The Instigator
BrettBoelkens
Pro (for)
The Contender
Emily77
Con (against)

Should Gay Marriage Continues To Be Legal?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/26/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 812 times Debate No: 103302
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BrettBoelkens

Pro

I believe that gay marriage should continue to be legal, at least in the United States. First round is acceptance and opening arguments.

Arguments For
Equality
Of course, the strongest argument for marriage equality is in fact equality. The United States was founded upon this very principle of equality between all people. Most laws in the Western world are designed to be inclusive and protective of all, so it makes little sense to deny a group of people the legal protection and support that a marriage provides.

Morality
A simple application of the Golden Rule works wonders, do onto others as you would wish to be onto you. If a legal heterosexual marriage is what you personally wish for, why not wish for others to be allowed to marry as they so wish too. If homosexuality was made illegal, that means that if homosexuals would be forced to marry people of the other gender is they wished to be married. Imagine the opposite situation, where heterosexuality was made illegal and males were forced to marry males and females were forced to marry females. Either way, equality is key.

And to discriminate against someone merely for who they love, is not very loving. Is it moral to do this? I think not. Gays have helped mankind throughout history, and again, with little to no reciprocity. Alan Turing, the man who cracked the Nazi's enigma code, was chemically castrated for being gay back in 1952 U.K. And I don't think you need to experience castration first hand to know it is painful. One just needs to point the forced conversion therapy where gays are subjected to electro shock therapy, aversion therapy, harassment and occasional physical abuse. This might be the reason that LGB teens are 4 times as likely to commit suicide than their straight peers.

Anticipated Objections
Religous Freedom
To begin, I must ask, why would someone not want it to be so? Why would someone wish for their marriage to be legal and not wish the same for others? The answer is almost always the same; religion. Since the U.S. is primarily Christian, I will argue against that position, though I must admit the problem is much worse in Islamic countries where gays get thrown off of rooftops. What reason should the United States, with a secular constitution with a separation of church and state, should respect a single religion's wishes? If we did, that, we are in violation of the first amendment to the Constitution. And one must ask which denomination of Christianity should we follow. How about Mormonism, which still has some sects who practice polygamy? And what if Christianity is no longer dominant, we are stuck with Sharia law or such. All these problems could easily be avoided by just following the Constitution. To add to this, Why should the infidels of the country follow someone else's Holy Book?

Thomas Jefferson once received a letter from the Danbury Baptists of Connecticut in 1802. Who were they concerned about? The Congressionolist of Connecticut and their absolute domination of government, asking for rules of religious liberty and a freedom of religion. An excerpt of his reply:

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their "legislature" should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between church and State.

James Madison held quite similar views. A ban on gay marriage violates the 1st and the 14th amendment, as a well as a freedom of religion. As said in the Tripoli Treaty, "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion." If I may take the opinion of the Danbury Baptists, the government shall "not, dare not, assume the prerogative of Jehovah and make laws to govern the Kingdom of Christ."

It's Against the Bible
So right now, there are approximately one gazillion books on the market about God's perfect plan for marriage, which spoiler alert, is about one man and one woman. But of course, one must ask who in the Bible actually follows this plan. Not Abraham, not Jacob, not Moses, not Sampson, not David, nor Solomon(700 wives and 300 concubines), nor Jesus(0 wives). There's a joke among atheists/agnostics where someone walks into the room saying they need biblically mandated marriage, and everyone then agrees with them and then immediately asks where are their concubines. One of the few groups of people who actually follow this divine plan is Adam and Eve, and what choice did they have? To add to this Jesus never made any mention of homosexuality, whatsoever. To get justification for being anti-gay one must go to the Old Testament into the book of Leviticus (the one about not eating bacon or shrimp) or into the words of Paul in Romans.

It's Unnatural
How about that homosexuality is unnatural? Not only is this objection not true, due to homosexuality being abundant in the animal kingdom like how 1 in 10 sheep are homosexuals(and you can't really blame it on an animal's free will), that's also under the presumption that something being natural automatically makes it good. You know what is natural? Mankind usually dying in childbirth, whether it be the mother or the child. Dying before the age of 30, usually because of their teeth. Cancer. Getting slaughtered by the beasts of the wild. Just because something is natural, doesn't mean that it is good. You know what's unnatural? The computer you're reading this on. Trains, planes, and cars. Modern medicine. Video games. Air conditioning.

Slippery Slope
Some might say, well if we allow men to marry each other, what's next? Can I marry my daughter or my dog? This argument was proposed by many, including former Senator Rick Santorum. First off, this is a slippery slope fallacy. Second, the exact same could be said about voting during the women's civil rights movement. It didn't end up with dogs getting the right to vote, or drive cars. And just how the latter objection would make someone sexist, it is safe to say that the same could be said about the former making someone a homophobe. Gays aren't asking for gay privilege they are asking for equal rights. Privilege would be something like gays not paying taxes. Like the churches don't.

