Help ATS with a contribution via PayPal:
learn more

Challenge Match: Skyfloating vs MemoryShock: "I say ""I Do"" To Prop 8"

page: 1
20

log in

join

posted on Nov, 13 2008 @ 03:19 PM
link   
The topic for this debate is "While Civil Unions are Acceptable, Marriage Should Be Between a Man and a Woman"

Skyfloating will be arguing the pro position and will open the debate.
MemoryShock will argue the con position.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

There is a 10,000 character limit per post.

Any character count in excess of 10,000 will be deleted prior to the judging process.

Editing is strictly forbidden. For reasons of time, mod edits should not be expected except in critical situations.

Opening and closing statements must not contain any images and must have no more than 3 references.

Excluding both the opening and closing statements, only two images and no more than 5 references can be included for each post. Each individual post may contain up to 10 sentences of external source material, totaled from all external sources.

Links to multiple pages within a single domain count as 1 reference but there is a maximum of 3 individual links per reference, then further links from that domain count as a new reference. Excess quotes and excess links will be removed before judging.

The Socratic Debate Rule is in effect. Each debater may ask up to 5 questions in each post, except for in closing statements- no questions are permitted in closing statements. These questions should be clearly labeled as "Question 1, Question 2, etc.

When asked a question, a debater must give a straight forward answer in his next post. Explanations and qualifications to an answer are acceptable, but must be preceded by a direct answer.

This Is The Time Limit Policy:
Each debater must post within 24 hours of the timestamp on the last post. If your opponent is late, you may post immediately without waiting for an announcement of turn forfeiture. If you are late, you may post late, unless your opponent has already posted.

Each debater is entitled to one extension of 24 hours. The request should be posted in this thread and is automatically granted- the 24 hour extension begins at the expiration of the previous deadline, not at the time of the extension request.

In the unlikely event that tardiness results in simultaneous posting by both debaters, the late post will be deleted unless it appears in its proper order in the thread.

Judging will be done by a panel of anonymous judges. After each debate is completed it will be locked and the judges will begin making their decision. One of the debate forum moderators will then make a final post announcing the winner.




posted on Nov, 13 2008 @ 05:25 PM
link   
I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and faithfulness. As I place it on your finger, I commit my heart and soul to you. I ask you to wear this ring as a reminder of the vows we have spoken today, our wedding day. - Traditional Vow at Weddings

I have been assigned the anti-same-sex-marriage-side of this debate and while my personal views on the subject are actually ambivalent, I will honor my side fully as to also grant my esteemed opponent MemoryShock the opportunity to develop his counter-argument.

My essential argument is that everyone has the inalienable right to live their life the way they want to - as long as they dont force their values upon others. Where values conflict, compromise can be found.

Unfortunately, sometimes exaggerated religious zeal has forced religious values upon disbelievers throughout history, and these same religions are "getting it back" by having activist groups (such as gay-rights-activists) force their values on them. Two wrongs does not make a right though.

The tradition of marriage is rooted in religious ritual and is viewed by many people of many religions, as a sacred act. The interference of gay-rights-activist-groups into the revered thousand-year-old traditions is seen and felt as Desecration..




Definition: To Desecrate

1 : to violate the sanctity of : profane
2 : to treat disrespectfully, irreverently, or outrageously


I would therefore suggest, as my second main argument of this debate...


...reserving the word "marriage" for religious contexts, and in civil and legal contexts using a uniform concept of civil unions. Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, for instance, writes that such an arrangement would "strengthen the wall of separation between church and state by placing a sacred institution entirely in the hands of the church while placing a secular institution under state control."

1

Already here we see that more tolerant souls would surely settle by making their bond in a civil-union or even a spiritual ritual...but no...some activist-groups more antagonistic and holding a grudge against Religion, insist on using the religious institution of marriage.

A bit contradictory, isn't it? On the one hand it was gay-activist-groups who have been quick to point out religious-oppression throughout the ages, but on the other hand they wish to take part in religious ritual?

Of course same-sex-marriage is not only opposed by the religious-right. If that were the only opposition, then it would be under full legal recognition in more than only 5 countries worldwide(!).

There are also biological considerations speaking against same-sex-marriage - the most obvious being that only man and woman are equipped - by nature - to have sex with the result of bearing children. And there are psychological considerations speaking against same-sex-marriage - concerning the integrity of families and the environment in which children are raised.

Family - an institution grown from marriage and a foundation on which our entire society and its strength and progress is based upon.
Some fear that by removing the foundational pillars of our society (family), we will be heading for the decay of values and decency. This fear is not entirely unfounded.

Dear Reader,

despite my appreciation of the rights of homosexual couples and despite my belief that they too have the right to companionship, loyalty, love, I would like you to project your vision into the distant Future for a moment. I invite you to visualize the long-term-effects of an exaggerated tolerance toward same-sex-marriage: Imagine the majority of the population commiting to it. Imagine it becoming the norm rather than the exception. What do you see? You see families dying out. Children becoming less and less. A society overpopulated with the aged. Childbirth between homosexuals by artificial means. If we follow this dystopian vision a bit further we soon reach cloning-of-humans, genetic manipulation...afterall, "everything goes". This considered it is wise not to haphazardly throw all of our traditions and values out of the _..but to conserve some of them. Ultimately then, we need a wise mixture of liberalism and conservatism.

These issues reach into the very depths of who we are as a humanity and look forward to examining them with my opponent.

Socratic Questions to Memory Shock

1. What is the main reason you think same-sex-marriage is necessary, regardless of culture and context?

2. Do you agree that civil unions and (non-religious) spiritual-rituals can be just as bonding?

3. Is it correct to say that homosexuals traditionally oppose rigid religious views and traditions?

4. Do you agree that it is a good thing to respect and honor peoples religious values, traditions and rituals?

5. Do you agree that the forces of nature and what has been created through these, have been more efficient, elegant and productive than man up to now?



posted on Nov, 14 2008 @ 01:20 PM
link   
I would like to start out by thanking semperfortis for the selection of this topic, a highly contested issue that is hotly debated these days. I would also like to extend thanks to Skyfloating for what I am sure will be an excellent debate and the readers for taking this issue seriously.

The definition of marriage is of course one of tradition. But traditions change or cease being practiced all the time. Our human society is not a static one by any means and our definitions and behaviours change constantly, reflecting this process. 100 years ago, American Society wouldn’t have agreed to sharing restrooms with African American citizens. Now we have an African American President.

So what we are debating is the fact that humans redefine their perception and concepts to evolve along with our social views and behaviours. While we may at first be turned off or in direct disagreement regarding a differing social more, the fact of the matter is that if it doesn’t have a direct impact on our physical well being, then we do not need to concern ourselves with it.

A marriage is a civil union, an agreed upon partnership. Whether or not the partnership is ‘traditional’ in nature with regards to how the American public perceives the ‘nuclear family’ is irrelevant and unnecessary when deciding any action or lack thereof regarding people who seem to not want such an antiquated and regimented definition.

The Hypocrisy Of America

The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy of the U.S. military is a policy that was implemented for the sole reason of allowing homosexual individuals the opportunity to gain the same benefits, the same resources and the same label/recognition as their heterosexual counterparts.

I ask, why are homosexuals allotted this role, in which their lives are at times placed in risk for the betterment of the American public; a public that is increasingly becoming open to the idea of abolishing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy to allow gay individuals to openly serve for their country.



A recent Washington Post/ABC News poll found that 75 percent of respondents supported allowing gays to serve openly in the military, up from 62 percent in 2001 and 44 percent in 1993.


We are okay with accepting this servitude from individuals that are fundamentally disagreed with. It is okay with allowing the life of a gay individual to be sacrificed so that we may enjoy and continue taking for granted our day to day autonomy.

But there is a huge uproar when these same individuals want to get married?

There is something incredibly wrong with the duplicity displayed in our society.

Civil Rights is an interesting thing. It was acceptable to deny African Americans access to the same restrooms as Caucasians. It was acceptable at time for women to not vote or work outside of the home. There are many more examples, but this type of physical and intellectual segregation illustrates that the fact that we as a society acclimate and incorporate new social mores and values all of the time.



Retired Army Maj. Gen. Vance Coleman, a black man who joined the Army when it was segregated, testified that the current treatment of gays and lesbians is similar to how African-Americans were treated before President Truman integrated the military in 1948.


So this debate isn’t just about whether or not a woman and man couple are the only type of combination allotted for under the term ‘marriage’, but a look at how our society deals with the integration of new social standards as we continue our march towards social equality for all minority groups.



“Like these once prevalent views, our conventional understanding of marriage must yield to a more contemporary appreciation of the rights entitled to constitutional protection,” Justice Richard N. Palmer wrote for the majority in a 4-to-3 decision that explored the nature of homosexual identity, the history of societal views toward homosexuality and the limits of gay political power compared with that of blacks and women.

*Snip*

“Interpreting our state constitutional provisions in accordance with firmly established equal protection principles leads inevitably to the conclusion that gay persons are entitled to marry the otherwise qualified same-sex partner of their choice,” Justice Palmer declared. “To decide otherwise would require us to apply one set of constitutional principles to gay persons and another to all others.”
[2] My Emphasis


There has been a lot of press regarding the passing of proposition 8 in California, but very little attention regarding the Supreme Courts decision in Connecticut, where it was ruled that to deny gay individuals the right to marry constitutes an injustice of equality.

