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

Should Same-Sex Marriage be Legal in the US?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/16/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 726 times Debate No: 59042
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)




Round 1 is for brief acceptance and laying down ground rules and definitions. The topic of this debate is to question whether or not Gay Marriage should be legal in all of the US. This is a debate about legality and civil rights, not a debate about how gays are gross therefore don't deserve rights.

I don't want to limit the range of possible arguments my opponent may bring however arguments based on Religion, and "morals" that stem there from, must meet a rigorous criteria in order to be seen as valid. Secular arguments and citations will carry the most weight. The criteria is as follows:

1. You must prove that God exists in the first place. (Which is a debate in of itself leading to the inevitable conclusion that the existence of God can neither be proven nor disproven.)
2. If God does exist, you must prove that it is the Christian God.
3. If the Christian God exists, you must be able to explain why your theological interpretation has more legal weight than other interpretations.

Good luck!


I accept this challenge, thank you for for the invite. I will be debating that homosexual marriage should not be legal for different reasons. But keep in mind I am taking the stance of being against homosexuality as a whole not just marriage, meaning that the acts of homosexuality should not be encouraged by society.

I am a Christian however I plan on not using religion in this debate. This is due to the fact that debating God's existence would be a debate on its own (which I would happily do) and I want to focus solely on homosexuality. I may mention why I personally believe homosexuality is wrong which ties into my Christianity but this will not be my main arguments.
Debate Round No. 1


Because this debate centers on the legality of same sex marriage in the US, my first argument will appeal to the highest legal authorities in the US, namely the Constitution and the Supreme Court.

The 14th Amendment to the Constitution provides the strongest argument as to why discriminating between heterosexual unions and homosexual unions is unconstitutional.

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

Notice the last part about denying Equal Protection. States do not have the right to pick and choose which citizens have access to rights. If we agree that marriage is a right, then just as discrimination based on race is illegal, discrimination based solely on sexual orientation is, by definition, an illegal form of discrimination as well. To reiterate: if the government is going to offer rights and privileges to its citizens, they can not exclude minorities simply based on subjective moral disagreements. If by chance you are going to contend that the 14th amendment only applies to freed slaves during the Reconstruction Era, then I remind you that nowhere in the 14th is there an expiration date. Not to mention the decades of legal precedent in which the 14th was used without reference to slavery. (1)

To further enforce this premise I turn to the Ethos of the Supreme Court. California"s famous Prop 8 Case is a perfect example of how attempts to ban same sex marriage on the State level have no merit. The Court refused to give a ruling on the case and instead deferred its ruling to the lower Appellate Court (2). If in the highest Court in the land (the most sanctimonious of all debate forums) those representing the opposition to gay marriage could not prove in any way how it negatively impacted them, what validity does the overall argument have? To continue with this precedent just last year the SCOTUS struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) allowing benefits to couples within states that recognize marriage. (3)

If Same-sex marriage hurts no one while the denial of same-sex marriage injures a select group, what right does the majority have to inflict injury upon the minority? Are you familiar with the concept of "Tyranny of the Majority"? Injuries caused by the denial of gay marriage include not only the emotional distress that comes from the government unjustly labeling them as inferior, but there are also over 1000 rights and privileges associated with Marriage that when denied to gay couples causes serious financial injury as well. (4)



Sorry had to wrap up last minute and did not get to edit like I wanted, but the premise of what I wanted to say is here.

Here is an overview of what I will discuss in this round:

1. Address the 14th Amendment
2. Homosexuality affects and hurts people
3. Evidence showing the majority of homosexuals do not want to get married
4. Marriage is a privilege not a right

The 14th Amendment cannot apply to homosexual marriage. This is because homosexuals currently have the exact same rights/privileges as every person in America. Homosexuals can vote, drive, eat at any restaurant, get representation, and marry anyone of the opposite sex. The real fact is that homosexuals want to get additional privileges to marry someone of the same sex.

In fact, no one has ever had the opportunity to marry someone at their own will. Are you 18, unless parental consent, are you related....There are questions that the couple must answer before granted a marriage license.

Lets look at original intention that you mentioned of freeing slaves or allowing African Americans or women equal rights/privileges. The law was granting these individuals the same opportunity as everyone else, not granting them more or additional privileges or rights.

If you would like to discuss love or companionship of homosexuals as a basis for marriage (since this is probably where it is headed), the fact is that love and companionship is not enough to define marriage. Why? Because if this was the basis then a parent could marry their child, brother and sister could marry, a young teen and an adult could marry..........ect. There must be stricter boundaries than love and companionship.

Ultimately, you true argument is for any sexual preference or orientation should be permissible in society, acceptance and/or marriage. You are advocating that not allowing homosexuals to marry is discrimination, well what about other sexual preferences (bestiality, polygamy, pedophilia, preference with an intimate object, the list can continue). YOU are ultimately advocating all of these because you can not say lets allow this sexual preference but discriminate others. I on the other hand am only advocating the current, man and woman.

