The Instigator
RastaJesus
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Contradiction
Con (against)
Winning
23 Points

should gay marriage be legalized

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Contradiction
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/24/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,822 times Debate No: 16692
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (4)

 

RastaJesus

Pro

I believe that gay marriage should be legalized because people have the right to love eachother. It's not like its doing anything to society if a man is to marry another man or a woman is to marry another woman infact in someways its better for society. Also there would be an increase in the rate of adoption since men cannot have children with eachother and neither can women. Also it would cause more people to marry someone they truly love so there would be a decrease in divorce.
Contradiction

Con

In this debate, I will be defending the contention that gay marriage should not be legalized. This is because the idea of a gay "marriage" fails to account for why the state has a compelling interest in regulating marriage to begin with.

What is Marriage? And What Are the State's Interests?

Marriage is an institution whose prime focus is to ensure a healthy environment in which future citizens can be produced. It is for this reason that the state confers legal and economic benefits upon married couples, for it recognizes that child-rearing is a hard task. Since procreation and child-rearing are essential to the advancement of society, the state has a vested interest in protecting a stable relationship under which this can take place. The state, therefore, ought to give special recognition to heterosexual unions, for they function as a precondition to a flourishing society. Relationships which do not have procreation as their core do not deserve such recognition, for they are not foundational to society. The recognition of homosexual unions as marriages would therefore be unjustly denying the special social value of heterosexual unions.

Ask yourself this: "Why is the state so concerned about regulating marriage to begin with?" Why doesn't the state, for instance, regulate friendships as well? As Robert George, Sherif Girgis, and Ryan Anderson point out:

"Why does the state not set terms for our ordinary friendships? Why does it not create civil causes of action for neglecting or even betraying our friends? Why are there no civil ceremonies for forming friendships or legal obstacles to ending them? It is simply because ordinary friendships do not affect the political common good in sturctured ways that justify or warrant legal regulation. [1]

The state is not concerned with regulating friendships because there is no compelling reason to do so. On the other hand, the very reason that marriage law exists is because the state recognizes that marriage is about more than just love or attraction, a key part of its nature is centered toward the production of future citizens. It is for this reason why the state has a compelling interest in regulating marriages, but not other types of relationships (Such as friendships, aquaintanceships, etc...). This is also what sets apart a marriage from a mere friendship.

Is Marriage About Love?


Same-sex marriage advocates usually view marriage as a relationship between two parties which is centered around love. But this fails to understand what marriage is and why it is regulated by the state. Why is the state in the business of regulating marriage to begin with? After all, the state doesn't regulate friendships or other nonmarital romantic relationships. It's a peculiar thing, considering upon entry into a marriage relationship, a couple finds themselves bound by obligiations which decidedly nonromantic in nature.

The very reason the state has an interest in regulating marriage is because it recognizes that marriage is essential to the production of citizens and therefore the continuation of society. The state does not regulate nonmarital romantic relationships precisely because it has no compelling reason to do so.

This is not mitigated by the fact that procreation is possible from outside a marital framework. The difference between a marriage and say, a boyfriend/girlfriend having sex is that the former is a contractural agreement to the welfare of both partners and any children that may arise as a result of the relationship. The state does not regard the latter as a marriage because there are no contractural obligations involved. Since traditional marriage provides the environment necessary for both the production and raising of the state's future citizens, it should be afforded protection under the law. The fact that heterosexual sex is logically distinguishable from marriage by no means dampens this argument.

Not Just a Slipperly Slope!

Moreover, "love and commitment" can be used to justify all sorts of obviously non-marital relationships.

After all, why think marriage is between two people? If marriage is not about procreation, but is about love, then what rational reason is there for the state to limit marriage to be between monogamous couples only? Suppose that Peter, Paul, and Patrick are homosexual lovers who have been living together for ten years. As a symbol of their love and commitment, they wish for their relationship to be recognized as a legal marriage with the full benefits avaliable to heterosexual couples. If marriage is fundamentally about expressing love and commitment, then on what basis could the state deny marriage rights to the trio? Is not the state discriminating against their relationship by arbitrarily favoring duos over trios? Suppose we introduce a fourth person, Pamela, into the relationship, thus forming a quartet. Why should this be any different?

