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That we should regret the strong promotion of people declaring their sexual orientation

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4 points
StickStick (PRO)
The first thing I would like to point out in this debate is not about whether homosexuality is a right or wrong thing. In fact that question is wholly irrelevant to this debate. I will however add, to make the debate more interesting, that 'we' support people who are homosexual/their right to be so. This debate is about whether sexuality should be encouraged to be a defining characteristic of identity, which is what it becomes when declaring it is strongly promoted. Because of the scope of this debate being as large as it is, I'd like to center it mainly just in the 'western world' if at all possible. I am welcome to challenges to my definition of the topic depending on what my opponent wants to argue... I look forward to a good debate. 

The status quo is that in some parts of the western world, people declaring their sexual orientation is strongly promoted. In others it is not. All of the problems I talk about below are observable and present in the world today, which is why, I argue, it is regrettable. I do however write as if it has not yet happened, solely because it has not yet happened everywhere.

Creates social cleavages

Identity is the collection of conceptions, qualities, beliefs and expressions that make an individual or group different from others. 

Identity can be thought of in two different ways; 1. The identity an individual or group perceives themselves to have, 2. the identity 'others' (people not of that identity) perceive them to have. The identity others perceive people to have is usually a simplification of the true identity, though can be an exaggeration of it in certain circumstances, for certain identities. For example if someone explicitly states their sexual orientation as a part of their identity, they may also have regions, cultures, nations, political groups, cookie dough appreciation societies etc  that they identify with and as, but as they might not explicitly state these things,'other' people, who may have many aspects of identity in common, might see sexual orientation as therefore being the central and defining aspect of their identity. This can alienate and misrepresent these people as for most people, though important, sexual orientation is not the predominant feature of their identity - and this can lead to societal tension. 

Necessarily, for an identity to exist, the absence and therefore an 'other' identity must exist. Therefore, 'identity' entails some form of social cleavage. Naturally people identify and get along better with people that are like them, in terms of identity, ie preference. This social cleavage does not have to be a bad thing. In fact many groups of people and individuals throughout history that have fought for the equality of various identities and various aspects of life have stated that the end  goal of their campaigning is to make the particular aspect of identity they were 'fighting for' into non-issues, so for example in the hope that the color of ones skin wouldn't matter when asking for human rights afforded to other races or applying to go to certain schools, or that one's gender wouldn't matter when deciding who gets to vote, even though both race and gender can be and is still a part of some people's identities. The defeatist notion that identities must necessarily cause conflict and  therefore must always be reinforced is self-perpetuating. With legislative equality existing, if perfect equality does not already exist between people of different sexual orientations, it must be due to social stigmas. The base unit of any society is the individual, and individuals are not convinced by forcible and aggressive disagreement. A far more effective way of creating equality is by emphasizing positive aspects, such as enforcing laws to treat everyone equally, and convincing people that discriminate against people of certain sexual orientations (not others that don't) that doing so is wrong. Dialogue and conflict are different things. 

Promoting certain aspects of identity exacerbates them by deepening social cleavages. For example, if differences between tea drinkers and coffee drinkers were to be promoted, entailed in the promotion of people declaring their preference, it could be used to source other statistics, such as differential crime rates etc could be used to discriminate against one of those groups, and suddenly a small difference of preference isn't so small anymore. But even if all that happened is people declare their preference, nothing else happening, subconsciously it becomes almost impossible not to identify with either group (or the non-drinkers) even though ones choice of hot beverage might have previously seemed like a frivolous, abstract basis for social cleavage. Many gangs fight each other over little more than trivial identities/affiliations. This is not how you solve problems, this is how you create them. 

Political/social discourse

At present there is legislative equality for people of every sexual orientation, in most ways, including, increasingly in the western world, in the social institution of marriage. By creating social tensions and cleavages, political discourse is necessarily affected as political discourse attempts to mirror that of the society it represents. This is a slippery slope towards positively discriminatory policy changes, such as affirmative action, for those of minority sexual orientations, or the opposite in the removal of rights for those of certain sexual orientations, as politicians want to be seen to be doing something about the social cleavage that was artificially constructed. Affirmative action would be bad because then the perception of people would be that sexual orientation affects ones ability to perform certain tasks, and it would give the illusion that people of certain sexual orientations need help in order to have the same opportunities as others and be functioning members of society. Political discourse often also exacerbates the social cleavages it mirrors, and further entrench and reinforce prejudices. 

Social discourse would also suffer a set-back. If the world continually insists on debating the same topic, even with equality having been achieved, any equality that was achieved is continually put into question. Any movement without a definitive and specific end goal, is often viewed by society as being bad. This is because if tensions are stirred and people of the 'other' category of people don't know why, they will naturally assume there is no reason behind it. Similarly, if they do know why, and that goal is achieved, the continuance of the movement behind the goal would seem questionable. This acts to illegitimize movements that seek to achieve goals for people of certain sexual orientations that may well be facing some level of discrimination. Thus, instead of advancing social discourse, it suffers a set-back. 


