The Instigator
comoncents
Pro (for)
Losing
28 Points
The Contender
wjmelements
Con (against)
Winning
41 Points

Should gay marriage be legal and left up to the states or federal mandate?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 12 votes the winner is...
wjmelements
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/19/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 7,020 times Debate No: 9259
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (39)
Votes (12)

 

comoncents

Pro

I believe in individual rights. I believe that if a person can marry, then what gives you the right to federally mandate that another person cannot get married.
I personally am not gay but I do believe in liberty.
I do now agree that gay marriage is a constitutional right... that's how I see it... I don't agree with living in a place that has gay marriage but I also do not let my morals twist what we think is clearly in the constitution.
And it should be left to the states and the people to decide.
wjmelements

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for this topic and welcome him to debate.org.

Legal- appointed, established, or authorized by law; deriving authority from law http://dictionary.reference.com...

According to the first ammendment to the Constitution,
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;" http://www.archives.gov...

Because marriage is an establishment of religion, civil marriage (when governments recognize marriage) is unconstitutional and government can make no law regarding marriage as an institution.

Such a limitation regarding religious institutions is not just present at the federal level. A similar statement is included in most, if not every state constitution. For example, in Texas:
"No human authority ought, in any case whatever, to control or interfere with the rights of conscience in matters of religion, and no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious society or mode of worship." http://www.tlc.state.tx.us...

So, when asked the question, "Should gay marriage be legal and left up to the states or federal mandate?", the answer is "No" for three reasons:
-If any marriage, gay or straight, were to be legal, or endorsed by the government, the government would be respecting an establishment of religion.
-Most, if not all states cannot make mandates on religious institutions.
-The federal government cannot make mandates regarding religious establishments.

So, the answer to the resolution is that the issue of gay marriage ought to be left to the individual and the churches that choose to recognize it.
Debate Round No. 1
comoncents

Pro

I would like to thank you so much for taking me on in this debate… I hope that at the end we can come to some kind of conclusion

Your definition of legal is adequate

According to the first amendment to the Constitution,
You prove my point on not allowing a fed mandate… it should not be left to congress!

Marriage is a social union or legal contract between individuals not in an establishment of religion, per se.

"While marriage is licensed and otherwise regulated by the states, government did not create the institution of marriage. In fact, the institution of marriage most likely pre-dates the institution of government! Government regulation of marriage is based on state recognition of the practices and customs formulated by private individuals interacting in civil society. Many people associate their wedding day with completing the rituals and other requirements of their faith, thus being joined in the eyes of their church and their creator, not with receiving their marriage license, thus being joined in the eyes of the state."
Ron Paul
http://www.lewrockwell.com...

Marriage is a regulated by the government "marriage license" makes it a government regulation…
Yes most people do tie together marriage and religion but that's not the case.
Your case is flawed in this sense that you put together religion and marriage… I am not try to debate that, I am debating the fact the marriage is regulated by the government then should gay marriage be legal…

"So, the answer to the resolution is that the issue of gay marriage ought to be left to the individual and the churches that choose to recognize it."
To quote you
If marriage were just a religious event and not government regulated this would be ideal… but it is government regulated…
wjmelements

Con

==My opponent's concessions==
My opponent concedes that the federal government should make no law regarding marriage.
On these same grounds, the state governments shouldn't either.

==Miscellaneous==
"I am not try to [sic] debate that, I am debating the fact the marriage is regulated by the government then should gay marriage be legal…"

According to the defintion of "legal" that we agreed upon, in order for gay marriage to be legal, government must recognize or authorize it, which would be a violation of federal and state constiutions. My opponent is for government control of the institution of marriage.

==Overview of My Opponent's Case==
My opponent contradicts himself. His source claims marriage has nothing to do with government, and even pre-dates it, yet he claims that marriage is but the government recognition of civil union.

The summary of my opponent's response is that marriage has become an institution the state intervenes in, and therefore it requires government intervention. This is an entirely circular argument. The resolution concerns how government "should" treat marriage, not how it currently does or has done in the past.

I would like to remind voters that my opponent has the burden of proof and therefore must prove why or why not marriage should be regulated by government. His arguments are merely circular and contradictory.

==The Negative Case==

My opponent cannot deny that marriage is a religious institution. His case that it is not is based on his statement that government currently regulates it; however, his own source (Ron Paul) acknowledges that marriage pre-dates government. One can logically conclude that marriage is not a government institution, though it has certainly become one.

Again, neither the state governments nor the federal government should recognize marriages nor regulate them in any way, because of Constitutional limits. These Constitutional limits must be preserved.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2
comoncents

Pro

I am going to break it down for you since we seem to be all over the place…

1. Marriage is regulated by the states right now as we are typing.

2. Marriage in the eyes of the united states is a union that the states recognizes between to people… it makes a difference in taxes ext…

3. The argument is not that marriage should or should not be regulated by the government… that is a mute-point… the argument is "since it is regulated my the states should gay marriage be legal or not… and should it be determined by the states or federal.

