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zenodotus

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(Caveat: When I use the word liberal or conservative here I’m referring to the very generalized ideals each party holds with respect to gay marriage.)

Conservatives cannot claim that two members of the same sex getting married is wrong without being called "bigots."  The argument that says they are bigots is pretty much irrefutable from a totally non-religious standpoint.  What liberals want is a sound argument that proves to them that straight people's rights are being infringed upon.

There are many arguments out there about the degradation of our society, about the correlation of changing moral values and a state's eventual destruction, about animal marriages, about God's intent, and on and on.  The problem with these arguments (aside from the animal marriage argument, which uses the slippery slope fallacy) is that they are based entirely on speculation.  Some may be written by a clever hand, or as a very educated hypothesis, but this does not make them anything more than intelligent speculation at best.  If we can agree that the purpose of debate is to convince the other side that one’s views are correct, and that liberals want a reason that straight's rights are being infringed upon (this is how liberal’s judge morality) then we can agree that non of these speculative arguments will ever complete the debate’s objective.

However, there is one argument that is not speculative.  I came across a post by a widow who had been married to a man for thirty years (different website).  I was moved by her post.  She did not care what legal rights gay couples won, she did not care about the morality of "gay acts" or about taxes or money.  She cared about what she had with her husband for thirty years and her knowledge and memory of it as a wonderful marriage.  She lamented that if the definition of marriage is changed to include gays, then the thing she had cherished as marriage for so long would lose much of its meaning for her.  She did not say it would lose much of its meaning to her friends, to her family, or to the general public, but to HER.  In her eyes, marriage is a very delicate, natural thing and its (I dare say) sanctity would be destroyed by labeling two gays as “married.”  To change the definition of marriage now is to change the self-perception, indeed the self-perceived value of many current marriages.

However, we do run into a dilemma here.  Liberals want to know what it is that the creation of same-sex marriage does that hurts straight marriages.  I have said what this is.  But, a liberal will say that the lowered value of a marriage is not real, it is only perceived due to the bigoted minds of the conservatives themselves.  If they weren't bigots, there wouldn't be a problem.  Well, the moral relativistic nature of liberal doctrine flies in the face of this argument.  The fact is that if it cannot be proven that gay sex is immoral because all of the arguments that say so are based on religion or social norms, then it cannot be proven that being bigoted is in any way immoral either.  From a liberal morally relativistic standpoint, there are no concrete morals, just the relative feelings of each individual member of a society (at best).  Well then, the hurt feelings of the widow described above matter no less than anyone else’s, even if she is some kind of “bigot.”  Her feelings do not cease to exist.

The answer to the problem, then, is not to scrap the whole idea of gay marriage.  It’s only to change the word “marriage.”  This is the only aspect of the entire debate that can ever hold any merit in the eyes of an atheistic liberal, and thus ever hope to achieve the objective of the debate.  The debate WILL be won that every gay in America should enjoy every right that every straight has -- totally equal legal protections.  The only difference is that the label might be something other than “married.”  Now, liberals will scream that separate but equal is inherently unequal.  It sounds catchy, so it must be true, right?  Well in this instance it has no merit.  For one thing, under what this post proposes there is no separation.  All legal rights are equal under the law and every person has the ability to obtain either type of marriage.  So what is it that gay’s are afraid of?  They will tell you that society will not treat them the same because the name of their union is not the same.  Well, simply put, society as a whole will feel however it wants, and attempting to trick it with its own labels is clearly no answer.  Even from a standpoint of pure utility, it would seem equally likely that changing the definition of marriage would anger more straight citizens and result in a larger backlash against the gay society than simply letting the two different labels exist (that’s assuming changing the definition was moral, even from a liberal idyllic standpoint, as I argued against earlier).  The fact is that straight couples DID build up the current concept of the love inherent in the word marriage for thousands of years.  Even from a liberal perspective, gays have no right to take this concept and alter it to their meaning and concept of love against the will of the straight populace.  If gay couples want the idyllic concept of love that goes along with the word “marriage,” they will have to take their own label and build it up themselves by proving to society what they have been preaching all along: that their version of love is comparable or equal to that of straight couples.  This is the only road to their total acceptance, if they are up to the task and if what they preach of their love is in fact true, and is the only option that does not infringe on the collective concept of the word marriage as the straight community has worked (and loved) for so long to have it understood.