We currently live in a society that is divided on political fronts, religious ideals and intellectual interests. It is to be expected that disagreement should and will occur. But the fact of the matter is that there should be no reason it is acceptable to tell an individual that they can’t enjoy the same basic rights as someone else, whether it be the right to vote or the right to marry…as is in accordance with an American’s right to the pursuit of happiness.


Skyfloating
On the one hand it was gay-activist-groups who have been quick to point out religious-oppression throughout the ages, but on the other hand they wish to take part in religious ritual?


Actually, not much of a contradiction, as there are Christian religions that not only allow the homosexual participation within their ranks, but a dedicated to the homosexual theme Christian organization. gaychristian.net..." target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">[3]

Being gay and oppressed does not inherently eliminate the religious inclination in an individual. This is a misnomer that needs to be addressed as much as marriage hot point. Being gay does not eliminate the need for social acceptance and recognition. This is all that the homosexual agenda is concerned with, the realization of equal access to societal recognition and resources as heterosexuals.


Skyfloating
Some fear that by removing the foundational pillars of our society (family), we will be heading for the decay of values and decency.


This fear is unfounded. If the drive is for equal autonomy as straight individuals, then there is no real concern predicated on the fact that gay rights and values are to be imposed upon other people. The only thing going on here is the expansion of societal awareness for everyone. Being pigeonholed by oneself into believing that ones own religion and beliefs are the only ones that matter are actually detrimental to society as they breed irrational conflict.


Skyfloating
This considered it is wise not to haphazardly throw all of our traditions and values out of the _..but to conserve some of them.


My opponent does paint a nice picture with the rampant overwhelming of the homosexual population and the integration of eugenic manipulations, genetic profiling, etc. This picture is both exaggerated and misleading, as many of the future possibilities as afforded by science and the advancement of technology is a concern for a strictly heterosexual society as well. We will see these social issues becoming more prevalent regardless of whether or not homosexuals are allotted the right of marriage.


Socratic Questions

1. What is the main reason you think same-sex-marriage is necessary, regardless of culture and context?


As a societal gesture of good faith that we indeed honour the rights and liberties of all people. This is an underestimated concept, as it is relevant to note that the comfort and success of others can be affected by how others react and relate to us. The homosexual community needs this distinction as a symbol for equality, much as the non expansion of the definition of the term ‘marriage’ represents an intent to divide and alienate.



2. Do you agree that civil unions and (non-religious) spiritual-rituals can be just as bonding?


Yes.



3. Is it correct to say that homosexuals traditionally oppose rigid religious views and traditions?


No, it is not. The question above is a subjective statement that is non inclusive of all religions nor all homosexuals.



4. Do you agree that it is a good thing to respect and honor peoples religious values, traditions and rituals?


Absolutely. But this ‘respect’ for such is a two way street. People whom are intolerant of the homosexual lifestyle have the option to not interact with people whom choose this lifestyle. They should not impose their values and world views on them.



5. Do you agree that the forces of nature and what has been created through these, have been more efficient, elegant and productive than man up to now?


No. And I answer ‘no’ as in I confess that I do not necessarily understand the question.

SQ#1:

What impact would a homosexual marriage in Southern California have on a heterosexual marriage in Northern California?

SQ #2:

Are civil rights only relevant to be applied to certain groups of people?

SQ #3:

Why do you suppose that it is acceptable in American society to allow the homosexual community to be allowed to risk their lives to protect American rights without the capacity to fully enjoy said freedoms?

SQ #4&5:

Has the American Society not expanded social mores and values in the past to accommodate minority groups? What were the negative results of these 'expansions'?



posted on Nov, 14 2008 @ 04:18 PM
link   
Should we let the minority determine the laws of the majority?

It is through children alone that sexual relations become important to society, and worthy to be taken cognizance of by a legal institution - Bertrand Russel

I agree with most of what my opponent said. I have no interest in arguing pro-discrimination of minorities. In this debate I would like to avoid the stereotypes that have made this topic such a heated one in public, i.e. not all gay people are fanatic activists and not all conservatives are homophobic.

Before addressing some points brought up, allow me to strengthen and add to my argument that it is better for homosexual couples to use another way of bonding than going the traditional religious path.

Fact: Civil Unions grant same-sex-couples similar rights – and in many countries, equal rights – to that of opposite-sex-couples. This equal rights trend is growing and will continue to do so.One example only (Debate Forum Rules do not permit excessive quoting):


In the United Kingdom, civil partnerships have identical legal status to a marriage, and partners gain all the same benefits and associated legal rights; ranging from tax exemptions and joint property rights, to next-of-kin status and shared parenting responsibilities. Partnership ceremonies are performed by a marriage registrar in exactly the same manner as a secular civil marriage. Civil unions in New Zealand are identical to British civil partnerships in their association with equivalent spousal rights and responsibilities to full-fledged opposite-sex marriage.


You see….gay-activist-groups do not have force their agenda onto churches in order to gain equal rights. Here are two ATS-Threads as examples of gay-rights-extremists trying to force-feed us:

Gay-Activists attack elderly woman White Powder sent to Mormon Church

Could you imagine a modern-day Christian to use forceful tactics such as these? Extremists do moderate homosexuals a great disservice through such acts. Just as religious extremists do conservatives a great disservice with their bigotry.

The following two pictures are not to incite anger but to illustrate the stark contrast between the two worlds and make a firm point for the need of one social environment not meddling in the business of the other





And so I ask the readers, the judges and my opponent again: Is it not better to keep the religious world and the gay-rights-world separate from each other? Is it right for gay-rights-activists to meddle in long-standing Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, catholic, protestant traditions, in utter disrespect?

Some interesting statistics regarding the status of same-sex-marriage in the U.S.:




Laws Regarding Same-Sex Partnerships in the United States
Purple: Same-sex marriages
Green: Unions granting rights similar to marriage
Dark Blue: Unions granting limited/enumerated rights
Light Blue: Foreign same-sex marriages recognized
Yellow: Statute bans same-sex marriage
Orange: Constitution bans same-sex marriage
Red: Constitution bans same-sex marriage and other kinds of same-sex unions
same source as 1

As we saw recently in California, the trend is going more towards civil unions granting homosexuals equal rights rather than allowing the minority to do away with long standing religious tradition.

Now is a good time as any to add an important legal and philosophical point:

Should the minority determine the laws of the majority? Of course not. Society is governed by majority-vote and what the majority want. This is the idea behind democracy. If 9 say “yes” to something and 1 says “No”, then we should go for the “Yes”. The alternative? Dictatorship. 1 person happy at the expense of 9. Make sense? I would think so.

_________________________________________________

Answers to my MemoryShocks Questions



SQ#1: What impact would a homosexual marriage in Southern California have on a heterosexual marriage in Northern California?


As a single occurence, none. What does have an impact is when minorities decide over the law in an entire nation or behave in disrespect of the majority.

Equality mustn't mean forcing everyone into agreement




Are civil rights only relevant to be applied to certain groups of people?


I strongly believe in civil rights being granted to all people, regardless of origin, color, status and sexual-orientation. But within reason. Since, for most people, marriage between man and woman is natural, I think it is wrong to force this majority to play by the game rules of a minority. I therefore again propose: A civil union granting equal rights to homosexuals, but not using the term marriage...simply out of respect toward that majority.



Why do you suppose that it is acceptable in American society to allow the homosexual community to be allowed to risk their lives to protect American rights without the capacity to fully enjoy said freedoms?


I dont know. What I do know is that I believe in granting the homosexual community those freedoms. In fact, I believe it is none of my business what they do or do not do. It only becomes my business when they try to impose their way of life on the majority.



Has the American Society not expanded social mores and values in the past to accommodate minority groups? What were the negative results of these 'expansions'?


This question and your other questions - in fact, your entire post, seems to try to put me in a box of being against the gay-movement or against minority groups. I am not. I applaud the progress we´ve made. I applaud that we've shed our antiquated ways.

In a sense, each and every one of us is a "minority group". You see, being a member of ATS I am in the minority group of conspiracy-theorists and crackpots who do not believe the official version of things.

Do I get discriminated for believing in this conspiracy and UFO stuff? I sure do. The ridicule, slander and verbal abuse I suffer is sometimes overwhelming.

But does this give me the right to demand a change of the law, a change of schoolbooks, a change of politics, a change of the media, according to the dictates of my minority lifestyle?

The answer is clearly: NO.

My opponent writes:



if it doesn’t have a direct impact on our physical well being, then we do not need to concern ourselves with it.


Really? When scientists sat together in a room, talking about creating the nuclear bomb, it did not have any impact on my physical well-being either. That came later. But even later it did not hurt me personally. And yet: It concerns me. It concerns all of us.

A little reminder on the Debate Topic is due as well. My opponent writes:



So this debate isn’t just about whether or not a woman and man couple are the only type of combination allotted for under the term ‘marriage’, but a look at how our society deals with the integration of new social standards as we continue our march towards social equality for all minority groups.


It is correct that this is the public debate. But this Debate, specifically addresses the question of marriage.

Socratic Questions to Memory Shock

1. Would you agree that "the forces of Nature" or "Creation", that have brought about humans, plants, trees, mountains, planets, galaxies, stars...have been, up to now, more efficient, effective and elegant than the forces and efforts of us mere mortals (who have brought about a couple of buildings and cars)?

2. Is the reason that the majority is heterosexual simply because that is our natural biological make-up?

3. What do children and family mean to a healthy society, in your opinion?

4. Do you agree with some activist groups who think we should start teaching our children gay-sex and depicting pictures of gay-marriage and relationships in our schoolbooks?