Now I do think that we need marriage at the states level b/c I am not a believer in religion, nor do I think religion should regulate anything at all…

My agreeing with you has to do with the fact that if it were an utterly religious event then state should not be involved. based on the sep. of church and state.
But I do not believe it is a religious event at all…

On the subject of Ron Paul…
You were telling me that marriage is a religious event and not state, therefore it should be left to the church and individuals…
But you are wrong, it should be state regulated b/c it is not a religious event… I quoted Ron Paul to show you that he states it as a government regulation but he recognizes that fact… you did not… that's why I quoted him… if you look further on he advocates gay marriage if the people of that state recognizes it…

The bottom line is that marriage is a state regulated thing… so if a man and women can get married a man and man should be able to as well… but that state not federal government should determine it…

It is already a government run thing so that has to be at the forefront context of our argument…

So should it be left to the states or fed… or are you saying that gay people do not have the right to wed period.

Knowing it is already a government run regulation that will never be changed…
wjmelements

Con

My opponent is trying to change the resolution to his advantage. The resolution is "Should gay marriage be legal and left up to the states or federal mandate?".

should- ought http://dictionary.reference.com...

We are debating how things ought to be.
The debate is obviously about whether or not a state or federal government should make a law regarding the religious establishment of marriage.

==Marriage as an establishment of Government==
My opponent's own sources refute this claim. Marriage out-dates government and needn't be recognized by it.

"It is already a government run thing so that has to be at the forefront context of our argument…"
We are arguing as to how it ought to be, and government ought not recognize establishments of religion.

==Marriage as an establishment of religion.==
According to the Duke Law Journal, the recognition of marriage in England and America was entirely a religious occurence when the government unconstitutionally began institutionalizing it. http://www.law.duke.edu...'y+561#H2N2 (Broken link)

My opponent's only argument to the contrary is circular and it contradicts his sources.

"But I do not believe it is a religious event at all…"
My opponent has not defended this claim, and therefore, it carries no weight.

==My opponent's question==
"So should it be left to the states or fed… or are you saying that gay people do not have the right to wed period."
I am arguing that no institution of marriage should be recognized and you are arguing that the federal government or the state government should legally recognize it (which would be unconstitutional).

==Conclusion==
Marriage is a religious institution and government should make no law regarding it due to constitutional restrictions at the state and federal level.
Debate Round No. 3
comoncents

Pro

My opponent is beating around this tiny bush of marriage being souly a religious event and does not want to answer the question of allowing gay people to marry and if it should be decided at a state level or federal. "We are debating how things ought to be." Yes under the current rule not under some fantasy world that you are trying to debate in. Your still not getting it so for you to use the word "obviously" is an incorrect statement. Marriage in this instant obviously had to do with government if I am asking how it should be mandated. get the word religious out of your head…
Law not religion married me… I did not get married in a church and will never do so with a priest or pastor overseeing my vows… b/c it is not a religious event… and to say so is beating around the bush in this debate.The reason I used that source was b/c he holds your belief… but as you can see he still refers to marriage as a government regulation b/c even though he brings his belief into his debate he knows it will never happen… and you should also so stop beating around the bush "We are arguing as to how it ought to be, and government ought not recognize establishments of religion." No we are not!!!! It is not a religious establishment in America… it is very much a government establishment as it should be. Wow… no matter how many times I say it, it still does not get to you.
http://en.wikipedia.org...
"My opponent's only argument to the contrary is circular and it contradicts his sources."You are still not getting it… I hope you do "My opponent has not defended this claim, and therefore, it carries no weight."
I have not defended the original question b/c I am still trying to educate you in seeing that marriage is being handled in a proper way… the states and to not allow gay people to marry is unconstitutional But you still fail to see the debate and chose to draw focus to things that are not relevant… a big dance and show if you ask me. So I have won half the battle
wjmelements

Con

Civil marriage as a doctrine is unconstitutional still (which I believe my opponent conceded back in round 2), because it is government recognition of an establishment of religion.

==My opponent's attempt to change the resolution==
Under out accepted definitions, the resolution is clearly asking whether or not gay marriage should be authorized by government at a state or local level. My opponent is trying to rearrange the debate through the irrelevant status quo so that I must argue his side.

==My opponent's case that marriage should not be entirely religious==
It is entirely reliant on the current status quo, which I have shown to be unconstitutional. My opponent argues that marriage should solely be an act of government; however, his own sources either contradict himself or beg the question. For example, his last argument was claiming that 'Civil Marriage is when government recognizes marriage (http://en.wikipedia.org...) and therefore marriage is an entirely government function' is equivocation. We are not obviously debating whether or not civil marriage should be recognized by the government, we are debating whether or not marriage should be. The resolution does not contain the word "Civil".

