The Instigator
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0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
10 Points

Same-sex Marriage

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/15/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 859 times Debate No: 71738
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)




Marriage, by definition, is the formally recognized union of two human beings. It doesn't specifically mention the sexuality of these individuals, and therefore the presence of same-sex marriage doesn't contradict the definition of marriage itself.
Those that argue that acceptance of same-sex marriage will lead to polygamy and bestiality, are unreasonable. As I have said before, marriage is between two human beings. This doesn't involve animals (preventing bestiality), and since it is limited to two people, it doesn't open up a road to polygamy.
Also, I understand that many religions disagree with homosexuality. I do not plan on changing the beliefs of those who are of the religion, for everyone is entitled to their own opinion. However, preventing marriage between two individuals, solely based off of their sexuality is discrimination and prejudice. This is unacceptable behavior. It is our duty and responsibility as human beings to make sure people are given the rights they deserve, and all people are worthy of the right to marry someone they love.
Furthermore, "separation of church and state" denies any argument related to the Bible, Torah, or any other religious document. Therefore, any argument that opposes my current statement cannot have a connection to religion.


I thank my opponent for instigating.

The Slippery Slope is a valid threat

My opponent dismisses the slippery slope as ridiculous, but it is a legitimate threat. But, if anything, polygamy has a stronger foothold than same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage (SSM) is a relatively new phenomena in the Western World. This is not true for polygamy, which has deep roots historically within Mormon culture, the Middle East, and existed throughout Europe at different points in time. This makes polygamy a historical reality and may cause it to actually lead to legalization. SSM has no such advantage of historical existence.

Canada legalized SSM in 2005. The Canadian’s are now seeing polygamy cases go through their court systems. “[There is] a case now before a Canadian judge testing the national ban on polygamy. British Columbia Chief Justice Robert Bauman is expected to rule later this year on whether anti-polygamy laws violate Canada’s constitution. Canada legalized same-sex marriage in 2005.” [1.]

It is very likely that some form of polygamy activism, and eventual legalization, would occur if we change the definition of marriage. The only argument against this would be if my opponent wishes to argue in favor of polygamy, which is an untenable position to people who understand the nuclear family and its benefits for children.

SSM harms the institution of marriage

Many in the past had pointed towards the Dutch family unit and hailed it as proof that liberal familial policies can work with the traditional family. But this is not necessarily correct. Evidence from the Netherlands suggests out-of-wedlock births increased in the 80s, continued to increase in the 90s but at a slower rate. The accelerated increase occurred again when same-sex civil unions were passed and has been increasing consistently since SSM legalization [2.]. The analysis extends further through divorce rates. Divorce rates were increasing, but fairly slowly, in the Netherlands before 2000. But in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the divorce rate rapidly increased after same-sex marriage legalization [3.].

Similar arguments in favor of SSM apply to no-fault divorce laws. They suggested that it was impossible for no-fault divorce to harm marriage, and many argued it would make marriage better. They cited evidence that women would not be able to escape abuse from men, so no-fault divorce laws served to protect them. None of these turned out to be true. No-fault divorce laws do impact divorce rates, as proven by virtually every study on the issue. “Seventeen of 24 recent empirical studies find that the introduction of no-fault divorce laws increased the divorce rate … One of the higher estimates (Kidd (1995) found no-fault divorce boosted divorce rates as much as 88 percent. More typically, studies estimate no-fault divorce increased divorce rates on the order of 5 to 30 percent (e.g., Drewianka (2006), Friedberg (1998), Gruber (2004), Iverson (2005), Matouschek and Rasul (2006), Reilly and Evenhouse (1997), Rogers et al. (1997)).” [4.]

SSM leads to a loss of freedom

I will again cite Canada. Canada is a great comparison as, until recently, their economy closely matched the US, they are a leading trade partner, and are one of the most relatable countries to the US and serve a good comparison.

In Canada, many have been accused of hate for speaking out against gay marriage. Although many acquiesce, others choose to combat the lawsuits. Even though they usually win, it costs the defendant “hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees.” [5.]

While gay people may benefit, others lose their right to freedom of speech and religion.

Debate Round No. 1


Homosexuality is not a choice. It is something people are born with. Research has led us to believe that sexuality is determined by biological traits such as brain dominance, genes/DNA, etc. Though the main cause is unclear, scientists are certain that being gay is not a choice. However, polygamy is. It is part of a culture that people choose to follow. This very fact separates polygamy and homosexuality. 'There is now very strong evidence from almost two decades of 'biobehavioral' research that human sexual orientation is predominantly biologically determined." [1.]

"A basic principle of our social covenant is that we do not discriminate against people on the basis of circumstances that they cannot choose, like race, sex and disability. If sexual orientation belongs on that list, then should we still prohibit gay marriage?" [1.]

On the contrary, polygamy is a choice. It is part of a culture that people choose to follow. This fact draws a fine line between same-sex marriage and polygamy. It will be looked at differently because same-sex marriage is a matter of human rights, while polygamy is matter of freedom of religion. They're part of different categories in the legal aspect, and therefore the Judicial branch will handle it differently. Despite activism the may occur, the road to legalization of polygamy will be stopped in court. For this reason, it is safe to say that the slippery slope is an invalid argument.