5. Do you recognize the need for extremists on both sides (violent activists on one, homophobes on the other) to calm down and ease their tensions?



posted on Nov, 15 2008 @ 04:12 PM
link   

Skyfloating
Before addressing some points brought up, allow me to strengthen and add to my argument that it is better for homosexual couples to use another way of bonding than going the traditional religious path.


Better for homosexual couples? You’re supporting ‘evidence’ in this regard is actually a rationalization for the homosexual community and a support for why it is ‘better’ for the majority of people who cannot step outside of their box to when hearing the term “marriage”. Just because civil unions are recognized by some countries as a legal equivalent does not mean that the issue is far from over. I would like to direct attention to the map my opponent displayed above.

How many red sates are there? The red states identify those states who won’t even acknowledge the idea of a civil union. Yet my opponent is trying to pass off the idea as a relevant compromise.
How is it a compromise if there are American states that still won’t recognize gay partnerships of any kind.

My position is that if the battle for gay rights is to be fought, it may as well include a more liberal definition of the term marriage. Why?


Skyfloating’s answer to my Socratic Question #1
As a single occurence, none. What does have an impact is when minorities decide over the law in an entire nation or behave in disrespect of the majority.

Equality mustn't mean forcing everyone into agreement.


The fact of the matter is that there is NO impact that a homosexual marriage in Southern California will have on a heterosexual marriage in Northern California. In fact, by broadening the definition of marriage to include same sex couples, there is no real impact on the veracity of tradition as practiced by traditional couples and on the individual meaning of a heterosexual couple’s bond throughout their own interaction.

My opponent suggests that “minorities behave in disrespect of the majority”. That is a generalization that betrays the entire reason many gay couples have for wanting to solidify their relationships in marriage as the minority group in this case is only requiring that civil institutions recognize their desire to live as they desire. There is nothing inherent in the marriage of a gay couple that stipulates a desire to disrupt the majority consensus . Rather, in this case, it is the majority of people who are unwilling to live alongside a people who differ in their beliefs.

And this is understandable. Throughout our history, humans have inclined towards social relationships based on commonality of thought and expression. But the reality of a growing population and the reality of a very diverse population have necessitated a call for tolerance and an expansion of those commonalities.

My opponent also stated that “Equality mustn't mean forcing everyone into agreement”.

To which I answer:

Equality Does Not Mean Conformity.

We are not discussing a change in how heterosexual couples behave. We are not discussing a forced interaction between hetero sexual marriages and homosexual marriages. We are not discussing a huge societal shift in the perception of homosexual individuals and couples.

We are discussing the broadening of the term marriage and allowing the gay community to take part in a tradition that led to their existence in the first place.



As languages develop the meaning of words can change over time. This causes confusion and misunderstanding when communicating with other people.

*Snip*
An example would be the word nice. Nice used to be an insult and meant foolish or stupid in the 13th century and it went through many changes right through to the 18th century with meanings like wanton, extravagant, elegant, strange, modest, thin, and shy or coy. Now it means a good & pleasing or thoughtful & kind.[1]


As time progresses and the needs of a society change, which occurs all the time, we see the need to reframe the definition of words. The above example is an excellent instance, in that the word ‘nice’ has evolved from a negative to a positive. While subjectively and independently the word may still connote a negative (think patronization and sarcasm) the colloquial use is that of a positive communication. Indeed, we see that a single language may contain various meanings and nuances in different regions and over time.

The term “marriage” has already begun to take on a shift in meaning, as defined by two states, Massachusetts and Connecticut. What does this mean?

Well, it means that the minority is becoming more and more vocal. And they have some advocates from the majority.

Our society, as my opponent has aptly stated, is an amalgam of minorities. Does this allow for every minority to be heard and pacified immediately and at the same time? No.

But it does mean that we are in a society that has deemed it necessary to attend to the thoughts and wishes of minorities. While I agree with my opponent in that I would like to avoid the obvious social stigmas of stereo types and base expression of generalities, the reality of the matter is that they do exist. And the primary reason for the resistance to an expansion of the definition of the term ‘marriage’ is that many traditionalists and conservatives cannot rationalize someone else’s world view with their own. But what difference does it make to them? The answer is…It doesn’t.

We are all human and as such are already associated with one another. The extension of what was a religious staple into what is now a legally defined concept and institution is merely a recognition that we are all human and that we are all associated with one another regardless of whether or not we all grew up and evolved into our respective lifestyles the same way.


Skyfloating
As we saw recently in California, the trend is going more towards civil unions granting homosexuals equal rights rather than allowing the minority to do away with long standing religious tradition.


Actually, the above quote is incorrect. Ten years ago, there wasn’t a state in America that recognized gay marriage. Today there are two. The ‘trend’ is clearly beginning to incline towards the recognition of gay marriage.


Skyfloating
Should the minority determine the laws of the majority?


But this isn’t a case where the minority is deciding a law by which the majority should live by. This is a case where the majority is imposing its’ value system on the minority. Gay marriage will have no impact on how the majority chooses to live their lives. Not in the slightest. And there is nothing in the gay marriage controversy that suggests a dictatorship, despite my opponents attempts to demonize the movement by using highly connotative terminology.

By using this highly connotative terminology, by opponent is perpetuating an irrational perspective regarding the gay community, much like the images he posted above. In fact, I wonder if his image of the three men were in the ‘marrying’ way. There are many people, straight and gay who act out and dress in ridiculous outfits when intoxicated and at a party. The gay community has not cornered the market in that direction in the slightest.

So allow me to present an image that reflects the truth and normalcy of gay marriage:



Pay particular attention to the woman’s face. There is no diabolical scheme to adversely affect the majority there. Rather, it is a devastating look of love and realization. The readers and critics of gay marriage should indeed reflect further upon that note.
 



Skyfloatings SQ’s
1. Would you agree that "the forces of Nature" or "Creation", that have brought about humans, plants, trees, mountains, planets, galaxies, stars...have been, up to now, more efficient, effective and elegant than the forces and efforts of us mere mortals (who have brought about a couple of buildings and cars)?


No. I think that man and the creation of man is in fact a part of nature and as a result everything that occurs is natural. The forces of nature have not ceased just because mankind has gained the delusion that they are somehow better than the rest of our reality.



2. Is the reason that the majority is heterosexual simply because that is our natural biological make-up?


I hesitantly answer yes, as I understand that both you and I (“our natural…”) are both hetero. However, I do not presume to imply nor infer that homosexuals are unnatural.



3. What do children and family mean to a healthy society, in your opinion?


The continuation of our society. Though it should be noted that, because the majority is hetero, then many of the ills of our society are attributable to hetero marriages and families.



4. Do you agree with some activist groups who think we should start teaching our children gay-sex and depicting pictures of gay-marriage and relationships in our schoolbooks?


No. While I think it is a relevant point to encourage this type of propaganda in the interest of encouraging tolerance, I do not see a reason to impose this in our school systems just yet. On a side note, I will remind my opponent of what I was reminded by him…that this debate is centered upon gay marriage, rather than what is taught in schools.



5. Do you recognize the need for extremists on both sides (violent activists on one, homophobes on the other) to calm down and ease their tensions?


Absolutely. It is never the best strategy to gain acceptance through force, at least in social interactions.



posted on Nov, 15 2008 @ 06:18 PM
link   
Are equal-rights not enough? What happens when liberalism is taken too far? What is natural? Since when do liberal-minded people believe that true love needs a marriage certificate?

These are some interesting questions this post will address.

To question whether homosexual depictions should be taught/shown in school my opponent answers:



No. While I think it is a relevant point to encourage this type of propaganda in the interest of encouraging tolerance, I do not see a reason to impose this in our school systems just yet.


Thank you. May I ask why you agree that its not appropriate? Let me guess: Its disrespectful of the majorities values.
And for the exactly same reason I say that a civil union with equal rights is sufficient.

To my question what children mean to our society, my opponent answers:



The continuation of our society.


Thank you.Forcefully promoting gay marriage runs counter to this.



Though it should be noted that, because the majority is hetero, then many of the ills of our society are attributable to hetero marriages and families.


Many ills of our society can be attributed to hetero families?
Thats an odd statement if Ive ever heard one.


I always thought societies ills are attributed to anomy (loneliness, poverty, alcoholism, crime, apathy).

To my question whether the majority is hetero because that is simply the natural make-up we were born with, my opponent answers:



I hesitantly answer yes, as I understand that both you and I (“our natural…”) are both hetero


Thank you. I do wonder why the word "natural" is put into quotation marks here. Im not saying that "unnatural" = bad. Right now I am drinking a very unnatural soft drink - because I am free to do so and enjoy doing so. Homosexuality then, is more a means of enjoyment (for some) and free-expression ("being different" has its lure), but not necessarily a given at birth. Man-Woman is a given, Man-Man or Woman-Woman is not. Its as simple as that. That does not make homosexuals "bad". But have we become too politically correct to admit that it is not a given? Im afraid so.




No. I think that man and the creation of man is in fact a part of nature and as a result everything that occurs is natural. The forces of nature have not ceased just because mankind has gained the delusion that they are somehow better than the rest of our reality.


I enjoy delving into the philosophical nature of this and will show how it relates to our debate. If we compaire things that were there or created before man (trees, leaves, sand, mountains, galaxies, stars) with the things created my the hands of man (cars, buildings, soft drinks etc.) we can easily see that mankind is not quite yet up to speed with what nature (or some prefer the term God) has created.