Divine Retribution
Some of the more fundamentalist variety have suggested that if we allow gays to marry, there be divine retribution. I must ask, what evidence is there for this? One can just cite the example of Jerry Farwell blaming abortion, homosexuality, and feminism for the 9/11 attacks while there were still people buried under the fiery wreckage as an example of this principle going to fare. This is, of course, ignoring the actual cause, hijackers (additionally if God did cause these attacks, this may violate free will) Or how some Rabbis blamed a lack of adherence to the Sabbath for the Holocaust. If there is any correlation to sin and natural disasters, we should very well know about it. Las Vegas, the Sin City, is perfectly fine right now and hasn't had any significant natural disasters in years. There is also the events of Boobquake, where women dressed scantily for the very purpose of seeing if it would cause an earthquake (it didn't). One might also ask why can't God communicate in a more effective manner than sending disasters causing harm and putting it in charge of fallible humans to interpret his message. Other countries in the world are doing perfectly fine with gay marriage, such as Germany, the U.K., Finland France, Sweden, Luxembourg, Belgium, Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, and Spain, just to list some.

Sources


https://www.newscientist.com......

http://abcnews.go.com......

http://www.thetrevorproject.org......

http://www.huffingtonpost.com......
Emily77

Con

Because I personally hold no moral objection to gay marriage, I wish to instead argue that gay marriage should cease to be allowed for more pragmatic and logistical reasons. Providing additional rights to a population necessarily requires the investment of resources in many aspects of society in addition to perpetuating social traditions that may have become outdated. I would therefore ask that my opponent take upon himself the onus to prove that maintaining the institution of gay marriage outweighs the burdens it places upon society as a whole.

With this look at the logistical implications on mind, I would first like to address why your two arguments for Equality & Morality fail to meet this burden, but also prove to be extremely impractical bases on which to create policy.

Rebuttals to Opening Arguments
Equality:
While we in the 21st century have become far more progressive and like to think of ourselves as tolerant and kind, such biased and anecdotal evidence does not create a valid argument. So when you state that "The United States was founded upon this very principle of equality between all people" I am obliged to question where you gathered this evidence. The United States Constitution does not in fact make any mention whatsoever of the word "equality". You also make the assertion that "most laws in the Western world are designed to be inclusive and protective of all" which is irrelevant since this debate is purely on whether gay marriage should continue to be legal in The United States. The legal foundations of other Western countries cannot be used to argue the ethical undertones of American law.

Morality: You've made some gross errors in your arguments for morality. You are arguing that gay marriage should continue to be allowed, but your entire argument in this section is based upon the mistreatment of the gays. Repealing gay marriage is not synonymous with stigmatizing, castrating and torturing gay people. Let me break down the problems with these arguments here:
  1. "If homosexuality was made illegal...": Well, we're not talking about making homosexuality illegal. We're simply talking about keeping a contractual legal issue more narrow. This has no bearing on who a person can love, be loved by, have sexual relations with, have children with, etc.
  2. "...that means that if homosexuals would be forced to marry people of the other gender is(sic) they wished to be married": Though the grammar here is poor, what I believe you are saying is that if gay couples wished to be married, they would have to marry people of the opposite sex. This makes little logistical sense The vast majority of laws and contractual obligations that are offered by marriage are irrelevant if you are not engaged in a partnership with someone. Marriage offers the right not to testify in court against a spouse. Why would you need this right if you are not having open, intimate conversations with a person about their most vulnerable moments? Marriage imposes the responsibility for the debts of the partner. Why would you wish to take on this responsibility if you were not financially enmeshed in building a life with this partner? A homosexual person wouldn't be forced into a position of marrying someone of the opposite sex. Since the vast majority of marriage rights and responsibilities are in fact only things that provide a benefit to a couple building a life together (with a few minor exceptions that I will be addressing shortly) your argument is completely counter intuitive.
  3. " to discriminate against someone merely for who they love, is not very loving. Is it moral to do this? I think not": This will be addressed in my logistical problems with morality so for now, I will simply once again remind you that this debate is strictly based upon gay marriage in The United States, and not upon your evaluation of what "love" and/or "morality" means and the mistreatment of homosexuals in the past.
  4. The remaining arguments in your section about morality are simply red herrings designed to elicit an emotional response toward people of homosexual orientation and actually have no bearing or validity with the debate in question.
Assessing the Cost-Benefit Analysis of Gay Marriage in America
As previously stated, I am asking that you provide evidence that the burden of gay marriage is outweighed by the benefits of gay marriage in The United States. In order to assess this cost-benefit analysis, it is necessary to look at what it costs society as a whole.

Macroeconomic Concerns: As mentioned before, the vast majority of the laws concerning marriage are beneficial to those who are actually building a life together as a partnership. Spousal benefits, however, is one of the few exceptions. This would require that companies pay benefits to same-sex couples. This alone has been estimated to cost the U.S. government an additional $350 million dollars a year(1), a number that increases drastically once you also factor in the bulk of U.S. employers: private companies. Why should we be concerned about "the rich" having to spend more money, you ask? It's naive to think that a company is simply going to absorb large costs into their budget. Rather, in order to comply with these "equality" standards, what has begun to happen in many companies is the revision of these benefits, resulting in overall less coverage. While you discounted the "slippery slope" argument, as people before gay marriage were using fraudulent marriages to obtain benefits: it's now simply much easier. The slow decline of employee benefits has been made worse by the rise in part-time labour, and will now be made worse than ever still with the constant expansion of who must be covered.

