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

There is a legitimate, rational reason to prohibit same sex marriage in the United States

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/14/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,259 times Debate No: 58949
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (10)
Votes (3)




Although more than half the states in the United States prohibit homosexual marriage, I disagree that they have a legitimate, rational reason to do so. Pro will have to propose a legitimate, rational reason to prohibit same sex marriage. *DISCLAIMER* Leviticus 18:22 and all other passages from scripture may not be used as legitimate or rational argument. Tautological arguments will not be accepted as rational or legitimate. The purpose of this debate is to find legal or social arguments that show legalizing same sex marriage is irrational.

Remember, that what can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

Debate is 4 rounds:
1. Acceptance and brief opening argument.
2. Short rebuttal to opponent's opening argument and an elaboration on your position.
3. Rebuttals to the elaborated argument, new information can be stated if you wish.
4. Closing statements, no new information.


My opening argument:

There is no rational reason to prohibit same sex marriage in the United States. By prohibiting the rights of homosexuals to get married by the same standard as heterosexual couples, homosexuals are be denied the 1,138 statutory provisions, including benefits, rights, and privileges, that are attached to being married. The purpose of marriage in the United States is not procreative. In the United States, marriage is not an institution of love. The "nuclear family" is an outdated model of the typical American family. All forms of sexuality should be respected equally. Homosexuality is not an illness, disease, or disorder.


I accept the challenge.

While it is true that homosexuals aren't really any different than heterosexuals, I don't think we should give them the right to marriage, because they already have enough rights, as American citizens. Just because they love the same sex doesn't repress their rights as naturally born American citizens.
I'm not even basing my argument off of religious purposes. I'm basing my argument as the average Joe.

I may not agree with the homosexuals at times, but I'm not going to impose my views on them, either. And I would hope that their views won't impose on me. The government shouldn't be involved in this, and I think we have much more important things to take care of than legalizing marriage for same-sex couples, especially since the base of the marriage agenda is mainly about money. Benefits, banks, et cetera, et cetera.

The happiest homosexuals I know are the ones who don't care about the whole marriage issue; they're happy as is with their partner as they are now. Focusing on marriage issues would only cause discord and unhappiness.
Besides, historically, there have always been homosexuals. But the world got on just fine without same-sex marriage.
Debate Round No. 1


From what I can dissect from your opening argument, you are saying we should not legalize gay marriage "because they already have enough rights, as American citizens."

This is the sort of argument used to discriminate against African Americans before the Civil Rights movement. Marriage is certainly not a birth given right, but to deprive a group of people from laws that provide benefits, rights, and privileges (1,138 of which are attached to marriage) without a legitimate, rational reason violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution. The Constitution of the United States applies to all citizens. Homosexuals are not imposing their view on you, they are simply trying to receive equal access to the laws attached to marriage. Saying the government should not be involved in marriage either means that no government benefits should come with marriage or that the government should not determine who can get married.

The only issue regarding sexuality that equally needs addressing is the protection of homosexuals, bisexuals, transgender persons, pansexuals, asexuals, and other disenfranchised groups from being fired for their sexuality. Lots of states allow for companies to fire individuals based on their sexuality and gender identity as if it were a precursor to determine someone's capacity to be successful in a profession. These issues cannot be ignored because a large portion of our country is facing discrimination based on the way they were born. This intolerance is not accepted in regards to race and ethnicity and; therefore, should not accepted for those who are not heterosexual or cisgender.

Focusing on marriage issues only causes discord and unhappiness when people are consistently restricted from the institution. Still, homosexuals across the country are fighting for marriage equality and are having rather significant success.

If you want to get into the history of marriage, you should recognize that interracial marriage was not legalized in all fifty states until 1967. We had gotten along "just fine" without interracial marriage until 1967. Do you propose we reinstate that policy on the grounds that interracial couples have enough natural rights as American citizens?