And this is the true reasoning behind religious warnings going against what has been ordained by nature (or God). And this warning includes promoting the coupling of man-woman rather than promoting the coupling of man-man.

In other words: The man-man equation is fine as a variation of nature - but why actively promote it? Why not appreciate it as an exception to things instead of trying to make it the rule?




Just because civil unions are recognized by some countries as a legal equivalent does not mean that the issue is far from over. I would like to direct attention to the map my opponent displayed above. How many red sates are there? The red states identify those states who won’t even acknowledge the idea of a civil union. Yet my opponent is trying to pass off the idea as a relevant compromise. How is it a compromise if there are American states that still won’t recognize gay partnerships of any kind.


Thats right: Many states don't even recognize civil unions yet - and you want to convince them of marriage? That is precisely why I am arguing that we should work on the civil-union first before talking marriage. One step at a time, right?

A society that jumps from point 3 to 5, skipping 4, is destined to cause lots of anger and strife.

We honestly have to ask ourselves some questions here:

1. Why aren’t civil unions that offer all the legal benefits of traditional marriage, not good enough? Is there a certain sub-group of homosexuals that are more intent on “getting-even” with the religious, than on their rights?

From: Gays against Gay Marriage


It’s a way to make up for the rejection many of them felt by their hick Christian families, or their meathead peers in school as a child.



But in rejecting civil unions as insufficient, they are revealing their hand — they don’t just want acceptance as they are, they want to mimic heterosexual



Considering how much more in taxes homosexuals pay due to their generally higher incomes when compared with heterosexuals, gay marriage might actually endanger the ability of the groups who hate our guts to get food stamps.



legal marriage should be good enough for those not so desperate for society’s moral approval.



“The fact is, they will hate you even more if you are allowed to get married.”


2. Where does it end?

The Netherlands, being the liberal pioneers that they are, were the first country to permit same sex marriage in 2001.

However, the Netherlands are also the only nation known to boast a political party advocating Pedophilia and - believe it or not - marriage between adults and children (Not to mention several Pedophile Organizations advocating it there).

The Netherlands also happen to be more liberal towards Euthanasia.

So...where does it end?

Can you see how the first country to introduce the "soft-drug" of same-sex-marriage, will also become desensitized to "hard drugs" such as Pedophilia?

The connection is obvious to most.


And again: I do not mean to stereotype here. But the question really is, why not be happy with equal rights through civil unions...why forcefully push ones agenda beyond what the majority is ready for?

My opponent writes:



There is nothing inherent in the marriage of a gay couple that stipulates a desire to disrupt the majority consensus


I believe our "shining example" The Netherlands, has proven, beyond doubt, that liberalism can be taken too far. And by insisting on calling the equal-rights civil union after a religious tradition, it is being pushed more than necessary.



The fact of the matter is that there is NO impact that a homosexual marriage in Southern California will have on a heterosexual marriage in Northern California.


With statements like this my opponent wishes to narrow the scope and long-term implications of changing the majorities values. Of course one marriage in Southern California has no impact one one marriage in Northern California. But shall we ask the Dutch what consequences it has to become desensitized to general ethics and the good parts of Religion?

Religion is not all bad. It has brought us morals and ethics. To do away with these means "everything goes"...including the dystopian measures mentioned in my OP, including Pedophilia, including just about anything religion has been trying to protect us from. I am not a Bible-Thumper myself but I can see how the religious do have a point!



We are discussing the broadening of the term marriage and allowing the gay community to take part in a tradition that led to their existence in the first place.


Can you explain why an equal-rights civil union will not suffice? It was not too long ago that unions between man and man or between man and woman were totally out of the question in most places. Now we are slowly, finally, familiarizing ourselves with homosexuality as a fact of life. And here you come, crashing in with marriage.




Actually, the above quote is incorrect. Ten years ago, there wasn’t a state in America that recognized gay marriage. Today there are two. The ‘trend’ is clearly beginning to incline towards the recognition of gay marriage.


Sorry, but you are the one that is incorrect on this one. The first trend-of-acceptance, worldwide, was toward civil unions. Its going to take a long time before civil marriage becomes normal (see current California).

And since when have liberal-minded people believed that true love requires a marriage-certificate? Isnt it the call of the sexual-revolution of the 60s that true love needs no religious or government approval, no piece of paper? The fact that some gay-activists choose to enforce their will upon Religions nevertheless, clearly indicates some grudge held.

I think we've done the debate topic "Civil Unions are Acceptable, but marriage should be between Man and Woman" justice and the reasons why have been outlined in a fair and convincing manner.

I shall wrap this part of the debate up with Socratic Questions to MemoryShock:

1. Are equal rights not enough?

2. Should minorities determine the laws of the majority?

3. Have The Netherlands taken liberalism too far with their relative tolerance of drugs, euthanasia, pedophilia, etc.?

4. Do you think that the desecration of religious rituals is a "right" we have?

5. Do you agree that true love does not require a marriage-certificate?



posted on Nov, 16 2008 @ 02:24 PM
link   
I will be using my 24 hour extension.



posted on Nov, 17 2008 @ 05:04 PM
link   


Thank you. May I ask why you agree that its not appropriate? Let me guess: Its disrespectful of the majorities values.


Not quite. I am torn in that school is meant to be a place to teach children mental reasoning and abstract concepts, rather than elaborate on tolerance. The reality is that school seems more geared to just conditioning children to behave as society expects. In the reality portion, there should be no need to omit same sex social interactions from their attention. A gradual integration of new social dictates is always preferable.



Thank you.Forcefully promoting gay marriage runs counter to this.


How does my opponent figure? Promoting gay marriage does not run counter to the perpetuation of our species. Period. The physical drive for survival and procreation is not at risk by the idea of gay marriage.



Many ills of our society can be attributed to hetero families?

I always thought societies ills are attributed to anomy (loneliness, poverty, alcoholism, crime, apathy).


Anomy that is resultant of a less than harmonious family life. And some heterosexual families are broken, dysfunctional and neglectful in many cases. So while we can’t state that heterosexuality causes deviant and violent behaviour, we can say that homosexuality isn’t the cause of our societies problems.

SQ #1:

Are dysfunctional family lives in heterosexual households preferable to gay marriage?



And this is the true reasoning behind religious warnings going against what has been ordained by nature (or God). And this warning includes promoting the coupling of man-woman rather than promoting the coupling of man-man.


Two things here: Homosexuality is resultant of this nature that you speak of. If man is a product of nature, than the variant types of man are as well a product of nature. There is no making one more equal than the other in this context…regardless of majority.

As well, the promotion of homosexual coupling has nothing to do in a lack of promotion for heterosexual coupling. In fact, if gay marriage wasn’t being given the treatment in the media, there would be no problem in the media! Most couples merely want recognition from their own social circles.



That is precisely why I am arguing that we should work on the civil-union first before talking marriage. One step at a time, right?


…why forcefully push ones agenda beyond what the majority is ready for?


My turn to extend gratitude as you seem to be implying that civil unions are a stepping stone to the acceptance of gay marriage.

SQ #2:
Are you suggesting, with the above quotes, that after civil unions have become the norm than the logical next step would be the recognition of gay marriage?

My opponent is making some really invalid associations here with the fact that gay marriage is going to disrupt family values, disrupt long held religious beliefs and further corrupt society in horrendous ways…going so far as to even suggest that homosexuality will grow in popularity and lead the human race into an eventual extinction!



Can you see how the first country to introduce the "soft-drug" of same-sex-marriage, will also become desensitized to "hard drugs" such as Pedophilia?


And there is no reason to believe that the United States will react the same way. The United States is a much more varied environment and many of our laws tend to demonize pedophilia. The Sex Offender database and Amber Alerts were designed as a way for society to strike out against pedophilia. And the connection is not obvious to extend towards the U.S.

And this jump by my opponent is completely off topic. We are discussing the consensual marriage between to healthy and mentally capable adults, not the unconsensual imposition of one human over another.
 


My opponent asks the question, “what happens when liberalism is taken too far?”

Well, what happens if liberalism isn’t taken far enough and hadn’t been taken far enough?

Easy answer. We as a society would still deny women and minorities the right to vote, segregation would still be rampant and many hate crimes would still be performed as the societal inclination to deny rights to individuals reinforces the fact that we as humans are different. And where certain groups see difference, they see ‘bad’ and the need to eliminate that which is bad.

And we still have hate crimes based on this inherent societal inclination to label minority groups as ‘good or bad’.



1995: 13% of all hate crimes were motivated by sexual-orientation bias
2003: 17% of all hate crimes were motivated by sexual-orientation bias
[1]


Oddly enough, perhaps due to the increase of media attention, hate crimes against the gay community has increased since 1995. What does this mean?

Well, it means that the integration of the gay community as an acceptable community within our larger human society will help greatly towards the elimination of crimes based on an irrational interpretation of people.

It can not be stressed enough that just because an individual has a different sexual orientation that there is a desire to undermine the popular mores and values of a society.

In fact, the persistence of the gay community to gain the right to marriage actually suggests that they be included in the popular society, rather than any motivation to disrupt the popular society, as my opponent has claimed.



…why forcefully push ones agenda beyond what the majority is ready for?


For the reason that the majority shouldn’t have any say in what two consensual adults do in their private lives, nor should there be a say in how they choose to label themselves.



I believe our "shining example" The Netherlands, has proven, beyond doubt, that liberalism can be taken too far.


All well and good, but I will remind my opponent that the debate topic is regarding the definition of marriage as it applies to the gay community...not the Nederlands.



