The Instigator
drhead
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
CriticalThinkingMachine
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

Same-sex marriages should be legal in the United States

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
CriticalThinkingMachine
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/22/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 613 times Debate No: 33768
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (2)

 

drhead

Pro

I originally intended this debate for 16kadams a while back, but he declined. I'm not letting a good debate go to waste, so I'm leaving this one open. I've made it impossible to accept, leave a comment if you're interested in debating this.


Definitions:
"State-recognized" - in some way acknowledged by the state, including, but not limited to, offering benefits to participants in the marriage (which may include filing taxes jointly, being able to visit one's spouse during restricted visiting hours, etc).

To avoid semantics, "marriage" will refer to a state-recognized union of two consenting adults for the purpose of this debate, and will include same-sex and opposite-sex couples. "Same-sex marriage" or "gay marriage" will refer to a union of two consenting adults of the same sex, while "traditional marriage" will refer to a union of two consenting adults of the opposite sex.

The burden of proof lies on Con, due to the positive claim implied (Same-sex marriage should be illegal in the US). I consider this to be a positive claim since it suggests that the government go out of their way to deny same-sex couples the ability to get married. However, Pro can show positive effects that may occur if same-sex marriage were legal, which would mean that Con would either have to show how the negative effects of same-sex marriage would outweigh the positive ones in a significant enough manner to justify it being illegal, or show that the arguments for positive effects of same-sex marriages being legal are not valid.

The rules will be kept simple enough:
- No semantics/lawyering
- No new arguments in the last round
- Con should present arguments in the first round. I'd prefer as many as possible, but thoroughness takes priority.
- Please use links if citing a study or court case so the data can be verified. If nothing else, link to the Wikipedia article for the study or case.
- If you wish to add or modify a definition, I would much prefer that you do so in the comments before accepting the debate, so I can add it to my first round and keep them all in one place.
- Please try to stick to secular arguments, unless you are prepared to show direct evidence of God's existence, a signed statement saying that the Bible accurately represents his views and actions, and a good explanation of why we should completely ignore the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.


I hope for a good debate.
CriticalThinkingMachine

Con

Thank you to Dr. Head for instigating this debate.

Before I present my argument(s) against the legalization of gay marriage, I must clarify some confusion surrounding the issue. I have come to see that most of the "arguments" for or against gay marriage do not even understand the issue itself. They begin from false assumptions about the debate itself. These have to be cleared up before we begin debating.

[1] Individuals and Relationships
First we must understand that gay people do have the right to get married. There is no law preventing gay people from getting married. A gay man can get married to a woman. A gay woman can get married to a man. A gay man can even marry a gay woman. There is no law banning homosexual people from getting married. There is no law banning homosexuality or banning people from being homosexuals. There is no law banning homosexuals from being in relationships. The law is only against gay marriage. The law is the same for everybody. It is illegal for a gay man to marry another man and it is illegal for a straight man to marry another man. Sexual preference is irrelevant. It would be legal for a gay man to marry a gay woman and illegal for a straight man to marry another straight man. When gay marriage supporters say that gay people deserve the right to get married, they are fundamentally misunderstanding the issue and overstating the burden of gay marriage opponents.

[2] Relationships and Marriage
Next, we must understand that in banning gay marriage, we are banning a very specific kind of relationship, not all relationships in general between same sex people. It is not against the law for two same sex people to be in a relationship. It is not against the law for two same sex people to love each other, to be committed to each other, to die for each other. All of this is perfectly legal as it should be. But when we talk about marriage, we are talking about publicly recognized union involving specific rules. The acts performed within marriage are private, but

[3] Consequences and Principles
We also must understand that when considering what ought to or ought not to be the case, we have to contemplate principles (values, morals) not just consequences or effects. Some particular action may have very positive effects or a lack of negative effects and yet be a very undignified action, or vice versa. For example, most of us have the moral intuition that necrophilia is wrong. Despite the fact that it has no negative consequences for the dead person and may provide happiness for the person doing it, most of us would say that it shows disrespect for the deceased and lowers oneself as well. It is unprincipled. We need to understand the difference between economic harm, harm in terms of consequences and effects, and non-economic harm, harm in terms of principles and integrity.