(The meat of my argument is over.  I simply want to address one more argument that may be made against what I have said.  That is, basically, that marriage, even among straight couples, has gone to Hell anyways, what with high divorce rates and what-not.  However, the widow I described above does not care, she feels her marriage was a reflection of what a marriage ought to be, and high divorce rates or not she wants to keep that perception of the inherent meaning of the word as best she can.  Furthermore, in many people’s eyes, divorce has no real basis, because either the divorce never really happens because of “until death do you part” or the marriage never happened because total love is required for a real marriage.  Hence the only REAL marriages are those similar to the lifelong commitment mentioned above.  I should also point out that the whole divorce-rate argument has no bearing on what I’m saying because it simply does not change the fact that the collective concept of the word marriage is being altered and this is an infringement of rights as argued above.  Even if it was pertinent to this argument, it would be foolish to pull the divorce-rate card because this merely suggests that gays should be jumping at the opportunity to select a different label for their unions and prove that they are MORE dedicated than the straight society.)

 


Posts: 8 | Posted: 10:31 PM on May 7, 2005 | IP
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but what about people like, i dunno...Jennifer Lopez or someone like that who has been married many times, and is divorced soo after? Or, what about Britney Spears' Vegas marriage - annulled the next day or something? In my opinion, acts such as these threaten the 'sanctity of marriage' far more than the prospect of gay marriage.

If we change the term 'marriage' when it comes to gay couples, it's still a from of discrimmination - they want to be married, and they should be able to.
 


Posts: 292 | Posted: 11:17 PM on May 7, 2005 | IP
zenodotus

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Congratulations.  You effectively ignored 99% of what my post was about and were only capable of retaining the last 10 seconds of the words you read.

You said: "but what about people like, i dunno...Jennifer Lopez or someone like that who has been married many times, and is divorced soo after? Or, what about Britney Spears' Vegas marriage - annulled the next day or something? In my opinion, acts such as these threaten the 'sanctity of marriage' far more than the prospect of gay marriage."

You just defeated your own argument by admitting that the prospect of gay marriage does in fact threaten the 'sanctity of marriage.'  Not that your opinion about this matters, as I said in my post, from your morally relativistic standpoint the feelings of the widow are valid no matter what.

You said:"
If we change the term 'marriage' when it comes to gay couples, it's still a from of discrimmination - they want to be married, and they should be able to. "

You address nothing in my argument and only repeat the anithesis of my main point.
 


Posts: 8 | Posted: 11:26 PM on May 7, 2005 | IP
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i'm merely saying that, if THOSE WHO BELIEVE that gay marriage would threaten the 'sanctity of marriage' would COMPARE the prospect of gay marriage to the acts of Britney and the like, they should find that the latter would surely threaten this sanctity more than gay marriage would. I never said that gay marriage necessarily does threaten the sancitiy of marriage - you simply interpreted what i said incorrectly.

Labelling a gay union with a word other than 'marriage' defeats the whole purpose of what they are fighting for - the right for their unions to be seen as equal under the law, and in society. You said that society would view these unions however they want despite the law, yet by changing the word "marriage" to something different, you are simply encouraging society to view them as different.

The scenario of the widow has no bearing on this subject - marriage is what two people make it. Those who marry and get divorced a month later choose to play around with the 'sanctity' of marriage, yet this widow chooses to blame her sorrow on the prospect of gay marriage. She has to realise that the sanctity if marriage does not depend on how the law defines it - rather, it depends on how two individuals have acted in such a union. She shouldn't care how the law defines it - she should care how she and husband defined it.
 


Posts: 292 | Posted: 03:03 AM on May 8, 2005 | IP
zenodotus

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You said:"i'm merely saying that, if THOSE WHO BELIEVE that gay marriage would threaten the 'sanctity of marriage' would COMPARE the prospect of gay marriage to the acts of Britney and the like, they should find that the latter would surely threaten this sanctity more than gay marriage would."

Did you even read my post?  I was very clear about the various ways many people discard divorce as never really occurring.  If you do not regularly practice a Christian faith then I can understand why this concept may be foreign to you.  And even if you don't buy any of that: just because a clock appears broken doesn't mean you should smash it on the floor.

You said: "Labelling a gay union with a word other than 'marriage' defeats the whole purpose of what they are fighting for - the right for their unions to be seen as equal under the law, and in society. You said that society would view these unions however they want despite the law, yet by changing the word "marriage" to something different, you are simply encouraging society to view them as different."

By changing the word marriage to something different?  News flash: if gay marriage is institutionalized, its the current definition that will be changed.  What they are fighting for is to obtain the positive connotations behind a word that has nothing to do with them.  Marriage is the love between the opposite sexes, under current definitions, and the connotations behind it have been established under that guise.  The fact is that a gay marriage IS different than a straight one.  If you think they are the same thing, we've got problems.  Even on a purely physical level, two penises is not the same thing as a penis and a vagina.  Hence the definition has been established around the latter, and gays want to change it to encompass the former.    Its the gay community who wants to say that marriage has only to do with love and nothing to do with the physical nature of the two parties (two penises or not).  However marriage has never been thought of this way and, honestly, who are they to alter its meaning?  It comes down to a simple reality: that gay marriages are different, and thus a different label is warranted.  It has nothing to do with equal rights or equal protection (they will have that), but simply that there IS this basic difference between them.