In closing, and most importantly, banning homosexual marriage because "they already have enough rights" is not legitimate, nor rational. Replace the word "homosexuality" with "African Americans" or "the elderly" and you should understand why. If it is not a legitimate, rational reason for race, age, or any other natural quality, the argument is not rational or legitimate when applied to homosexuality.

I hope you put forward a better argument in the next round.


I'm not placing the homosexuals and African Americans in the same subject.

To the Constitution, yes, it is true that it applies to all citizens. But no where does the Constitution does it talk about marriage, and so basing legalized marriage off of the Constitution is invalid in itself. (I can bring you to a whole new discussion about the Constitution, too, if you want.) The Fourteenth Amendment was created to ensure the rights of African American citizens, just recently freed from slavery. I can't see how the Fourteenth Amendment can be coupled with gay marriage, and the sole basis of the Fourteenth Amendment was to protect the rights of African Americans. In fact, if the Fourteenth Amendment was directed to every single citizen, we wouldn't need to have the Nineteenth Amendment (Women's Rights to Vote).

But, on regards to the protection of the homosexual individuals, I agree with you on that. Firing someone on their sexuality is like firing someone on their race, I get that.

Interracial marriage; in all honesty, I both feel that this is wrong, and yet I feel that it is right. I think what my basis is on this issue, is that, in the Webster's 1828 Dictionary, it defines marriage as:
"MAR'RIAGE, n. [L.mas, maris.] The act of uniting a man and woman for life; wedlock; the legal union of a man and woman for life. Marriage is a contract both civil and religious, by which the parties engage to live together in mutual affection and fidelity, till death shall separate them. Marriage was instituted by God himself for the purpose of preventing the promiscuous intercourse of the sexes, for promoting domestic felicity,and for securing the maintenance and education of children."

Between a man and a woman is what I based my "They got on just fine" sentence.
I don't want to see marriage redefined, or family redefined. It would cause confusion.
I feel bad for the neighborhood kids sometimes, because they tell me of how their parents are the same sex (either adopted or "married" into the family) and they get picked on because the other kids are confused on how to address "dad" or "mom" around them, and they get picked on because kids get confused when the said kid talks about "mom" or "dad."

I'm just concerned on the future confusion.
I obviously can't see into the future, so I can't say it will create confusion, but I'm looking at it from the view of a child.
Debate Round No. 2


If you read the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, you'll notice that the term "African American" is not present. The 14th Amendment is not exclusive to African Americans. You're absolutely correct in saying that the 14th Amendment alone does not give homosexuals the right to marriage. However, this is only true if there is a legitimate, rational reason to pass a law prohibiting same sex marriage (rational basis test). Although this debate centers around the question "is there a legitimate, rational reason to prohibit same sex marriage," you have still failed to propose one to me. If a group of people is being denied access to government benefits for no reason other than their sexual orientation, it is a violation of the Equal Protection Clause.

Voting Rights is an entirely different topic, but if you actually read why the 19th Amendment was ratified, you will find out that it was because of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The reason the 19th Amendment exists is because the 14th Amendment exists. The 19th Amendment overturned the case Minor v. Happersett. If you desire to bring me a whole new discussion on the Constitution, you may want to brush up on your facts.

Applying an 1828 definition of marriage to justify your distaste for interracial marriage in modern society is extremely racist. I urge to seriously reevaluate your position.

It does not matter whether or not you want to see marriage redefined. The fact of the matter is that a large group of people are being denied access to government benefits for no legitimate, rational reason. You can either remove the benefits or allow all relationships to have equal access to the benefits. That's not a confusing proposition.

To borrow an argument from Louis C.K., and I paraphrase: So, just because the parents of these children are incapable of raising their child to be tolerant of all relationships and sexualities, same sex couples should not be allowed to get married?

