Should same-sex marriage be legal?

By marriage we mean the legal union, not the religious ceremony. For the purposes of this debate, we take gender and sex to be the same concepts.

Same-sex marriage should be legalEdit

Arguments forEdit

  •   Argument for Forbidding a gay or lesbian couple from marriage when it's explicitly available to a heterosexual couple is preventing their freedom of expression, which is a human right.
    •   Objection There are many ways to live a healthy sexuality outside of marriage, such as free union for example.
      •   Objection This does not object to the original argument. Heterosexual people may also engage in a free union as well. This objection would fall under a critique against the institution of marriage as a whole and not same-sex marriage.
    •   Objection Freedom of expression and freedom of contract are quite distinct things. If one understands expression to mean anything one does in that one thereby expresses oneself, then the notion of freedom of expression becomes the same as the notion of freedom, and that cannot be the intention of the term. In the first approximation, freedom of expression is the freedom of speech, and entering into a contract is not speech.
      •   Objection Entering into a contract seems to be speech: one says one agrees to something said and declares that to be binding.
        •   Objection Interesting. That would mean that freedom of speech would include freedom of contract. Thus, the freedom to sell oneself into slavery would be protected by freedom of speech. That is almost certainly not meant by freedom of speech, regardless of the definition of the term and its loopholes. Freedom of speech involves right to express ideas, opinions, and impart information, not to enter into agreement.
          •   Objection That would mean making imperative statements would not be protected speech.
            •   Objection Perhaps it is, perhaps it is not. The essence of freedom of speech is not protection of imperatives. In fact, imperatives can be rephrased as recommendations or statements of what is good: thus, instead of saying "Do X", one may say "it would be good for you to do X". Thus, even if there was prohibition on imperatives, expressing one's ideas about what is good for someone would allow most of what one needs to achieve by imperatives anyway.
              •   Objection That would be cheating.
                •   Comment It would. Is not non-literal speech great? Cheating is one of the multiple main purposes of non-literal speech.
  •   Argument for Forbidding gay marriage is making their union less valuable than another's by preventing it from reaching an official level.
  •   Argument for Marriage is no longer based on complementary, gender-based roles, and therefore the gender of participants no longer matters.
    •   Objection It could be argued that marriage itself simply no longer matters, therefore rendering same-sex marriage unnecessary.
    •   Objection There will always be roles, even in same-sex couples there are roles.

Arguments againstEdit

  •   Argument against Marriage has been understood as the union or legal contract between a man and a woman for millennia. If homosexual people want equal rights, they may have them, but there is no need to force the meaning of such a long-lasting and traditional institution as marriage.
    •   Objection Marriage recognition can be classed as an equal right in itself.
    •   Objection Social concepts change, usually not because they are 'forced' or because they are attacks on the traditional, but simply because society evolves. Traditions are abandoned, changed, or conserved throughout history. For example, homosexual marriage is no more than non-Christians marrying are an attack on Christian marriage.
    •   Objection The objection here seems to be the use of the term "marriage". If we called it "garriage" would that help? In the end if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and swims like a duck then call it a duck. How does a gay marriage devalue or affect in anyway a hetero marriage when they are totally de-coupled event?
    •   Objection It is not clear at all in this argument why is it that homosexual marriage ´forces´ the institution of heterosexual marriage.
    •   Objection "Marriage has been understood as the union or legal contract between a man and a woman for millennia", because for millennia society has been homophobic. The fact that something has been done the same for a long time is not a valid argument, because people can be wrong for millennia.

No marriage should recognizedEdit

  •   Argument for Aside from things such as civic unions, government should get out of the marriage business. Let individuals internally validate the quality of their personal relationships, or perhaps also their communities. There are people who are married who might as well not be; and there are people who are married in all but designation.
  •   Argument for The state should not interfere in people's personal relationships.

See alsoEdit

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