But now let's remove Patrick and Pamela from the picture. Suppose that Peter and Paul are college roommates who have shared the same apartment for several years. They are best friends who love each other in a nonromantic way and who share their expenses to get by. Being college students, they are often short on money. As such, Peter and Paul wish for their relationship to be recognized as a legal marriage both as a symbol of their commitment and for the legal and economic benefits associated with it. If marriage is fundamentally about expressing love and commitment, then on what basis could the state deny marriage rights to these two friends? Is not the state discriminating against their relationship?

One might say "But we just know marriage is between two people -- it needs no explanation." But this would beg the question against the aforementioned people, who want their rights. Marriage is indeed between two people, but the question is whether or not the revisionist can justify this notion. If he can't, then we should abandon it.

Presumably, my opponent thinks that polygamous, polyamorous, incestous, and bestial couples shouldn't be recognized. But if marriage is fundamentally about love and commitment, then what rational reason does the state have to refuse to recognize the aforementioned relationships as legitimate? This is not, mind you, an appeal along the lines of "If you legalize same-sex marriage, that is what will happen." Rather, it highlights the fact that if the same argments for SSM can be used to justify all sorts of relationships, then surely there has to be something wrong with the revisionist's conception of marriage.

I now turn the floor over to Pro for his rebuttal.

__________

Sources

1. Sherif Girgis, Robert P. George, and Ryan T. Anderson, “What is Marriage?” Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 34, no. 1 (Winter 2010): 270-271
Debate Round No. 1
RastaJesus

Pro

Thank you my opponent for accepting my argument.

Gay marriage in the states its allowed in have shown a decrease in divorce. One example is Massachusetts, which became the first state to legalize gay marriage on May 17, 2004, had the lowest divorce rate in the country in 2008. Its divorce rate declined 21% between 2003 and 2008.

Another reason to have gay marriage is because there are states that have bans on gay marriage and are depriving them and their Right to do so. Heterosexual marriage is a RIGHT, that men and women enjoy together. It is not right to keep gays from this right if others may have it as well.

Gay marriage is incompatible with the beliefs, sacred texts, and traditions of many religious groups. The Catholic Church, Presbyterian Church, Islam, United Methodist Church, Southern Baptist Convention, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, National Association of Evangelicals, and American Baptist Churches USA all oppose same-sex marriage. Churches should also not have a say in this because churches do not have to marry them as a judge can. Also religion should not be involved as it is not a religious argument unless you make it one.

In rebuttal to your comment about Peter, Paul, and Patrick. Marriage is between 2 people that truly love each other and so it should not have to do with the fact that they are best friends they do not have the special love that only 2 people can share. Also marriage should have romantic feelings between each other and if there is suspicion that the marriage is just so that they can get the money then they should have a kind of test to prove that it is true love that the 2 people have for each other.
Contradiction

Con

Thanks to my opponent for replying in a timely fashion.

Does Legalizing Gay Marriage Decrease Divorce?

The first thing to note here is that correlation does not imply causation. Simply because divorce rates decreased between 2003 and 2008 doesn't mean that it was due to the legalization of gay marriage. Indeed, the fact that the decline started in 2003 (Before the legalization of gay marriage!) lends credulity to the fact that its legalization was not responsible for it. Moreover, Massachusetts doesn't even keep statistics on gay divorce. Thus one cannot conclude that the legalization of gay marriage has led to a decrease in the divorce rate.

Depriving Homosexuals of their Rights?