Why should same sex couples take the blame for intolerance of others? They shouldn't have to. People need to be tolerant and express empathy. You do not have to agree with their lifestyle, but you are certainly not entitled to prevent them from the same government benefits you have because of your different lifestyle.

I am still waiting for your legitimate, rational argument.


Fist off, my remark on the Webster's reference with the interracial marriage must not have been worded correctly, as I did not mean it to be taken on a "racist" level.

Also, I never said anything about the history of the Nineteenth Amendment, only that if the Fourteenth Amendment meant everybody, we wouldn't need the Nineteenth.
Also. The Fourteenth Amendment didn't have to say "African American" or "Black" or, in the language at the time, "Negro," it was already implied due to the Emancipation.

"The 14th amendment to the US Constitution was ratified on July 9, 1868 during the Reconstruction era. It, along with the 13th and 15th amendments are collectively known as the Reconstruction amendments. However, of those three, the 14th is the most complicated and the one that has had the more unforeseen effects. Its broad goal was to ensure that the CIVIL RIGHTS ACT passed in 1866 would remain valid ensuring that "all persons born in the United States...excluding Indians not taxed...." were citizens and were to be given "full and equal benefit of all laws." (Quotes from the Civil Rights Act of 1866) However, it went beyond the provisions of the CIVIL RIGHTS ACT in many ways." (
And the Civil Rights act was "passed over a presidential veto on 9 April 1866, the law declared all persons born in the United States to be citizens, except for unassimilated Native Americans, and defined and protected citizens' civil rights. The law was part of Congress's attempt to reconstruct the union and eradicate slavery after the Civil War. In 1865 Congress had sent the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery, to the states for ratification. Under President Andrew Johnson's program for restoring the union, the Southern states were required to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment and abolish slavery in their own states. However, the president set no requirements for the treatment of newly freed slaves. In the South and in many Northern states, free African Americans had not been considered state or national citizens and had been subject to special restrictions of various kinds. In Scott v. Sandford (1857)"the Dred Scott Case"the Supreme Court ruled that African Americans were not citizens of the United States. Acting on this view of the law, the Southern state governments reestablished under President Johnson's authority imposed varying restrictions on their black populations."

I also never said that same sex couples should take the blame for intolerance of others. I only implied that there will be intolerance and that people will get hurt because of it.

My other argument on why national same sex marriage should be illegal (NATIONAL, I say) is that it would take away the rights of the States that make it illegal. (As far as individual states are concerned, that is up to the states.)
"states' rights
the rights belonging to the various states, especially with reference to the strict interpretation of the constitution, by which all rights not delegated by the Constitution to the federal government belong to the states."
But for states like mine, (Texas), to have people fight to change it just is unfair. (My views aren't for a democratic nation, but a republic, or as dad calls it, a democratic republic.) So, if the government of Texas says that gay marriage is illegal for the state, than that should be final. The government must not intervene. Otherwise that is socialism, fascism, and hell. I'll go as far as Nazism.
(Also cite the Roe v. Wade case; this case overturned individual state's rights to ban abortion[which also incorrectly used the Fourteenth Amendment], a violation of states' rights.)

In all honesty, I am very fine with individual legalization. National legalization is, in itself, illegal, because it destroys our rights as "United" States.
Debate Round No. 3


I do not understand how your summary of the Reconstruction Amendments pertains to this debate. Whether or not the Reconstruction Amendments were the result of slavery, which they were, they still apply to all legal citizens.

Your argument that same-sex marriage should be prohibited because a state has a prohibition on same-sex marriage is a tautological argument. My statement in round 1 states that tautological arguments will not be considered rational or legitimate. It is certainly fair for people to fight against prohibitions that they deem unfair, especially if it's defenders cannot provide a legitimate, rational reason for the prohibition to begin with. The government of Texas certainly has the final decision on state affairs, but they cannot pass a law prohibiting same-sex marriage without a legitimate, rational reason (rational basis test).

