The Instigator
kenballer
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
WriterDave
Pro (for)
Winning
19 Points

Same-sex marriage should be recognized in the U.S.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
WriterDave
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/6/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,006 times Debate No: 22611
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (15)
Votes (4)

 

kenballer

Con

BURDEN OF PROOF

Good question

When it comes to the burden of proof, I think the gay marriage advocate should have majority of the burden since you are the ones who want to change the definition and purpose of marriage and/or claim that this is a civil rights issue. Therefore, you should go first.

However, I still have some burden in regards to public policy, so I will just explain what Civil marriage is and the purpose of it and how gay marriage interferes with this (if necessary)

In this debate, make sure you include in your argument the following:

Also, you can cut and paste information from other debates you have been in to save your time.

One last thing:

As you may already know, there is a marriage amendment that is about to be voted on in your state. So you better bring your A-game when it comes this debate to possibly convince the majority (if the chance comes up) in your state let alone yourself why we should go along with this proposition. This is a good place to test it out.
WriterDave

Pro

Since Con has placed upon me the burden of proof (excluding any positive arguments he might make), and since he has invited me to go first, I will post my opening statement in this round.

I define marriage as a relationship which the government recognizes as a marriage, and upon whose members it confers all the legal rights, privileges and benefits thereof. As of this writing, the federal government and 42 state governments do not recognize marriages between two persons of the same sex -- including, as Con pointed out, my home state of Minnesota (although it is silly to think that more than a few Minnesotans will read this debate, or that I, a mere educated layman, should be making the case against the pending anti-equality law on behalf of the entire pro-equality community).

Here are a few reasons why gay marriage should be legalized at the federal and all state levels.


1) Not legalizing gay marriage creates second-class citizens

Technically, gay relationships were not even legal in the United States until 2003,[1] yet that stopped no one who wanted to have one, nor does it still stop anyone in states where laws against sodomy are still on the books. There are a great many gay couples who are in stable, monogamous relationships whose members have made lifelong commitments to one another; some have gotten married in a non-state-recognized manner, and many if not most would get married if the option were available to them.

This is not going to change. Short of instituting an oppressive and near-omnipotent theocracy, there will always be close, loving and committed gay relationships.

The state's refusal to recognize these relationships as marriages (if the parties so wish), while it does recognize their heterosexual counterparts, creates a category of second-class citizens. This is prima facie antithetical to basic American principles.


2) Not legalizing gay marriage is antithetical to liberty.

As a liberal, I'll be the first to say that sometimes our individual liberties must be curtailed in order to ensure "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" for all Americans. But in no way would legalizing gay marriage disrupt the life, liberty or pursuit of happiness of heterosexual marriages.

With one exception, all amendments to the US Constitution have empowered citizens in one respect or another. The one exception was the 18th Amendment, which instituted Prohibition; this amendment was quickly repealed, and is today regarded as a nearly unmitigated disaster. If the anti-equality "Federal Marriage Amendment" should ever pass, this would be a second, and equally disastrous in my opinion, exception to the rule. However, criminalization of gay marriage at the state level, or via Federal legislation, has the same effect.


3) Not legalizing gay marriage is antithetical to equality.

The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that marriage is a fundamental right of all Americans.[2] However, this right is denied to gay citizens.

Two GAO reports, from 1997[3] and 2004,[4] identify a (non-overlapping) total of 1,138 federal laws that grant benefits, rights and privileges to married couples. Such laws include (but are hardly limited to) laws pertaining to joint parenting, joint adoption, joint insurance policies, immigration for partners from other countries, certain Social Security and Medicare benefits, property tax exemptions, inheritance in the absence of a will, bereavement leave, the Fifth Amendment right to refuse to testify against one's spouse, etc. This does not include state laws, or private companies' policies.

Gay couples cannot enjoy the benefits, rights and privileges conferred by these laws. This is prima facie unjust. As a matter of justice, which the state is obligated to uphold, gay marriage must be legalized.



4) Legalizing gay marriage is conducive to the well-being of the children of gay couples.

96% of all counties in the United States, no matter how conservative, have at least one gay couple raising a child.[5] Regardless of how one feels about this, and regardless of how these children came to exist, the fact remains.

These children's' mental health will benefit from having a clearly defined legal status with respect to both of their parents, which is especially important during times of crisis such as school and medical emergencies. Consider, for example, that except for a few states which allow joint-parent adoptions, only one member of a same-sex couple that is not allowed to marry can have legal custody of their children. If something happens to that person, his or her partner's grief will be compounded by the legal nightmare of trying to obtain custody of, or even visitation rights for, the children he or she may have raised all of their lives. This clearly benefits no one.

In addition, inasmuch as a child's parents' relationship is more stable and secure when legally recognized through marriage, this child's well-being is correspondingly better.[6]



5) Legalizing gay marriage is economically sound.

To be sure, legalizing gay marriage would mean more government spending as the existing government benefits of marriage are extended to a somewhat larger population. However, this would be more than offset by increased tax revenue and consumer spending. Wedding spending for gay marriages in the first year they were legalized in certain states ranged from $5 million (Iowa) to $155 million (New York).[7] If gay marriage were legalized nationwide, nearly $17 billion would be pumped into the national economy.[8] In these times of recovery from the Bush economic crisis of 2007-08, such a windfall is nothing to sneer at.



6) Legalizing gay marriage is beneficial to this generation's legacy.

As recently as 1967, when the Supreme Court put a stop to it,[9] there were states that banned black people from marrying white people. Prior to the end of the Civil War, there were states that banned black people from marrying, period. Times change.

In the last several decades there has been a steady movement toward the acceptance of the idea of gay marriage, and this movement is only moving faster. A 2011 Gallup poll showed, for the first time in the history of their polling on the subject, that a majority of Americans favor legalizing gay marriage -- 53%, up from 27% in 1996.[10]

The gay marriage movement is a movement for equal rights, and no major equal rights movement in American history has ever failed in the end.

Note that this is not a "bandwagon" argument; not an argument that we should legalize gay marriage simply because everyone wants it. Rather, we should legalize gay marriage so that our descendants, for whom gay marriage will almost certainly be a fact of life, will speak about our generation with pride rather than with an embarrassed cough.


Finally:

7) Legalizing gay marriage upholds the Golden Rule.

This simple principle exists, in some form, in virtually every religion and secular ethical system. Would a heterosexual person want a legislature or referendum of mostly gay people to make it illegal to marry the person he loved?


For the foregoing reasons, among others, I submit that gay marriage should be legalized in the United States and in all states and territories.



[1] Lawrence v. Texas, 2003.
[2] cf. Loving v. Virginia, 1967.
[3] General Accounting Office, OCG-97-16 Defense of Marriage Act
[4] General Accounting Office, GAO-04-353R Defense of Marriage Act: Update to Prior Report
[5] US Census, 2000
[6] http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov... pp. 26-27.
[7] http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu...
[8] http://www.forbes.com...
[9] Loving v. Virginia, 1967
[10] http://www.gallup.com...-
Debate Round No. 1
kenballer

Con

"1) Not legalizing gay marriage creates second-class citizens"

There are a number of problems with the love hypothesis marriage view. Here PRO asserts what the definition of marriage is that includes same sex couples but he does not explain on an empirical level where that definition originated. PRO never explains the reason why the state would use marriage to promote love and commited relationships or how it would benefit the state and society. Plus, PRO never explained how including same sex couples into the definition would strengthen the bond and love between heterosexuals in marriage.

Not to mention, if PRO thinks this is civil rights issue, then where is the body of law that mentions how this is an actual state interest. Moreover, The revisionist view of marriage is overinclusive and still somewhat underinclusive. Douglas Allen , in his book called "An economic assessment of same-sex marriage laws" said it best :

"Many people love one another in both sacrificial and sexual ways (for example, cohabitants, polygamists, homosexuals), but are not married. At the same time, there are loveless marriages in which love, though once present, no longer exists, and arranged marriages in which love is not present at the beginning. Historically, love played almost no role in marriage; matches were arranged between kinship groups. (24) Ultimately, however, theories of marriage must be tested empirically. As this Article argues, at least in the context of nofault divorce laws, evidence does not support the love-based marriage hypothesis."

Here is a quote from Bertrand Russell a self-proclaimed atheist :

"But for children, there would be no need of any institution concerned with sex.....

...it is of children alone that sexual relations become of importance to society, and worthy to be taken cognizance of by a legal institution."

Therefore, the state is not there to issue love licenses nor has it ever and there is no reason to believe this view of marriage is true. Gays and lesbians are not treated as second class citizens anymore than individuals who want to marry their uncle or multiple people would be. This is because they all can marry anybody of the opposite sex for the purpose of responsible procreation and rearing of children.

We would not allow same sex marriage for the same reason we would not allow incest and polygamy because It's a privilege, hence the word "license", so the state has a right to discriminate against those type of relationships (not individuals) for legitimate state interests.

2) "Not legalizing gay marriage is antithetical to liberty."

Oh please, nobody's forcing gays to deny their attractions or raiding gay marriages in churches. Gays can freely express their feelings of love in a church and get all the benefits that come with marriage through civil unions down the future. However, as soon as you step outside the private realm of RELIGIOUS marriage and into the public sphere of CIVIL marriage, Their beliefs and practices are subject to the law and public opinion or vote because civil marriage is about public policy. Gay marriage advocates always apply the same standards to religious organizations in regards to marriage within the public sphere.

3) "Not legalizing gay marriage is antithetical to equality."

PRO has to be careful about committing the Question Begging fallacy here. YES, it has been determined that you have a fundamental right to marry by the supreme court that doesn't mean you have a right to marry your sister or marry polygamously. This is because marriage has a legal conventional definition to it. The right to marry someone of the same sex would have to be established by the Supreme Court first. For example, a bisexual who has this simultaneous feeling for both genders may argue that he has a fundamental right to marry. The answer would be YES, however , at this point in time, he does not have a right to marry two people in a threesome.

The point I am trying to make is that the U.S. Supreme Court has always defined marriage to be between a man and a woman for the continuation of society and never did they say that the fundamental right to marry included same sex marriage or even plural marriage. In fact, in both cases, the Supreme Court rejected the existence of such definitions or rights in the past. Since marriage is a fundamental right, would I have the right to marry 80 people ,according to PRO's argument, .....YES and that's why his claim is fallacious. Besides, this is a civil union argument at its core by PRO not a civil marriage argument.

In Murphy v. Ramsey (1885) the U.S. Supreme Court stated:

"[C]ertainly no legislation can be supposed more wholesome and necessary in the founding of a free, self-governing commonwealth, fit to rank as one of
the coordinate state of the Union, than that which seeks to establish it on the basis of the idea of the family, as consisting in and springing from the union for life of one MAN and one WOMAN in the holy state of matrimony; the sure
foundation of all that is stable and noble in our civilization; the best guaranty of the reverent morality which is the source of all beneficent progress in social and political improvement."

4)" Legalizing gay marriage is conducive to the well-being of the children of gay couples."

Well first off, this is a civil union argument. Also, Majority of gay families do not have the status of marriage or the benefits for that matter and are doing just fine. The gay parent studies show gay families who are mostly without the protection of marriage are healthy:

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org......

5)" Legalizing gay marriage is economically sound."

The problem here is we don't know how many same sex couples would get married, divorce, have weddings, buy this/ that , etc. (or when) if the opportunity arises, Its entirely unknown and pure speculation. This means including same sex couples into marriage could end up increasing the tax burden since granting new social security survivor benefits to gay partners would cost the federal government billions of dollars. Nevertheless, even if it would boost the economy instead, it would only be to a small extent, according to the congressional budget office: http://en.wikipedia.org...

Lastly, you don't need to redefine marriage to get the kind of economic impact PRO speaks of. Civil unions can potentially produce the same effect.

6) "Legalizing gay marriage is beneficial to this generation's legacy."

if you Google Baker v. Nelson, The case will show you that the same court in Loving not only distinguished same sex marriage from interracial marriage, but established it as a right that does not exist under the constitution and never did. They also rejected and refuted many of the other same arguments gay activists make today.

In fact, the U.S. supreme court has been consistent throughout the history of marriage ranging from plural marriage (Reynolds v. U.S.), from interracial marriage (Loving v Virginia), to even same sex marriage (Baker v. Nelson) that marriage is between one man and one woman for responsible procreation and rearing of children.

When it comes to the Gallup poll, The only poll that matters is the BALLOT box and Last time I checked 31-31 states rejected gay marriage with the last two states (California and Maine) that voted being the most liberal states in the nation.

Lastly, PRO claims that no major equal rights movement in American history has ever lost. I BEG to differ. This is actually not a unique situation. The last people who tried to redefine marriage for their own self-righteous agenda were the Mormons who claimed that there was somehow a right to polygamy and the U.S. supreme court rejected that as well. It took 50 years of litigation in keeping the Mormons from diluting the institution of marriage like what PRO sides trying to do and look where they ended up:

In the Dust-bin of American History
WriterDave

Pro

Because many of Con's responses to my arguments are redundant, I will designate his primary arguments against gay marriage in italics, and refer back to my refutations of these arguments as necessary, both later in this statement and in subsequent statements. I will continue to refer to my own arguments in boldface.

1) Second-class citizens

State's interest: Con argues that I did not explain where the definition of marriage as an institution of love came from, why the state would use marriage to promote love, how love-based marriage would benefit society, or how it would benefit heterosexual marriages. I am under no obligation to do any of these things. The goods of legalizing gay marriage and the harms of not legalizing it presented in my opening statement are sufficient to establish my case.

To humor Con, however, here are a few of the state's interests in marriage:

* Facilitating public order by creating cohesive family units.
* Enabling liberty and free decision-making by spouses.
* Creating stable households.
* Legitimatizing children.
* Limiting the public liability to care for the vulnerable.
* Facilitating property ownership.[1]


Procreation:
Con favorably quotes Bertrand Russell's position that "it is of children alone that sexual relations become of importance to society, and worthy to be taken cognizance of by a legal institution."

If Con is correct, and legal marriage is not desirable unless it is has those traits, then it is logical that in order for a couple to legally marry, each member should have the following characteristics:

* They do not have a shared X or Y chromosome.
* They are fertile.
* They are cisgender -- that is, they psychologically fit comfortably in their chromosomal gender role.
* They have no stated intention to never procreate or raise a child.
* They are not known to have a poor or nonexistent parenting aptitude.
* They are of sufficient health that they can be expected to survive the first 18 years of any present or future children.

The status quo in the Federal government and in 42 states -- which Con, in giving me the burden of proof, has agreed to defend -- is that marriage licences may not be given to couples who fail to meet the first criterion, but may be given to couples who fail to meet any of the others.

To defend his basic argument, therefore, Con must clearly explain why legal marriage should exclude the first criterion but not any of the others. If he does not do this, then the Procreation objection to gay marriage fails.


Slippery Slope: Con believes that legalizing gay marriage would begin us on a path leading to the legalization of incest and polygamy. This is a classic case of a slippery slope argument; the same type of argument that was used to predict legal bestiality after Loving v. Virginia in 1967, and legal infanticide after Roe v. Wade in 1973. After more than a generation, neither of these things came to pass.

The arguments for polygamy and incestuous marriages, should anyone on DDO wish to make them, must be considered on their own merits. We are here considering the merits of gay marriage.

In addition, legal scholar Eugene Volokh, who is sympathetic to the slippery slope argument, has nonetheless pointed out that, just as legalization of gay marriage can lead us down a certain path, so can willful non-legalization, which is what it would presently take to reverse the pro-equality trend. It can encourage attitudes that lead to beating, taunting, and other forms of abuse of homosexuals; the epidemic of gay teenage suicides is but one signpost along this path. It can also encourage attitudes that could enable the government to criminalize marriages that do not meet other criteria above, such as fertility.[2]

In other words, the slippery slope rolls both ways.


2) Liberty

Civil unions: Con argues that civil unions are just as good as marriages for gay people. In the first place, however, many if not most of the 1,138 rights and benefits of marriage conferred by Federal law are not conferred to civil unions, only to marriages. In the second place, a recent study found that couples perceive marriage as having an additional meaning that mere registered partnerships lack, and that "the cultural and political trappings of statuses that are not marriage send a very clear message of difference and inferiority to gay and lesbian couples."[3]


Aside from the Civil unions argument, Con argues that civil marriages, unlike religious marriages, are shaped by public policy. However, it is precisely that policy which is at issue in this debate.


3) Equality

Con makes the Slippery slope and Civil unions arguments here, refuted above.

Case law:Con also cites an 1885 case that refers to marriage as a union between one man and one woman. In the first case, this reference does not constitute a definition. In the second place, this case law is superseded by all case law that came after 1885 -- such as Loving v. Virginia, in 1967, which establishes marriage as a fundamental right, as opposed to a state-conferred privilege. And in any case, it is what the law should be with respect to gay marriage that is at issue here; thus, arguing against the resolution itself using past or present case law is circular.


4) Children

Con makes the Civil unions argument here, addressed above.

Con also cites a study that the children of gay couples are healthy for the most part. That is not the argument here; the argument is that legalizing gay marriage would make them more healthy, in the ways I have described in my opening statement.


5) Economy

Con argues that any estimate about what impact legalizing gay marriage would have on the economy is "entirely unknown and pure speculation." No doubt the editors of Forbes and the Williams Institute would take exception to having their work characterized as "entirely unknown and pure speculation," and Con makes no effort to show why these sources are invalid.

On the other hand, Con cites Wikipedia, that pillar of steadfastness and reliability -- presumably their work is exempt from the whole "entirely unknown and pure speculation" thing. In any case, a little digging shows that Con is referring to a 2004 CBO report which assumes that 0.6% of adults would enter into gay marriages, given the opportunity; they admit that this assumption carries "significant uncertainty." If we assume that the marriage rate of homosexuals is more in line with the marriage rate of heterosexuals, the $1 billion/year estimate increases proportionally. In any case, this report concedes that legalizing gay marriage is a net economic benefit for the economy no matter how you look at it, and that it will lead to decreased government spending in Medicare, Medicaid and SSI.[4]

Con also makes the Civil unions argument here, refuted above.


