View Full Version : I'm in need of your help! : )
02-16-2007, 04:42 PM
For my sociology class we have to do a debate over same-sex marriage and im in need of some help (that is nothing new!). In the beginning of the semester we were handed a list of different "controversial" topics such as : stem cell research, social medicine, genetic engineering, disclosure of AIDS, abortion and so on and we had to say we were either for or against each one. I said that I am for same-sex marriage--not surprisingly enough. My teacher is pretty clever/tricky and has made it so we have to "argue" for the opposite of what we actually are. So, in this debate I have to argue against same-sex marriage. She also wants us to do our very best to keep religion out of our debates--seeing as though not everyone shares in one religion. Im wondering if any of you know of any websites or have any insight on what resources I could use to find some non-religious arguments against same-sex marriage. I am having so much trouble researching this--not to mention it is very hard to argue against something my heart truly feels for.
ps. I am still rather new to this forum so if there is already a thread in regard to this specific subject that I do not know about then sharing that link with me would be much appreciated. I mean, really, any kind of help will be appreciated endlessly.
02-16-2007, 04:46 PM
There are so many threads, it's hard to keep up with everything going on here.
Try using the search feature to see if any posts match what you're looking for.
This exercise you're having to do is a GREAT one for everybody to think about. If you truly know every angle and every arguement of your opposition and you can present their arguement clearly, then you will be able to deliver a clearer, more powerful arguement from your perspective.
Don't be afraid of the challenge!
02-17-2007, 09:57 AM
Have you tried searching the forums of http://iidb.org/vbb/.
It's a site for and by athiests. They are excellent resource for arguments against (or for that matter, for) things without bringing religion into the picture.
02-17-2007, 12:52 PM
I'm fond of boasting that I can argue for any side of an argument and be utterly convincing. But this one? Good luck! Good luck finding any arguments against marriage equality that won't be trumped by the other side.
In fact, I did this argument myself last year in French class, and I ended up on the pro-LGBT side, by random assignment. One of my debate teammates was in fact virulently anti-gay, and he consequently didn't put much effort into preparing arguments. (In fact he used prep time to tell us the US is more moral than Europe, b/c the US is like Saudi Arabia where they have a "moral" stance on homosexuality. :eek: Good gawd!! :rolleyes: )
The other, against marriage equality team, were also randomly assigned. The guy who carried most of the talking for his team spoke as a caricature of a religiously-motivated bigot. It was a bit like watching a guy imitate Archie Bunker in French. :lol: That team "lost" the debate by being so over-the-top and reactionary.
Okay, the "non-religious" arguments that I can come up with for your assignment:
1. wellfare of children (the 2 parent, male/female home being ideal is your argument here).
2. children again - why expose children to bigotry and discrimination by intentionally bringing them into a household which will cause them to encounter discrimination is your argument here (good luck not being trounced by the other side especially on this one!)
3. precedent - the thousands of years of precedent for one man/one woman marriage (you'd be surprised how often people are swayed by "this law is old, it therefore MUST be right.")
Okay, I'm really grasping now. Ya know what? I'm pretty sure that if you sift through the anti-equality websites that are out there and look at their arguments against marriage equality, you will find some non-specifically-religious arguments. I know I once read from such a source that marriage leads to harmony and equality between the sexes by providing protection for the woman (and I forget what they said it provided the man in return.) But you get my drift. So #4 could be that it brings the two sexes together, or something like that.
Try googling Focus on the Family's marriage expert Glenn Stanton. He's a super-smart debator on this subject, on the anti-gay side. He has a video address explaining "why not gay marriage." If you can watch it without exploding. :lol:
02-18-2007, 03:16 AM
Most of the anti-gay marriage arguments I've heard are so full of holes you'd think you were in a doughnut shop.
If I were you I'd argue that I was against gay marriage because marriage is not a personal right. The federal government should have absolute control over all marriages and therefore the power to dissolve any existing marriage (so that former husbands can be made to testify against their former wives charged with terrorism, for example) or force any two unwilling people into marriage for the good of society (thus ending the plight of unwed mothers and single parent households.) This would be a very Swiftian argument obviously and would doubtless scare heterosexual people which might not be a bad thing.