[4] Equality and Fairness
Finally we must understand that treating people unequally does not entail treating people unfairly, just as treating people equally does not entail treating people fairly. I quote the "principle of equality" from Ethics: Theory and Contemporary Issues. "It is unjust to treat people differently in ways that deny to some of them significant social benefits unless we can show that there is a difference between them that is relevant to the differential treatment." [1] In other words, sometimes treating people equally is just, sometimes unjust. It depends on relevant differences between the two things in question. For example, if one convicted criminal steals a watch and another kills ten people, we would certainly not give them equal punishment. That would be absurd and unfair. There are relevant differences between the two, justifying unequal treatment.

This country was founded on the idea that we are created equally (no one is sub-human or super-human) and that we deserve equal opportunity. It was not founded on the idea that we are all equal in every aspect of our lives (some of us are better looking than others, more intelligent, more talented, more determined, and our circumstances and contexts differ too) or that we deserve to always be treated equally at all times (we do not treat criminals equally if they have committed unequal crimes).

So to wrap up this introduction, the debate over gay marriage has nothing to do with whether or not gay people can get married, (they can). It has nothing to do with whether or not gay people they can have loving and committed relationships (they can). It cannot be based solely on consequences but must include a consideration of principles as well, and it must understand the principle of equality. Only with these considerations under out belt can the cases for and against gay marriage commence.

The Argument

[1] Imbalance
The reason why we should grant heterosexual couples the right to marry but not homosexual couples is because there are differences between the two couples that are relevant to marriage. Homosexual couples are not equal to heterosexual couples when it comes to certain aspects relevant to marriage, so why should they receive equal treatment in regards to marriage?

Here is a run-down of the list:

[1.1] Biological Imbalance
In a heterosexual relationship, the man"s body provides sperm and the woman"s body provides eggs and when these come together they can produce offspring. Heterosexual relationships can bring offspring into existence. Homosexual ones cannot. Heterosexual relationships can ensure the survival of the human race. Homosexual ones cannot.

If you gave homosexuals their own country (a country where only gay people lived), in a century it would be empty because there would be no way to procreate. Homosexual relationships depend on heterosexual relationships for their very existence.

[1.2] Genital Imbalance
The genitals in a heterosexual relationship fit together like a hand and a glove, like a key and a lock. They complement each other. There is balance. Not so with homosexual relationships. You cannot fit a penis into another penis. You cannot fit a vagina into another vagina, just as you cannot a key into another key or a lock into another lock. Homosexual couples could resort to anal sex, but that is both unsanitary, unhealthy, and at odds with how the body works (the anus is an exit).

[1.3] Holistic Bodily Imbalance
Men"s and women"s bodies as wholes also complement each other. Men bodies, in being larger, more muscular and rugged and women"s bodies in being softer, suppler, smaller, and suppler, complement each other and balance each other out. There is symmetry in heterosexual unions, but not so in homosexual couples. Either the maleness or the femaleness is missing.

[1.4] Spiritual Imbalance
The same principle behind physical maleness and femaleness applies to men and women"s minds as well. Men, in having a more rugged personality, are complementary to the tender personalities of women. Homosexual relationships lack either of these, or only have both because one member in the gay relationship or both of the members is trying to play both roles, the role of the woman and the man, not being a full man or a full woman.

[1.5] Imbalance For the Children
If a same sex couple adopts, the imbalanced sexual relationship between two same sex people also deprives the child of balance. Every child deserves a right to a mother and a father. I"m sure gay couples can raise kids fine, but that is beside the point. Again, its not just about the consequences, but the principle. I have a friend who grew up without a dad. He is just as successful as anyone who has both a mother and a father, but he has made it clear to me that he has been missing something for most of his life that he deserves. He was deprived of a father. That is not fair. I believe that gay couples, through civil unions, should be allowed to adopt, because same sex parents are better than no parents at all.

[could not fit conclusion, no more characters, but you get the idea, sources in comments]
Debate Round No. 1
drhead

Pro

I thank my opponent for participating in this debate. I will start by refuting my opponent's arguments, and I will insert my own arguments in the process of refuting.

[1] Individuals and Relationships

This argument seems to stem from a misinterpretation of the views of same-sex marriage supporters, saying that gays have the right to marry, as long as they are marrying someone of the opposite sex. This is not what same-sex marriage supporters want. We want same-sex couples to have the right to marry. Legalization of same-sex marriage would also result in the law being applied equally - straight people of the same sex would be able to marry just as much as gay people of the same sex could.