6) Legacy


Con makes the Case law argument, refuted above. To this I should add that "My opponent is wrong, just Google it!" has never been, and hopefully never will be, an acceptable standard of debate on DDO.

Con does not contest the Gallup poll that public opinion is tending strongly in favor of gay marriage, but he does ignore the fact that gay marriage is legal in eight states.

Con claims that a major equal rights movement in American history has failed, the Mormon movement for the right to polygamy. This cannot be characterized as a major movement, however, since Mormonism has never constituted much more than one percent of the American population; and even in the 19th century, not all members of the Mormon church advocated for or practiced plural marriage. The movement for polygamy can be considered a fringe movement, something like NAMBLA.


7) Golden Rule

Con did not address, and therefore has tacitly conceded, this argument.









[1] Perry v. Schwartzenegger, 2010.
[2] Volokh, "Same-sex Marriage and Slippery Slopes," Hofstra Law Review, 2008.
[3] Badgett, M.V. Lee, When Gay People Get Married (NYU, 2009), pp. 58-59.
[4] Congressional Budget Office, The Potential Budgetary Impact of Recognizing Same-Sex Marriages (2004).
Debate Round No. 2
kenballer

Con

1) Second-class citizens

If PRO is going to argue that this is a civil rights issue, then he needs to demonstrate how his love hypothesis view of CIVIL marriage is true. PRO does not get to just assert such a thing or define it out of existence. Otherwise, he would be committing question begging fallacy. Unlike PRO, I will demonstrate what civil marriage is and the purpose of it

Civil marriage and the purpose of it:

The state uses the idea of Marriage to encourage couples to procreate and/or rear their children in a stable environment that is best situated to raise children and to promote the ideal partnership between two biological married parents.Thus, Marriage is the regulation of procreation and rearing of children.

The Over and Under-inclusive arguments

Procreation:

In order to prove that couples are in fact infertile, the state would have to resort to intrusive fertility tests in order to establish that they are unable to have children and even then therapy and long-term fertility may reverse the prognosis (even in post menopausal women). Not to mention, the state would have to check almost every single couple that wants a marriage license. This clearly would take a large amount of resources to accomplish.

For the sake of argument, even if it was possible to detect infertility in couples with or without state intrusion, it still wouldn't matter. Marriage between a man and a woman has been held to be a fundamental right. This means a law excluding infertile heterosexual couples would not pass strict scrutiny since it would be overinclusive and therefore constitutionally unenforceable. Thus, it's costly, impractical, and unconstitutional. The law rightly assumes a presumption of reproductive potential on the part of heterosexual couples.

By contrast, with same sex couples, we do not need intrusive fertility tests to establish that same sex couples are barren by biological default along with inherent gender differences. Two people of the same sex can never reproduce with each other nor are there as many situations like it. Most importantly, there is no fundamental right to gay marriage (anymore than there is for plural marriage) so the state has a 10th amendment right, as established by the U.S. Supreme Court, to deny those relationships.

Marriage:

I will again entertain PRO for the sake of argument and pretend there is a fundamental right to gay marriage even though PRO did not cite a single U.S. supreme court case showing this to be true. Since the name/meaning of it is the institution, an explanation as to why the state allows the infertile and others to get a marriage license more directly involves the institution of marriage itself.

Our marriage laws are there to shape culture and culture shapes conduct. Allowing infertile heterosexuals does not attempt to take away the law's ability to recruit and influence the culture of heterosexuals who are "fertile" to make sure they create and/or raise their offspring's in a stable environment. Moreover, the state cannot promote responsible procreation and rearing of children without referencing and acknowledging the traditional definition of marriage because it's the only union that can procreate and fulfill this particular state's objective; unlike same sex couples who cannot by definition procreate.

Thus, infertile heterosexuals do not change the definition nor challenge the intention of the institution of marriage. This is because the definition of marriage and the purpose of it are synonymous.

Lastly, I was not trying to make a slippery slope argument as PRO claimed but showing how PRO did not fully demonstrate why his view of CIVIL marriage is true. If PRO is going to require me to explain why we allow the infertile and others to marry to prove my child-centered view of marriage to be true, then he needs to do the same with incest and polygamist marriages. As he said it, it goes both ways. The issue of infertile couples and others are also red herrings and slippery slopes and PRO even admitted that they were when he mentioned the scholar Eugene Volokh.

2) Liberty

PRO commits another red-herring fallacy here.
The benefits that PRO mentioned are indeed federally based only. However, what he forgets to mention is that even if gay marriage was legal, same sex couples would not get those benefits because of DOMA. Thus, his practical argument for gay marriage falls apart.
Now, in the second part of the argument, I failed to see PRO's point. Is PRO arguing that this would harm them somehow? if so, he needs to explain and provide evidence as to why this is the case. Also, It does not follow that being viewed as different will also make them be viewed as inferior because "Civil union" is simply a neutral term not a negative one.

3) Equality

Well first off, I mentioned that 1885 case to give ONE of many examples where the U.S. supreme court affirms my child-centered view of marriage as a matter of law. Secondly, PRO, as he continues to advance his argument through Circular reasoning, mentions a portion of the Loving case again regarding the fundamental right marry. However, what PRO actually ends up doing is put this quote out of context:

From Loving v. Virginia:

"Marriage is one of the 'basic civil rights of man,' fundamental to our very existence and survival. SKINNER v. OKLAHOMA, 316 U.S. 535, 541, 62 S.Ct. 1110 (1942)."

DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR:

SKINNER V. OKLAHOMA 316 U.S. 535, 541, 62 S.Ct. 1110 (1942), which invalidated Oklahoma's Habitual Criminal Sterilization Act on equal protection grounds, stated in part:

"Marriage and procreation are fundamental to the very existence and survival of the race."

