• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every person's position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!
  • Welcome to our archives. No new posts are allowed here.

True Debate: Tucker Case v. Peter Grimm

Redress

Liberal Fascist For Life!
Moderator
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 5, 2008
Messages
109,448
Reaction score
54,415
Location
Bradenton Fla
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Very Liberal
Last edited:

Tucker Case

Matthew 16:3
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Messages
45,596
Reaction score
22,536
Location
Everywhere and nowhere
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive
The majority of arguments against same sex marriage take the form of promoting specific religious beliefs, appealing to tradition, or demonizing homosexuality by positing the idea that “normalization” of homosexuality is detrimental to society at large. Unfortunately, those arguments tend to be riddled with fallacious logic and flawed methodology. What I will be presenting today is a research based argument against same-sex marriage that focuses on two major aspects of same sex marriage: 1. The danger that same-sex marriages pose to those who participate in them, 2. the unfair advantages that homosexual couples would enjoy as compared to their heterosexual counterparts if same sex marriage becomes legalized.


A recent study performed by same-sex marriage advocates Frisch and Brønnum-Hansen (2009) showed that men and women in same sex marriages have a higher mortality rate compared to national averages. Their data showed that this increased mortality rate was still present even after adjusting for increased HIV/AIDS medical treatment. Another study by Mathy, Cochran, Olson, and Mays (2011) showed that men who were in same-sex marriages had a suicide risk that was eight times as high as men who had traditional marriages. Overall, married men of either sort were at a higher risk for suicide than their unmarried counterparts, and twice as high compared to unmarried men (Mathy, Cochran, Olsen, & Mays, 2011).


While these data may be influenced by potential unknown confounds, the fact remains that there is clear evidence that there may be elevated risks due to unknown factors related to same-sex marriages. It is conceivable that the marriage itself could be a causal, or perhaps compounding, factor in these increased mortality and suicide rates. Enough places have passed SSM laws for there to be some serious longitudinal research done in the near future which can allow us grant ourselves the assurance that we are not following those nations down a potentially dangerous path. At the very least, these data indicate that caution, rather than charging full steam ahead for change, is the prudent course. It is also important to note that both sources for these dangers are taking a pro-SSM stance, rather than the typical anti-SSM sources that are commonly used to support an anti-SSM stance. These are not data which have been tampered with to receive the results they wished to receive, but instead the only potential risk which exists is that they were tampered with to minimize the effects that are noted.

Taking a prudent “wait and see” approach to SSM would also allow time to prepare for (and potentially eliminate) the significant unfair advantages that legalizing SSM would grant homosexual couples over their heterosexual counterparts in the workplace. The Harvard Law Review (2013) recently noted an increasing trend among employers to take it upon themselves to “right” the inequalities that same-sex couples experience due to DOMA and other allegedly discriminatory policies against same-sex couples. This phenomenon is called “grossing up”, and it involves elevating the incomes of same-sex couples to adjust for things like the health care tax (If a same sex person places their partner on their health care plan, they are taxed for this while married OSM couples do not pay taxes for doing this). The problem is that there are no plans in place to eliminate these existing adjustments if same sex marriage becomes legal. If such laws pass, these couples will not only now have full access to the same benefits that their traditionally married counterparts, but they will still have the pre-existing “grossed up” income levels, meaning that they will be being paid significantly more in their take-home pay than their hetero counterparts simply because they are homosexuals. Some might argue that this would be a reparations-type action for the years of oppression and discrimination that homosexuals have experienced, but it will more than likely create additional animosity between the heterosexuals placed at an unfair disadvantage and the homosexuals who will receive these unearned benefits.


While this argument does not qualify as a traditional argument against SSM, especially when it comes down to long-term considerations, it certainly presents a strong case against the immediate passing of permissive SSM laws. The data show that there are increased mortality and suicide risks associated with SSM and that legally recognizing SSM would create unfair advantages for a significant portion of the SSM population over their traditionally married counterparts. These data indicate that caution should be exercised, and the status quo should be maintained, until such time as the full effects of these factors can be understood and addressed.