1. Are equal rights not enough?


No.



2. Should minorities determine the laws of the majority?


Yes and No. My opponent has phrased this question wonderfully in my opinion. The minority should not dictate the laws of the majority, but the debate topic isn’t concerned with the gay community (the minority in this case) imposing any law or restriction upon the majority. Rather, it is attempting to gain to become for fully apart of it’s society and it is the majority imposing their values upon them with only irrational fears and elitism as reasons.

And before we get too lost in the indirect defining of the ‘majority’ being consisted solely of straight individuals and the ‘minority’ consisting solely of the gay community, let’s recognize that there are many straight individuals and families that support gay marriage.



The Texas-based organization - Atticus Circle - is an organization for straight Americans who support gay rights. The group is urging supporters to continue to fight for equality on marriage issues, even as four states have passed ballot measures in the 2008 elections curtailing the rights of gay Americans. The group is particularly concerned for those children with two mothers and two fathers who will be adversely impacted by the new laws.[2] My Emphasis


The above link demonstrates that straight Americans are not only supporting gay marriage, but are actively advocating it as a means to insure that the children of these couples are afforded the same rights as children who are born into straight families.

It seems that the majorities opinion, as my opponent has defined, may not be so ‘black and white’ regarding the acquiescence to gay marriage.



3. Have The Netherlands taken liberalism too far with their relative tolerance of drugs, euthanasia, pedophilia, etc.?


Yes. But the deal with all of the three examples provided is that they are all a specific and individual imposition of another person upon another, many times without consent or valid consent.

Gay Marriage is the union of two consenting adults.



4. Do you think that the desecration of religious rituals is a "right" we have?


Of course not, and I of course find that the equating of gay rights to religious desecration to be fallacious. The integration of the African American community into our schools was once fought on moral grounds...




5. Do you agree that true love does not require a marriage-certificate?


Yes and No. To some, the omission of a marriage certificate will suffice. For others, the acquisition of a marriage certificate could be a requirement. The question is definitely a subjective one.

And while the debate is focused upon whether or not gay marriage should be legally recognized, let’s take a brief look at the ‘sanctity of hetero sexual marriage.



05) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Britany Spears’ 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed...[3]


The above is from a satirical list that pokes fun at the various reasons against gay marriage and is quite humorous; I urge the reader to read the entire list. But the above point is applicable.

SQ #3:
How does the ’48 hour’ marriages that result in annulment and the high divorce rate not demean the concept of marriage?

SQ#4:
What is there to directly fear from gay marriage?

SQ #5:
Are equal rights enough?



posted on Nov, 17 2008 @ 07:06 PM
link   
Lets find a middle ground – beyond media hype and extremism

“Beyond your concepts of right and wrong, there is a field. Meet me there” - Rumi

In reading up on the subject for this debate I must admit that I am thoroughly disgusted its polarization. On the one side I have to read hate-mongering drivel such as “God hates Fags” and on the other side I have to read hate-mongering drivel such as “Christians are Nazi Homophobes”.

What makes people treat each other do disrespectfully? Indoctrination, I suspect. The more charged emotions get, the more likely problems get.

It is therefore more important than ever to find a middle ground on the subject. By arguing “civil unions with equal rights are good but marriage should be left to religions” I am promoting this middle ground.

The middle ground is that “field” in which minds meet and establish a path that can be taken by a majority.

And once we’ve established normalcy and majority-vote to the equal-rights civil union for homosexuals and get people used to that change, then maybe, we can talk about same-sex-marriage. But this should be considered in 100+ years, after we’ve seen the results of the equal-rights civil unions. Seeing those results, we can then, in the distant future, decide whether it is healthy for us to go further or not.

Nothing is gained by disruptive behaviour, violent protest and forcing one’s agenda onto the majority. I am sure there are homosexual readers that agree with this. Moderate christians and moderate homosexuals are indeed out there – most of them are!!! – but they do not get heard by the media, because the media chooses to feature the extremists – the hate-spewing hick preacher, the hate-spewing militant lesbian.

We must honour our minority groups by granting them equal rights. But we must also honour our majority groups and our tradition of man-woman love, sexuality, family and children. Please take note of how my debate opponent has failed to make any mention of these in a tone of honour and respect. My opponents behaviour is somewhat polarizing in that it chooses to disregard this side of the equation.

"If two sides are in most extreme difference – often both are wrong" (Hegel).

It is true that homosexuals have been ridiculed and harassed in our society. But it is also true that the religious have been harassed for their criticism of homosexuality. Examples that the side I am debating here is considered a “Thought-Crime” by some:


In Canada, Chris Kempling, a public school teacher and counselor, was cited for professional misconduct and suspended for a month by the BC College of Teachers after he spoke publicly in favor of Christian-based conversion therapy on his own time and referred to homosexuality as a "perversion" associated with "promiscuity" and "immorality"



In Sweden, Åke Green was sentenced to one month of jail for a sermon which preached against homosexuality but ended by saying "We cannot condemn these people."



In England, Harry Hammond was fined £300 in 2001 for violating the harassment, alarm or distress section of the Public Order Act 1986 by staging a street demonstration with signs reading "Stop Immorality", "Stop Homosexuality", and "Stop Lesbianism



Bishop Frederick Henry was the subject of human rights complaints in Canada for editorial he wrote where he stated "Since homosexuality, adultery, prostitution and pornography undermine the foundations of the family, the basis of society, then the State must use its coercive power to ... curtail them in the interests of the common good."

Crystal Dixon was fired from her position as an associate vice president of Human Resources at the University of Toledo for an opinion editorial she wrote against same sex marriage.[52]

2
Debate-Note: The maximum of 10 sentences of quotations was kept

Conclusion: Homosexuals insisting on their rights is all well and good – but what about our rights to object? Is that not what Freedom of Speech is supposed to protect?

____________________________________________

My opponents remarks/questions in quotation, followed by my responses.



Are dysfunctional family lives in heterosexual households preferable to gay marriage?


I admire the tricky way in which this question is phrased. It is a false either-or dichotomy to which the only sane answer is "No". But: The percentage-ratio of dysfunctional hetero relationships vs. dysfunctional homo relationships is not higher. In fact, studies indicate that the highest separation rate in couples can be found in lesbian relationships:


divorce risks are higher in same-sex marriages than in opposite-sex marriages, and that unions of lesbians are considerably less stable, or more dynamic, than unions of gay men
same as source 1




Are you suggesting, with the above quotes, that after civil unions have become the norm than the logical next step would be the recognition of gay marriage?


Yes! I am not one of those extremists mentioned. Im open-minded toward the possibility in the Future. But I think I have shown, in detail, why we should first "test-drive" a normalization of homosexuality in our society through equal-rights civil unions for a few decades. It is only then that we can

a) Determine Pros and Cons for our societies, families and children

b) Have a more easy passage to it, without alienating our culture and traditional values.



SQ #3: How does the ’48 hour’ marriages that result in annulment and the high divorce rate not demean the concept of marriage?


It does! And our advocates of moralism, especially christians and muslims, have been critisizing this since decades....for good reason. This is indeed the downfall of morals, of the sacred, we/they try to put brakes on.



SQ#4: What is there to directly fear from gay marriage?


Among other things:

As seen in the examples above, once something becomes a law, you can be jailed or loose your job simply for objecting to it. Surely more people would vote pro-gay-marriage if it did not also entail the suppression of free speech and forcing the majority into consent.

What else is directly to fear from gay marriage? The normalization of "Dutch Standards", as shown in my last post.

The eventual decay of traditional family life and the normalcy of bearing children.



Are equal rights enough?


Equal rights are enough. Forcing others into conformity and intruding into rituals many hold sacred since thousands of years is completely inappropriate.

To my question whether equal rights are enough, my opponent answers:



No.


Thats it. Just a "No". Black People and Women had been fighting for equal rights for a long time and were quite victorious and happy when they claimed what is rightly theirs. But some extremists in the gay community really seem to believe that it is not enough to have equal rights by law - but that they have to push their agenda onto Christians, rub it in their face, and then outlaw any critisism. It is my hope that at least some people wake up and see this cannot be the solution. . The middle-ground is the solution.



Promoting gay marriage does not run counter to the perpetuation of our species. Period. The physical drive for survival and procreation is not at risk by the idea of gay marriage.


Not entirely correct if you think long-term. Children learn by imitation. What they see as "normal" they imitate. Hence also my skepticism toward your statement: "There is no need to omit same sex social interactions from schoolchildrens attention". The long-term effects are the minority of homosexuals no longer being a minority - and childbirth rates going down.




Homosexuality is resultant of this nature that you speak of. If man is a product of nature, than the variant types of man are as well a product of nature


By this logic I could also say that a human having sex with animals is merely a "variant of nature". (Not to compare zoophilia to homosexuality though!). To put what I mean in very blunt terms: The vagina is a perfect match to the penis, by nature. While I do not believe that homosexuality is "evil", it is certainly not a natural default.

How sad is it, that I could get jailed for saying the obvious?

If I myself were homosexual I would have no problem whatsoever in admitting that my preference is not necessarily mainstream.
Concerning Pedophilia, my opponent states:


And this jump by my opponent is completely off topic. We are discussing the consensual marriage between to healthy and mentally capable adults, not the unconsensual imposition of one human over another.


The wording of this is slightly sinister, as it reminds me of the Dutch Pedo-advocates wording of "a consensual relationship between an adult and a child". No, my jump to the Netherlands as the first country to grant same-sex-marriage is not off-topic. It correctly shows what the mindset "everything goes" can lead to.