As you can see, Marriage wouldn't be "fundamental" to the "existence" and "survival" of humanity if it was completely delinked from procreation or had nothing to do with reproductive potential. 5 years after the Loving decision, The U.S. Supreme Court in Baker v. Nelson reiterates this point in 1972 when they endorsed a Minnesota supreme court decision regarding Same sex marriage: http://www.cas.umt.edu...

4) Children

The gay parent studies I gave show that gay parents and their children are functioning normally across the standard range of measures of child or parent well-being ,which are the normal things experts measure in the field of social science. In other words, they are 100% healthy , which means there is no "more" healthy or 110% and 200% healthy as PRO implies because thats the LIMIT.

5) Economy

PRO is twisting what I said. I was not arguing that the estimation itself was unknown but the assumption in which the estimation is based on. CBO report on the estimation of money boost was based on an highly speculative assumption that 0.6% of gay adults would actually enter into gay marriages during a certain period, given the opportunity. This means the number could very well be lower than this assumption and end up costing the federal government money rather than boosting the economy and that was my point.

6) Legacy

I did not challenge PRO's Gallup poll because I could not. His website where he got the Gallup poll was not working.

Secondly, PRO argues the Mormon and gay movement are not comparable based on a quantitative level. I don't see how this is relevant nor do I find this accurate since the gay population represents only 4 to 2 % of the overall population and not all gay individuals practice and advocate for gay marriage either.

Nevertheless, on a qualitative level, this argument does not have much standing. In the late 1800's, the Mormon Church was considered a big deal. I mean a really big deal. They controlled Utah entirely, and owned most of the land in the territory. The church had its own standing army which was substantial. In short, they were a political and social force to be reckoned with. There also was an intense legal struggle to legalize plural marriage as well.

7) Golden Rule

Read Item 1 & 2 in round 2
WriterDave

Pro


In this third round, I will first re-examine Con's primary objections to gay marriage. I will then revisit my initial arguments vis-à-vis clash -- that is, examine whether Con has actually attempted to refute the arguments I initially made, and if so to what extent.


A) Purpose of Marriage

In my last round, under "State's interest," I listed and sourced several reasons why the state takes an interest in marriage. None of them involve procreation. None of them involve love, either. None of them call for the members of a marriage not sharing a sex chromosome, and Con has given no reason to think otherwise. Most significantly, none of them were refuted by Con. Con has therefore not established that the purpose of marriage as construed in this debate (that is, as a civil institution) is such that it should exclude gay marriage.


B) Procreation

Con argues that having the state test for infertility would be unnecessarily intrusive, but it need not be the state that does the testing; they can provide proof of fertility from an independent clinic.

Moreover, Con did not address the cisgender, intent, aptitude or health factors that would logically follow if marriage were legalized for procreation and child rearing purposes. He argues elsewhere that this is a red herring; on the contrary, if marriage is for the purpose of procreation and child rearing, which is the central (stated) thesis of Con's position, then it is vital that married couples have these traits.

Thus, Con has given no good reason reason to believe that legal marriages should exclude same-sex couples but include other factors which contraindicate procreation and/or child rearing.

However, in attempting to defend this argument, Con has made a vital concession:


C) Marriage is a Fundamental Right

Con concedes this in two places -- in one instance only ad argumentum, but in response to my Procreation objection, he adopts it as an actual position, with the qualification that it only applies to opposite-sex couples. To support this qualification, Con must cite case law. Moreover, this case law must post-date 1967, the year in which the right to marry was established without qualification in Loving v. Virginia, in order to supercede the case law established in Loving. (Baker v. Nelson does not qualify, since this case did not go outside of Minnesota, and in any case does not contradict the relevant portion of Loving.)

Con pointed out (in all caps, for some reason) that this case cited an earlier case, Skinner v. Oklahoma (1942), which also stated, "Marriage and procreation are fundamental to the very existence and survival of the race." This is a conjunctive statement. It does not say that procreation via marriage is fundamental; it says that procreation is fundamental and that marriage is fundamental. Thus, if Con has done anything here, he has further undermined his own case.


D) Civil unions

Con argues that "civil union" is a value-neutral term. The same argument can be, and probably often was, made with respect to "COLOREDS ONLY" signs.

Other than that, Con has dropped this argument entirely.


E) Slippery slope

Con states that he had made this argument only to counter my 2nd round counter-argument that marriage for procreation only would logically need to meet certain criteria. But this is a falsehood. Con made this argument multiple times in his opening statement.

In any case, Con did not address my rebuttals to this argument.


Let us now consider my own arguments in light of the above.


1) Second-class citizens

I have argued that not legalizing gay marriage creates second-class citizens which not only are inferior in practice, but according to studies, feel inferior to their heterosexual counterparts.[1] Inasmuch as Con has attempted to show otherwise via any of the above arguments, he has failed.


2) Liberty

In my opening statement, I argued that not legalizing gay marriage violates a right that Con has since conceded Americans do have, and he has not shown, via applicable case law that this right does not extend to same sex couples. Con responded with the Civil unions argument, refuted above. Thus, this argument stands.

(Con's point with respect to DOMA is addressed below.)


3) Equality

In my opening statement, I argued that not legalizing gay marriage precludes gay couples from receiving the benefits of 1,138 Federal laws that their heterosexual counterparts receive. Con responded that DOMA would prevent gay married couples from receiving these benefits anyway. However, the relevant section of DOMA has been ruled unconstitutional.[2][3][4] Con has failed to show, via the refuted arguments above, that this argument is otherwise incorrect; it therefore stands.


4) Children

I have shown that children of gay couples would benefit from their parents being married; I have shown several ways in which this is the case. Con has not disagreed that they would gain these goods, nor has he shown any way in which their parents being married would harm these children.

He claims to have shown a study that establishes that such children are already "100% healthy." That's a direct quote. Apparently, in Con's world, it is possible for children to reach a point where there is no room for improvement. But in any case, he has not provided any such study, only a link to the American Academy of Pediatrics website, which shows only that a) drinking while pregnant is bad, and b) babies are cute.[5] No disagreement there, but Con has not rebutted my argument.


