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Gay Marriage

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/11/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,421 times Debate No: 13125
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (23)
Votes (2)




It seems that many people use the bible as a reason as to why Gay Marriage should be illegal. With the separation of church and state, all the bible's texts (or any other religious writing's for that matter) are rendered useless. One can also argue by saying that because gay people cannot reproduce, they should not be together since the point of life is to reproduce. One can counter by saying that life isn't about reproducing, and even if it was, many straight people fail to reproduce as well, but are allowed to marry. A very popular argument seems to be that by allowing gay marriage, gays would influence the young people today. However, there would be the same amount of gay people "influencing" the young people as if gay marriage were allowed. Further, the "influence" among the younger generation is not ethically wrong, to my knowledge. Others argue that the constitution says something along the lines of, "...marriage between a man and a woman..." therefore marriage between two individuals of the same sex is out of the question. One can counter by saying that the constitution never said you can't have marriage between a man and a man or a woman and a woman. Even if you can prove the constitution is against gay marriage, the constitution can be wrong and has been amended a countless amount of times.



I thank Pro for starting this debate and welcome Pro to the site. Pro is new to the site, but as a reminder for future reference, you should make the title of the debate a statement and your opening post should add details for clarifying your position. For example, instead of stating: "Gay marriage" you should instead state "Gay marriage should be legal" or "Gays have the right to get married". I will also assume that we are talking about gay marriage in the United States, however you were unclear where (in which country/countries) gay marriage should be legal.

1) Marriage is a religious ceremony

People get married in churches. People get married by priests or ministers. Sounds a lot like marriage has something to do with religion then. To say that marriage is not religious is absurd.

Pro seems to have a fundamental misunderstanding of seperation of church and state. This does not mean that the government cannot pass a law that has any religious aspects to it. Instead seperation of church and state is best defined by the "lemon test" []. For example, the government can constitutionally give funding to religious schools. The purpose of separation of church and state is that individuals are not required to join or take part in a specific religion or any religion at all. The same applies to marriage. It is a religious ceremony, but one is not required to become married.

While it is true that marriage allows some benefits, one can circumvent that by allowing gays to take part in a 'civil union' which has the same benefits as a marriage.

2) The majority of people in the United States do not want gays to get married.

One of the foundations of the United States is that it is "by the people, for the people". The United States is a democracy, and as a democracy the laws should reflect the majorities preference. And now, Americans state that they do not want gays to get married. While there might be a few for legalization of gay marriage, one should respect the opinion of the majority.

If we were to make laws the people did not want, then this country would no longer be a democracy but a totalitarianism.
Debate Round No. 1


So if the majority of the people want something, they get it? This cannot apply in all situations. Further, I can see no "loser", or so to speak, when a homosexual couple is married. No one suffers. The majority of the US do not want it to be allowed, but I cannot see why it is so. It only contradicts their theological teachings, but really does not harm them. The reason why the majority of the American people are against it is not a good enough reason in my opinion.

And getting married, religious or not, is a right. Therefore, we should not deprive someone of that right if it causes virtually no harm.


I thank Pro for the response.

"So if the majority of the people want something, they get it? "

Yes, that's how a democracy works. That's how many of our laws are created. We vote for senators and congressmen that represent our best interests. Most states have referendums. If laws are not around to do good to the most people, then what purpose are there. There are many laws out there that not everyone wants. Some people want weed to be legal. Some would not like school at the age of 16 to be mandatory. Some wouldn't like to pay taxes. Some would even like to kill others. But we still have laws anyways.

"Further, I can see no "loser", or so to speak, when a homosexual couple is married. No one suffers."

If I drive your car when your not using it and do not tell you, its considered a form of grand theft auto. If I go on your property, it might not harm you, but your still trespassing.

Allowing homosexual couples to get married is like going to a party your not invited to. It might not harm you directly, but its not something you want. Its intrusive on those who want marriage, who consider it to mean between a "man and a women", who considered it to be an important moment in their life, to have the definition be changed to between a "man and a man".

A good example of this is the Nobel Prize is not awarded in mathematics because Alfred Nobel did not want there to be a nobel prize in mathematics, so we respect his wish. However,mathematicians have there own prize, the fields prize.

Gays can have their own ceremony for a lifelong commitment between the same sex, but it does not have to be marriage.

"It only contradicts their theological teachings, but really does not harm them."

This is everything, considering marriage is a RELIGIOUS CEREMONY! It is something holy and sacred. It is a bond between a man and a women that exists forever. It is of high value to these people.

"And getting married, religious or not, is a right. Therefore, we should not deprive someone of that right if it causes virtually no harm."

How is it a right? I can not go up to any person, say "I want to get married, it's my right!". No its something more than that. It is a privilege to get married.

It's not a right in the bill of rights, its not a right in the constitution. It's not in the declaration of independence. It's not in "The Social Contract, Or Principles of Political Right ". No major branch of philosophy considers it a right. How is it it a right?
Debate Round No. 2


piymonk forfeited this round.


Pro has forfeited the debate.

The problem arises that everyone thinks that marriage is a right to everyone. It is not.Marriage is an institution created by humans, and what the definition of marriage is should be defined by these majority. If marriage is an institution created by humans, we have the right to include who can and cannot be a part of marriage. Marriage is defined as a "man and a women". Same sex couples can have their own institution but they should not try to try to change the institution of another.

Vote CON.
Debate Round No. 3
23 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by appl3snack 8 years ago
To quote the first amendment, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Religious belief is not a basis for law.

This also touches on the "forcing ministers to marry gay couples" argument. A law allowing it, allowing anyone to get married in a courtroom, does not force it into churches - that would be unconstitutional, it just makes the option available.

In regards to your comment about civil unions, (although a google search would bring up the same thing (1) ) same-sex civil unions are only recognized in a handful of states, they are also a "separate but equal" situation.

Posted by adrianiscorrect 8 years ago
In the UK it can be argued that marriage is no longer religious because the ceremony does not have to be conducted by a minister or priest and I am sure that it is the same in America. Marriage in the UK involves signing a marriage license that is a legal document (not a holy one) so I guess you can choose to have a religous service where you make your declarations to god or you can have a legal service where you make your declaration to the state. So...marriage is no longer purely religious unless you want it to be.

Further more arguing that the vast majority of people don't want gay marriage, I feel, is not a valid point. Marriage is about two people, not a nation. It is not anyone's place to stop two people who love each other from getting married (unless it is for dramatic effect in soap operas). Why should they get a say in this? Surely the only people who should have the choice are gay people. The majority telling the minority what they can and can't do stinks of the mixed race marriage debacle, the so called sodomy laws (your freedom loving country didn't repeal till 2002, what the hell guys?) and women wearing trousers.

The majority should determine how a country is run and not how people express their love or their freedom. It is a disgrace for anyone to want to hold back rights that are enjoyed by most from the few. This is one of the last great injustices in equal rights, how can anyone argue this with a straight face?
Posted by tkubok 8 years ago
Zawolf...Then great.

What if the majority public, wants to institute slavery again? Will it pass?

I mean, i agree that smaller issues can be influenced by the majority. However, something called the constitution, prevents even the overwhelming majority from violating the minorities rights. It doesnt matter if the majority suddenly starts advocating that the Blacks, a minority, are no longer human and should be slaves. The minority are protected under the constitution. Under the law.
Posted by ZaWolf 8 years ago
You're seriously debating that majority opinion does not determine law, and morality???

Wow.. I can't argue with people who don't believe in basic facts. That's like me using calories as an argument against big macs.. and you saying a calorie is bull crap made up by scientists.

I can't argue something if you're just going to say you don't believe facts exist.. Like majority opinions determining what's right and what's wrong. (I know you're a bigot, and you think all your opinions determine what's right and wrong-- no one else's)

If everyone has an equal say (as in a democracy-- one where you are not superior to everyone else), majority opinion decides law and morality. If you deny that, well I can't argue against it, other then to say you're a complete loony who believes the world is a whole conspiracy and you probably believe you're the only one who actually exists.

Beliefs are a legitimate argument against something.. whether they are secular beliefs, or religious beliefs.

Based on your argument, murder should be allowed. Because it's only illegal on the basis of beliefs (and majority opinion).

I don't mean to sound rude, but some of the reactions to me, saying pro was wrong for saying beliefs is not a legitimate reason, are just ignorant.

Majority opinion, DOES determine what is acceptable.

And annhasle, majority opinion is not my argument against gay marriage. Read it again-- this time don't skim or make assumptions. I was saying Pro can't eliminate belief as a reason for law because of Separation of Church and State CAUSE IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH GAY MARRIAGE-- all it is, is the state can't fund churches or otherwise promote one religion.. it doesn't say belief is not a reason for law-- because all we have is belief (your belief that gay marriage should be allowed-- my belief that you are a bigot).
Posted by annhasle 8 years ago
Majority don't believe in Gay marriage? That's really one of your arguments? The majority of Americans think Obama is a Muslim. I'm just going to quote Thomas Jefferson on this one... "All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression. "
Posted by MarquisX 8 years ago
There are Christians who believe in Gay marriage. A small number. I'm one. And there are Atheist who don't believe in gay marriage. I think it has more to do than religion. People keep going back to the bible again and again but isn't this country (US I don't know about anywhere else) have separation of church and state? You can be married by the church or you can be married by the state. The bill of rights do not rule out gay marriage and also the number of supporters of gay marriage is also rising. I think they should try again, I'm 18 now so I can vote. Also to force a priest to marry gay people would be wrong. It would be easier to have gay men or women become ordained so they can get married.
Posted by tvellalott 8 years ago
I love to argue devil advocate, but I seriously couldn't argue against gay marriage.
Posted by tkubok 8 years ago
Some people are opposed to same sex union as well as marriage, though.

And BTW, Zawolf, you are wrong. Majority opinion does not determine what is acceptable.

If Democracy is two wolves and a sheep, voting on what to have for lunch, the constitution exists to protect the rights of the sheep. Majority opinion means little in this case, if it denies any minority its fundemental rights.
Posted by ZaWolf 8 years ago
What's the news on same-sex unions? If they offer the same state benefits of marriage, why are gays so opposed to settling for same-sex unions? It's the same thing, except a different name (that way you don't piss off religious people who believe the definition of marriage is the joining of a man and a woman).

Can someone, honestly, inform me on the difference between same-sex unions and marriage? Cause I was always told they're the same thing, but a different name. Just asking, so I know in the future, thanks.
Posted by Chrysippus 8 years ago
@L: I think the key word there is "force".
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by MattPalumbo 8 years ago
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