The increase in divorce rates were caused by other factors. My opponent stated that divorce rates were rapidly increasing after the legalization of same-sex marriage in the Netherlands that occurred in 2000. However, same-sex marriage isn't to blame. Around the same time, emigration rates were increasing. "In 2003, emigration exceeded immigration for the first time since 1984." [2.] Also, 'unemployment rates increased from 8.7% to 15.7% between 2000 and 2004 in the Netherlands. [3. Globalization and Migration: A Comparative Study of the Political.... By Michael Orlando Sharpe] These economic factors caused financial issues, and other problems that resulted in divorce of many married couples throughout the Netherlands. Blaming same-sex marriage for these occurrences without evidence is not a logical argument.


I thank my opponent’s response.


Whether or not homosexuality is inborn is irrelevant. Many things are inborn but are not desirable traits. But to say homosexuality is inborn is totally incorrect. To suggest the research supports such a claim ignores pretty much every possible variable. The largest twin studies show low concordance rates and suggest that homosexuality is only about 10-20% genetically caused [1.]. A 10-20% influence is extremely small. To put it into perspective, puberty is about 90% genetically caused and heterosexuality concordance rates are around 95%. A 10-20% influence is considered weak to modest. And that is not significant and proves that homosexuality is likely caused by a complex mixture of environmental factors.

My opponent says we cannot discriminate against people who do not ‘choose’ something. This is not true. Although murderers are not anything like homosexuals (it is merely an illustrative example), many murderers are ‘born that way’. But we discriminate against them harshly. And discrimination is not necessarily bad, it is unjust discrimination which is bad. I have argued that allowing SSM will lead to (1) polygamy legalization, (2) harm the institution of marriage, and (3) lead to a loss of freedom. If any of those are proven correct I have showed that there are justifications for discriminating against homosexuals and that SSM should be prohibited.

My opponent claims polygamy is a choice—which is debatable. Technically entering marriage at all is a choice—whether gay or straight—so polygamy is a choice in that they can choose to be monogamous or celibate. But comparisons to primates suggests we are moderately polygamous. We are about in the middle of everything that determined how primates interact sexually—median size, genital ratios, etc. Thus, we are a species with some natural polygamous tendencies [2.]. Really the logic behind gay marriage is to (1) do not unjustly discriminate and (2) to promote love. But polygamous couples can love just as much as gay people and there is no reason to discriminate against polygamists if gay marriage is legalized—there is nothing different between gay marriage and polygamous marriage (not in the actual sense, but in the stance of the law). So it naturally follows that if we legalize gay marriage that polygamy should be legalized.


My opponent claims the Netherlands divorce rates and declining marriage rates are not because of gay marriage, but because of other societal impacts. This may be true, but part of the period when divorces began to increase occurred in the mid-90s when civil unions were open to homosexuals. But in that period, unemployment was fairly low. Registered partnerships passed in 1997. But in 1997 unemployment rates fell from the previous decade levels until 2000, and during the period divorce increased. In 2000, when gay marriage was legalized unemployment did increase (recession), and continued to increase until 2004. But the unemployment rate continued to fall, and as it fell divorce rates still increased [3.]. Unemployment alone seems unlikely to have caused the divorce changes.

It should be noted that during the period unemployment rates varied a lot but divorce rates continued to increase only after gay rights were expanded. Indeed, during periods of both low employment and high employment there seems to be a correlation that as more gay couples register to marry that heterosexual marriage rates correspondingly decline [4.].

Emigration is when people leave the country. I do not see how this would affect divorce rates. Immigration, according to my opponent, was exceeded by emigration. This means fewer immigrants are arriving, which, if anything, would produce a lower divorce rate. Migration rates were fairly stable from 2000 – 2004, a period where divorce increased after SSM (so cannot explain the difference), increased for a year in 2004, and then has plummeted since [5.]. Again, this factor cannot be causing the divorce increase

My opponent has dropped freedoms and thus concedes it as true.

Debate Round No. 2


mjjohnstone forfeited this round.


Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by FourTrouble 3 years ago
Classic 16k.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct - Con. Pro forfeited the final round which is rarely acceptable conduct in any debate setting. For this, Con wins conduct. S&G - Tie. Both had proper spelling and grammar throughout. Arguments - Con. Pro dropped con's argument that SSM leads to a loss of freedom, furthermore, Pro failed to rebut any of Con's arguments in the final round, which left Con standing unchallenged. This is a clear failure to maintain the BOP by Pro, and for these reasons Con wins arguments. Sources - Con. Both utilized sources in this debate. However, I found Con's to be much better in terms of both quality and quantity. Each argument Con presented had points that were backed by sources. Con didn't do the same in that regard, thus Con was more able to effectively strengthen his own arguments against Con's unsupported ones. Overall, this is a clear win by Con.
Vote Placed by ColeTrain 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD: Forfeiture and Pro's inability to effectively counter Con's argument of the "Slippery Slope" argument.