It's important to emphasize that this debate is mainly over what marriage is and why the state is in the business of regulating such an institution. Concerns over equal protection and discrimination take a secondary role to this main question. As philosophers Robert George, Ryan Anderson, and Sherif Girgis note: "[B]efore we can conclude that some marriage policy violates the Equal Protection Clause, or any other moral or constitutional principle, we have to determine what marriage actually is and why it should be recognized legally in the first place. That will establish which criteria are irrelevant to a policy that aims to recognize real marriages... it will establish when, if ever, it is a marriage that is being denied legal recognition, and when it is something else that is being excluded." [1]

Thus, Pro cannot simply assert that homosexual marriage is a "right" without begging the question. He must justify this. Moreover, he must also show how his conception of marriage makes sense of the state's interest in marriage, which he has not done. Recall that I argued that the only reason the state is involved in marriage to begin with is because it has a compelling interest in protecting a relationship in which procreation (and thus the advancement of society) is possible. Apart from this understanding of marriage, the state has no reason at all to be involved in the institution to begin with. Since Pro's conception of marriage does not make sense of this notion, it ought to be rejected.

Recall my earlier statement:

"Marriage is an institution whose prime focus is to ensure a healthy environment in which future citizens can be produced. It is for this reason that the state confers legal and economic benefits upon married couples, for it recognizes that child-rearing is a hard task. Since procreation and child-rearing are essential to the advancement of society, the state has a vested interest in protecting a stable relationship under which this can take place. The state, therefore, ought to give special recognition to heterosexual unions, for they function as a precondition to a flourishing society. Relationships which do not have procreation as their core do not deserve such recognition, for they are not foundational to society. The recognition of homosexual unions as marriages would therefore be unjustly denying the special social value of heterosexual unions."

As we can see, the state has a compelling reason in limiting marriage rights to be between heterosexuals only. Pro must demonstrate that the government has an interest in recognizing the rights of homosexuals to marry, otherwise his argument fails. Simply asserting it to be a right just begs the question.

Religious Arguments?

Pro's argument here is out of place. I based no arguments on religious premises.

The Slippery Slope?

Pro largely neglects to respond to my argument here. If marriage is a purely romantic relationship, then why think it is between two people? What is the rationale for that? If marriage is centered upon romance, then we would be depriving the rights of the polygamous and the incestous when we deny them the right to be marriaged. Why even think that marriage must be romantic? What's the rational reason? Wouldn't that be discriminating against friends, roommates, and business partners who want their benefits? The point to be drawn here is that if one divorces marriage from procreation, there becomes no rational foundation upon which we can base it.

Presumably, my opponent thinks that polygamous, polyamorous, incestous, and bestial couples shouldn't be recognized. But if marriage is fundamentally about love and commitment, then what rational reason does the state have to refuse to recognize the aforementioned relationships as legitimate?

This is not, mind you, an appeal along the lines of "If you legalize same-sex marriage, that is what will happen." Rather, it highlights the fact that if the same argments for SSM can be used to justify all sorts of relationships, then surely there has to be something wrong with the revisionist's conception of marriage.

Moreover, under my opponents own reasoning, the idea of imposing a "test" for romantic feelings is a gross government invasion of one's personal privacy and a denial of the rights of nonromantic couples.



___________

Sources

1. Sherif Girgis, Robert P. George, and Ryan T. Anderson, “What is Marriage?” Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 34, no. 1 (Winter 2010): 251
Debate Round No. 2
RastaJesus

Pro

RastaJesus forfeited this round.
Contradiction

Con

Arguments extended, vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Man-is-good
Even through I agree with PRO, CON provided with a far superior argument..Sorry, PRO. Learn to debate better.
Posted by i8JoMomma 5 years ago
i8JoMomma
who cares about those tea bags...do something useful like legalize marijuana
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by ExNihilo 5 years ago
ExNihilo
RastaJesusContradictionTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: clear
Vote Placed by medic0506 5 years ago
medic0506
RastaJesusContradictionTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: on wins by forfeit.
Vote Placed by vardas0antras 5 years ago
vardas0antras
RastaJesusContradictionTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct: Forfeit plus unwarranted accusations of religious arguments. Spelling and Grammar: Con has invested more effort. Arguments: Forfeit plus....Pretty much everything.
Vote Placed by kohai 5 years ago
kohai
RastaJesusContradictionTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit