The Instigator
mongeese
Con (against)
Tied
30 Points
The Contender
TheSkeptic
Pro (for)
Tied
30 Points

The government should be required to recognize domestic gay marriages.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/21/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,973 times Debate No: 8990
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (25)
Votes (12)

 

mongeese

Con

"The government" - Any government in the United States recognized as a government by the U.S.F.G.
"required" - "imposed a compulsion or command on"
http://www.merriam-webster.com...
"recognize" - "to acknowledge formally"
http://www.merriam-webster.com...
"domestic" - "originating within [the United States]"
http://www.merriam-webster.com...
"gay marriages" - "the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage"
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

I'll let PRO make the first argument, because PRO has the Burden of Proof, in the sense that no entity should be required to do something without reason.
TheSkeptic

Pro

I thank my opponent for creating this open debate - I hope it turns out great.

My opponent has defined all terms, and I agree to all of them. I'm positive that semantics won't be a core of this debate, so there's no need to bring up such a point. However, I do want to point out that in a debate it is not only PRO who has the BOP (Burden of Proof) - the CON side has it as well.

My opponent has graciously allowed me to make the first argument, so I will do as such. There are essentially two ways of going about this debate - we either argue about facts or values. It is our duty to sort out the facts if we agree to the same values. If our values clash, then it is our duty to resolve such a conflict. Since I find it common (if not always) to have values be the foundation of a substantive argument, I will put down my values of why gay marriage should be recognized.

I argue that all citizens must be treated equally unless there is a valid secular reason for it - this is known as the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment[1]. I assume my opponent agrees to this value as well; if he doesn't it, then he is free to attack it. As an obvious follow up, I believe there is no valid secular reason for denying gays the ability to marry.

And here is where I stop. The most probable path now is that my opponent will line up counterarguments against my position such as whether or not homosexuality is natural, whether it will result in a slippery slope, etc. To refute all possible counterarguments would be breathtakingly absurd - I will simply wait for his counterarguments and respond accordingly.

So there you have it. I eagerly await my opponent's response.

---References---
1. http://topics.law.cornell.edu...
Debate Round No. 1
mongeese

Con

I thank my opponent for accepting. I, too, hope for a great debate.

My reasoning for the placement of the BoP is that no entity should be required to do something without reason. If my opponent disagrees, he can attack that reasoning. Otherwise, I have no BoP.

My opponent's argument so far is that the government should not deny gays the ability to marry. That's fine. However, my opponent has made no argument so far as to why government should be required to recognize such a marriage. Until he makes such an argument, I cannot refute.

With that, I leave the floor to my opponent.
TheSkeptic

Pro

My opponent gives a swift response, but it's absolutely lacking in any substantive arguments!

When people say the BoP is always on PRO, or the instigator, I would say that this only happens in real life situations, such as court for example. This is why we have such concepts like the benefit of assumption[1] - commonly known as innocent until proven guilty. However, this is a debate. Both debaters come into this with full knowledge and will to participate, otherwise why would they have decided to debate in the first place? Therefore, both sides have a certain burden or obligation to backup their position and arguments, irrespective of whether or not they are the instigator.

Yet, my opponent's conception of the BoP isn't my main issue with his argument. It's the fact that he has virtually given no response to my opening argument - he simply sidesteps it. He states that I have have made "no argument so far as to why government should be required to recognize such a marriage".

Are you kidding me? I explicitly stated in my first round that if we both agree about the value of the Equal Protection Clause, then I would argue it should follow that gay marriage shouldn't be prohibited. Why? Because on one hand you have heterosexual couples get married, which is undoubtedly a right, while on the other hand you have homosexual couples being restricted from marrying. This means there is a difference in rights, an inequality.

Now, of course it's perfectly legitimate for a certain group of citizens to have different rights than others. For example, children do not have many rights that adults do, and it's for valid secular reasons - namely that the brain development of a child is not fully completed. However, I would contend that there is NO valid secular reason for restricting gays from marrying while allowing straight couples.

THIS is clearly my argument, there should be no room for confusion. Since I've stepped up to the plate, my opponent should do the same and not simply disregard what I wrote.

---References---
1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
mongeese

Con

With the BoP, I have essentially fulfilled my own BoP with the statement that entities should not be required to recognize anything without a good reason, which PRO would need, so although the BoP is technically on both of us, my arguments transfer it to PRO. Because my opponent has never protested that entities need reason for recognition, it is conceded, so he has effectively taken the BoP upon himself. With a reason why the resolution should be negated until affirmed, I have fulfilled the statement, "Innocent until proven guilty," as described by my opponent's source.

Now, as for my opponent's argument, it's rather brilliant. However, he's missed the point. His argument is that heterosexual couples can be married, so homosexual couples should be allowed to be married, as well. There's no problem with that. However, nowhere in his arguments does he make any reference to governmental recognition of anything whatsoever, and especially not to recognition of domestic gay marriages. The words "government" and "recognize" only appear once in his entire R2 argument, and that is with his quoting of my own arguments. Therefore, his arguments are rather irrelevant, and no refutation is necessary.

Until my opponent actually addresses the resolution at hand, there is nothing I can refute.
TheSkeptic

Pro

Hm, my opponent seems to have repeated what he did last round - which is to give no substantive response.

My opponent's response to the BoP is absolutely incomprehensible. Instead of arguing about it, despite his skewed understanding of it, I'll just agree that the BoP starts with me. However, this is no problem since I already have fulfilled it - I gave my argument! In fact, I repeated this argument twice, in which the second time I explained it in even more detail. There should be no controversy that the BoP is now on my opponent, but we have yet to see a rebuttal.

Instead, I have to deal with this flimsy sidestep my opponent attempts.