Although this has nothing to do with the debate, there is nothing in the natural world that can be truly socialism, fascism, hell, and nazism simultaneously. Socialism, in simplest terms, is an economic system where there is a social ownership of the means of production. Fascism, and all forms of fascism, which includes nazism, opposes this idea. Mussolini himself wrote, "Fascism [is] the complete opposite of"Marxian Socialism, the materialist conception of history of human civilization can be explained simply through the conflict of interests among the various social groups and by the change and development in the means and instruments of production.... Fascism, now and always, believes in holiness and in heroism; that is to say, in actions influenced by no economic motive, direct or indirect. And if the economic conception of history be denied, according to which theory men are no more than puppets, carried to and fro by the waves of chance, while the real directing forces are quite out of their control, it follows that the existence of an unchangeable and unchanging class-war is also denied - the natural progeny of the economic conception of history. And above all Fascism denies that class-war can be the preponderant force in the transformation of society...." Hell is a man-made afterlife to scare people into conforming to the ideas of the religion proposing the existence of hell.

I agree, it is the right of the states to determine the legality of same-sex marriage. However, a state can only prohibit same-sex marriage if they provide a legitimate, rational reason. You, nor any state with a same-sex marriage ban, has proposed such a reason.


As far as the states are concerned, they have reasons, but another one of your rules states that religion or and references to Leviticus 18:22 wasn't a "rational" remark, so I have an unfair handicap. (Texas has never made gay marriage legal, so I would assume they would have religiously implied such reasons when it was first brought up.)

Even if you may find religious reason illegitimate, or irrational, it's obvious that it was allowed anyways, because it still exists.
And the government cannot take any more rights away from the states, imagine the tyranny that would happen if the rights we were so proven to have were to suddenly be taken away.

The argument that same sex marriage, nationally, should be prohibited is a good enough, legitimate, rational reason. It may not answer the "whys" you have, but having the rights enough should be unquestionable. (But it's America, so you are free to question, and that's the beauty of it.)
This statement from hits me:

"American democracy, as it was designed, is dead. At the very least, it"s on life support and has been for a while. If we are not careful, we are not going to be able to revive it and the Founding Fathers" efforts to give it to us will be lost.

As the story goes, Benjamin Franklin was leaving the Constitutional Convention in 1787 and was asked by a woman if the new government was a republic or a monarchy. It was reported that without hesitation he responded, "A republic, if you can keep it." So, what exactly did he mean and do we need to heed his warning today?

Today, if you walked down the street of any American city and asked any average citizen what kind of government we have in America today you would likely hear from nine out of ten people, "A democracy." That answer, to a degree is correct. A democracy is "a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections." (1b) That other person (I am being optimistic here), the one out of ten, would answer "a democratic republic." This answer would be more correct. A republic is "a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law." (1b.1) America is both a democracy and a republic. Or, at least it was.

I say "it was" because I am beginning to believe that it may no longer be. We the people, I think, like to pretend that we still have a democratic republic but does the "supreme power" really rest in the hands of the people? I would argue that it does not. What do we really have? It is now more of an oligarchy. An oligarchy is "a government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes." (2) Thomas Jefferson once said, "Liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it [be]comes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism " ownership of the government by an individual, by a group." (NOTE: Jefferson was not talking about fascism in the WWII sense that we tend to think of it today. He was talking about it more in the economic sense.)

The key part I want to focus on is that our government is now run by a small group of elites, by a group of people who have tremendous economic wealth and through that wealth "own" the government. Let"s first start with the distribution of wealth in our country. To understand this argument, you have to start here because wealth is the means to power."

So, an America ruled by any other form of government, whether it be fascism, Nazism, socialism, or oligarchy, will never survive.