You say: "She shouldn't care how the law defines it - she should care how she and husband defined it. "

I apologize but when I read this part I had to stop and have a laugh.  It completely undermines your entire argument, for very obvious reasons.  If we apply what you say here to gays, then clearly they should not care how the law "defines" their marriage, either.
 


Posts: 8 | Posted: 12:07 PM on May 8, 2005 | IP
joebrummer

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Even if it was pertinent to this argument, it would be foolish to pull the divorce-rate card because this merely suggests that gays should be jumping at the opportunity to select a different label for their unions and prove that they are MORE dedicated than the straight society.


Gays are not looking to make our relationships more than someone else's, we want them to be EQUAL.
That is why we are asking the current definition CIVIL marriage be extended to include our relationships.  No redefining at all. Marriage just isn't a gender thing.    

You keep accusing people of ignoring your argument, but you really haven't made one.


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Posts: 29 | Posted: 12:12 PM on May 8, 2005 | IP
zenodotus

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You said:
"Gays are not looking to make our relationships more than someone else's, we want them to be EQUAL.
That is why we are asking the current definition CIVIL marriage be extended to include our relationships.  No redefining at all. Marriage just isn't a gender thing."

As I say in my original post, then you can work towards acquiring the positive connotations of the word "marriage" until the two are equal, if you like.

Why isn't it a gender thing?  Explain it to me.  I would like to know why the current definition of marriage is suddenly incorrect.  It certainly has been a gender thing in the past.  What has happened that has made it otherwise?

 


Posts: 8 | Posted: 12:43 PM on May 8, 2005 | IP
joebrummer

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Cetainly you are bright enough to realize that a contrctual agreement is genderless.   Deosn't matter the gender of the party invovled as long as they agreee to the terms.


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Posts: 29 | Posted: 2:10 PM on May 8, 2005 | IP
zenodotus

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Yes, that is the way you want it to be.  That is not the way this contractual agreement currently is.  So, again I ask, what is it that has happened that warrants the definition's changing?
 


Posts: 8 | Posted: 2:58 PM on May 8, 2005 | IP
joebrummer

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Well, that's easy.  COuples have fought hard enough to gain some civil rights, now we are going further to have our relationships protected under the law.    




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Posts: 29 | Posted: 3:21 PM on May 8, 2005 | IP
zenodotus

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And if gay marriage were instead termed a "civil union," with all the same beneifits, gay marriage would still be protected under law.  So, tell me what it is that makes the current definition of marriage suddenly wrong?
 


Posts: 8 | Posted: 3:29 PM on May 8, 2005 | IP
joebrummer

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Quote from zenodotus at 3:29 PM on May 8, 2005 :
And if gay marriage were instead termed a "civil union," with all the same beneifits, gay marriage would still be protected under law.  So, tell me what it is that makes the current definition of marriage suddenly wrong?



Civil Unions will never have the same rights and socially acceltance as marriage.   They also are a way of saying "marriage lite".  It makes gays and lesbians second class citizens which we are not.   Why would some gat marriage and some get marriage lite.  Thats isn't equality.

It is about equality.   The only way to be truely equal about this is to extend marriage to both gay and straight couples.    The definition of it remains the same, who is entitled changes.


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Posts: 29 | Posted: 3:34 PM on May 8, 2005 | IP
zenodotus

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You say gay marriage would be second class, but it's you who say so, not I.  I would view the two to be the same, and so would the law.  So, explain to me why it would make gay marriage second class?  The benefits are the exact same.

As for the definition remaining the same, now your biting off more than you can chew.  Clearly the definition does not remain the same.  You see, the people entitled to marry right now are: everyone.  That's right.  Anyone, even today, can get married, it simply would have to be between a man and a woman.  Gays want the definition to be changed to include male-male and female-female marriages.  This is purely definition.  In any case EVERYONE is entitled to whatever type of marriage they want.
 


Posts: 8 | Posted: 6:24 PM on May 8, 2005 | IP
Peter87

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Quote from zenodotus at 6:24 PM on May 8, 2005 :
In any case EVERYONE is entitled to whatever type of marriage they want.


Why can't you accept having gays marry? If you want to keep the sanctity of marriage, have a religious marriage, becuase that is surely why you keep your sanctity. Becuase no matter how hard they try there isn't going to be a gay christian marriages. Mainly becuase of the doctrine. However the bible nether condones gays, it condones gay sex. The bible has no problems with someone being gay and being abstinant, but thats just silly.
Anyway not to get off topic my point is that the sanctity of marriage comes from the religious view point of marriage, however a civil marriage (note a civil union) is equal to a hetrosexual marriage (in everyway includeing name), and in no way makes marriage any less sancturay and you your christians can keep your "sanctity" with your three way marriage to god.


