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The Contender
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Should western nations (including the United States) legalize gay marriage?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/31/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 591 times Debate No: 64302
Debate Rounds (3)
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Hi everyone, this is my first debate on Have patience!

With that stated, here I go!

Whether you think it's a choice or not, whether you approve of homosexuality or not, homosexuality exists. Gay people exist. Gay couples and relationships exist. You can choose to ignore them, but they will continue to have sex and partnerships. If you believe it is a choice, then as long as humans retain free will, there will always be people who choose to be gay, even in the most intolerant of societies (look to the third reich of Germany as an example) If it is not a choice, and is genetic, then again, gays will continue to exist in our society.

I am not here to debate whether being gay is a choice. I'm not here to debate whether or not being gay is normal. I'm here to debate whether or not Western Society ( a society that generally promotes freedom, equality, and human rights) grant such individuals, and more importantly, their relationships, equal recognition and protection in the eyes of the law. My position is Yes, and here is why.

Like I stated before, whether you agree with it or not, gay relationships exist. Gays live together, fall in love with each other, have sex together, adopt children together, and grow old together. HOWEVER, these relationships are not always recognized in the eyes of the law, generally due to societal or religious reasons. This is damaging, as these people who are in as serious and committed relationships as any other couple will not receive the same benefits as a heterosexual couple simply because they are different and their relationship is not recognized. Problems arise everywhere from joint taxes to hospital visitation rights etc. This is unfair to these couples, as generally they must follow the same laws as everyone else, must pay the same taxes as everyone else, yet do not get the same benefits as everyone else. It is simply unfair in a system that is suppose to be equal for everyone despite background or character. Their relationships are not recognized by the law because it is "different." This is discrimination.

The solution to this is thus legalizing the ability for gay couples to have civil marriages. Why marriage? While there are indeed other forms of unions available to gay couples, marriage would provide the most benefits for the couple when compared to the other such unions. In fact, an incredible amount more. The benefits civil unions provide are a joke when compared to the benefits marriage provide.

Some people suggests that instead of granting marriage, why not create a separate sort of union that is equal to marriage for gay couples? While this might work in theory, most of the times when a society already holds a predetermined bias against a group of people, rarely does a "separate but equal" system work. If you need an example, the "separate but equal" justification was used to justify segregation laws in the United States up until the 1960's and 70's. These were, as we all now know, not equal, despite what a biased society claimed.

Creating a separate union for gay couples is also damaging to the couple as it makes gay people "the other" in a society that already gives them a hard time. Expanding marriage would normalize such relationships. It would also make it easier for the government to manage, as it wouldn't have to sustain two separate legal unions with it's own laws and regulations, and just expand an already pre-existing institution to include gay couples.

Allowing Gays to get married is the easiest, and ultimately, most fair choice to make if we wish to treat such people and their relationships equally.

Here is where I'm going to make arguments against assumed responses to the arguments I have made.

-The definition of marriage is between a Man and a Woman.

The definition of marriage has changed over the centuries. The definition of marriage in biblical times had included the union between one man and multiple wives, (a belief some Mormons still practice). Up until the 1960's in the United States, some states said the definition of marriage was only between a man and a woman of the same race. Some definitions say the first person you marry is your one true partner for life, even if you get divorced. The definition of marriage has changed as society needed it to change. It can change to "a union between two, consenting, unrelated adults" to include gay couples to provide them equal rights.

-Marriage is a religious institution!

Marriage can be a religious ceremony. It can also be a secular ceremony. If it was strictly a religious ceremony, then theoretically, atheist or non religiously affiliated people should not be allowed to marry either.

-Marriage is used to make children!

If this statement were true, then theoretically, we should not allow infertile couples to get married either.

-Same sex marriage will degrade the institution, and people will not want to get married as its value/meaning will have degraded.

I have yet to meet a straight couple who refused to get married because "Gays can get married now."

-A gay marriage isn't a real marriage.

Again the definition of a real marriage has changed over time. Maybe to you, a gay marriage isn't a real marriage. But to the happy couple getting married and receiving benefits from it, to them, it is real. They don't need your approval to value their relationship.

-Gay marriage will lead to bestiality, and pedophilia.

All the marriage equality movement is trying to do is to allow gays to get married and have their relationships recognized equal to those of heterosexual relationships. It does not endorse pedophilia or bestiality. Rather than block efforts to provide gay relationships equal rights, use your time and energy to block pedophiles or bestiality abusers from gaining the ability to normalize their lifestyles.

-It will lead to reverse discrimination. Churches will be forced to perform gay weddings.

In no state has it been required churches be forced to perform gay marriages. As for reverse discrimination, the common idea is Christians will become the new "oppressed class" because of homosexuals. All I can say to this, is what is wrong for a homosexual for demanding equal rights, and criticizing those who discriminate against them?

-Children need a mom and dad.

While im not debating the merits of gay adoption, I feel I should add this to the list. If you truly believe a child needs a mom and a dad, and are against gay adoption for that reason, then you should also be against single mothers and fathers raising their children as well. If it is because they need their biological parents, then infertile couples should not be able to adopt either.

-Being gay is against my religion.