References and links​

THE BENEFITS OF UNEQUAL PROTECTION. (2013). Harvard Law Review, 126(5), 1348-1369. http://www.harvardlawreview.org/media/pdf/vol126_the_benefits_of_unequal_protection.pdf

Frisch, M., & Brønnum-Hansen, H. (2009). Mortality Among Men and Women in Same-Sex Marriage: A National Cohort Study of 8333 Danes. American Journal Of Public Health, 99(1), 133-137. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2008.133801 Mortality Among Men and Women in Same-Sex Marriage: A National Cohort Study of 8333 Danes

Mathy, R., Cochran, S., Olsen, J., & Mays, V. (2011). The association between relationship markers of sexual orientation and suicide: Denmark, 1990-2001. Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology, 46(2), 111-117. doi:10.1007/s00127-009-0177-3 The association between relationship markers of sexual orientation and suicide: Denmark, 1990
 

Peter Grimm

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 13, 2011
Messages
10,348
Reaction score
2,426
Location
The anals of history
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." - American Declaration of Independence.



The concept of equality in America has certainly matured over the years. From that very first declaration, written by a ragtag group of colonists trying to gain equal footing among the world's established, to the emancipation of the slaves, it has been an unlikely struggle of the oppressed to gain equal footing as human beings. From women's suffrage to the Civil Rights Act, it has been a story of the underdog overcoming great odds; a story that is now woven in to the very fabric of what it is to be an American.

Today, equality is a core value upon which we rely, and by which we define ourselves as a people.

I'll open this discussion, and my advocacy of same sex marriage, by simply outlining the measure by which I believe you (the reader) ought to judge the outcome of the debate.

Since we presume that all men are created equal, and since we so value the concept of equality stated above, I believe that in order to win, Tucker must unequivocally make the case for why gay people should be singled out for different treatment.

He must show an objective that is rationally related to banning same-sex marriages other than the objective of denigrating homosexual relationships.

It is my belief that he cannot.

It is my belief that, when the layers of faux-logic that he will indubitably present are peeled away, all that will be left of his position will be shown to be fear of change and a reluctance - the same reluctance that caused the South to hold on to slavery a little too long, or that caused the uproar over the then-revolutionary idea that women just might be capable of "the vote."

As a society which, tempered by time and experience, has come to so greatly value equal treatment regardless of personal differences, we must not needlessly discriminate against any of our citizens.

Thus, it is my belief that the default position must, without doubt, be to grant homosexuals the very same rights that all other Americans enjoy.


Thanks for the opportunity to engage in this debate, and, Tucker.... good luck.
 

Tucker Case

Matthew 16:3
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Messages
45,596
Reaction score
22,536
Location
Everywhere and nowhere
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive
You make a valid point about equality, and it is certainly important that we make sure that there are no inequities that any specific group is being subjected to for arbitrary reasons, such as sexual orientation.

I, however, must question a few prima fascia assumptions that are being made which are the inherent basis of an inequality argument. The first of which is the prima fascia assumption that marriage is about love. In order for the treatment to be unequal, marriage must be defined as a union between two people who love each other. But is that the actual purpose of marriage? The evidence suggests that Marriage is really a construct designed to promote stability, both familial and financial. Historically, such things as dowries were given to men who would “take on the burden” of a man’s daughter (implying that the construct is based on sexist assumptions about women). Dowries which often involved land and other commodities (which allow for stability in an unstable world). Until very recently, marriages were usually arranged by the parents of the parties involved, rather than something that both parties chose to do for their own emotional benefit.

Now I’d like to be clear that I am not saying this as an appeal to tradition, because I am certainly not arguing that were re-institute dowries or arranged marriages. I am merely questioning the assumptions made about the purpose of marriage. I am looking at the historical context of marriage in order to determine what it is, exactly. That does not prevent a modern redefinition of marriage to mean something else, but in order to institute such a dynamic change of a social construct, we must first determine if such a change in construct is actually required and beneficial for society.

My position here is for us to maintain the existing status quo at least until further research is done to provide evidence that the potential dangers of SSM for its participants implied to exist in the previously cited research is either mitigated or found to be non-existent. This position was made assuming that there are hypothetical benefits to society which stems from altering the nature of the construct to make marriage about love in order to define a need to alter said construct, and that the potential dangers outweigh the assumed hypothetical benefits. It is important to note that such hypothetical benefits from altering the construct have not been demonstrated, they were merely assumed.

Since the inequality argument is dependent upon such a change in construct, it becomes important to demonstrate the still-merely-assumed benefits to changing this construct.