I will keep my argument of states' rights, because, as I have stated already, that is a rational enough reason to prohibit national same-sex marriage. An oligarchy that overrules this will only result in tyranny. And the more the Supreme Court pushes it's oligarchy powers, the more unhappy everybody else will be. I don't mean everybody as in the homosexuals. I mean, everybody in America. If our government were to change, we would become vulnerable to revolts, vulnerable to war, vulnerable to succumb to higher powers (in other words, be invaded and taken over.)

While my last paragraph may have been extreme, I will keep my argument on the fact that the individual rights of the states is a rational explanation enough to prohibit [national] gay marriage.
Debate Round No. 4
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Free_Th1nker 7 years ago
I don't think the people who have voted on this debate understand this debate.
Posted by XionChan 7 years ago
The reason I brought up the Reconstruction was to show the real meaning behind the Fourteenth Amendment, as it is commonly misinterpreted today.
Posted by Free_Th1nker 7 years ago

No, it is not a handicap to forbid you from using scripture. Government cannot make laws endorsing a religion. If Texas could use Leviticus to make laws, the whole state of Texas would be in prison/jail because Leviticus is filled with ridiculous laws.

Actually, it does not exist. The First Amendment exists, however. Various reasons the states use to prohibit same sex marriage are the protection of the traditional understanding of marriage or that marriage is procreative. I was expecting something along these lines, not "they have enough rights already" or "because the government says so."

Nowhere does it say that same-sex marriage should be illegal nationally. It says that the states have the power to decide. Either way, it's a tautological argument.

Anyone who votes pro, that's your discretion, but please let all of us know what the legitimate, rational reason provided by pro was.

@Bennett91 Thank you. I would appreciate you elaborating on your comment in a vote.
Posted by Bennett91 7 years ago
Wow I must say this wasn't even a debate. Con presented a well written comprehensive argument; while Pro, to summarize responded "I'm not gay, therefore it's not an issue. I hate government interference and Fascism, but when the government of Texas tells me something, like gays aren't equal, I believe it without question. Just because blacks and women had to fight for their rights for equality doesn't mean we should let gays have the same rights. They can be gay and they should be satisfied with that."
Posted by XionChan 7 years ago
This was a great debate. Con was very impressive; you had me stumped a couple of times. I'm glad we had this debate, though.
Posted by XionChan 7 years ago
Everybody should receive protection rights against discrimination. I just don't think marriage is for everybody because of said definition.
But Equal Protection I do agree on. It does piss me off when I hear people fired for not having the "right" sexual preference.
Posted by Free_Th1nker 7 years ago
As American citizens they do not have the right to marry or have protection from being fired from their jobs with no reason other than their sexuality. I make this point in my argument. Who are you to say they should not receive equal access to these rights because they have a different sexual preference than you?
Posted by XionChan 7 years ago
Oh? Then what rights do they not have, as American citizens? I'm not talking about marriage rights specifically in my sentence there. Just because they want to have sex with the same gender, does that take their free speech away? Does it take away their right to bear arms? Does it take away the right to a speedy and fair trial?
Posted by ChosenWolff 7 years ago
XionChan, that argument was terrible. "They have enough rights already" - LMAO
Posted by Free_Th1nker 7 years ago
If someone believes they have a reason not mentioned in this debate I will gladly repost the debate following the conclusion of this one with XionChan.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: There's always a reason, even if it sucks. Preventing anti-gay violence is a valid reason
Vote Placed by Mray56 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: " I don't think we should give them the right to marriage, because they already have enough rights" This is not applicable to fulfilling the resolution. This is not a legitimate, rational reason. Pro used the constitution reubuttal. I find this argument false because the constitution can be amended . Just like the 14th amendment ensuring rights to blacks. When pro argued the definition of marriage, I thought that was a good argument, knowing that the definition of marriage would in fact alter. I will put a tie down for convincing arguments because both sides had strong arguments.
Vote Placed by Preston 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro fulfilled BOP for resolution in round 1, Cons refutations were good but he didn't back them with evidence, thus pro made the more convincing arguments. Because pro used evidence he gets sources.

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