

Conclusion
Your reasons for why DOMA is unconstitutional rest on unproven assertions and assumptions. They therefore do not stand to scruitny and should be discarded by the readers. In addition, you claim to have shown how congress can pass a bill allowing gay marriage, however you yourself argued that congress cannot pass a bill that determines the definition of marriage for states. You are contradicting yourself and therefore your points can be discarded.

Thank you to my opponent fo this debate, and thank you to all of the readers who are joining us in this dicussion.

Debate Round No. 2
Agnostic86

Pro

I appologize to my opponent but have to close account. I forfeit this debate.
ReformedArsenal

Con

You heard it from my opponent.

Please vote accordingly.
Debate Round No. 3
Agnostic86

Pro

Forfeit. Please vote for my opponent again. I didn't want to make him wait.
ReformedArsenal

Con

I thank my opponent for taking time to move this debate along.
Debate Round No. 4
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by KeytarHero 6 years ago
KeytarHero
This was Kohai? MilitantAtheist is now Kohai. Kohai shut off his account during a debate with me, as well. I guess we should just avoid him.
Posted by ReformedArsenal 6 years ago
ReformedArsenal
Well,

My opponent has shut off his account... as he was the same person as the former Kohai, this is unsurprising... disappointing, but unsurprising.
Posted by Man-is-good 6 years ago
Man-is-good
Interesting debate. ReformedArsenal carefully deflected the strong logical argument (marriage is a fundamental right; a fundamental right is entitled to everyone; and marriage is entitled to all) by referring back to PRO's own opening round and interpretation of the debate.
Commends again, ReformedArsenal!
Posted by ReformedArsenal 6 years ago
ReformedArsenal
Why on earth would you post a link to a site that shows that the majority of the country has laws that match the definition of marriage I listed originally?
Posted by Agnostic86 6 years ago
Agnostic86
Contradiction, I answered the question.
Marriage is a union between two people that creates kinship.
Posted by Contradiction 6 years ago
Contradiction
Pro's argument begs the question. Marriage is a fundamental right, but what is marriage? Pro simply assumes that marriage is such that individuals of the same sex can participate in it. In other words, he begs the question by presupposing that same sex couples are under the definition of marriage -- but this is exactly what's being disputed by Con in this debate.

After all, before we can say that someone has a right to X, we first must know what X is. To claim one's marriage right has been violated, marriage must first be defined. Pro does not attempt to justify why his particular definition of marriage is sound, he simply assumes it to prove it. This is circular.
Posted by innomen 6 years ago
innomen
I don't see a clear resolution, which opens up that whole definition of marriage thing. Agnostic, it's always in your best interest to have a clear resolution that you argue. If it's there, and i just didn't see it, ignore me.
Posted by Agnostic86 6 years ago
Agnostic86
Hello, ReformedArsenal, thank you for accepting this debate. Good luck to you.
Posted by Agnostic86 6 years ago
Agnostic86
ok, Merda.
Posted by Merda 6 years ago
Merda
I'll take this in a day or so if it hasn't been taken.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
Agnostic86ReformedArsenalTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Unfortunate, I was looking forward to seeing this play out.
Vote Placed by OMGJustinBieber 6 years ago
OMGJustinBieber
Agnostic86ReformedArsenalTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro, find an account and stick with it.