02-22-2007, 05:40 AM
"I don’t believe gays are capable of true love and I am convinced that they are all confused."
But that stance tends to come across as hateful and bigoted, which nobody wants to look like. In my experience, most if not all of even their 'legitimate' arguments are based on this mindset. Most, like the above, are based on emotion. Such as the ever popular: “I don’t want my kids to see it and become gay.”
Just as it is for we gay people, when we see two people of the opposite sex together, we automatically want to be attracted to the opposite sex...
Boy, I’d love to hear the rest of that argument. :D
Anyway, I’ve found these books very helpful in better understanding where they’re coming from. I almost feel like their biggest problem is the fact that they can’t articulate their own positions.
George Lakoff seems to be able to do so better than they can. Besides his profound illumination to the “other” side, these books are extremely user friendly. You can jump around all you like. I think he writes for the scatterbrained (like me).
I picked up Don’t Think of an Elephant! (http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Think-Elephant-Debate-Progressives/dp/1931498717/sr=8-1/qid=1172041007/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-6407345-1872757?ie=UTF8&s=books) and within 10 minutes my entire paradigm of “conservativism” shifted. Not that their arguments were anymore right, but I at least understood how they thought they were right.
These books are fun in that sense, they don’t demand your linear attention. They’re almost written in soundbite form – yet responsibly. Less than ten bucks a pop and you get a view of every social facet of the “strict father” model vs the “nurturant parent” model (conservative vs liberal/progressive).
These are from Thinking Points (http://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Points-Communicating-American-Values/dp/0374530904/sr=8-4/qid=1172041007/ref=pd_bbs_4/104-6407345-1872757?ie=UTF8&s=books), which I ran across in the book store the other day (by meaningless coincidence..):
The basic logic of integrity is twofold. First, it means saying what you believe and then acting on it consistently. Second, it means the consistent application of a principle:
Progressive integrity is the consistent application of nurturance.
conservative integrity is the consistent application of strictness.It may seem simple, but these statements lead to an interesting difference in the understanding of integrity.
With discipline, constancy is critical. Discipline must be applied the same way every time, regardless of circumstance. The person being disciplined needs to understand that there is a direct and immediate consequence for all actions and that the consequence is that same. The focus is on the constancy of the process, the identicalness of action.
To consistently apply empathy, however, the needs of the person receiving nurturance must be addressed, not the process itself. So to remain empathetic, the same degree of care must be applied. Sometimes this care requires different actions or different approaches, depending on circumstance.
Why should someone in a long-term, stable, and loving heterosexual marriage be threatened if a gay or lesbian couple in a similiar relationship were to marry?
Imagine that you are a pure conservative and your worldview is shaped by the strict father model applied to every aspect of your life. It defines your very identity: your notion of right and wrong, of God, of what makes a good parent, and of how to run a successful business. It even defines your maleness or femaleness, your sexual identity.
The strict father model is gendered. It has a male husband and a female wife. The parents in that model cannot be lesbian or gay. Legitimizing gay marriage delegitimizes the strict father model. The “defense of marriage” is really a defense of the strict father model. Being against “gay marriage” is symbolic of defending and identity defined by the strict father model – defending who you are at the very core of your being.
Once you've got their perspective down you can make their arguments your own, because you'll know the reasons for those arguments..
(better than they do). ;)
02-28-2007, 05:40 PM
Thank you SO MUCH for the support and wonderful ideas. A lot of what you all mentioned I hadn't even thought of and that's exactly what I was hoping for. I haven't done this debate yet but once I do, I will share the outcome with you guys.
Zerbie, I laughed a good laugh when I read "I'm fond of boasting that I can argue for any side of an argument and be utterly convincing." Such honesty! I couldn't get enough.
Lydia, the iidb forum has been quite helpful!
Again, thank you all endlessly for the help and support, it's much appreciated.
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