However, this on its own does not give us any reason to legalize same-sex marriage, it only shows that we could without infringing on anyone's rights. What can justify same-sex marriage being legalized is that current marriage laws are discriminatory in effect. Now, it has been pointed out that the law is applied equally. This is true. You could say the same about a poll tax, but it is undeniable that poll taxes impede the ability of lower-income citizens to vote. While both the rich and poor can vote with a poll tax, it is much more difficult for a poor person. Similarly, with current marriage laws, a straight person can marry the person they love, while a gay person can not. While the law is applied equally, the result is still discriminatory.

[2] Relationships and Marriage

Once again, this is a straw man. Nobody thinks that the government bans same-sex couples from existing regardless of marital status. The issue with same-sex marriage lies in the benefits of marriage and whether or not we should allow same-sex couples to make use of those tools. These benefits include the ability to file state and federal taxes jointly, exemption from estate taxes on your spouse's property, the ability to visit your spouse in a hospital intensive care unit or during restricted visiting hours, among many other things [1]. Out of all of the legal benefits of marriage, I have yet to find one that requires that the participants be of the opposite sex. Same-sex couples could make great use of several of these benefits, since they would be just as capable of operating in a state of economic mutual dependence, which seems to be the recurring theme of most legal benefits of marriage.

[3] Consequences and Principles

It is inaccurate to compare same-sex marriage with necrophilia, since necrophilia is something that cannot be consented to, while same-sex marriage requires consent. Without a proper analogy, your point here is very unclear.

[4] Equality and Fairness

This can easily be turned to help my case. Legal benefits of marriage are mainly economic. There is no difference between same-sex and different-sex couples that is relevant to differential treatment on the mainly economic benefits of marriage. To extend your analogy, what would we do if a straight person stole a watch and a gay person stole a watch? Are the two individuals different? Yes. Is the difference relevant? No.

[1] Imbalance

As I have already stated, the part of marriage we are talking about is the legal aspect. Unless it can be shown that same-sex couples are less capable of cohabilitation and working together to ensure each other's well-being, same-sex couples are perfectly capable of participating in the contract implied by marriage.

[1.1] Biological Imbalance

This argument has several problems with it:
  1. One could use the same logic to justify outlawing marriages between couples where one or both partners are known to be infertile. This would apply to marriages between elderly couples.
  2. Many gay couples do choose to have children - they just need a little extra assistance to do so, whether through a birth surrogate or through a helpful male friend.
  3. Heterosexual relationships would still exist, and would make up the majority of marriages.
  4. There is no population crisis. In fact, it is more likely that we have too many people. Same-sex marriage will not tip the scale to the point that we go into rapid population decline.
  5. This isn't hardly relevant - how does the ability to procreate impact a same-sex couple's ability to use the legal benefits of marriage?

[1.2] Genital Imbalance

What married couples do in their bedroom is hardly relevant when determining who should qualify for marriage. If what they can do is good enough for them to want to get married, then that should be sufficient.

[1.3] Holistic Bodily Imbalance

Once again, this isn't relevant. The only thing that matters in a marriage is whether or not they want to marry. Whether or not a couple 'complements' each other enough to get married is not up to you or me. If the couple wants to get married, and both partners are capable of giving consent and have done so, then they obviously are satisfied enough with each other to be married.

[1.4] Spiritual Imbalance

Refer to 1.3.

[1.5] Imbalance For the Children

As you have said, same sex parents are better than no parents. The American Academy of Pediatrics holds the stance that children raised by same-sex couples are no worse off for it [2]. They also hold the stance that children raised with no parents are much worse off. In addition, they have found that children raised by married couples are better off than those raised in unmarried couples, regardless of whether or not the couple was a same-sex couple.

Conclusion:

The issue with same-sex marriage mainly lies with whether or not same-sex couples can make use of the legal benefits associated with state-recognized unions. I have shown that there is no reason to believe that they can not. I have shown that the only thing that matters with a marriage is whether or not the partners agree to it, and that how the members 'complement' each other has no bearing on their ability to participate in a voluntary contract. While Con showed differences related to marriage in same-sex couples, all of them were non-sequitur in regards to whether same-sex marriage should be legal. The resolution is affirmed.

