Gay Marriage

The place to discuss issues being debated in the 2009-2010 school year -- briefs, legislation and debate.

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galukal
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Gay Marriage

Postby galukal » Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:12 pm

Important Note: We have replaced the Dec. 9 Debate on College Loans.
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The brief. Note: The word "gay" throughout this brief refers to the entire LGBTQ thing. It's a pain to write out over and over, and doesn't sound as snappy.

"Homosexual marriage is a highly controversial issue that has been dividing the nation for several years recently. Supporters of state and/or federal action on gay marriage base their arguments off of statistics, anecdotes, religion, individualism, science, and our nation's holy book, the United States Constitution. Opponents of such action also base their arguments off of statistics, anecdotes, religion, individualism, science, and Constitution. And then, of course, there are various groups of people who do not feel that the government should be involved in marriages at all. For some, this means only allowing civil unions. For others, this means... nothing. "Not involved" means "not involved."

On a legal note, the issue has cropped up several times in the news recently. Five states- Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, and New Hampshire- have legalized gay marriage. 31 states have defeated same-sex marriage by referendum, with a recent example being Maine in November 2009. 30 states have banned such marriages through amendments to their state constitutions, with a recent example being California in November 2008 through Proposition 8 (which was ironic as that state swung to Obama, who promised to increase gay rights, in the same election). Meanwhile, the federal government has gotten into the act. Although marriages are nowhere in the federal government's powers in the Constitution and are thus a state's right, Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996. This act prohibits the federal government from recognizing gay marriage and says that states do not have to recognize another state's gay marriages.

Some of the main issues related to same-sex marriage are as follow:

Family values and morality/ethics: Many people, especially the more religious, feel that gay marriage goes against traditional family practices and religion. They worry that children cannot grow up properly without both a father and mother, and may have psychological issues, or, for the more religious, go to hell. Some of these people feel that you can pray homosexuality away, and in keeping view it as a sinful behavior which should absolutely not be accepted and passed on to the next generation. Of course, on the other side of the fence, some feel that it would be immoral to teach children that people are unequal and that tolerance of victimless activity is a virtue. Also, family values may dictate that allowing such things as gay marriage and gay adoption will encourage good family life and allow more unwanted children to have homes.

Science: From a scientific standpoint, homosexuality is involuntary and permanent. This might lean in favor of gay marriage. However, gays cannot have biological children, and since a large part of the creation of marriage and the related benefits had to do with encouraging or caring for children, this might go against gay marriage.

Economics: Same-sex couples will get more benefits, including tax benefits. Will this help or hurt the economy?

Constitutionality: OK, this is the big one. I'm dividing it up.

Federal Power: Who should decide on gay marriage, states or the federal government? This is especially pertinent to us since although marriages have been considered a states' right, we are simulating Congress and our actions will be bound accordingly. This is an example of the clash of the Elastic Clause vs. the 9th and 10th Amendments.

Equal Protection Clause: “No state shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”- 14th Amendment to the Constitution

So what does this mean? Many say that this means that gay couples are being denied their rights and should be allowed to marry and adopt. Others, however, argue that there is no Constitutional right to marriage, and that technically anyone can enter into a straight marriage (you don't actually have to be straight to sign the forms), and adopt that way. Therefore, by that logic, people are already equal.

Full Faith and Credit Clause: "Such Acts, records and judicial proceedings or copies thereof, so authenticated, shall have the same full faith and credit in every court within the US and it Territories and Possessions as they have by law or usage in the courts of such State, Territory or Possession from which they are taken."- Article 4, Section 1, US Constitution

A really general way to put this would be that state's have to recognize each other's actions, although of course there are legal nuances. This clause is a huge concern with DOMA, since it mandates that states no longer have to recognize gay marriages in another state. Do not forget this issue.

Well, here goes. Get debating, and may God, Richard Dawkins, or neither, depending on your preference, watch over you and keep this civil and well thought-out. No blind emotive statements, please.

Links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_m ... ted_States
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_union#United_States
http://www.christiananswers.net/love/st ... lity1.html
http://www.answers.com/topic/full-faith ... dit-clause
http://topics.law.cornell.edu/wex/Equal_protection
http://www.bc.edu/schools/law/lawreview ... 06_TXT.htm
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1082190/posts
http://www.google.com/"

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galukal
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Re: Gay Marriage

Postby galukal » Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:46 pm

Chris McCloskey and Rikki-Lynn Hauss are writing the bill. We expect it up by Dec. 2.
--------------------
Speakers

First Pro:
First Con:
Second Pro:
Second Con:

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Re: Gay Marriage

Postby mlind » Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:42 pm

I noticed that you linked to Free Republic. I can't stand Free Republic. I know the article isn't from Free Republic, but read the comments to see what I mean. Anyway, here's a quote from the article:

The debate over whether the state ought to recognize gay marriages has thus far focused on the issue as one of civil rights. Such a treatment is erroneous because state recognition of marriage is not a universal right. States regulate marriage in many ways besides denying men the right to marry men, and women the right to marry women. Roughly half of all states prohibit first cousins from marrying, and all prohibit marriage of closer blood relatives, even if the individuals being married are sterile. In all states, it is illegal to attempt to marry more than one person, or even to pass off more than one person as one's spouse. Some states restrict the marriage of people suffering from syphilis or other venereal diseases. Homosexuals, therefore, are not the only people to be denied the right to marry the person of their choosing.