5) Economy

I have shown that legalizing gay marriage would have a net positive impact on our economy, and I have not only given studies that support this,[6] but I have shown how Con's own cited study shows this.[7] Con has not refuted the former, and has conceded that the marriage rate assumption made by the latter is significantly uncertain. He argues, however, that it could be lower. I see no reason to accept that this is probable, given that this is already a very low estimate considering the marriage rate of the heterosexual population.

In any case, Con does not dispute that legalizing gay marriage would have a net positive impact on the economy. This argument stands.


6) Legacy

I showed that current public opinion favors legalization of gay marriage, that this is part of a historically increasing trend, and that there is no reason to think that gay marriage will not be a fact of life at some point in the future. Con asserts that the link I gave to the Gallup poll was not working. I apologize and provide what will hopefully be a working link here: http://www.gallup.com...

If the above link still doesn't work, I'll try posting it in comments.

Con also argues that in the late 19th century, the Mormon church was "a very big deal." This does not change the fact that neither they nor the portion of their members which practiced and/or supported plural marriage ever constituted much more than one percent of the American population, and they thus cannot be considered a major movement in the sense I meant in my opening statement. In short, the legacy argument stands.


7) The Golden Rule

Having dropped this argument in round 2, it is highly inappropriate for Con to bring it back up in this round. In any case, he has not addressed the thrust of this argument: heterosexuals would not want gays to dictate that they do not have the right to marry the person they choose; thus, not legalizing gay marriage violates the Golden Rule.


So, here in the penultimate round, we see that all of my arguments stand firm, and all of Con's objections fail. We see that legalizing gay marriage carries several goods, not legalizing it carries several harms, and the reverse of neither statement is true.



[1] See round 2, Pro, footnote 3.
[2] Golinski v. OPM, US Dist. of N. Cal, 2012.
[3] Gill v. OPM, US Dist. of Mass, 2010.
[4] Mass. v. Dept of HHS, US Dist. of Mass, 2010.
[5] Accessed April 8, 2012.
[6] See round 1, Pro, footnotes 7 and 8.
[7] See round 2, Pro, footnote 4.

Debate Round No. 3
kenballer

Con

The Golden Rule

I don't accept PRO's premise.There are no laws that only say "Same sex unions can't get married" in the first place. If, instead of "disallowing gay marriage", PRO meant " legally recognizing marriage only between a man and a woman" , then he's commiting the fallacy of equivocation ("traditional marriage" does not equal "disallowing gay marriage") in the same way that "disallowing satanism" does not equal "christianity").

A) Purpose of Marriage and B) Procreation

Let me clarify my argument that PRO straw-maned. Procreation and rearing of children is an already biologically driven act that happens in nature. Its what happens after procreation is where the state plays a role. The institution of marriage is used ,like an insurance policy, to regulate procreation/ rearing of children just in case a couple naturally procreates either by accident or by choice WITHOUT legal and social support. There are two approaches that are intertwined with each other in which the state attempts to maximize this state interests in children involving the structure and stability of families:

The Responsible Procreation and Optimal partnership theory

One way is through the responsible procreation theory which involves establishing family stablity within heterosexual relationships. Family stability is about how many transitions in the environment the child may experience during the child development process. The state uses the idea of Marriage to encourage couples to procreate and/or rear their children in a stable environment that is best situated to raise children.

There is empirical evidence that supports the this theory. Studies show that people, who cohabit, compared to those who don't, have less traditional ideals or views of marriage. This means whether the cause of the good child outcomes from couples is based on the idea of traditional marriage that people believe in or the physical experience of marriage, it does not matter.

Just go to this website for the studies p.2: http://eprints.qut.edu.au...
Or http://www.smartmarriages.com.......

In the optimal partnership theory involving family structure, The state uses marriage to promote the ideal partnership between two biological married parents. Family structure is about how and who the child is being raised with during the child development process.

THE ACCUMULATIVE CASE AGAINST GAY MARRIAGE

If the state were to call same sex unions a marriage in conjunction with opposite sex couples, the law would publicly declare that, from now on, Marriage can be understood apart from responsible procreation, natural parenthood, and connecting children to their own mothers and fathers.

Since the well-being of children would no longer be a component of the concept of marriage, the social stigma within choices (like divorce, cohabitation, fatherlessness etc.), which serves as a natural deterrent for couples to disdain from, would decay and eventually be eliminated.

This is because marriage ends up ONLY becoming a matter of choice between consenting adults who want to express their love a certain way. As a result, heterosexuals, from vulnerable FUTURE generations, would most likely formulate those choices that have the potential to harm their own family and society in general.

Thus, the state would no longer be able to encourage incoming generations of heterosexuals to create stable environments where the nuclear family could be intact during the child development process. However, it could end up discouraging them as well. If the traditional notion of marriage, which is defined as banning gay marriage by PRO, continues to be compared or labeled as a form of slavery/bigotry akin to racism/homophobia and the state enforces this, then the likely hood of the next generation holding and practicing this idea of marriage in the future would be almost impossible.

The problems with redefining marriage also arise in same-sex divorce and parent consent laws. Just as there are a set of entry conditions for marriage there would be a set of exit provisions as well. Douglas Allen can better discuss the potential impact of this on straight relationships in his book called "An economic assessment of same-sex marriage laws".

Read p. 959-964 : http://www.law.harvard.edu...

Thus, since same sex couples are not similarly situated, an important governmental distinction between the two relationships would be reasonable in order to continue advancing the state's interest in encouraging responsible procreation and rearing of children to each generation while the state can encourage homosexuals to adopt and stay together with civil unions.

JUSTICE is applied EQUALLY in each case.

C) Marriage is a Fundamental Right

There are plenty of state and federal courts that mention Baker as a U.S. SCOTUS ruling as well. This page lays it all out:
http://en.wikipedia.org...

