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Debate: Gay marriage

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 +<seo title="Debate on Same Sex Marriage" metak="same sex marriage, ban on same sex marriage, same sex marriage debate, homosexuality, gay marriage, DOMA, Defense of Marriage Act, homosexual, civil marriage" metad="he gay marriage movement has been developing for well over a decade in the United States. Along with this movement, a strong counter-movement has grown. The passage of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996 marked a strong federal response and rejection of gay marriage, and was supported by 68% of Americans.[1] The DOMA did two things. First, it recognized the traditional definition of marriage as between one man and one woman for all aspects of federal law. Second, it ensured that no State is obligated to accept another State’s non-traditional marriages (or civil unions) by operation of the Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit Clause (art. IV, sec. 1). Following the passage of this law, thirty-seven States passed their own constitutional amendments or statutes commonly known as “state DOMAs” that further protect traditional, heterosexual marriage. For a time, this settled the debate. The gay marriage movement, however, continued to grow in support, the American public has become increasingly accepting of the idea (polls showing support between roughly 35% and 45%), and a number of state and municipal governments began challenging the DOMA after the millenia. With this increasing government and public support of the idea of gay marriage, opponents of gay marriage intensified their campaign, and in February 2004 for example, President Bush officially supported legislation designed to constitutionally ban gay marriage. This counter-movement to constitutionally ban gay marriage both on a federal and state level has certainly increased the stakes of the debate. Accompanying the state legislative "DOMAs" banning gay marriage have been a number of challenges and decisions in state supreme courts. In July, 2006, for example, New York’s highest court voted 4-to-2 that a legislative ban on same-sex marriage did not violate the state Constitution. This added to a small list of state rulings on the issue, including those of Indiana and Arizona (both of which also upheld legislative bans) and Massachusetts (which overturned a legislative ban)." />
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Revision as of 23:52, 9 November 2008

Is gay marriage wrong and should it be illegal?

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Contents

Background and Context of Debate:

The gay marriage movement has been developing for well over a decade in the United States. Along with this movement, a strong counter-movement has grown. The passage of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996 marked a strong federal response and rejection of gay marriage, and was supported by 68% of Americans.[1] The DOMA did two things. First, it recognized the traditional definition of marriage as between one man and one woman for all aspects of federal law. Second, it ensured that no State is obligated to accept another State’s non-traditional marriages (or civil unions) by operation of the Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit Clause (art. IV, sec. 1). Following the passage of this law, thirty-seven States passed their own constitutional amendments or statutes commonly known as “state DOMAs” that further protect traditional, heterosexual marriage. For a time, this settled the debate. The gay marriage movement, however, continued to grow in support, the American public has become increasingly accepting of the idea (polls showing support between roughly 35% and 45%), and a number of state and municipal governments began challenging the DOMA after the millenia. With this increasing government and public support of the idea of gay marriage, opponents of gay marriage intensified their campaign, and in February 2004 for example, President Bush officially supported legislation designed to constitutionally ban gay marriage. This counter-movement to constitutionally ban gay marriage both on a federal and state level has certainly increased the stakes of the debate. Accompanying the state legislative "DOMAs" banning gay marriage have been a number of challenges and decisions in state supreme courts. In July, 2006, for example, New York’s highest court voted 4-to-2 that a legislative ban on same-sex marriage did not violate the state Constitution. This added to a small list of state rulings on the issue, including those of Indiana and Arizona (both of which also upheld legislative bans) and Massachusetts (which overturned a legislative ban).[2]



Marriage defined: Should marriage be defined as between a man and a woman?

Yes

  • Marriage should be defined as between a man and a woman. Marriage has always been viewed by society as the religious and/or civil union between a man and a woman, and has always been regarded primarily as a heterosexual institution. This has involved thousands of years of tradition. The length of this tradition has made it unnecessary to produce a clear definition defining it. But, now that this lengthy tradition of marriage is under threat, its full historical force should be leveled in now defining it as between a man and a woman. If homosexual couples want equal protection under the law, that is one thing, but to call it "marriage" is to violate the rooted tradition and meaning of marriage.
  • Marriage is an institution of religion that should not be state regulated. The state has an institution of it's own called "Civil Unions". The state should recognize civil unions between same sex couples, since they should be afforded the same rights under government as any other partnership (i.e. marriage). The idea of marriage should be defined only in the context of religious beliefs and the state should not have any power over what the church deems as appropriate or inappropriate.
  • Marriage between a man and a woman is the basis for creating and defining a family It's been this way throughout history, regardless of religion, in ALL societies from primative to developed. It is natural law. It provides the structure for procreating children and then nurturing, educating, and developing them into productive members of society. Each child needs a father and a mother in their upbringing to model both. There is ample evidence that when either are missing, poverty and dysfunction increases (however noble the efforts of the single parent).
  • Regarding marriage, race is a superficial attribute whereas gender is not. A man and a woman from different racial backgrounds can unquestionably procreate children and provide father and mother models in nurturing, educating, and developing them. Two people of the same sex simply cannot do this basic marital function. For a judge to compare racial differences to sexual differences (or orientation) shows plain ignorance of biological and historical facts, as well as judicial incompetence.
  • Society needs to improve the institution of marriage, not weaken it. Same-sex marriage would be another deterioration to marriage (after no fault divorce), denigrating it to mere illicit cohabitation.


No

  • Separation of church and state precludes ban on gay marriage It is not congress's job to decide who anyone can marry. Marriage could be considered a form of expression, and the First Amendment gives us the right to freely express ourselves. The First Amendment also states, and I quote, "Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion or abridging the free exercise thereof".
  • The definition of marriage is fluid and should evolve to include gay marriage - Marriage was, at one point, an institution only for the elite. It was also something that was, at one point, deprived to slaves. It evolved from both of these exclusive positions to be more inclusive. There is not reason to believe that the "institution" can't or shouldn't evolve now to also include homosexuals.




Reproduction: Is reproduction the key function of marriage, invaliding gay-marriage?

Yes

  • The institution of marriage is centered around reproduction, disqualifying homosexuals - Marriage laws are designed in recognition of a unique biological phenomenon. They do not create marriages so much as apply appropriate legal sanctions and privileges to the inherent responsibilities and needs where a man and a woman have or will likely reproduce sexually. Marriage was a means to solidifying and stabilizing families so that reproduction and child-rearing would be more succesful. This is why adoption laws are kept separate - the biological realities are different. So also it is bad jurisprudence to lump pairs of people that are not going to conceive a child together (via a mixing of their DNA) in with those who will. For those morbid people that lay awake at night wondering how they will get into an emergency room with their lovers I suggest a chat with hospital administrators to find out what you can do to ensure access, or maybe switch hospitals. But don't muddy the legal waters by confusing lovers or best friends with those who conceive together. You do realize that best friends are denied access on the same terms as gay lovers and it can be just as disappointing.
  • Reproduction is a key function of marriage, not only reproducing children, but reproducing parents and families. Throughout history, regardless of religion, ALL societies from primative to developed have established some form of marriage to reproduce new generations of people. The fabric of society is woven by marriages producing new families with new children, which are nurtured, educated, and developed by a mother and a father into productive members of that society, who then reproduce, in kind, the next generation, each gender becoming a respective mother or father. To the degree that a society or civilization can REPRODUCE good healthy families, it will prosper. This depends on reproducing, not only children, but reproducing good fathers and good mothers by developing role model fathers and role model mothers.
  • Homosexual marriages could only reproduce dysfunction.


No

  • Homosexual spouses can helpfully adopt orphaned children Many children in the United States, let alone the world are orphaned. Same sex spouses frequently adopt children in need of a family. This is highly socially beneficial. A child receives a family and no additional children are added into an over-populated world. And, gay marriage would increase the adoption rate, since many homosexual spouses will want to start a family just like straight spouses.
  • Some married homosexual women actually do have babies In this procedure, one woman's egg is implanted into the other woman's body and then fertilize with an unknown donor's sperm. After the baby is born, instead of the father's name being used, the other spouse's names can be stated.


Institution of marriage: Does gay marriage threaten the institution of marriage?

Yes

  • Allowing gay marriage would cause a number of other principles surrounding marriage to come under attack There are many possible ways in which gay marriage could lead to other attacks on the basic principles of marriage. It is possible that gay marriage will be seen as an opportunity by polygamists and polyamorists to attempt to obtain marriage rights. What logic could stop this if marriage is offered to homosexuals. If the traditional definition of marriage is stretched to include homosexuals, what rationale could prevent it from being stretched to include polygamy and polyamory. The same justifications for gay marriage could be put forward by polygamists and polyamorists; That there relationship is based on love and commitment. And, obviously, if marriage is extended to these groups, the traditional institution of marriage and the principles that it stands on will be damaged.
  • All of the arguments negating this question are comparing against the dysfunctions occurring in worse case marriages.


No




Parenting: Are homosexual homes bad environments for child-rearing?

Yes

  • Each child needs a father and a mother in their upbringing to model both. There is ample evidence that when either are missing, poverty and dysfunction increases (however noble the efforts of the single parent). Homosexuals, regardless of their gender, can never adequately model either mother or father. They can never adequately define "social boundaries" because they have compromised the most basic biological boundary.
  • Homosexuals teach a tolerance toward dysfunctionality. Homosexuals inherently champion every dysfunctional cause as a so-called right, the result of which has infected all of society with tolerating dysfunction
  • Gay marriage should be compared against average marriages; not worst case ones. All of the arguments negating this question are compared against the dysfunctions occurring in worst case marriages.


No

  • Children do not need distinct male and female parental role-models What children need first is love, compassion, and care from their parents. In addition, children are highly influenced by their social environment as much as their parents, making it unreasonable to place such a high importance on the attributes that parents display.
  • Gay couples are raising children now, but at a disadvantage without the benefits of marriage Gay couples currently have the right to raise children and they are exercising that right. So, first, to claim that denying them marriage is somehow protecting children is counter to the de facto reality. Second, those homosexual couples that choose to raise children, but who are denied marriage, are denied the benefits to child-rearing that marriage offers. This is unfair to the children of homosexual couples.



Religious arguments: Is same-sex marriage wrong on religious grounds?

Yes

  • The bible opposes homosexuality, and thus gay marriage. The importance of the Bible in guiding Western moral codes is very high. If the Bible opposes homosexuality and gay marriage, than it should be trusted and followed. While the separation of Church and state exists, the importance of the bible to the development of national principles cannot be denied and should leave room for the moral guidance of the bible in influencing policy against gay marriage.
  • Religious organizations oppose homosexuality Many religious bodies oppose homosexuality and, obviously then, gay marriage. Many of these organizations are the moral foundation of national constitutions and principles. While a separation of church and state should be uphold, the moral guidance of religious organizations should not be denied.
  • The legalization of same-sex marriage will lead to an attack against religious institutions If gay marriages are sanctioned, religious organizations that don’t allow homosexual marriages and don’t recognize gay marriage as legitimate will come under attack for their beliefs and when preaching the bible. It may even come that preaching the bible and the same religion the United States was built upon, will be unconstitutional, charged with hate crimes.
  • The Catholic Church opposes gay marriage The Catholic Church is the most prominent of Christian institutions. The Vatican's opposition to gay marriage carries significant weight against the notion of gay marriage.
  • ALL major world religions support marriage between a man and a woman. While some support multiple wives, NONE support homosexuals marrying. Religion recognizes the central importance of "creation of family" as the fabric of the human race. To the extent that mankind recognizes spiritual importance and the source of all creation, mankind must raise marriage to a Sacramental elevation. We are free to worship as we ought, and free to define just how to elevate marriage. But the fact that religion elevates marriage does not segregate it into a religious-only institution. The fact remains that throughout history, regardless of religion, ALL societies from primitive to developed have established some form of marriage to reproduce new generations of people.


No

  • Freedom of religion principles mean that anti-homosexual principles of one religion (often in Christianity) should not be forced onto those of other faiths.
  • Many faith groups welcome gay marriage. The Pagan religion Wicca, for example, has "hand-fasting" which is equivalent to a wedding, and which does not exclude homosexuals. There are other examples of religions that accept homosexual marriage. Therefore, we need to look at everyone and not just one religion.
  • The United States was founded on religious freedom Many people say that the U.S. was founded on religion. This is only partially true. The United States was actually founded on freedom of religion (or the lack thereof), and religion should not play a role in any laws made.




Economics: Would same-sex marriage be damaging economically?

Yes

  • Gay marriage's legal benefits would strain taxpayers - While it is true that homosexuals would benefit financial by getting married and receiving the benefits of marriage, that is actually a concern in many people's eyes. The concern is simply that a change in law that allows same-sex marriage will suddenly create a major financial strain on taxpayers that fund marriage benefits. Hundreds of thousands of same-sex marriages would result from any cross-the-board legalization. Given the significance of the benefits provided to married couples, the new strains would be substantial on tax-payers.





No

  • Gay marriage would encourage lasting, stable commitments among homosexuals It is, to some extent, true that the homosexual culture suffers from a lack of commitment-making between partners. Marriage could certainly help strengthen commitment-making between homosexual partners, which would have many socially positive effects. And, after all, isn't this the main purposes behind the heterosexual institution of marriage?




Alternatives: Are there adequate alternatives for homosexuals?

Yes

  • Also known as the “love contract”, the registration of the union of gay couples has been carried out successfully in countries such as Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium and Spain. This would be an avenue for gay couples to declare their union to the world. The practice in countries which implement this system is to allow registered couples to be entitled to joint insurance coverage and to allow them to file for joint tax returns as well as inheritance and tenants’ rights. On the other hand, such a proposal makes no incursions into the sanctity of the institution of marriage itself, thereby proving acceptable to the religious sections of society.



No


Homosexuality: Is homosexuality always wrong, making gay-marriage always wrong?

Yes

No

Activist groups

Yes

  • Institute for Marriage and Public Policy
  • Abiding Truth Ministries: Defending the Family - Christian Anti-Gay Rights Organization
  • American Family Association - Christian Anti-Gay Rights Organization
  • Americans for Truth - Christian Anti-Gay Rights Organization
  • Campaign for Working Families - Christian Anti-Gay Rights PAC
  • Center for Reclaiming America - Christian Anti-Gay Rights Organization
  • Christian Coalition of America - Christian Anti-Gay Rights PAC
  • Culture & Family Institute - Christian Anti-Gay Rights Organization
  • Exodus International - Christian "Ex-Gays" Organization
  • Family Research Council - Christian Anti-Gay Rights Organization
  • Focus on the Family - Christian Anti-Gay Rights Organization
  • Forerunner International: Homosexuality - Christian Anti-Gay Rights Organization
  • GodHatesFags.com - Radical Christian Anti-Gay Organization
  • NoGayMarriage.com - Christian Anti-Gay Rights Organization
  • Parents & Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX) - Christian Anti-Gay Rights Organization
  • Repent America - Christian Anti-Gay Rights Organization
  • Save Our Scouts - Anti-Gay Rights (Pro-BSA) Organization
  • Traditional Values Coalition - Christian Anti-Gay Rights Organization



No




Pro/con resources

Yes


No

YouTube videos pro and con

Yes

No

References:

Motions:

  • This House would allow gay couples to marry
  • This House would give homosexuals equal rights
  • This House believes that discrimination can never be justified

In legislation, policy, and the real world:

See also on Debatepedia:

External links and resources:

Books:

Videos

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