Homosexuality hurts people
Hopefully, I do not have to go into much detail about the riskiness of the homosexual lifestyle. But it is obvious that engaging in homosexual behavior is dangerous which affects everyone.

The following information is research completed by the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other national sources:
- In 2008, men who have sex with men (MSM) accounted for 63% of primary and secondary syphilis cases in the United States. ( The National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC) (National Aids Trust, NAT)
- MSM are 17 times more likely to develop anal cancer than heterosexual men. (The National CDC and Prevention)
- CDC data released 2010 National STD Prevention Conference:
There are 522 to 989 cases of HIV per 100,000 MSM, compared to 12 cases in other men and 13 cases per 100,000 women. The primary and secondary syphilis rate among MSM is over 46 times higher than the rate among other men, and over 71 times higher than among women
- Rates of HIV infection among gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) are more than 44 times higher than rates among heterosexual men and more than 40 times higher than women. (CDC)

(1) It takes approximately $300,000 to take care of each AIDS victim, so thanks to the promiscuous lifestyle of homosexuals, medical insurance rates have been skyrocketing for all of us.

(4)A new study which analyzed tens of thousands of gay obituaries and compared them with AIDS deaths data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), has shown that the life expectancy for homosexuals is about twenty years shorter than that of the general public.
NOTE: Please not that smoking decreases life expectancy by 7-10 years (NY Times).

(2) There is a new recent study and it has been found to be one of the most careful, rigorous, and methodologically sound study ever conducted on this issue found numerous and significant differences between these groups--with the outcomes for children of homosexuals. Here is a preview of the findings:
The study had a sample of 3,000 homosexual families with 40 different outcomes.
Children of lesbian mothers:
Are more likely to be currently cohabiting
Are almost 4 times more likely to be currently on public assistance
Are less likely to be currently employed full-time
Are more than 3 times more likely to be unemployed
Are nearly 4 times more likely to identify as something other than entirely heterosexual
Are 3 times as likely to have had an affair while married or cohabiting
Are an astonishing 10 times more likely to have been "touched sexually by a parent or other adult caregiver."
Are nearly 4 times as likely to have been "physically forced" to have sex against their will
Are more likely to have "attachment" problems related to the ability to depend on others
Use marijuana more frequently
Smoke more frequently
Watch TV for long periods more frequently
Have more often pled guilty to a non-minor offense

(2) Compared with children raised by their married biological parents (IBF), children of homosexual parents (LM and GF):
Are much more likely to have received welfare (IBF 17%; LM 69%; GF 57%)
Have lower educational attainment
Report less safety and security in their family of origin
Report more ongoing "negative impact" from their family of origin
Are more likely to suffer from depression
Have been arrested more often
If they are female, have had more sexual partners--both male and female

I just find this interesting possibly notable. Homosexuals have no way of living life without heterosexuals. I am NOT advocating this as an idea but if homosexuals were moved to a country by themselves they would not survive. In fact, most of them would probably lose their life due to diseases rather than old age. I know it sounds harsh but with the stats mentioned it is unfortunately true. It it were the opposite there is a great chance that it would turn into a thriving society.

3. Do homosexuals really want to get married?
Ontario Canada has over 6,000 couples registered as permanent partners. After legalizing gay marriage less 500 got married. (3)

Mitchel Raphael, the editor of a Toronto "gay" magazine, said, "I'd be for marriage if I thought gay people would challenge and change the institution and not buy into the traditional meaning of 'till death do us part' and monogamy forever."

And Rinaldo Walcott, a sociologist at the University of Tornoto, lamented, "Will homosexuals now have to live with the heterosexual forms of guilt associated with something called cheating?"

Marriage is a Privilege
Rights- cannot be taken away by government
Privileges- can be taken away by government
Again, you cannot say you can marry whoever/whatever you like. For instance, you have the right to free speech, religion, free press. But driving is a privilege: are you 16, did you take the driving test, do you have so many tickets. Marriage is a privilege in many states you can only be married an number of times before that privilege is taken away. Are you related......

(1) Kaifetz, J. "Homosexual Rights Are Concern for Some," Post-Tribune, 18 December 1992.

(2) Mark Regnerus, "How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study," Social Science Research Vol 41, Issue 4 (July 2012), pp. 752-770; online at:


Debate Round No. 2


First I will provide a general summary of your points, then step by step prove why each of them is complete hogwash in regards to a legitimate reasoning as to why same sex marriage should be illegal (mainly you ignore US law). Because you acknowledged in Round 1 that you would be arguing against homosexuality as a whole, at point 5 I will address the irrationality of your views by comparing the prejudice you hold for homosexuals today with the bigotry of decades past held against blacks. This a legitimate critic (and not a personal attack) because you use the same lines of argument and logic used by racists in opposition to blacks as a whole. In essence, I will be using your logic to show why being black should be discouraged (just as you argue homosexuality should be discouraged). I hope you see the absurdity of these claims and understand they are a parody of your position.

Summary of opposition points:
1. 14th does not apply to same sex marriage
2. Homosexuals already have an equal amount of rights as heterosexuals, and in fact are asking for more than they deserve.
3. Requisites of Marriage: "No one has ever had the opportunity to marry someone at their own will " There are questions that the couple must answer before granted a marriage license."
4. "Love and companionship is not enough to define marriage. Why? Because" slippery slope. Gay Marriage will lead to other non-traditional couplings demanding access to Marriage.
5. Homosexuality is dangerous because those who engage in it are more likely to contract various diseases than heterosexuals.
6. Conclusions reached by Mark Regnerus, "How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study," Social Science Research Vol 41, Issue 4 (July 2012)
7. Canadian Homosexuals don't want to get married.
8. Marriage is a Privilege

1. The 14th does not apply to same sex marriage: This point is invalid for 2 reasons. First you do not provide any citation as to why this is the case; you merely assert that because gays can eat at restaurants and drive cars like everyone else they can not marry each other like everyone else. Heterosexuals want to marry other heterosexuals; homosexuals want to marry other homosexuals, what is the difference in these desires, besides sexual orientation, that merits discrimination?
Your sources argue that the distinction is that straight couples are capable of having and raising children. However this ignores the fact that gay couples can also have and raise children, either via adoption or by third party methods (artificial insemination/surrogates). The argument that gay parents can"t raise children as well as straight parents is false (1). Notice in the link provided, Mark Regnerus is mentioned and discredited.
Second you ignore the legal arguments set by numerous State and Federal judges that affirm that the 14th amendment does indeed apply to same-sex marriage (2). These judges are far more creditable sources of legal scholarship than you and the Family Research Council.

2. Homosexuals have enough rights already: Once again you ignore the facts on the ground. In point 1 I have shown that gays are entitled to marriage under the 14th, the denial of same sex marriage is the arbitrary denial of 1,138 rights associated with marriage (3). Less rights does not equal "enough rights".

3. Requisites of Marriage: It is true that couples planning to get married have to go through legal procedure in order to obtain a marriage license, it should be noted that these procedures vary from state to state. Homosexuals are willing and able to meet the legal demands required by their state as shown by gay marriages already being conducted and recognized in and by the states that permit it. Those that are married have not violated any laws or social taboos that would bar them from marriage (if they had they wouldn"t be legally married!)

4. Slippery Slope Argument: Speaking of social taboos that would bar legal marriage; you assert (without evidence) that if gays are allowed to marry this will open the flood gates to other non-traditional couplings seeking marriage. You assert that those who engage in incest, bestiality, and pedophilia would also be able to make the same arguments as the gays do for marriage (using the 14th I imagine). However, unlike gay marriage there are strong legal barriers that prohibit a state from recognizing these more deviant unions (4). Incest: Although some states will allow cousins to marry, no state allows for close incestuous relationships to be legal because the state has a compelling interest to prevent genetic diseases associated with interbreeding. Bestiality: This is my favorite false comparison. If a man wants to marry his dog both must meet the legal requirements of their state. Consent and the ability to sign a marriage license are requirements for a legal marriage (4). Animals do not have the physical ability to give consent nor to sign documents; barks and paw prints are not legally binding. Pedophilia: All states have age of consent laws, usually around 18. Once again, consent is a requirement to marriage, children can not legally give consent therefore can not get married. Parental consent is only a factor when both children are under the age of consent. Pedophiles have no legal recourse.

5.Homosexuals are prone to disease: This is not a legal argument as to why gays shouldn"t be allowed to marry. Even if 100% of all gays were HIV+ this would not be a legal reason to deny them marriage.
But now to the fun part; my parody of this bigoted argument that disease and risky behavior equals inherent inferiority and thus should be discouraged by society. Point 5 is one of your arguments against homosexuals as a whole; if you care about preventing disease why aren"t you discouraging people from being black as well? Blacks are prone to disease and there are far more blacks (12.6% pop (5)) than gays (3% of pop (6)) in the US. So if you want to persecute a minority with deviant social statistics, the Negro is by far a juicier target (I do not condone any form of persecution towards people of color, regardless of statistics). Do to the length of my overall rebuttal this section had to be reduced to the gist, if you want the hard data see citation.
Evidence as follows: Blacks have higher rates of obesity than whites (7). In regards to STDs: They have higher rates of Chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis than whites (8). In regards to crime: "African Americans are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of whites (9). I could go on and on giving stats about how bad things are in the black community, don"t get me started on how bad their education and employment rates are compared to whites! But given all of this evidence can we conclude that blackness should be discouraged by society as you claim your statistics prove gays should be discouraged? Obviously not.