In a secular society, religion should play no role in determining the rights of a class of people without further secular justification.

-I don't like gays.

You need more arguments than just "I don't like gays" to deny a group of citizens benefits, rights, and equal protection in the eyes of the law.

That about wraps this up for now. I'll respond when my opponent makes his/her case.


First of all, since the resolution is about whether western nations should legalize gay marriage, my opponent must argue that gay marriage should be legalized on a national level as opposed to each state deciding for itself if it wants to legalize gay marriage some choosing to legalize, some choosing not to. Having each state decide if it wants to legalize gay marriage would be superior because it allows people to choose what state they want to live in based on the states acceptance of gay marriage. People who want to get gay married can move to a state where gay marriage is legal, and those who dislike the idea of gay marriage can move to a state where it is not legal. And the rest of the people who aren"t strongly affected by gay marriage one way or the other can live in whatever state they want. Everyone wins. So having gay marriage illegal in some states can be beneficial.

My opponent says, "The benefits civil unions provide are a joke when compared to the benefits marriage provide." But my opponent never gave any sources to support this claim. Until my opponent supports this claim with evidence, there is no reason to believe that civil unions provide less rights than marriage.

My opponent says having a separate unions for gays would be the equivalence of the segregation laws in the 60"s and 70"s. We have gender specific bathrooms, and no one complains about this being segregation. If we can have gender specific bathrooms then we can have sexual preference specific civil unions.

My opponent argued that if marriage is about making children, then those who are infertile should be not be able to get married. This is not quite a fair comparison as it is easier to check someone"s gender than it is to check their fertility, thus banning infertile marriage would be harder and less practical to enforce than banning gay marriage. For some people, marriage is about making children, and they should be able to vote to define marriage in their state so it corresponds with that idea.

Pro, as this is your first debate I would like to remind you that as instigator, the burden of proof is on you to prove your claim.
Debate Round No. 1


Alright, thanks of the tip. :)) I have my sources now.

I would like to point out to my opponent that I did in fact give basic reasons as to why western nations as a whole should grant same-sex couples the ability to marry. Many of the arguments used against same sex marriage in the United States are also used in other western countries as well, which is why I addressed them in general. Arguing at a state level is neither a national nor international level. That said, here is my argument against letting each state decide for itself..

While allowing each state to decide for itself may be a temporary solution, it will not resolve the issue in the U.S. There will people on both sides of the debate who continue to push their point of view, and run campaigns to change things in a pro-marriage/anti marriage state. Thus, the debate is not over, and continues on. The debate will not be over until either A.) the Supreme Court settles the debate once and for all or B.) Pro Gay marriage/Anti Gay marriage proponents have an overwhelming majority of societal support that make challenging their views legally impossible. SO, allowing each state to decide for itself is not a solution to this issue, because it will not end the debate. I find it highly unlikely the American public would settle for "so it will be allowed in some states, and not others" as this issue deals with peoples rights. It didn't stop the debate on slavery, it didn't stop the debate on civil rights, it won't stop the debate on gay marriage. ALSO, most of the arguments I made can also be used against the state governments as well as federal government.

As for why civil unions are unequal/inferior to marriage.

The benefits that civil unions provide vary from state to state, and are not recognized by the federal governments. This means that while the state governments may grant civil union couples some of the same benefits as to married couples, the couples are not eligible for the federal benefits that come with marriage.

My contender argued that disallowing infertile couples to marry would be hard to enforce. While this is true, marriage is still not solely 100% about making children and raising children. Couples get married and choose not to have children in their marriage. I have yet to hear of a case where a heterosexual couple wasn't allowed to get married because they would choose not to have kids. This shows that while some people think marriage is about having children, not all people do so. AND IF marriage is about having and raising kids, then we would then disallow divorce, (with the exception of certain cases) as it would be "harmful" to the children.


My opponent argued that having each state decide would not "end the debate". Who says the debate must end? There is no reason why we need to reach a nationwide consensus.

My opponent gave evidence for why civil unions don"t provide all the same benefits as civil unions. Benefits are not inherent rights. Homosexuals still have the rights to be together, along with the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness even if they don"t have all the extra benefits of marriage. Also, not legalizing gay marriage is technically not unfair because all people would still equally have the same ability to marry someone of the opposite gender if they choose.

The only way you could consider gays being unable to marry to be unfair would be to claim that it is unfair to give benefits to those of one preference over those of another preference. (Since homosexuality is just a sexual preference) But making gay marriage legal doesn"t solve the problem. Marrying someone for the sole purpose of legal benefits, instead of for love and relationship, is illegal. So if two people want to enjoy the benefits of a legal marriage together but have a preference towards not being in a long term committed relationship necessary for becoming legally married, they can"t enjoy the legal benefits of marriage if they are not in a committed relationship. So even if gay marriage becomes legal, there will still be people who are denied marriage benefits because of their preferences. (In this case because of their preference against being in a committed relationship required for legal marriage) Therefor legalizing gay marriage does not solve the problem that only those of certain preferences can obtain marriage benefits.
Debate Round No. 2


SeanNation forfeited this round.


I don't have anything else to add.

Pro did not fulfill burden of proof, so vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by inaudita 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: fft