Sources:

    1. http://www.nolo.com...
    2. http://www.aap.org...
CriticalThinkingMachine

Con

Thank you to Dr. Head for responding. In addition to responding to my arguments, I"m sorry to say that he basically skipped over my main points and made trivial objections. He did not refute my arguments because he barely addressed my arguments. He also argues his own case for gay marriage based on the red herring that gays are eligible for receiving legal benefits of marriage. This is irrelevant to the case because we can give those legal benefits without marriage. We can give them civil unions.

Basis Surrounding the Case

My first four points were not arguments against gay marriage. They simply laid the groundwork for the debate to begin.

[1] Individuals and Relationships
I never denied that same-sex couples want the right to marry. My point was simply that they often say things like "Gays deserve the right to get married". This is a clever rhetorical device but it is misleading, and it inflates the issue beyond what it actually is. Robert M. Held, a strong supporter of gay marriage, realizes that this is a fundamental mistake that gay marriage supporters make when they say this. [1]

Pro points out that while the law is applied equally, the result is discriminatory. They are only discriminatory in effect. This is my point. It is an incidental effect of the circumstance of being gay that gays are discriminated against, not an intrinsic feature of the law.

[2] Marriage and Relationships in General
Pro says what I said attacked a straw man, that no one thinks that the government opposes same-sex couples existing regardless of marriage. But I never said that they did. They might not think it, but they say it. Over and over again, I hear gay marriage supporters saying things like "It is wrong to stop gay people from being together and loving each other". Perhaps Pro himself is not one of these people, but the fact remains that this is one of gay marriage supporters" classic rhetorical moves: just make it all about love. My point in number too was to preemptively cut through this rhetoric and show that the opposition to gay marriage is just that. Opposition to gay marriage.

[3] Consequences and Principles
I did not compare homosexuality to necrophilia in the sense that Pro says I did, in terms of consent. I simply used it as an example to point the obvious and uncontroversial point that there is a difference between consequences and principles, and how something can not be harmful in consequence but be harmful in principle. Principles matter and are relevant. In fact, consent is one of the principles of marriage, so Pro apparently agrees with me. [2]

[4] Equality and Fairness
I agree that the difference between gay and straight couples has no relevance to the economic benefits of marriage (I never said it did) but the economic benefits of marriage has no relevance to whether gay marriage should be legal because we can give them the benefits of marriage under a civil union.

And Pro"s analogy of a straight person stealing a watch and a gay person having no difference is interesting but has nothing to do with this debate. Remember, this is not about gay people and straight people or what they do in general. It is about the definition of marriage and the union between the couple in the marriage, and there clearly are relevant differences.

The Argument

[1] Imbalance
Pro said that unless we can show that same sex couples are incapable of "cohabilitation" (I think he meant to say "cohabitation") then same sex couples are capable of participating in marriage. Again, I explained in point #2, marriage is not just living together. It is a very specific sexual union. My points address the substantial differences between same sex couples and heterosexual couples and display a non-genuine union in the former, unequal to the latter and hence not requiring equal treatment such as the righ to marry.

[1.1] Biological Imbalance
1- Infertile couples are irrelevant since it is only accidental that they are infertile. It is a well-documented fallacy to appeal to freak accidents as bona fide exceptions to general rules. [3] Homosexual couples intrinsically are unable to procreate.
2- Gay couples may choose to have children, but they cannot have them naturally. They need heterosexual help to make it happen.
3- I never denied that heterosexual couples would exist. That is a straw man.
4- I never said there would be a population crisis. That is a straw man. My hypothetical gay country showed, in principle, the drastic difference between same-sex couples and heterosexual couples. I never argued that such a place would exist or that such a crisis would occur.
5- Again, we can give gay couples legal benefits through a civil union without legalizing gay marriage. This is irrelevant to the debate.

[1.2] Genital Imbalance
Pro says that what goes in on inside the bedroom of a gay couple is irrelevant. But I never said that the acts themselves should be illegal. Again, we are talking about marriage, a PUBLICALY RECOGNIZED (state recognized) institution. If marriage were a private institution and two (or more) people could just decide that they are married, then there would be no reason to oppose gay marriage. It would just two people doing what they wanted with their lives as long as they do not hurt anybody. But marriage is a public institution, therefore the public has a say in defining marriage. Defining marriage in a way that includes same sex couples publicly sanctions disrespectful attitudes towards the body. It is degrading.