PRO also claims that the Baker does not contradict the relevant portion of Loving he argues. On the contrary, it directly addresses and refutes it:

"The institution of marriage as a union man and woman, uniquely involving the procreation and rearing of children within a family, is as old as the book of Genesis......This historic institution manifestly is more deeply founded than the asserted contemporary concept of marriage and societal interests for which petitioners contend. The due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment is not a charter for RESTRUCTURING it by judicial LEGISLATION."

D) Civil unions

I beg to differ. We have separate but equal situations for men and women that permeate our country ranging from restrooms, the military, prisons, sport teams, and even separate but equal public schools. We have this even though women are a minority that historically have been discriminated against.

Obviously, this is all because there is a fundamental difference between race and sex. This is why we no longer have bans on interracial marriage or have Jim Crow laws but still have and always accepted apartheid for the sexes and define marriage between a man and a woman. Therefore, there is no reason to think that gay unions will also be viewed or treated inferior in practice or in principle. Also, arguing that gays FEEL inferior has no merit unless PRO can show its compromising their health in which he did not do. Besides, my gay parent study shows the opposite.

CONCLUSION

1. Economy
Now, I said that it COULD (not would) increase the economy just like it could decrease it which PRO himself acknowledges. He needs to show a decrease is not probable as he claimed and an increase is probable.

2. Children
Read all of Gary Gates as he confirms what I said earlier: http://www.urban.org...

3. Equality
Well first off, DOMA is still on the appeals process so nothing's in effect yet. Second, this could have applied to civil unions. If not, we can always make sure they do in the future, which renders this argument moot.

4. Second-class citizens
Since I refuted PRO's ONLY argument for gay marriage in "Civil unions" above, PRO's arguments 1-3 become meaningless anyways (even if you thought they were valid)

5. Liberty
As shown above, Baker is indeed U.S. precedent that supersedes Loving.Thus, since Baker was UNANIMOUSLY decided by essentially the same court in Loving and ,in the process, refuted and rejected the same verbatim arguments PRO used in this debate, this argument and his Procreation objection become automatically invalidated without further dispute.

6. Legacy
Gallup poll: I actually did contest this in Round 2. Unless there is confirmation from ballot boxes of these polls, its a moot point. PRO mentions how eight states have gay marriage, but they weren't legalized by popular vote.

Also, PRO made no argument as to why the numerical value matters even if this was verified to be true (which he didn't do) and why the qualitative value doesn't matter.
WriterDave

Pro

In this final statement, we will again examine Con's positive arguments and major rebuttals first, followed by an examination of my own arguments in light of them.


0) "The Responsible Procreation and Optimal Partnership Theory"

This is an entirely new argument, presented in the final round of debate. Such behavior is highly inappropriate. It will be considered inasmuch as it addresses A and B below, which is the section Con listed it under, but I have no obligation to consider it as a positive argument against gay marriage at this stage, and the reader must dismiss it as such.


A) Purpose of Marriage

There is no doubt that one of the state's interests in marriage is procreation. However Con has provided no reason to think that the other commonsense purposes of marriage I have listed above are interests that the state does not, or would not, have in recognizing marriage. He has given no reason to think that same sex marriages cannot fulfill these interests. Therefore, he given no reason to think that the purpose of marriage contraindicates gay marriage.


B) Procreation

Con claims that procreation is not as important to the civil institution of marriage as is what happens after procreation. In the first place, this would even more greatly necessitate ensuring that the state establishes the intent, aptitude and health factors prior to issuing marriage licenses, factors which Con has refused to address. In the second place, the US Supreme Court has ruled that marriage exists as a fundamental right even in a situation where neither procreation nor child rearing would ever be possible -- namely, a situation where both parties were prison inmates serving life sentences in separate facilities.[1]

In sum, Con has provided no reason to think that procreation should be the state's only, or even its primary, reason for recognizing marriage. He has therefore failed to establish this as a reason for not recognizing gay marriage.


C) Marriage as a Fundamental Right

Con argues that there are state and federal courts that cite Baker v. Nelson as a US Supreme Court ruling. However, the Supreme Court's only involvement in Baker v. Nelson was to issue a one-sentence statement indicating its refusal to hear the case. Such refusals generally do not constitute endorsement. Con might argue (again via Argumentum ad Websitium) that Baker is an exception, but recent case law repudiates this notion.[2][3][4][5]

Con also argues that Baker does contradict Loving. However, Con's quotation of Baker is out of context. By actually reading the decision, one sees that Baker rejected Loving's reasoning only in light of the distinction between interracial and gay marriages. However, the US Supreme Court later specifically ruled that, although Loving was decided in a racial context, the fundamental right to marry nonetheless applies to all individuals.[6]

Therefore: first, we have established that marriage is a fundamental right. Second, even if marriage is not a fundamental right, this is not a prima facie reason for outlawing gay marriage.


D) Civil unions

In discussing the moral value of the term "civil unions," Con argues that there is a significant moral difference between interracial marriage and same-sex marriage However, this is only by virtue of the fact that this debate is taking place in 2012, not 1962.

Con has dropped all other aspects of the civil unions argument, and cannot resurrect them here.

In sum, therefore, Con has not established that civil unions are "just as good" as marriages for gay couples, and I have shown that the term does carry a sense of inferiority.[7]


E) Slippery slope

Con has dropped this argument entirely.


Having seen that Con gave no successful positive arguments against gay marriage, and that his major rebuttals to my arguments have all failed, let us now examine whether I have met my burden of proof.


1) Second-class citizens

In my opening statement, I argued that not legalizing gay marriage creates a group of second-class citizens. Con's responses to this argument have consisted entirely of arguments that I have rebutted above. This argument therefore stands.


2) Liberty

Con depends entirely on his response to the notion that marriage is not a fundamental right, rebutted above. I have argued, and Con has not rebutted, that this is antithetical to the spirit of the Constitution as a living document, which with one disastrous exception calls for empowering citizens, not curtailing them. I have argued that this should be rectified by legalizing gay marriage. All of Con's responses to this argument have been rebutted above. This argument stands.


