Debate/Topics/Same-Sex Marriage

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Same-sex marriage is a controversy that is part of the family values issue, and is related to homosexuality and marriage disputes.

Supporters: Those who believe that legal authorities should recognize the validity of marriages between two men or two women.

Opponents: Those who believe that legal authorities should only recognize the validity of marriages between one man and one woman.

Opinions[edit]

Unfair discrimination[edit]

Religion[edit]

Opponents: God has created the institution of marriage for the purpose of procreation. Same-sex couples are incapable of procreating.

This argument relies on the premise that God created marriage for the purpose of procreation.

This argument relies on the premise that God exists

Supporters: Not all couples procreate, some by choice and others because they are infertile. Nobody argues that infertile couples should not be allowed to marry.

Supporters: God desires that all people lead romantically and sexually fulfilling lives. The best way to do so is by committing to a monogamous relationship with a compatible person. For homosexuals, the most sexually and romantically compatible people are of the same sex.

This argument is part of the nature vs. nurture debate.

Supporters: Marriage is a religious institution defined by religious rules. In a country where there is separation between church and state marriage should not be recognized as an institution in law whatsoever.

Family Values[edit]

Opponents: Allowing same-sex marriage will contribute to the breakdown of the family unit in society. The end result will be more single-parent families and more instability in the lives of children.

This argument relies on claims regarding homosexuality and parenting.

Supporters: There is no evidence to indicate that same-sex couples are poorer parents then heterosexual couples. In addition, marriage will make families headed by homosexual couples more stable, not less so, and will have no impact on the parenting abilities of heterosexual couples.

This argument relies on claims regarding homosexuality and parenting.

Supporters: If things that weaken the family unit in society must be illegal, then divorce should by the same token be illegal, and it's not.

This argument assumes that the existence of divorce is accepted by all.
This argument assumes that the existence of one anti-family feature of our law can justify another anti-family feature.

Opponents: Critical court decisions in support of parental rights have been based on the structure of the traditional family in common law. If the definition of marriage were to change, these court decisions would be in jeopardy.

This argument assumes that the said court decision should be upheld.
This argument assumes that the said court decision could not be interpreted to include same-sex parents.

Opponents: Much of this battle is about financial and legal advantages given to families. While childless couples do benefit, the advantages have been fairly successful in improving the lives of children. These advantages apply to all of us, because even homosexuals start life as children.

Definition[edit]

Opponents: Marriage traditionally has meant the union of one man and one woman. Homosexual unions can be classed more or less with polygamy, in that advocates want to change the definition. And if the definition can be changed for homosexuals, why would any other limits be different?

This argument ignores the fact that there are documentations of historic same-sex marriages in Ancient Rome and some African tribes.
This argument can be considered an example of a Slippery Slope argument.
This argument is based on the assumption that multiple legal marriages should not exist.

Supporters: Gay marriage is unrelated to polygamous relationships. It is possible to logically examine the evidence and conclude that one is immoral and the other not.

This argument could well go either way. There are multiple cases of polygamy in the Bible. Thus, if we are to decide which type of marriage is immoral by examining evidence, we may conclude that same-sex marriage is immoral.
There are only hinted biblical reference to homosexuality in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.
This con-argument assumes that the Bible is the one source from which moral laws should be taken.

Distinction[edit]

There is a distinction to be made between religious marriage and the government institution of marriage. Some religious institutions forbid same-sex marriage and some allow them. The question is whether or not the state should or should not recognize same-sex marriages.

Some people would break away from both camps on this debate and argue that the state institution of marriage should not exist altogether. They would argue that regardless of whether same-sex marriages are recognize by the state, the state institution of marriage amounts to the government determining how people are to live their lives by providing social and economic incentives to organize a particular model of family unit.

There are plenty of ways of organizing a family unit other than a heteronormative couple that are already in existence, and not all of these are based around two adults who are sexually and romantically attracted to each other. For instance collectives often raise children together. Regardless of whether the adult members are attracted to each other, this is a type of family unit that is held together by love. There is no reason, then, why members of a collective should be denied access to the privileges afforded heteronormative couples: for instance, hospital visitation rights.