One of the disturbing things about debating same sex marriage is the tone. Defenders of conjugal marriage are automatically presumed to be acting in bad faith. Same sex marriage is a civil rights issue and nothing else. If you bring up any counter-vailing considerations, any concern about negative consequences, any reason to believe the legitimate objectives of same sex couples can be met in some other way, these considerations are not worth taking seriously. We think the issue is about marriage: what marriage is and ought to be, what society needs marriage to be. The other side thinks it is always and everywhere, only about civil rights. I don't think it is a good and civil way to conduct a debate to assume ill-will or bad intent on the part of your opponent.
Tonight for instance: my opponent at Seton Hall did exactly that. But I don't think it helped his cause. The students could see for themselves that I am not "cruel, or insensitive." Nor was I visibly frightened of anyone, contrary to his explicit accusation of "homophobia." Nor was I "prudish." All these words were used against generic opponents of same sex marriage. At no time did he even attempt to respond to my arguments: that same sex marriage will change the definition of marriage for everyone, not just for a few people, therefore it will affect everyone. Same sex marriage will undermine the principle that children deserve a relationship with both parents. It undercuts the biological principle for determining parentage, as well as the principle that the state records parentage, but does not determine parentage.
All of this will harm children and empower the state, not individuals.
But he did not even attempt to respond to these arguments.
Not a good way to debate.