As far as my opponent’s point about the need to single out certain parties for different treatment under the law, I now return fully to the argument I have provided in my opening statement. There is a great deal of precedent in the world for banning things that are dangerous, or at least refraining from legalizing things which have the potential to be dangerous, in and of themselves. The existing evidence suggests that it is possible that SSM has potentially dangerous effects on those who engage in SSM. The previously cited sources are clear that there is, as of yet, no known cause for the correlative effects demonstrated in those studies. This means that it is certainly possible that the cause of these correlations is SSM itself. It is obviously not guaranteed that SSM causes these effects, as correlation does not suggest causation, but the ambiguity and unknown nature of the causal factors certainly indicates that legalizing SSM, without knowing for certain that it is NOT causal factor for homosexual deaths and suicides, is folly at this time. We must take a cautionary position to try and determine what causal factors are at play for certain before leaping off of the abyss.

I would compare it to a debate about the legalization of tobacco. If we had originally known that there was a chance that tobacco causes cancer before it became the law of the land that it was legal to purchase and use tobacco, we might have been able to prevent millions of later deaths by taking a cautionary approach toward legalization. With SSM, we have this opportunity. We can take the stance of “Wait and see how it works out in the places where it is legal to truly determine if it is safe to implement here”.

As a final note, I would also like to thank Peter and wish him luck as well.
 

Peter Grimm

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 13, 2011
Messages
10,348
Reaction score
2,426
Location
The anals of history
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive
You make a valid point about equality, and it is certainly important that we make sure that there are no inequities that any specific group is being subjected to for arbitrary reasons, such as sexual orientation.

I, however, must question a few prima fascia assumptions that are being made which are the inherent basis of an inequality argument. The first of which is the prima fascia assumption that marriage is about love. In order for the treatment to be unequal, marriage must be defined as a union between two people who love each other. But is that the actual purpose of marriage? The evidence suggests that Marriage is really a construct designed to promote stability, both familial and financial. Historically, such things as dowries were given to men who would “take on the burden” of a man’s daughter (implying that the construct is based on sexist assumptions about women). Dowries which often involved land and other commodities (which allow for stability in an unstable world). Until very recently, marriages were usually arranged by the parents of the parties involved, rather than something that both parties chose to do for their own emotional benefit.

Now I’d like to be clear that I am not saying this as an appeal to tradition, because I am certainly not arguing that were re-institute dowries or arranged marriages. I am merely questioning the assumptions made about the purpose of marriage. I am looking at the historical context of marriage in order to determine what it is, exactly. That does not prevent a modern redefinition of marriage to mean something else, but in order to institute such a dynamic change of a social construct, we must first determine if such a change in construct is actually required and beneficial for society.

My position here is for us to maintain the existing status quo at least until further research is done to provide evidence that the potential dangers of SSM for its participants implied to exist in the previously cited research is either mitigated or found to be non-existent. This position was made assuming that there are hypothetical benefits to society which stems from altering the nature of the construct to make marriage about love in order to define a need to alter said construct, and that the potential dangers outweigh the assumed hypothetical benefits. It is important to note that such hypothetical benefits from altering the construct have not been demonstrated, they were merely assumed.

Since the inequality argument is dependent upon such a change in construct, it becomes important to demonstrate the still-merely-assumed benefits to changing this construct.

As far as my opponent’s point about the need to single out certain parties for different treatment under the law, I now return fully to the argument I have provided in my opening statement. There is a great deal of precedent in the world for banning things that are dangerous, or at least refraining from legalizing things which have the potential to be dangerous, in and of themselves. The existing evidence suggests that it is possible that SSM has potentially dangerous effects on those who engage in SSM. The previously cited sources are clear that there is, as of yet, no known cause for the correlative effects demonstrated in those studies. This means that it is certainly possible that the cause of these correlations is SSM itself. It is obviously not guaranteed that SSM causes these effects, as correlation does not suggest causation, but the ambiguity and unknown nature of the causal factors certainly indicates that legalizing SSM, without knowing for certain that it is NOT causal factor for homosexual deaths and suicides, is folly at this time. We must take a cautionary position to try and determine what causal factors are at play for certain before leaping off of the abyss.

I would compare it to a debate about the legalization of tobacco. If we had originally known that there was a chance that tobacco causes cancer before it became the law of the land that it was legal to purchase and use tobacco, we might have been able to prevent millions of later deaths by taking a cautionary approach toward legalization. With SSM, we have this opportunity. We can take the stance of “Wait and see how it works out in the places where it is legal to truly determine if it is safe to implement here”.

As a final note, I would also like to thank Peter and wish him luck as well.