My opponent is making some really invalid associations here with the fact that gay marriage is going to disrupt family values, disrupt long held religious beliefs and further corrupt society in horrendous ways


In this debate I represent the people who worry about such things, yes. Im willing to consider these worries. How can you discount the fact that a child who sees homosexuals in the act, will not get certain ideas himself?

Instead of "Ban Homosexuality!" on the one side and "To hell with Religion! Let Homosexuals Marry!" on the other, lets promote the middle ground: Civil Unions are Acceptable, but Love should be between Man and Woman.



posted on Nov, 18 2008 @ 12:52 AM
link   


What makes people treat each other do disrespectfully? Indoctrination, I suspect. The more charged emotions get, the more likely problems get.


With this subject?

Indoctrination is a part of it. But I also think that it is within each and every one of us, hetero and homosexual alike that we respond in such proactive and at times aggressive ways to ‘sex’. Think about it, the act of sex is that which releases an incredible amount of hormones and neurotransmitters to induce arguably the most positive physical state in a human being. This positive physicality, as induced by the ‘partner’ through action is now associated with this partner.

This happens for both sexual orientations and this is the core of the problem. Such a positive physiological reaction is such that it is abhorrent to consider attributing said physiological reaction to another individual, much less a different gender.

The entire argument on gay rights is based upon the physiological association that many people have in their own lives regarding sexual relationships and how they were taught growing up. Which is irrational. Unfortunately, the majority whom are heterosexual are also incapable of seeing beyond their own world views to recognize that the world is populated by others and will always be. And many others will of course have opinions that differ.

It is inherent in our nature that we react to our environment as we were taught, as we observe and how we are genetically and environmentally motivated. These four conditions and the amount of variables that are contained in the different life experience for over six billion people are impossible to sum up as black and white ‘certainties’ regarding ill informed projections…the exact same ill informed projections that the religious right are propagating against the gay community.

If the majority is such that a ‘this or that’ mentality is that which is adhered to in a rule of law, then I reject it. Because it is the individual that is important, not the stereotype that is propagated to ignorant humans that are driven by day to day routine.

Yes, the average human being needs to have their voice heard. They are the ones who drive our society. But hearing their voice and basing decisions upon such narrow mindedness (not all narrow, mind you, but a great many are likely making their opinions based on a reactionary mindset) is not what will ultimately lead our species into the next era of our existence. Cooperation, acceptance and tolerance is where we will find the most prosperity, both individually and generally. But we are far from that point.

There Is No Middle Ground With Hate Crimes

Acceptance is paramount to a properly functioning and positive society. I applaud my opponent in that he seems to want to find a common point for cessation of this issue in the public eye. However, the fact of the matter is that the social issue is a real one, not because there is a need to pacify some citizens, but because some citizens are in need of such a seemingly small detail as ‘acceptance’.



-- Nationwide, 2,475 people were victimized by anti-gay violence, up 10 percent from 2,249 in 1999.
[1]


Hate crimes represent a relevant part of crime statistics and are based primarily upon the fact that people disagree with the physiological nature of another. And who commits hate crimes?
The ‘majority’ of the population.



• Percentage of all known perpetrators of hate crimes in 2005 who were white: 60.5%
• Percentage of all known perpetrators of hate crimes in 2005 who were black: 19.9% (Federal Bureau of Investigation) [2]


Hence the very valid reason to integrate minorities into our popular society. We shall never get past irrational conflicts if there isn’t a broad societal understanding that we are living with people who just want to be included in the lifestyle that everyone is propagated with. Allow me to explain.

We as humans are inundated with the status quo from a very early age. TV and advertisements suggest a world where we all get along and which encourage positive social interaction. Obviously, not everyone will encounter the same set of stimuli, but we are all inundated with the same thematic expression almost across the board. Get along. Do your job and at the end of the day you may part ways with your civil responsibility and enjoy life on your terms. There is no need to gain the acceptance of your daytime ‘boss’ when relaxing off hours.

And we all are expected to perform our social responsibility.

So how is it that an unrelated person can dictate the relevance of a label (husband/wife/marriage) to someone who is otherwise compliant in their social duties?

There should be no acceptance of that. We all do are part in perpetuating this society and the deviance that occurs is due to the fact that people are basing their world view on trivialities…such as sexual orientation.



We must honour our minority groups by granting them equal rights.


I thank my opponent for stating as such. Equal rights is allowing gay marriages to be recognized by legal means; indeed how can it be any other way?



But we must also honour our majority groups and our tradition of man-woman love, sexuality, family and children.


And there is nothing in the allowing of gay marriage that immediately denotes disrespect towards popular values.



Please take note of how my debate opponent has failed to make any mention of these in a tone of honour and respect.


What good does honour and respect towards an oppressive mindset serve? I would love to express to the many gay couples and even the gay community that I wish to express respect to what is becoming an archaic attention to religious ideals. Seriously, I could present information that suggests that Christianity skyrocketed based on science and trickery; the presentation of base mechanics intended to be passed off as miracle…so where is the honour depicted in trickery designed to fool the masses into a common mentality?



The first recorded reference to a vending machine is found in the work of Hero of Alexandria, a first-century engineer and mathematician. His machine accepted a coin and then dispensed a fixed amount of holy water.[3]


SQ#1:
Why should there be a relevant social attention to the rights and ideals of religious propagators when religion was based on the trickery of the masses?



Conclusion: Homosexuals insisting on their rights is all well and good – but what about our rights to object? Is that not what Freedom of Speech is supposed to protect?


There is nothing in this debate that argues the right to object. Freedom of Speech is secured in the fact that we may discuss this…the result of our freedom of speech is what we are concerned with in this debate.


Skyfloatings response to my SQ#2 in the last post
Yes! I am not one of those extremists mentioned. Im open-minded toward the possibility in the Future. But I think I have shown, in detail, why we should first "test-drive" a normalization of homosexuality in our
society through equal-rights civil unions for a few decades. My Emphasis


There is nothing in the debate topic that stipulates a time frame. I will interpret this as a concession to the debate topic that indeed, marriage is not necessarily just between a man and woman.

And I agree that there should be consideration given to time and the integration of such a new ideal. But we have done this before. African Americans and Women have gained an equal say in there lives; why should the gay community wait any longer?


Skyfloatings response to my SQ#3
It does! And our advocates of moralism, especially christians and muslims, have been critisizing this since decades....for good reason.


The criticism may be valid in certain perspectives, but the reality is that they or their descendants will acquiescence. And my opponent has just reaffirmed acquiescence to the fact that gay marriage will inevitably be recognized along with ‘man-woman’ marriage.


The fourth definition of marriage

4. a relationship in which two people have pledged themselves to each other in the manner of a husband and wife, without legal sanction: trial marriage; homosexual marriage. [4]


The definition is already broadened. What we are looking at is social acceptance of it. Which, granted, will take time, but the fact of the matter is that we aren’t talking about the negative social impact that current married couples of homosexual orientation are having on society, but the projected thoughts of those who aren’t comfortable with the concept.



The wording of this is slightly sinister, as it reminds me of the Dutch Pedo-advocates wording of "a consensual relationship between an adult and a child".


This will be the last time I interact with this aspect of the debate. Gay Marriage is an act of consensual adults who have the wherewithal to make their own decisions. ‘Pedo Advocates’ are not dealing with true consent of informed individuals.
 


SQ# 2:
Does a gay marriage necessitate that a child will grow up to be homosexual?

SQ# 3:
Does the debate topic stipulate a time frame in the recognition of an expansion of the term ‘marriage’ beyond man-woman?



posted on Nov, 18 2008 @ 07:23 PM
link   
I'll be using the 24-hour extension



posted on Nov, 19 2008 @ 06:35 AM
link   
Summary

Civil Unions are Acceptable but Marriage Should be between Man and Woman,

* Because this is the middle ground with which the majority on both sides are gradually learning to be comfortable with

* Because it provides the chance for equal rights without meddling in traditional values

* Because one of the main purposes of marriage is to raise a family and homosexual relationships cannot bear children

* Because family is one of the pillars on which modern society is built

* Because homosexuals could then learn to be confident enough not to need Christians approval or stamp of recognition to live their love

* Because the same-sex-marriage movement is often directed at antagonizing conservatives and the religious rather than expressing love

* Because not only homosexuals rights, but the rights of the religious to keep their rituals sacred and respected must be taken into account.

* Because liberalism and freedom is very much needed – but too much liberalism (“everything goes”), when applied, has always lead to the decay of morals.

* Because we respect the worlds major religions who may be so old-fashioned that they forbid homosexuality, but who have given the world a code of ethics, progress and upliftment from savagery and barbarianism.

* Because the religious can learn to re-focus their agenda on compassion and non-judgemental tolerance of homosexuality by at least granting equal rights civil unions – but not if they are bullied into same-sex-marriage.

* Because, in a democracy, the majority vote counts and in a dictatorship or totalitarian state, the minority vote counts. This is an irrefutable fact.

In his last post my opponent talks about social and physiological conditioning being at the root of the majorities resistance toward homosexuals. This is only partially correct. The religious do not only resist homosexuality because the Bible or the Koran forbids it, but due to an aversion to that which is perceived as unnatural… An Analogy: If I were to stick a sharp needle into your body, you would not be satisfied if I told you “Hey, relax, it is only your social and physiological conditioning that makes you think this is unnatural”.