Marriage isn't a universal right, so we should oppose it to spite all of those who are saying that it is. That's what I get out of this article--or at least out of the writer's attitude. Does anyone really think marriage exists because the government has an interest in perpetuating society? "The state" is just a group of old people who make the rules--they aren't God (in fact, no one is), and they probably don't care much about propagating society. It just sounds to me like people who are trying to form secular arguments against gay marriage are trying really hard--and failing--to legitimize government discrimination against homosexuals (or rather, government discrimination in favor of heterosexuals). Even though it's supposed to be a "secular case" against gay marriage, the contrarian, misanthropic author's religious influence bleeds through every paragraph.

If there has to be a "state interest" for gay marriage, here it is: the government has an obligation to protect its people, and homosexuals will never fully be accepted in society without gay marriage. Without gay marriage, homosexuality will always be seen as an eccentricity that people will be expected to have the decency to hide.

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Re: Gay Marriage

Postby Cmccloskey » Thu Dec 03, 2009 12:22 am

You might be gawking at how short it is, but I think it's fine as far as the action taken goes. Basically with the Defense of Marriage act gone, states are required by the Full Faith and Credit Clause to honor the legal documents and ceremonies provided by other states as valid. This means that, while a state may make it illegal to have a same sex marriage, they must recognize marriages conducted in other states. It would also give homosexual couples all of the federal benefits available to heterosexual couples. If I missed anything important I will be happy to add it in, but this is the main idea of what I want to accomplish with this bill. I flirted with the idea of a bill that outrighted removed all federal involvement with marriage, but I have a feeling that would be a bit to radical for most people here, even though personally I think that is the best long term solution.
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An Act to Reform Federal Marriage Law

Sponsored by Senators Christopher McCloskey and Rikki-Lynn Hauss

Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled:

Whereas the Defense of Marriage Act has infringed upon the rights of the citizens of the U.S. by selectively ignoring legal documents mandated to be recognized by all states under the U.S. Constitution.

Section One: The Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 is hereby repealed.

Section Two: Mandates all states to recognize marriages conducted and deemed valid in other States.

Section Three: This bill will go into effect in 91 days.

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Re: Gay Marriage

Postby mlind » Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:52 pm

I agree with this bill, but I think we should have another section clarifying whether or not rights granted by the federal government will extend not just to gay marriages but to civil unions and domestic partnerships. I mean, I would vote for it either way.

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Re: Gay Marriage

Postby galukal » Sat Dec 05, 2009 4:47 pm

Speakers
----------------
1 Pro: Chris or RL
1 Con: Thomas Zobele
2 Pro: Chris or RL
2 Con: Aman

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Re: Gay Marriage

Postby mlind » Sun Dec 06, 2009 7:31 pm

Just wondering: why isn't Rikki-Lynn Hauss listed as a sponsor?

George's edit: Because we're a repressive male-dominated system seeking to marginalize her. :D OK, I fixed it.

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Re: Gay Marriage

Postby BeWang » Sun Dec 06, 2009 7:51 pm

RL = Ricky lynn.

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Re: Gay Marriage

Postby bfenster » Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:55 pm

Zobele not Zobeli.

If you can't get anyone to argue con, I wonder how the debate is going to go. However, I would be happy to step in if no one else wants it.

George's edit: I had it right the first time, the log indicates the other Admin changed it. And I got Aman to do con.

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Re: Gay Marriage

Postby RLHauss » Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:52 pm

My goodness, my name will be forever spelled and pronounced wrong. For the record, its Rikki Lyn. no fancy extra "n"s or hippie "y"s... :mrgreen: Anyway, I just wanted an estimate of how much time I'll be granted for speaking pro for the bill... I know- new girl and all her obnoxiously obvious questions... Just let me know so I can figure out what points I wanna deal with most immediately.

Thanks people!

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Re: Gay Marriage

Postby BeWang » Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:24 pm

3 minutes first speaker, 2 minutes second

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Re: Gay Marriage

Postby RLHauss » Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:29 pm

THANK YOU BERTRAND!!! :D

~RL

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Re: Gay Marriage

Postby JWerner » Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:57 pm

Understanding that this is a complex topic, i agree with the premise of this bill, however, I believe there is more needed in this bill to fully address the issue of gay marriage. I'm working on an amendment which will hopefully be posted after 5 on tuesday night.

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Re: Gay Marriage

Postby bfenster » Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:34 am

No, it's 4 minutes (first) and 3 minutes (second). General debate is two minutes.

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Re: Gay Marriage

Postby VSharma » Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:09 pm

Amendments made to the bill (im not sure how amendments on the forums occur, but these are my suggested amendments):

An Act to Reform Federal Marriage Law

Sponsored by Senators Christopher McCloskey and Rikki-Lynn Hauss

Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled:

Whereas the Defense of Marriage Act has infringed upon the rights of the citizens of the U.S. by selectively ignoring legal documents mandated to be recognized by all states under the U.S. Constitution.

Section One: The Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 is hereby repealed.

Section Two: Mandates all states to recognize marriages conducted and deemed valid in other States.

Section Three: Marriage is now defined as the legal status of two partners of any gender.
A spouse is now defined as a partner of any gender to his or her husband of wife.


Section Four: Condemns civil unions and domestic partnerships

Section Five: This bill applies to all states.

Section Six: This bill will go into effect in 91 days.


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