What is this notion that if I don't make a reference to the words in the resolution, my argument is irrelevant?! To be honest, I'm confounded as to what in the world my opponent is thinking. How does literally typing down the words "government' and "recognize" affect the validity of my argument? I made it blatantly clear what I was arguing for - that gay marriage should be legalized. This is just another way of requiring the government recognizing domestic gay marriages. I can't believe my opponent is even claiming my argument is irrelevant is the words from the resolution don't appear in my argument. That was never necessary for a valid argument - the only possible situation I can think of is if the instigator makes a specific rule stating so in his/her first round. However, a simple read will demonstrate this is NOT the case.

I have nothing else left to say; my opponent has absolutely no case for his position yet. He's been evading this for 2 rounds now, so I can't say my expectations are going to be high.

"Until my opponent actually addresses the resolution at hand, there is nothing I can refute."
----> Ironically enough, you should heed your own words.
Debate Round No. 3
mongeese

Con

My opponent concedes that no entity should be required to do something without reason.

My opponent's main error here is that he does not realize that there is a difference between having something legalized and having something recognized by government.

Let's say that gambling was illegal, and government decides to legalize gambling. Does that mean that the government should formally recognize the bars that permit gambling as gambling bars? No.

High-fiving is perfectly legal in the United States. Does that mean that the United States formally recognizes whether or not you high-five? No.

Underhand serving in tennis is perfectly legal in the United States. Does that mean that the United States formally recognizes whether or not you serve underhand? No.

Watching NCIS is perfectly legal in the United States. Does that mean that the United States formally recognizes whether or not you watch NCIS? No.

Nose-picking is perfectly legal in the United States. Does that mean that the United States formally recognizes whether or not you watch NCIS? No.

Let's say that gay marriage is legal in the United States. Does that necessarily mean that the United States formally recognizes whether or not you are in a gay marriage or any marriage in general? No.

Naturally, in order to affirm a resolution, one must first address the subject of the resolution. In this case, the subject would be government. My opponent's only argument relating to government is that gay marriage should be legalized. As I have shown, there is a substantial difference between allowing something to be legal and having something formally recognized.

"I made it blatantly clear what I was arguing for - that gay marriage should be legalized. This is just another way of requiring the government recognizing domestic gay marriages."
My opponent is sadly mistaken in his connection between legalization and recognition.

All in all, my opponent gives reasons why government should not arrest or fine people who participate in gay marriages. However, he does not give reasons why government should recognize the people who participate in gay marriages as people who participate in gay marriages. Therefore, his argument is incomplete, and therefore irrelevant to the resolution.

As this is the last round, my opponent cannot make an argument as to why gay marriage can be formally recognized. He can only try to make an argument that legalization and recognition are different. Therefore, I shall take active steps against this.

"recognize" - "to acknowledge formally"
(From Round 1)
legalize - "to make legal"
http://www.merriam-webster.com...
legal - "conforming to or permitted by law or established rules"
http://www.merriam-webster.com...
So, to legalize something that was previously illegal, a government would have to abolish whatever law made that something not permitted. That does not mean that they then formally recognize the gay marriages.

The only argument I can think of that my opponent would have left is pointing out that by legalizing gay marriage, government has already formally recognized them. However, government would only be recognizing that gay marriage is legal. However, any domestic gay marriage between any two people would go unnoticed and unrecognized by government, as there would be no reason to recognize them.

In conclusion, my opponent has never affirmed the resolution at all. He's been arguing the same thing over and over. This last round, he made the argument that legalizing something and recognizing it are the same. I have shown this to be false, putting him right back where he was: nowhere. Therefore, there is no reason that my opponent has actually presented by which government should be required to recognize domestic gay marriages, and by the value that has not been contested and has been accepted, that "no entity should be required to do something without reason," the resolution is officially negated. Vote CON.
TheSkeptic

Pro

TheSkeptic forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
25 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Maikuru 7 years ago
Maikuru
C: Tie - Pro forfeited the final round while Con went on about the BoP and essentially refused to argue until R4.
S/G: Tie
A: Pro - Pro's argument was reasonable and straightforward. Con felt as though his opponent was avoiding the resolution, but his explanation was lacking. Con's only substantive round was his last, which remained vague and unconvincing.
S: Pro - As I do not reward definitions, Pro's sources were the only relevant ones present.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
Sources to CON.
Arguments tied. (As I understand it, CON's fit the resolution better, but CON's arguments weren't presented to attack PRO's until late in the debate)
Conduct tied. (forfeit explained, and CON avoided clash and explanation for too many rounds)
S/G tied.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
Disappointing forfeit.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
The lack of front-page-ness is really killing the vote count.
Posted by TheSkeptic 7 years ago
TheSkeptic
What the?! I posted my argument but I didn't show up? Ugh dang sorry mongeese, I've rarely forfeited but I guess DDO just has so many flaws here and there >.>
Posted by Mr_smith 7 years ago
Mr_smith
Wow, talk about a silly resolution. That thing is awfully slanted to carefully place the burden of proof. How about this next time: Con comes up with a real resolution for a real debate.

The constitutional argument for gay marriage can be found here:

http://www.debate.org...
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
Sorry, I just realized a minor error I made in Round 4.

"Nose-picking is perfectly legal in the United States. Does that mean that the United States formally recognizes whether or not you watch NCIS? No."
Should be:
"Nose-picking is perfectly legal in the United States. Does that mean that the United States formally recognizes whether or not you pick your nose? No."
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
Formal recognition requires written evidence and all that. Otherwise, it is informal.
Posted by iamadragon 7 years ago
iamadragon
Couldn't you argue that the United States, as an entity, formally recognizes a lot of things, just without explicitly saying so?

Regardless, I know where most of my votes are going.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
I defined "recognize" in Round 1!
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