My opponent continues to further his lopsided view by branding the viewpoint I am representing as “oppressive” and “narrow-minded”…statements which are themselves a bit narrow-minded. Have I, speaking from a conservative point-of-view been narrow-minded in this debate? Was, putting myself into the shoes of both sides and trying to find a middle-ground narrow-minded?

In then listing data on hate-crimes (omitting those perpetuated by his side) the readers focus is re-directed to the extremists rather than the moderate majority…as if any real Christian would commit such horrendous acts. They do not, despite my opponents false implication that the “majority” commits these crimes. Apparently we are to think that these terrorist acts are a reason to say “oh, those poor homosexuals, let’s give them same-sex-marriage”:


Hence the very valid reason to integrate minorities into our popular society.


Yes of course. To integrate minorities and grant equal rights. Not to allow them to force their agenda onto everybody, at the expense of conservatives, moderates and dialogue. An equal-rights civil union is the ideal means of integration. In fact, allowing them to meddle in religion, will create even more anger.

The integration of black people into our society has proven that if no middle-ground is found, civil unrest or even civil war is the result.


people are basing their world view on trivialities…such as sexual orientation.


Earlier on my opponent went into depth on sex releasing powerful hormones and neurotransmitters inducing the most positive physical state in a human being...and now ones sexual orientation is a triviality?

"Narrow-Minded", "Trivial", "No middle ground" - these are exactly the phrases with which the extremist tries to play down thousands of years of hindu, muslim, christian, jewish tradition - ALL of which explicitly forbid any other sexual intercourse than man-man. Why do they forbid it? It may have a good reason. But even if those teachings were false, what exactly is the point of spitting on traditions billions of people have held dear and sacred for a long time? None. Desecration is dispicable. And still...despite the religious majority, despite our traditions, despite all the reservations, homosexuality is gaining acceptance, and equal rights civil unions are beginning to be granted.

The majority has extended its hand... and what do extremists do with it? They ask for the entire arm. This is why we must find a middle ground: Civil Unions are Acceptable, but Marriage should be between a man and Woman.


there is nothing in the allowing of gay marriage that immediately denotes disrespect towards popular values.


Except of course the 10+ points I've mentioned throughout this debate.



archaic attention to religious ideals


As is typical in the Gay vs. Christian debate, anti-spirituality/religion rears its ugly head once in awhile. It has been these religious ideals that have offered us sustenance, progress, curiosity in higher states of being, family values, morals, ethics, integrity, honesty, justice, uprightness, compassion, orientation for thousands of years. Religious Values have taken us out of the barbarian "everything goes" state. While I acknowledge the darker sides of religion...bigotry, fanaticism, intolerance...I am appalled at the goal of some to destroy these pillars of our modern civilization.


SQ#1: Why should there be a relevant social attention to the rights and ideals of religious propagators when religion was based on the trickery of the masses?


First of all, not only the religious oppose same-sex-marriage (as Ive shown, even plenty of homosexuals oppose it!), second of all, I do not think that the primary intentions of the Jewish Rabbi, the Catholic Priest, the Evangelical Preacher, are "trickery of the masses", but care, compassion and the hope of ascension to higher states of existence.


There is nothing in this debate that argues the right to object. Freedom of Speech is secured


Well, you did ask me what we have to fear from same-sex-marriage directly, and I did show you instances of people loosing their jobs and being jailed simply for objecting to man-man relationships. Equal Rights is one thing - shoving it down our throats by suppressing disagreement another.


There is nothing in the debate topic that stipulates a time frame. I will interpret this as a concession to the debate topic that indeed, marriage is not necessarily just between a man and woman.


Yes, it figures that my attempt toward open-mindedness toward both sides equals a "concession to the debate topic" for you. Fact of the matter is that right now, today same-sex-marriage being universally implemented as a law would only cause strife and alienation among the populace, which is why we should focus our efforts on civil unions in the next decades. Same-sex-marriage needs to be re-adressed at a time we have observed the long-term effects of civil unions.


SQ# 2: Does a gay marriage necessitate that a child will grow up to be homosexual?


No, it does not have to be that way. But you cannot deny that a child learns by imitation of what it is exposed to.


SQ# 3: Does the debate topic stipulate a time frame in the recognition of an expansion of the term ‘marriage’ beyond man-woman?


No. And my suggestion to re-address the issue in the distant Future is not a concession to your debate-side, but a strong affirmation as to why today it is better to look at civil unions as a means of minority integration.

_____________________________________________________________

In closing I would like to express a sincere appeal to all readers: In any form of conflict, where it is forgotten that we are one country and one humanity moderation is required to ease the pain on both sides. The moderates and centrists are the glue that can keep the two sides from going into a war-like state. This is where the term “Moderator” comes from – a mediator between two sides. Judging from the stuff I have seen in the news and also the gay-bashing and Christian-bashing threads on this Forum, the need for forgiveness (a religious value, by the way), compromise and tolerance are more needed than ever. We must neither submit to “strip gays from their rights! They have no rights!”, nor must we submit to “Down with Religion! Down with conservatives!”. If you see such emotionally charged behaviour, please remember that the majority of homosexuals are friendly, law-abiding, respectful citizens and the majority of christians (and members of the other religions) are also friendly, law-abiding, respectful citizens. Deny Hatred, Deny Polarization. Instead of adding flame to the fire, consider the middle-ground: Equal Rights Civil Unions are Acceptable, Marriage is left to Religions which say it is best left to Man and Woman.

I thank MemoryShock for one of the most intense debates I have been involved in up to now. I thank semperfortis for recognizing the “signs of the times” and putting this up to level-headed scrutiny. I thank the Judges for actually taking the time. I thank the readers for considering all angles.



posted on Nov, 19 2008 @ 03:15 PM
link   


This is only partially correct. The religious do not only resist homosexuality because the Bible or the Koran forbids it, but due to an aversion to that which is perceived as unnatural…


That is essentially what I said…that the sexual impulses of an individual when associated to the external stimulus is such that the changing of this association is very difficult and in many cases isn’t possible. If my ‘first true love’ was female, then all of the physiological responses that my body went through in my experiences with her are associated with her and on a broader note, with the female gender. Therefore, any attempt to comprehend the choice of a man to couple with a man is very difficult for me to understand.

But I don’t need to understand it for gay marriage to be a viable option.



In then listing data on hate-crimes (omitting those perpetuated by his side) the readers focus is re-directed to the extremists rather than the moderate majority… My Emphasis




St Augustine said, "An unjust law in no law at all.' Which means I have a right, even a duty to resist. With violence or civil disobedience. You should pray I choose the latter.
-James Farmer Jr. The Great Debaters[1]


‘Hate Crimes’ committed by gay activists, while not excusable in any way, are motivated by the inequality that they perceive. Many of these inequalities cannot be rectified as there is nothing to be done with the fact that another human being sees you as a deplorable human being based on how one wants to behave in their personal time. Such is prejudice. But the decision to prevent gay marriage seems arbitrary in that the gay marriage does not directly impact nor does it necessitate a negative impact upon societal standards.

My opponent has listed above many reasons why the gay community should not have gay marriage in this day and age. I would like to take a look at a few of them.



• Because one of the main purposes of marriage is to raise a family and homosexual relationships cannot bear children.


But homosexual marriage can adopt and contribute to society in a beneficial manner. One of the earmarks represented in my opponents bullet points are the fact that they are narrow. They are focused on widely focused ideologies that play upon the moral fears of the majority, of the religious minded. These arguments are fallacious…



• Because homosexuals could then learn to be confident enough not to need Christians approval or stamp of recognition to live their love.


…especially here when we see the ultimate in hypocrisy. I ask the reader, whom may or may not find the above quote to be valid, why do Christians require the approval of Christians and why do Christians (and even non religious heterosexuals) require a stamp of recognition to requite their love? Should they not learn to live without these as well?



• Because the same-sex-marriage movement is often directed at antagonizing conservatives and the religious rather than expressing love.


My opponent attempts to equate gay marriage as motivated through a malicious antagonization towards the religious conservative. I direct the reader to the one image I used earlier and implore the reader to find a ‘malicious intent’.



Well, you did ask me what we have to fear from same-sex-marriage directly, and I did show you instances of people loosing their jobs and being jailed simply for objecting to man-man relationships. Equal Rights is one thing - shoving it down our throats by suppressing disagreement another.


And how does the above support my opponents position? I would like the reader to review the examples my opponent has provided above. The minority, in the case of this debate, was not shoving anything down their throats, rather it was the majority doing the suppression!

In this case, it was the majority “shoving it down our throats”.



Earlier on my opponent went into depth on sex releasing powerful hormones and neurotransmitters inducing the most positive physical state in a human being...and now ones sexual orientation is a triviality?


The basing of societal decisions based in large part on one’s sexual orientation is hardly a valid way to make a decision that affects how one is allotted to live their life. The ‘in-depth’ sidebar was meant to explain how people can be so narrow minded in their opinions regarding different sexual orientations. A bit of a difference there.

Civil Unions are NotAcceptable and Marriage Should Be Recognized As A Partnership Between Two Consenting Adults Who Desire Their Relationship To Be Upheld By All Legal, Religious and Social Standards.

The creation of the idea of a civil union is such that an implicit division and alienation within society is not only apparent but reinforced. Where is the equality in that? By creating a different standard for a separate group of people the recognition of the gay community in mainstream society is dulled and incomplete. It is the symbolic sense of building a separate water fountain and restroom for the gay community to exist within.