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Why should we bow to the will of anyone? Especialy a man who our country but another voted for?
 


Posts: 301 | Posted: 6:49 PM on May 8, 2005 | IP
zenodotus

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First, I never said I was Christian, you inferred it.

Second, you say Christianity does not look badly on gays, just gay sex.  Think about the meaning of marriage.  Marriage is the emotional, spiritual, and physical union of two people (currently of opposite sexes).  If a man and a man get married, then it necessitates the two becoming one physically, which by its nature condones gay sex.  Hence, to a Christian, the term "marriage" is being bastardized.  I hope you can see this.
 


Posts: 8 | Posted: 6:57 PM on May 8, 2005 | IP
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Quote from zenodotus at 3:29 PM on May 8, 2005 :
And if gay marriage were instead termed a "civil union," with all the same beneifits, gay marriage would still be protected under law.  So, tell me what it is that makes the current definition of marriage suddenly wrong?


The current definition of marriage is wrong as it is discrimminatory, and largely based on religious beliefs. Heterosexual marriage and homosexual marriage are only viewed as different because it is a new issue. If they were seen as the same under the law, then they wouldn't be different. And when i say 'the same,' i mean the same - none of this different label nonsense.

There are no valid arguments against gay marriage that are not of a religious nature.

You said:

"The fact is that straight couples DID build up the current concept of the love inherent in the word marriage for thousands of years.  Even from a liberal perspective, gays have no right to take this concept and alter it to their meaning and concept of love against the will of the straight populace.  If gay couples want the idyllic concept of love that goes along with the word “marriage,” they will have to take their own label and build it up themselves by proving to society what they have been preaching all along: that their version of love is comparable or equal to that of straight couples.  This is the only road to their total acceptance, if they are up to the task and if what they preach of their love is in fact true, and is the only option that does not infringe on the collective concept of the word marriage as the straight community has worked (and loved) for so long to have it understood."

I still cannot believe that you could put foward such an argument. Prove their love as equal? Tell me how it is not equal.

"straight couples DID build up the current concept of the love inherent in the word marriage for thousands of years."

Marriage in history was rarely based on love - it was based largely on money, or simply male gratification (12 yr olds marrying 60 yr olds in the Middle ages? Yeah, romantic...). Or it was simply an arranged occasion between families for economic reasons. Or because the woman became pregnant. If marriage were based mostly on love, then the law wouldn't bother to provide financial incentives or protection to it.

Basically, in my opinion, homosexuals shouldn't actually care how the law defines their marriage, but they do, so they should have their wishes met. It's the principal of the thing - currently, marriage laws discrimminate against homosexuals. That is wrong. They deserve equality.

That's why i said that that widow shouldn't care how the law defines it, as the law doesn't include a section about love. I don't think homosexuals should care either, but they do, and they deserve the right to feel equal in society.

The 'sanctity' of marriage is purely of individual opinion - it is not some 'mystical entity'. If the individual thinks it's gone, it's gone to that individual. If the individual believes that it remains, it remains to that individual. No one can 'destroy' it - it's a belief, not an object.



 


Posts: 292 | Posted: 03:36 AM on May 9, 2005 | IP
Peter87

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Quote from zenodotus at 6:57 PM on May 8, 2005 :
First, I never said I was Christian, you inferred it.

Second, you say Christianity does not look badly on gays, just gay sex.  Think about the meaning of marriage.  Marriage is the emotional, spiritual, and physical union of two people (currently of opposite sexes).  If a man and a man get married, then it necessitates the two becoming one physically, which by its nature condones gay sex.  Hence, to a Christian, the term "marriage" is being bastardized.  I hope you can see this.


Yes that is my point, the civil marriage, i.e. the law should remain the same, and thus be "bastadized" by involving equality to sexual prefrance. However christians can remain in there "non-bastardized" religious marriage and feel that they still have sanctity. And within a generation or two we shall see that no one cares about it anymore.


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Posts: 301 | Posted: 11:22 AM on May 9, 2005 | IP
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Exactly. As i said before, the 'sanctity' of marriage is not tangible - it's a state of mind. If an individual believes it to be 'destroyed', then it is destroyed to that individual. If an individual believes it to be intact, then it is intact to that individual.

Those who believe gay marriage will destroy the 'sanctity' of marriage itself have a choice - they can believe this and cry over their "demon marriages", and maybe get a divorce (because, afterall, what's a marriage without 'sanctity', right?!). Or they can admit to themselves that gay marriage does not affect their marriages IN ANY WAY other than in their minds. Simple.

 


Posts: 292 | Posted: 02:41 AM on May 12, 2005 | IP
    
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