3) Equality

Con has argued that the rulings that DOMA is unconstitutional are in the appeals process. Since the rulings nonetheless constitute case law, however, this response only succeeds if Con can demonstrate a reasonable certainty that these appeals will be successful. Con has not done this.

In sum, Con has not refuted the Equality argument for gay marriage. This argument stands.


4) Children

Con's only response to this argument is, "I'm right, just look at this link." This is not an appropriate behavior in a formal debate. Con has therefore dropped the Children argument. The Children argument stands.


5) Economy

Con states that, to establish this argument, I need to show that an increase to the economy is probable. I have done so, using both my own sources[8] as well as Con's.[9] The economic argument stands.


6) Legacy

Con has claims to have contested the Gallup numbers, but he has not; he has only pointed out that gay marriage has not been established at the ballot box. But it has, via the mechanism of representative legislature, in several states. Moreover, most of the ballot box votes on gay marriage which did not favor gay marriage predate the Gallup study, and are thus outdated.

In any case, it is the Gallup numbers alone that establish the majority support of gay marriage, as well as the positive trend in support, that makes gay marriage a major equal rights movement. No such movement has ever failed in the end. The Legacy argument stands.


7) The Golden Rule

Having dropped this argument in his first statement, it remains inappropriate for Con to continue trying to defend it; he has already conceded it. In any case, he cannot deny that he does not, nor does he intend to, treat gays and lesbians the way that he would want to be treated if roles were reversed. This argument stands.


Conclusion

In this debate I have shown that there are several goods in legalizing gay marriage, that there are several harms in not doing so, and that Con has not shown the reverse of either proposition to be true. I believe I have earned the arguments vote.

Given the fact that Con cited very few studies, and no case law after 1971, I believe I should get the sources vote. Given Con's insistence on bringing up dropped arguments, and in attempting a completely new argument in the final round, I believe I should certainly get the conduct vote. As for spelling, I leave that to the reader's discretion, but closely comparing Con's arguments to my own gives me every reason for confidence here.

I thank Con for an engaging debate. I thank the readers for their attention, and urge them to vote Pro in all areas.


[1] Turner v. Safley, 1987.
[2] Hernandez v. Robles, NY Court of Appeals, 2004.
[3] Perry v. Schwartzenegger, US Dist of N. Cal, 2010, Ruling on Motion for Summary Judgment.
[4] Benson v. Alverson, Minn. State Court of Appeals, 2012.
[5] Garden State Equality v. Dow, NJ Superior Cout, Motion for Reconsideration, 2012.
[6] Zablocki v. Redhail, 1978; see also Turner v. Safley.
[7] See round 2, Pro, footnote 3.
[8] See round 1, Pro, footnotes 7 and 8.
[9] See round 2, Pro, footnote 4.
Debate Round No. 4
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Aaronroy 5 years ago
Aaronroy
Oops, double comment, my bad,
Posted by Aaronroy 5 years ago
Aaronroy
Also, Pro's sources were beautiful, and also well put. CITATIONS, I FREAKING LOVE THEM. Good debate.

Advice to con: debate in the present tense, and if you're going to make assumptions, make sure they are coherent. Conservatives and people for "traditional marriage" typically look down on civil unions; there isn't much chance they will receive equal rights.

Also, con, don't bring culture into it in terms to "marriage laws shaping culture". USA is a mixing pot of cultures. Laws are forever changing, so if anything, culture is changing.
Posted by Aaronroy 5 years ago
Aaronroy
Also, Pro's sources were beautiful, and also well put. CITATIONS, I FREAKING LOVE THEM. Good debate.

Advice to con: debate in the present tense, and if you're going to make assumptions, make sure they are coherent. Conservatives and people for "traditional marriage" typically look down on civil unions; there isn't much chance they will receive equal rights.

Also, con, don't bring culture into it in terms to "marriage laws shaping culture". USA is a mixing pot of cultures. Laws are forever changing, so if anything, culture is changing.
Posted by WriterDave 5 years ago
WriterDave
Indeed. I've just had two major debates in a row and am looking forward to some "recovery time." :-) But Contradiction is free to challenge me if he thinks I'm up to his stature.
Posted by InVinoVeritas 5 years ago
InVinoVeritas
WriterDave, you should challenge Contradiction on this topic. He defends the anti-gay marriage case very strongly, I'd say, so I would be curious to see the result of that.
Posted by WriterDave 5 years ago
WriterDave
Answer: Not much.
Posted by WriterDave 5 years ago
WriterDave
I have already written my final statement for this debate.

No doubt at least some revision will be required after seeing Con's final statement, but it will be amusing to find out how much or how little.
Posted by WriterDave 5 years ago
WriterDave
The new link to the Gallup poll in my round 3 statement appears to be working.
Posted by WriterDave 5 years ago
WriterDave
As a parenthetical: when I was a child, I actually met Don Peterson, the Minnesota Supreme Court Justice who authored the decision that Con cites as a US Supreme Court decision, shortly before his death in 1987.
Posted by WriterDave 5 years ago
WriterDave
One more thing: my apologies to any polyamorists and/or polygamy advocates who may believe that I was comparing the moral character of such people with that of pedophiles. The comparison was intended in a numerical sense only. Stable polyamorist relationships between consenting adults are far from immoral, in my opinion; they are simply very rare.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by breanadawnx3 5 years ago
breanadawnx3
kenballerWriterDaveTied
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Reasons for voting decision: #Pride <3
Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
kenballerWriterDaveTied
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Reasons for voting decision: easy vote is easy
Vote Placed by Aaronroy 5 years ago
Aaronroy
kenballerWriterDaveTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's values were solid, con didn't provide contentions till later in the debate and spent most of the time trying to refute. Con made a false claim with "and get all the benefits that come with marriage through civil unions down the future. " Down the future, hm? Most people who defend "traditional" marriage also do not want to give civil unions the same benefits as married couples. Try to anticipate responses, and debate in the PRESENT tense. Dropped procreation argument. Pro wins.
Vote Placed by InVinoVeritas 5 years ago
InVinoVeritas
kenballerWriterDaveTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con fails to uphold his claims. Some of his arguments are dropped, and the rest are refuted.