==Concessions==
My opponent concedes that "marriage out-dates government", and "the recognition of marriage in England and America was entirely a religious occurence when the government unconstitutionally began institutionalizing it".

==Misc.==
"to not allow gay people to marry"
That is not what we are debating. According to the given accepted definition of legal, we are debating whether or not the government should establish gay marriages.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 4
comoncents

Pro

Its time to stop playing games… time for you to face the truth
Do you think gay people should be allowed to be married?
If so I win that part of the debate already.

I know you will never state if it should be regulated at a state or federal level b/c you would lose the entire debate so I get it. Keep saying it is a religious event so you don't have to deal with the real issue.
One day, sir, it will be at the ballet for you to vote and I am sorry to tell you that there will be no spot for you to check "religious event only- we should stay out of it"
Again I am married so I know how it works, I was married right before I went in to the military for 4 years, so if you do the math I have been married for 5 going on 6 years.
Man I know how marriage works… I have had to deal with the legal workings of it from going over seas to leave things to my wife as well as moving from state to state and it is a government mandate for a reason.
I have had to leave everything to my wife "under law" to go overseas. I also have 2 kids which or government regulated marriage has a lot to do with as well.
See, guy, I don't believe in the same god that you do… I don't even know if there is a god, so for me to get married in a religious event would violet my freedom of religion… so civil marriage was the only was… and it is correct

This is not our debate… this is the debate inside of the debate…
So I will break this down for you again
Should gay marriage be legal?
Law[4] is a system of rules, usually enforced through a set of institutions.[5] It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a primary social mediator in relations between people.
So you are telling me it should not be legal, your way of just beating around the bush is just to push for the uncomfortable fact that you do not want to say… yes gay people should be wed.
And left up to the states or federal mandate?
Another excuse for you to not have to deal with it...Violating church an
wjmelements

Con

My opponent has not meet his affirmative burden in proving that the government should recognize gay marriages.

Let's wrap this up:

The resolution:
"Should gay marriage be legal and left up to the states or federal mandate?"

Definitions:
should- ought
legal- appointed, established, or authorized by law; deriving authority from law

My opponents concessions:
-Federal government should make no law regarding marriage. (conceded in R2)
-Marriage out-dates government. (conceded in R4)
-The recognition of marriage in England and America was entirely a religious occurence when the government unconstitutionally began institutionalizing it. (dropped in R4)
-Religious institutions should not be established or regulated by state or federal governments. (conceded in R2)
-His argument that civil marriages should be recognized by the state is begging the question (dropped in R5)

Conclusion:
-Government should make no law regarding marriage and should not recognize any marriage, heterosexual or homosexual.
-Gay marriage should neither be legal nor illegal.
-The resolution is negated.

Vote CON.
Debate Round No. 5
39 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by wjmelements 6 years ago
wjmelements
You've improved significantly over the last year. Be proud.
Posted by comoncents 6 years ago
comoncents
Man I was dumb!
Posted by comoncents 7 years ago
comoncents
it was my first time ever debating...
i feel i am getting a little better...
evidence

this was not that good as it was the second...
http://www.debate.org...

i think this one is a little better
http://www.debate.org...

and i just got through with this one... i could have done better
http://www.debate.org...

check it out and let me know if i am getting any better
Posted by comoncents 7 years ago
comoncents
yeah your right
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
Not necessarily, there is still time.

Suggestions:
-Use more sources.
-Use correct spelling and grammar.
-Try to understand your opponent's stance so that you do not concede it accidentally.
Posted by comoncents 7 years ago
comoncents
looks like i am destined to lose this one huh?
Posted by tBoonePickens 7 years ago
tBoonePickens
wjmelements,
I agree it's imperfect just like marriage is. Perhaps you are right and we shouldn't be subsidizing children but I don't agree. Also, it's actually marriage that's being subsidized as well as children... perhaps we shouldn't be subsidizing marriage either, but I disagree as well.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
tBoone
The subsidy is imperfect if it goes to anyone not raising children. In this regards, it doesn't matter how close it gets if it's not on the dime.

I know someone who objects to gay marriage on the premise that they would then recieve these child subsidies. In my opinion, we shouldn't be subsidizing children, but even following your premise, the money shoud go to registered parents and guardians.
Posted by tBoonePickens 7 years ago
tBoonePickens
wjmelements,
But it's not inefficient because it goes to married people (w/children) & unmarried people (w/children) & married people (currently w/o children). No one's left out...perhaps a few that do not currently have children get help but they might (or not) in the future have them; but one cannot know for certain.

Are you saying that it's inefficient because those married w/o children get some help? That's a small amount of people & they are potential parents anyways.

Still I fail to see how all this applies to gay marriage.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
tBoone:
Even so, the subsidy is still targetted inefficienty. It would be more effective if the subsidy were to go to registered guardians and parents rather than to married peoples.
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