6. Conclusions reached by Mark Regnerus: You cite this man in your argument as to how lesbian mothers are unfit. When I clicked on the link provided I could not gain access to more than the abstract. Given that the creditability of this man has been put in question (see rebuttal 1) and your given source fails to provide the cited arguments this point is wholly invalid.

7.Canadian Homosexuals don"t want to get married: This is a debate about the US, Canada is irrelevant. It"s very clear that homosexuals want to marry given that we are having a debate about the subject and there are many gays already getting married. Have you ever noticed that gay people cheer when they get good news about gay marriage being legal?

8.Marriage is Privilege: According to the highest legal scholars in the land, SCOTUS says that marriage is a RIGHT (10).



cwt002 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Even though I've shut down any chance my opponent may give of a legal argument against gay marriage, I would like to note that he still has 2 rounds left to make his case via Religion (see Round 1: Rigorous Criteria). Onward Christian Soldier!


cwt002 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


My opponent has FF, please vote Pro. If anyone would like to debate me on this topic please send me a message.


cwt002 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Bennett91 2 years ago
On a final note I'd like to point out my opponent, cwt002, forfeited and closed his account. If his position was truly viable why did he surrender?
Posted by Bennett91 2 years ago
I am not faulting you for your age, you are young and I wish to expand your understanding. Your judgement is clouded by prejudice. I can say that with confidence given that you support an argument with no evidence to behind it. Con did not cite the constitution nor provide credible citation, except for the CDC figures. If you read point one of my rebuttal, my sources (legal scholars/judges who understand the Constitution more than you) make a clear case as to why homosexuals are entitled to marriage under the 14th.

You argue original intent, yet acknowledge the Constitution is flexible (meaning it can flex away from original intent). As noted in my debate the 14th does not have an expiration date. If we were to interpret the original intent of the Constitution voting rights would different today. Our founders originally intended for only white male land owners to vote. Over time however these rights were expanded to include landless people, blacks, and women. The definition of who had the right to vote changed away from our founders original intent. Just as now our definition for who can marry is changing. Please understand gays getting married in no way affects you, gays are not trying to steal marriage away from heterosexuals. Gays simply want to be able to enjoy the same rights and pursue their own ideas of happiness without government interference. Can you not sympathize with that?

I understand you're Christian, but the Separation of Church and State (penned by Thomas Jefferson) exists for a reason. Christians do not have the right to use the government to enforce their narrow view of morality on non-Christians.
Posted by XionChan 2 years ago
You misinterpret me. Con's evidence is the Constitution himself. I oftentimes leave this out, but in talking about Amendment creating, you must look at it from that time of creation. The Constitution, indeed, was meant to be a flexible document, but to understand the meaning and reason of it, you must look at it from the view of the Fathers who wrote it.

You are biased in saying I reject the system of law, and the Constitution, because you don't know my point of view. You've pointed out that I am young. Not stating as a liability, but I am a little limited in expressing myself. I have said somewhere that the reason I am on here is to increase my skills of discussion and debating. I am learning, continuously. I may falter in my speech and wording, but I myself know what I am talking about.

Thus the minor anger in my reply to your comment, as I am frustrated in trying to get my point across.
Posted by Bennett91 2 years ago
@XionChan You say you're not trying to be bias but given that Con presents no evidence and I do, siding with Con is a clear showing of your prejudice. You may not understand the 14th but time and time again people who do, namely the SCOTUS and several other State and Appellate Judges have ruled the the 14th does apply to marriage. Given this how are you not bias? The fact that you continue to insist your strict definition despite having no legal standing shows that you reject the US system of law and the Constitution. If don't like the American Court system and the protections afforeded to all citizens under the Constitution, as rednecks love to say, IF YOU DON'T LIKE AMERICA YOU CAN JUST GET OUT!
Posted by XionChan 2 years ago
I'm trying not to be the most biased in viewing this argument, but Con has a point about Amendment 14 (even if I don't want to connect the Fourteenth Amendment to marriage in general) in saying it would be an additive right to marry someone of the same gender.

You have a right to marry of opposite gender, no matter who you are, what color, what religious background. A right to marry the same gender is not given. He made a great point on that.
Posted by Bennett91 2 years ago
I regret not putting the character limit to its max, please forgive me but I wanted to address everything in one swoop. Citation for round three provided:

1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: The forfeits certainly don't help Con, but he's losing the debate well before then. Many of his arguments come from obviously discredited sources, with some very pseudoscientific points mixed into his points. Pro provides sufficient response to show that this is the case, and effectively counters every source Con provides.