[1.3] Holistic Bodily Imbalance
Pro says that only consent is necessary for marriage. So if a brother and sister wanted to get married, that is okay in Pro"s world, as long as they are consenting adults. This is completely absurd. Marriage is a lot more than consent. It also involves respect for the human body, and that the two in the marriage form a sexual union. Pro says that whether a couple complement each other is not for the public to decide, despite the fact that again, marriage is a public institution.

[1.4] Spiritual Imbalance
Refer to my aforementioned refutation.

[1.5] Imbalance For the Children
I never denied that gays can raise kids. Pro needs to go back and read my argument more carefully. I was talking about principles again. We are not debating whether gays can raise kids well. I believe they can and I believe that gay couples, through a civil union, should be allowed to adopt. Again, we are debating gay marriage, not gay adoption rights. As I pointed out, a child raised by gay parents may turn out well in consequence, but in principle, the child is still being deprived of something he rightly deserves. A same sex couple raising children, in depriving the child of something he deserves, is not to be equated with a heterosexual couple, which provides both aspects a child deserves.

CONCLUSION

Pro has two main arguments for gay marriage. One is that gay couples can make use of the legal benefits of state-recognized unions. That"s interesting, and I agree with him that they can, but it has no relevance to this debate. This does not mean that gay marriage should be legal, but only that gay couples deserve the same legal benefits of marriage, probably through a civil union or domestic partnership. This is absolutely no reason to legalize gay marriage. Pro has shifted ground.

In his other argument for gay marriage, Pro recognizes "consent" and "voluntary" contract as the only aspect of marriage that matters. I agree that this is a necessary condition of marriage, but that does not make it a sufficient one. Respect for the human body is a necessary aspect of marriage too. Under Pro"s understanding of marriage, a brother and sister, or mother and son, could get married if they both consented. But that is absurd. Marriage must also be about the union as well. And it must be a union of respect and balance, both for the couple itself and the child. The resolution remains negated.

sources in comments
Debate Round No. 2
drhead

Pro

[1] Imbalance

This debate relates to whether or not same-sex marriage should be legal, and, as such, consequences take priority over principles. Con's argument seems to be based on same-sex marriages being wrong in principle (an argument which still has not been explained well, as the provided comparison could just as easily be explained as objective harm, since it leads to grief for the family of the deceased.)

(And, yes, I did mean cohabitation. The spell check on here suggested "Khyber", which doesn't help.)

[1.1] Biological Imbalance

Most of this is tangential to the debate at this point. However, I find it very interesting that Con said this:

"[W]e can give gay couples legal benefits through a civil union without legalizing gay marriage"

This would be separate but equal, which has already been established as unconstitutional with Plessy v. Ferguson. If the law recognizes one type of union and gives benefits, calling it "marriage", and calls another type a "civil union" and confers the same benefits, then why can't they make things simpler and call both marriage, since as far as the law is concerned, they are the same thing anyways? This is about what the law thinks - and for that matter, the law could refer to marriages as civil unions if it wanted to. We all know exactly what we are talking about, and saying that we shouldn't legalize gay marriage because we can do the same thing and call it something different makes absolutely no sense at all.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

[1.2] Genital Imbalance

My argument here is that a couple's ability to have sex in a certain way doesn't bear any relevance on the law. Having sex is not a necessary condition to receive the benefits conferred upon married couples. I would also be interested in hearing how disrespectful attitudes are publicly sanctioned upon the body through legalization of same-sex marriage.

[1.3] Holistic Bodily Imbalance

My point with this was that it is absurd to tell a couple that they aren't good enough to get married. And yes, I would agree with incestuous marriages, if it weren't for the obvious problems with inbreeding causing genetic disorders to surface, and the state's interest in not having a messed-up gene pool.

