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Gay Marriage, should it be legal in the United States? Why or Why Not?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/23/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,082 times Debate No: 59431
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"Gay Marriage," or as I like to call it marriage, should be legal in every state of the U.S. Religious views such as "it is unnatural, it is a sin, and marriage is between one man and one woman" aren't even actual reasons to why it should or shouldn't be legal because we are a secular state and no religious views should be taken into account when deciding on this matter. What negative effects would there be on our country if two consenting adults who love each other were allowed to get married?
Debate Round No. 1


kat_in_the_hat forfeited this round.


I would first like to thank Tim Hsiao for being a major influence to my arguments.


The state regulates marriage and dispenses benefits for a reason. By understanding this reason we can therefore infer what relationships may be justly excluded from marriage and whether or not anyone’s rights are denied.

The Common Good I

A common good is something with an objective core, which inherently serves the well being and good of humanity. Common goods cannot be changed; rather they can only be distorted from their objectively good nature. For example, friendship is a common good. Let’s say that the objective core of friendship dictates that all friendships require selflessness, love and similar interests between the two friends. If person X thought friendship was about using another individual in order to further their own motives, then that someone would be universally wrong. That person didn’t change the definition of friendship; rather they distorted friendship from its objective nature which inherently promotes the well being of others. Friendship has a distinct common good, one that makes friendship, friendship. Let’s say friendships entail no sexual attraction between the two friends. If person X called a romantic relationship, friendship, then that person has failed to make the distinction between what a romantic relationship entails, and what a friendship entails. Person X has taken two separate common goods, but has put one definition on them.

What is Marriage?

A common answer would be that “Marriage is the lifelong union of two persons who love each other.” [1] Love is essential to the marital relationship but it is not enough in order to gain legal recognition from the government. There are many kinds of social relationships that involve love. For example, friendships involve love. Why then would the government not recognize friendships? Since the government promotes marriage, then marriage must possess some kind of public good. In other words, it must inherently positively affect the well being of others. Love is a private matter, for love essentially only involves the people within the relationship. Since we have already established that the government recognizes marriage for its public means, and love is a private matter, then there must be a public part of marriage inherent to the union between those entering into the marriage.

Here we run into a wall with the accepted definition at hand. The definition does not provide us an adequate base of what the public means of marriage is, or why the government would be interested in marriage if love is essentially a private matter. Instead, I will provide a new definition of marriage. “Marriage is a comprehensive union with a special link to children.” [2] “It is a private union with a public purpose. Private in that comprehensive union exemplifies the love of the spouses. Public in that their comprehensive union is directed toward a purpose beyond the love of the spouses: children.”[3]

The marital relationship is comprehensive in the sense that it is unlike any other relationship. Marriage is where the individuals within the relationship are joined together by the very aspect of their humanity. “Consider the various parts of a plane – the engines, wings, and avionics. What unites all of these parts together into a single whole is their coordination toward a common end: flight.”[3] The unity inherent among married couples is that when they come together by nature of their sexuality, they may achieve an ends that could not have been achieved alone. This unity is the coming together in order to strive towards a common goal. This end of the means is procreation. Children produced are reflective to the union at hand. The nature of this comprehensive union is that it can only be completed by a man and a woman. No other relationship can strive towards this comprehensiveness, for there is no biological unity which strives towards and end that the individuals within the relationship could not complete on their own. Artificial reproductive technology is therefore irrelevant, because the relationship still lacks the intrinsic means to children.

The public good that government is interested in is this intrinsic link to children. “Marriage produces and cultivates the development of future citizens within a family unit held together by norms of fidelity, monogamy, exclusivity, and permanence. The flourishing of children is directly connected with the public good.” [3] The state provides benefits to married couples because the state recognizes this public good, and therefore wants to promote it. By giving marriage legal recognition it promotes a stability among married couples. Marriage is orientated towards child well being and is linked to procreation like no other relationship.

The Common Good II

Recognizing homosexual relationships as marriage creates the same problem as mentioned in The Common Good I. Heterosexual relationships have a distinct common good that no other relationship can pursue. This common good is procreation. Heterosexual couples have an exclusive inherent link to procreation that no other relationship can pursue. The purpose of calling this relationship marriage is to recognize the distinct common good. The purpose of the government legally recognizing this relationship as marriage is due this relationship possessing an inherent link to a common good that has a socially public purpose unlike any other relationship.

Infertile Couples

Whether or not a heterosexual couple has children is irrelevant. The government is interested in the comprehensive relationship heterosexuals pursue, and not the means to the end of that relationship. Infertile couples are still able to engage into the sexual act that comprehensively unites them together. In this way infertile couples are still of a procreative type even if procreation cannot be achieved. The government still recognizes marriage between infertile heterosexual couples in order to promote what marriage actually is, and not just focus on the conclusion of that comprehensive relationship.

I await your response.

[1] John Corvino, "The Case for Same-Sex Marriage" in Gallagher and Corvino (eds), Debating Same-Sex Marriage (OUP: 2012)

[2] 2. Sherif Girgis, Robert P. George, and Ryan T. Anderson, “What is Marriage?” Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 34:1 (2010)

[3] Tim Hsiao on gay marriage

Debate Round No. 2


kat_in_the_hat forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
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Vote Placed by Codedlogic 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by Phoenix61397 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: FF

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