I'm going to be brief, not because I intend to be flippant, but because my counter arguments are quite simple and do not require much verbiage.

First, you attributed to my position the assumption that marriage is necessarily about love. However, I never made that point, and I disagree that seeing marriage as being about love is a prerequisite for accepting my position that equality is a bedrock principle that we ought to take as a fundamental starting point for any debate on American policy. I can't see your statement on this as being anything more than a red herring, however I'd like to give you the opportunity to expound on your idea if, by chance, I am missing something.

Second, you go in to your main premise, which is to make the case that same-sex marriages pose a danger to those who participate in them. You then give supporting evidence for your position.

To this, I have two very simple counter-arguments I'd like to share. First, your evidence suggests that same-sex relationships are riskier, it doesn't, in fact, tackle the issue of marriage at all. So, I have a question: are you broadening the scope of your position to argue against same-sex relationships in general?

I think that would be a much more difficult position to defend.

The second counter-argument I have is even more simple. Assume you're correct, and you actually can show that same-sex marriages are more dangerous to those who participate in them. That is still not a good enough reason to ban same sex marriage - not under American legal precedent, nor is it congruent with our culture to think this way.

Think about it this way - skydiving is pretty dangerous. In fact, many things are perfectly allowable which cause a moderate amount of risk: skiing, scuba diving, alcohol consumption, tobacco consumption, etc. etc. Should these things be illegal? Of course not.

Simply put, if the only argument against something is that we need the government to protect us from ourselves, then that is something that runs counter not only to American legal precedent, but also American cultural precedent.
 

Tucker Case

Matthew 16:3
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Messages
45,596
Reaction score
22,536
Location
Everywhere and nowhere
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive
I'm going to be brief, not because I intend to be flippant, but because my counter arguments are quite simple and do not require much verbiage.

First, you attributed to my position the assumption that marriage is necessarily about love. However, I never made that point, and I disagree that seeing marriage as being about love is a prerequisite for accepting my position that equality is a bedrock principle that we ought to take as a fundamental starting point for any debate on American policy. I can't see your statement on this as being anything more than a red herring, however I'd like to give you the opportunity to expound on your idea if, by chance, I am missing something.

Love is the only possible thing that can be the basis of an equality argument. Everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, is equally prohibited from entering into a same-sex marriage and equally allowed to enter into an opposite-sex marriage.

The only logical way that equal treatment can possibly enter the discussion is the difference in ability to enter into marital unions with the partner that one loves. Hetero couples have that ability, homosexual couples do not.

The reason marriage for love is a prima fascia assumption in the equality argument is not because you explicitly stated it to be one, it is because no other logical alternative exists. It is logically impossible to present the argument without marriage for love being an premise, regardless of whether that premise is stated or unstated.

In this case, it was unstated.

Second, you go in to your main premise, which is to make the case that same-sex marriages pose a danger to those who participate in them. You then give supporting evidence for your position.

To this, I have two very simple counter-arguments I'd like to share. First, your evidence suggests that same-sex relationships are riskier, it doesn't, in fact, tackle the issue of marriage at all. So, I have a question: are you broadening the scope of your position to argue against same-sex relationships in general?

Your counter-argument is simply false. The data provided was for Danish RDP's, which is the Danish terminology for a SSM. All Danish RDP's are same sex relationships, but not all same sex relationships are RDP's.

The RDP in Denmark is SSM.


The second counter-argument I have is even more simple. Assume you're correct, and you actually can show that same-sex marriages are more dangerous to those who participate in them. That is still not a good enough reason to ban same sex marriage - not under American legal precedent, nor is it congruent with our culture to think this way.

American legal precedent shows that a multitude of things are banned here for safety reasons. Drugs, prostitution, vegemite.

But more importantly, your "counter" here is merely a combination of the fallacies of cherry picking, argumentum ad populum, and appeal to tradition.

Should these things be illegal? Of course not.

Why not? Just because you have said "Of course not"? I see no evidence that those things should not be made illegal. You have simply made a claim and decided it was true without any supporting evidence or logic to imply its veracity.

Simply put, if the only argument against something is that we need the government to protect us from ourselves, then that is something that runs counter not only to American legal precedent, but also American cultural precedent.

That is simply a false claim. Drug laws, prostitution laws, and the ban on things like Vegemite prove that there are legal and cultural precedents in favor of banning certain things for protective purposes.
 
Top Bottom