[1.5] Imbalance For the Children

I repeated what you had said on purpose, and backed it up with evidence. However, you missed the point. My point was that children raised by a married couple are better off than those raised by an unmarried couple. In addition, it is quite likely that not having a mother or father is why they are being raised by adoptive parents in the first place. Everyone deserves to be raised by their loving, comforting biological parents, but this is simply not possible in some cases. As long as there are children in orphanages, same-sex couples adopting would result in a net benefit. I really don't see how this is an argument for same-sex marriage being illegal.

Conclusion

Con's argument seems to rest on the premise that the law should recognize marriage as more than just a union between two consenting individuals. Then, he suggests that we could offer the same benefits under a different name, which, in addition to being an action devoid of logic, would go against long-established legal precedents. We are talking about the legal aspect of same-sex marriage here. My final question for Con is this: If same-sex couples were to be given the same benefits under a civil union (which will most likely not happen, as we saw in the Segregation Era), why can't they (and the government) just call it marriage to make things simple?
CriticalThinkingMachine

Con

I"d like to thank Dr. Head for debating this with me and making it through the whole debate. This is my seventh time debating gay marriage and he is my only opponent who did not concede or forfeit, so he is unique in that regard, and I commend him for making a good effort to defend same sex marriage.

Unfortunately his case for gay marriage rests on him watering down marriage to the following: a relationship involving consent and legal benefits. That seems a little parochial and frankly insulting. I doubt that even gay couples would approve of that definition.

To begin, Pro has dropped all of his objections to my initial points. Dropping points counts as conceding.
I will reiterate them quickly:
1- This is not about gays having the right to marry. They already have that right. This is about changing the definition of marraige.
2- This is not about gays having the right to be in a relationship. They already have that right. This is about changing the definition of marriage.
3- Even if gay marriage is not harmful in terms of consequence, it can he harmful in terms of values and principles.
4- Treating unequally does not entail treating unfairly or in a discriminatory manner. What matters is relevant differences. If there are differences between two things that make them unequal, then logically they should not be treated equally.

The basis for the case for gay marriage rests on misunderstandings of the issue itself driven by strong political rhetoric.


The Argument

My main argument against the legalization of gay marriage rests simply on the principles of marriage itself. Pro says, without argument, that consequences take priority over principles. I already explained what was wrong with this in my third pre-debate point, and Pro dropped his objection to it. He conceded that, and I added that his preference of consent in marriage is itself a principle. So Pro cannot support principles when it works for him and then throw them under the bus when they hurt his case.

I pointed out five important principle differences between a heterosexual couple and a homosexual couple. These differences display an inequality between the two couples. Homosexual couples cannot achieve the sexual union that heterosexual ones can. They can only engage in sexual activity, not sexual union. Because of this inequality, it is inappropriate to equate gay unions to heterosexual ones by calling them both marriage.

[1.1] Biology
Pro has dropped all five of his objections to my first relevant difference argument. More concessions! He has now brought up a new argument in the last round, which techincally he is not allowed to do, but I'll address it anyway since it does not work.

Pro now says that my argument that we can give gay couples supports the "separate but equal" idea and brings up prohibition and Plessy Versus Ferguson. This is absurd. My whole argument has been that a homosexual union is not equal to a heterosexual union, and hence should be separate. Two things should not be by called by the same name if they are not the same thing. He says that granting gay couples legal benefits but calling them civil unions would just be the same thing, but again, marriage is more than just legal benefits, and many gay marriage supporters fiercely disagree with him on this too. Visitation rights and joint tax filing is important, but marriage is not defined by them. [1]

[1.2] Genitals
Pro again brings in the irrelevancy that sex has nothing to do with the ability to receive legal benefits. True, but a red herring, because marriage is not solely defined by legal benefits, but also by the sexual union. And I already explained in round one how legalizing gay marriage publicly sanctions disrespect towards the genitals (anal sex, scissoring, etc.) I do not need to repeat it.

[1.3] Body
This debate has nothing to do with telling people that they are "not good enough" to get married, to use Pro"s parochial terms. It is simply about gay couples not being able to meet the sexual union requirement of marriage. I explained that Pro"s watered-down understanding of marriage would justify incestuous marriages.