Perpetuating Archaic Traditions: When marriage first came into cultural practice, in no culture was it ever seen as a "love union". In fact, this idea of marrying for love is only a couple hundred years old. Pure dynastic bloodlines, familial wealth, political unions were all perfectly valid but until fairly recently it was said that "love in a marriage will destroy the institution". While this sentiment could be one up for debate in and of itself, the whole tradition of marriage is not one built on love, nor does the law even treat it as such. Marriages themselves typically cost couples more money in the long run (2)(spousal taxes, taking on debt, the cost of weddings, etc) and as the divorce rate illustrates, often don't even accomplish the traditional or legal goals intended (creating laws and protections that benefit a couple over a lifelong partnership). If gay marriage is not permitted, this could instead be seen as a stepping stone to moving in a different direction, away from an archaic tradition that is no longer benefiting society as intended. This, in turn...

Stabilizes Sexual Equality: Equality is not a realistic goal since people are far more unique in their behaviours than we can identify. The institution of traditional marriage cannot possibly, by it's very definition be equal because if it were truly to include all sexual variations, it would no longer be recognizable. In order to create true sexual equality, people must be able to express their sexual identity in a unique way which includes polygamy, pedophilia, bestiality, and all sorts of sexual practices that as a society, we currently condemn, but as we have seen with gay marriage, a practice we used to condemn, society can have changing attitudes. While it might currently be an unpopular sentiment to say that a pedophile should have the same rights as a gay person, an emotional reaction to that statement does not make it any less valid. Since there are still so many relationship variations that are prohibited, true sexual equality in the law cannot exist until marriage is no longer the main source of legal rights for a lifelong partnership.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
(1) Facts calculated by the Congressional Budget Office
(2) USA Today; article by Robert Powell
Debate Round No. 1
BrettBoelkens

Pro

My opponent has argued against by position on primarily economic grounds, attempting to rebut my positions on morality and equality. Yet, he completely ignores my arguments from the separation of church and state and freedom of religion. Those are still standing.

Rebutals

Economics
The rich could take a hit from their pocket books. Some of the ultra wealthy has such excessive amounts of wealth that they couldn't spend it all it several lifetimes. One just needs to increase taxes on unearned income (investments and such) every so slightly, and the top 1% could easily pay for it. However economic equality is a debate for another day.

Archaic Traditions
Why should we care about traditions? Just by saying that we have always done something a certain way doesn't make it right. To say so would be an Argumentum ad antiquitatem or argument from antiquity fallacy. The dynastic bloodlines my opponent mentions were full of incest and arranged marriage. It was the same in many royal families and lineages.

Unlike most of our ancestors, we do have a concept of love and romance. Typically we don't have our parents/guardians go on a hunt for a spouse for us. Now we go off into the dating world when we want love. Whether my opponent likes it or not, that is the way it is, and that is unlikely to change. It doesn't matter that throughout most of history, love was hardly a concept, love is a concept now.

Sexual Equality
Contrary to what my opponent espouses, homosexuality is not comparable to polygamy, pedophilia, and bestiality. Practiced polygamy in lower income brackets can lead to unsupported children. With pedophilia and bestiality, consent is or next to impossible, making it more or less rape. They never asked for this. Incest, however, can be consensual, but we don't allow it due to genetic problems. Homosexual relations don't result in any adverse consequences. The only possible objection could be the HIV virus, which can be easily prevented via protection.

Not only does my opponent falsely equivocate the practices, he also insults homosexuals by comparing them to pedophiliacs and animal molesters. I mentioned the Slippery Slope fallacy beforehand, and it seems he took hardly any notice of it, and perpetuates the argument nonetheless. Complete marriage equality where people can marry anything from grandmas to geckos isn't the motion, and I never said that it was.

My opponent has failed to provide reasonable evidence why we should wish to stabilize sexual equality. The progress made could very be like a boulder that has been pushed halfway up a hill, only for it to fall back down again. Traditions of marriage have been vastly different by culture, and my opponent fails to provide a reason why we should follow our American tradition rather than others.

Counter Rebuttals
Equality
Of course, the Constitution makes no real mention of equality if you exclude the amendments. The Equal Protection Clause otherwise known as the 14th amendment was only ratified in 1868, well after the Revolutionary War. But I didn't base my argument purely on the Constitution, as anyone knows, the Constitution isn't the only founding document. There is, of course, the Declaration of Independence, saying all men are created equal.

The U.S. is a western country, is it not? It is part of the Western World. Other western countries didn't break down into moral chaos. To go back to African American civil rights movement during the Civil War, they easily could take the example of Britain, Denmark, the Netherlands, and France in abolishing slavery before the U.S. did. And we could do the same. Other countries in the world are doing perfectly fine with gay marriage, such as Germany, the U.K. Finland France, Sweden, Luxembourg, Belgium, Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, and Spain.
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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