Where was the problem in sharing water fountains with the African American community in the early twentieth century? On a purely physical level, there was nothing wrong with it as the African American community was afforded a civil resource for a human need. But the African American community was not satisfied with this recognition of their needs and the subsequent allotment for it. Why?

Because the racial divide still existed. And as these divide existed, it seemed to reinforce within the population that there was indeed something different and this difference somehow meant negative. The social result is self evident in the behaviour of the population towards the African American community in the form of violence, disdain and many acts of ‘psychological warfare (i.e. cross burnings on the lawns of African American homeowners).
It is imperative for society to cease the division inherent in the creation of alternative outlets for others based on a perceived difference. The attitude and perception of the population towards minority groups is intensified through this effort to pacify them.

It is an insult to create new social standards for people who perform their civic duty and otherwise allowed to co-exist. I still and will always contend that the current American practice of accepting the gay community to enlist in the military and risk their lives for the protection of American rights and freedoms and yet deny them the privilege of participating fully of these rights and freedoms they are helping to protect. A complete hypocrisy.

Massachusetts and Connecticut recognize marriage between same sex couples. This is a fact. There are many people whom are not gay that support a full recognition of gay rights under the law. The myths and irrational projections of the population do not reflect the fact that same sex couples have existed within our community for quite a long time now without these suppositions existing in our society as feared.

My opponent has presented many reasons why the ‘sanctity’ of marriage should be preserved, however, we see that there are many heterosexual marriages that do not uphold the tradition of marriage. We see ill advised marriages that end in annulment, we see heterosexual marriages that end in divorce, in many cases because the marriage was undertaken through societal pressure and not a valid understanding of what it means to be a part of and work through a lifelong partnership. We see the ‘sanctity’ of marriage desecrated, as my opponent as termed it, by the same people who want to preserve said sanctity. Hypocrisy.

Societies ills will not be corrected by the legal recognition of gay marriage, but nor will it be adversely effected by implementation of this legal standard.

There is no valid reason that I have encountered to suggest that gay marriage should not be a societal reality right now. Massachusetts has not suffered a terrible blow to their religious morals and their have been no relevant ‘gay uprisings’ since the states recognition of gay marriage. In fact, in doing a google search on negative gay behaviour since the recognition of gay marriage in Massachusetts, all I could find were anti-gay protests within their state and associated national.

The paranoia and projection of the consequences of gay marriage are not valid reasons to deny legal recognition of such.
 


I would like to thank Skyfloating for an extremely challenging debate. It is an incredible thing to wade through the many resources of the internet to see such heated division on this subject. I would also like to thank semperfortis for his moderation of this debate and for his awareness regarding the decision to bring such a contentious topic to us. I thank the reader, for whom I hope Skyfloating and I have both successfully presented our respective sides.



posted on Nov, 19 2008 @ 05:17 PM
link   
OUTSTANDING DEBATE!!!!

Now it is up to the judges..

Good luck both of you

Semper



posted on Nov, 22 2008 @ 06:26 PM
link   
The results are in!!!!

Congratulations to both Fighters


Both fighters make a strong opening. SF takes the stance that marriage is a sacred religious tradition and that gay “marriage” violates this tradition and is not necessary if civil unions are afforded the same legal rights. MS takes the position that the issue of gay marriage is about societal equality and that modern marriage is as much or more a civil partnership than a purely religious tradition.

SF’s counter that allowing gay marriage would equal the minority imposing their will on the majority is a good gambit, but it is a stretch and ultimately not compelling as MS points out to us that the minority is only asking that majority not impose its will upon them.

SF sticks to his guns on the religious aspect and introduces the scary example of a society which has gone “over the top” with liberalism and suggests that our society will go the same way because gay marriage is a step in that direction. I feel, however, that he takes this analogy too far when equating gay marriage to a drug that will lead us to acceptance of “harder drugs” such as pedophilia.

MS effectively refutes this side trip to the Netherlands and clearly shows us why he feels that the gay community needs marriage for acceptance.

SF loses additional ground when he attempts to claim that gay marriage is merely an act of rebellion or vengeance, thus denigrating the very people whose rights he initially claimed to respect and appreciate. Again, MS effectively counters this claim and shows us that gay marriage is more likely to be about love, and a desire for acceptance and equality.

After some batting back and forth of the same essential issues through Socratic questions and tearing up each other’s points, SF seems to be conceding the point somewhat by suggesting that civil unions are a necessary ”stepping stone” towards the eventual acceptance of gay marriage.

SF picked a stance that I considered difficult to defend from the beginning, and MS effectively used the inherent weakness of the idea that marriage is primarily a sacred religious tradition to advance his position. In modern society the term marriage is as often used to refer to unions which are, in reality, more civil/legal unions or even partnerships of convenience than holy matrimony, and I as well as most readers am well aware of that.

MS’s closing was brilliant and I award him the win, especially since I was initially in favor of SF’s side of the argument and MS convinced me to agree with him before it was over.



Decision: Skyfloating wins.

This debate was an unfortunate example of two skilled debaters playing footsie with their galoshes on. We can blame this on the moderator's choice of wording of the topic, presumably a failed attempt to encourage a polarized and divisive performance.

Skyfloating had the catbird seat; the position he was assigned was clear, and he argued consistently though somewhat conservatively thoughout. The phrasing of the topic gave MemoryShock several choices. Among them, argue that in law, marriage is the same as civil union and should be treated equally (a semantic approach), or commit to the con side and argue that homosexual civil union is unnatural and unacceptable, and should not be condoned by society.

While the latter stance would have been risky, it could have provided ammunition for undermining much of Skyfloating's case. Perhaps wisely, as I don't believe his heart would have been in such a stance, MemoryShock opted for the safe route, narrowing the case he could present to avoid attackable contradiction.

This turned the debate into a quest for the middle ground of reasonable compromise. Neither fighter argued strongly about the validity of the conservative public's views on homosexual union, expressing morality in secular law, or whether any legal framework establishing social norms can be consistently fair and just.

Skyfloating brought his argument to the reader in the form of pragmatic example of majority beliefs, and extolled mutual respect. MemoryShock allowed his argument to be undermined rather early, describing "marriage" as term with evolving meaning that might someday be considered equivalent to "civil union". Skyfloating effectively used this to solidify his position, highlighting the very different meaning people currently give to those terms.

By the middle of the debate, Skyfloating had comfortably established his position, and was looking to claim the middle ground as his own, too. MemoryShock's tactic of declaring civil union distinct and unacceptable was eventually unconvincing, as Skyfloating by that point had managed to fold civil rights arguments into his case, effectively diluting MemoryShock's excellent rhetoric.

Skyfloating's point-by-point closing statement sealed the deal, and I must give him the win, on consistency and effective defense of position. I am not happy about this decision, as I feel that were the position assignments reversed, I would be handing the win to MemoryShock instead.



Challenge Match: Skyfloating vs MemoryShock: "I say ""I Do"" To Prop 8" (Sky Vs MS - for the sake of expediency I will refer to both fighters as "he" my apologies for any gender confusion)

An excellent debate, and one that would have been worthy of a tournament final, between two seasoned, eloquent and outstanding fighters.

Sky started well, and made a strong opening, apart from his ill advised assertion that gay marriage could kill off humanity. That aside, his opening was very strong, and he continued in the same vein throughout the debate, refusing to let MS distract him.
Sky stuck to his guns, and despite some peculiar analogies (such as the netherlands) was able to fend off some strong attacks by MS.
Sky remained proactive throughout the debate and was not hoodwinked into reacting and therefore playing his opponents game.
Some good sources and philosophical references made for a very good position and he was able to maintain this.
Sky's use of rhetoric was outstanding, but his use of images to try and make a point was a little unfortunate.
As the debate went on, Sky seemed to run out of idea's a little, and began to repeat some points - but still managed to retain his composure in the face of some very heavy pressure, until ending with some very good, but rather easily refuted points.

MS made a good opening and matched sky's for strength, but failed somewhat to capitalize on the weak points, which could have then set the tone for the debate.
This was an unusual slip, but one that did not affect him, as he set about making a superb case for his position, with excellent use of rhetoric, logical argument and good sources.
Although MS was unable to exert complete control over the debate, he was able to guide it in a direction he wanted it to go - this is a tribute to Sky's debating skills that he did not allow MS to completely set the terms.
MS exerted fearsome pressure and was able to squeeze Sky into making some rash comments and arguments, although this did not mean he set the terms or controlled the debate.
In answer to some of Sky's points regarding influencing children, I would have liked to have seen MS focus a little more on the phenomenon of curiosity in teenagers and how it has been shown that it doesn't affect their orientation.
I would also like to have seen a focus on historical evidence which shows that same sex marriage is not a modern idea.

However, this aside, I have to give this one to MemoryShock by a very small margin, simply due to his better use of rhetoric and logical reasoning, as well as a very strong closing.
This one really could have gone either way, and it's a tribute to both fighters as they showed outstanding debate skills and technique.


MemoryShock by split decision!!!



posted on Nov, 22 2008 @ 06:34 PM
link   
Congratulations MemoryShock.





_____________________________


And finally, to my relief a disclaimer: What was said in this debate is not my actual opinion. My opinion is that it is not of my business whether homosexuals marry or not.



posted on Nov, 22 2008 @ 06:39 PM
link   
reply to post by Skyfloating
 


Congratulations to you, Skyfloating. The judges made very clear that this was a tough one and I very well almost lost this one. I concur that you are an outstanding opponent.

Thank you for an excellent excercise...





new topics

top topics



 
20

log in

join