Pro says that he is against incestuous marriages because of genetic problems that it would cause. Again, this shows the absurdity of relying solely on consequences to make moral judgments. So incestuous marriages are wrong because of the result that they may or may not create, not the actual marriage itself???? What if an incestuous couple were to decide to never have children, or if the woman got her tubes tied. In this case, there would be no gene mixing and no genetic defects and hence this incestuous union would be completely justified under Pro"s understanding of marriage as merely involving consent. Again, Pro"s watered-down understanding of marriage as simply involving consent is insufficient to ground any kind of meaningful definition of marriage and justifies absurdities.

[1.5] Children
Pro still refuses to address my argument, which is about principles. He again points out benefits of children being raised by married couples, and ends saying "I don"t see how this is an argument for gay marriage being illegal" I never said it was! He keeps arguing against something I never said. I support adoption rights for gays. My argument was that a same sex union deprives a child of something he deserves and hence is not to be called under the same as a union that does not deprive a child of something he deserves. We do not equate things if they are not equal. Simple logic.

CONCLUSION

Pro calls my moderate option of giving gay couples civil unions "an action devoid of logic". Really? It seems like a rather mature thing to do. Rather than going to the extremes of identical legal recognition versus no legal recognition at all, I"m choosing a middle ground that would incorporate the benefits that gay couples can bring to the world as well as the benefits they can receive without equating their relationship to the sacred bond between a man and woman. You"re not going to find a more level-headed position than that.

Pro does not explain why he thinks this is illogical, but adds that it is at odds with long-established legal precedents. Even if that were true, it is irrelevant. The whole point in arguing for gay marriage is that we should discontinue long established legal precedents and change the law! Pro is now pulling the rug out from under himself in trying to defend the current law to argue against me. He is contradicting himself. He also contradicted himself in using the principle of consent (a necessary but insufficient condition of marriage) to ward off absurd marriage unions such as bestial ones but then throws principles under the bus when trying to define marriage as the ability to use legal benefits. This is also reductive in that it simply reduces marriage to things like joint filing simply because marriage involves joint tax filing, and it is also utilitarian in that it treats marraige as a mere means to an end.

Bottom Line: Marriage is more than just consenting adults with legal benefits. It is a sacred union. It is an interlacing, complementary joining of two bodies and two souls. Homosexual couples by definition, cannot achieve this union. It is a sociological and biological fact that gay unions do not complement each other in this sense. By definition they cannot achieve the same status as heterosexual unions. Therefore, it is illogical to say that a homosexual union could be a marriage. [2]

Sources in comments
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by CriticalThinkingMachine 1 year ago
CriticalThinkingMachine
[1] Ethics: Theory and Contemporary Issues
Barbara MacKinnon

[2] ibid

General Sources
Being Logical: A Guide to Good Thinking
D Q McInerly

Ten Philosophical Mistakes
Mortime J. Adler
Posted by CriticalThinkingMachine 1 year ago
CriticalThinkingMachine
sources

[1] South Park and Philosophy (2007)
edited by Robert Arp

[2] The Duck That Won the Lottery: 101 More Experiments For the Armchair Philosopher (2008)
Julian Baginni

[3] How To Win Every Argument: The Use and Abuse of Logic (2006)
Madsen Pirie "Fallacy of the Accident"
Posted by CriticalThinkingMachine 1 year ago
CriticalThinkingMachine
I'm interested in debating this.
Posted by 16kadams 1 year ago
16kadams
How did autocorrect make not "by"?
Posted by 16kadams 1 year ago
16kadams
By really interested in the topic anymore.

I should probably change my profile picture...
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by xXCryptoXx 1 year ago
xXCryptoXx
drheadCriticalThinkingMachineTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: First off: Counter votebomb voxprojectus. Now my RFD. Neither side particularly convinced me. I thought Con's opening arguments were kinda weak with how he was talking about principles and the sexual union of the couple. I think he would have been better off explaining the government's role in marriage and not s much the private relationship of the couple itself. However, Pro gave rather weak rebuttals also. The only argument that was particularly compelling and still stood was Con's position that gays can still marry, just not marry another person of the same-sex and that in this sense there is no discrimination of rights. I also think Con's arguments on the principles of the sexual union between man and woman stood although I don't think the arguments were very relevant to the debate as a whole. 3 points for the counter, 3 points for convincing arguments.
Vote Placed by voxprojectus 1 year ago
voxprojectus
drheadCriticalThinkingMachineTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Felt that Con was being more nit-picky than persuasive by the third round.