In creating political discourses that are predominantly about sex, and in strongly promoting declarations about sex, the world in general, but particularly children, become more sexualised. When everything in life becomes about sex, and when people start feeling that they ought to all declare where they stand on this particular social cleavage, it is one more aspect to add to the massive amounts of sexualisation that people are faced with these days. Sexual orientation has sexual connotations. May seem like i'm pointing out the obvious here, but it needs to be said. What ought to happen is for the issue of sexual orientation to become a non-issue, such that people can do as they please in their bedrooms, and the world as a whole need not hear about it. 

Sexualisation is bad for a number of reasons. First it objectifies people. If the defining characteristic of ones identity becomes sex, or even something related to sex such as sexual orientation, then one is de-humanised can be seen to be nothing more than an object of sex. Secondly, it makes people start to evaluate themselves more on their looks and compare themselves to other people, particularly celebrities, which can have hugely negative effects on self esteem. Thirdly, it has a negative effect on society, for if someone is a sexualised object, they can be open to manipulation and used as an instrument of another persons will. 

Return To Top | Posted:
2016-02-24 19:24:03
| Speak Round
BifurcationsBifurcations (CON)
First of all thank you for taking this debate seriously. The only part of your definition I would contest is this:
"This debate is about whether sexuality should be encouraged to be a defining characteristic of identity, which is what it becomes when declaring it is strongly promoted."
I would suggest that this is more about being proud of your sexual orientation and how by strongly promoting it we generate understanding that deals with that social stigma stemming from general ignorance. This will make up the majority of the contention of my arguments to yours and probably a large proportion of this debate.


1. Political/Social Discourse
Even in countries where same-sex marriage has been legalised legal equality has not been achieved: 
  • "wearing a wedding ring to work can result in a gay worker being legally fired in 29 states. In most states, LGBT people can also still be refused service and denied housing, and there are no laws protecting LGBT students against bullying in schools" [1] 
  • other workplace discrimination [2]
  • restrictions on blood [3]
  • right to adopt [4]
Things are improving but it is definitely not the case that legal equality has been reached. You concede that social cleavage can be effectively used for political action and I have shown that it is still necessary. People do have the misconception that "we are all equal now" because so many liberalised democracies have legalised same-sex marriage but that is unfortunately not the case. Yes we might be annoying people by saying "look we need to tackle this issue now" but that should not mean that we no longer fight for equality when that fight is still necessary. People just don't know about the issues that many LGBT+ people face which is why celebrating coming out is important because it keeps the media attention on the issues still faced even if the mainstream media only does an article on Coming Out Day or when a Pride march happens. That information needs to be shared so people understand that there are still legal issues we need to deal with and an international celebration is the best way t do this. It shows that we exist as a large group and we cannot be ignored simply because people no longer feel like supporting us now that "same-sex marriage is dealt with".

2. Sexualisation
Yes over sexualisation is harmful and yes a discussion on most relationships (but not all; see asexuality) can have some element of discussion about sexual activities but this is not true of all discussions and neither is it the most important discussion. The important bit is that love and trust someone and want to have the world accept your relationship as legitimate. Yes it is a problem when discussions around sexual orientation become and unhelpful discussion of sexual activities but that doesn't mean we should stop celebrating the multitude of sexual orientations it simply means we need to keep trying to steer the discussion back to the most important issue: acceptance of all forms of love as legitimate. This leads on to the discussion between discourse v discrimination which I will discuss in my first substantive argument. 

3. "used to source other statistics, such as differential crime rates"
Statistics can be brutal however there is a benefit in being able to say "LGB people are twice as likely as heterosexual people to have suicidal thoughts or to make suicide attempts" [5] to show that the issue is real and that it is something we need to legislate to stop if possible. When statistics are used badly they can be discriminatory hence why men who sleep with men are not allowed to give blood or are only allowed to do so a year after same-sex sex. Many statistics are misused and misrepresented but if we don't at least attempt to gather that information and use it correctly then it is harder to show "invisible" issues like suicide rates and harder to get political support to make a change because they don't have the evidence they need to say it is an issue that they need to solve.

Substantive Case

1. Necessity of Pride
Many members of the LGBT+ community associate the time they questioned their sexuality with fear and shame. This is due to historical, religious and political concepts of what a "normal" relationship and "normal" family (nuclear family) should be. Anything by definition (and sometimes by teaching) must be "wrong". This drives feelings of shame and fear of being attacked or abandoned if anyone found out. This is shown in the high levels of teen suicides and school bullying [5]. The fact that being "different" can be celebrated is a necessary part of letting people know that they are not alone and that it will get better. This celebration stands in opposition to the discrimination that has occurred and is still happening (see the fact Gay Shame exists). Being dismissed (Bi Erasure) or told you should be "cured" [6] are narratives driven by certain institutions and are held strongly by many local communities (Bible Belt). These narratives existed before Pride was a concept. Pride presents an alternative view on a large scale is necessary to combat harmful narratives.When charities such as Stonewall which is supported by the Government because the celebration around Pride is so huge it is not something a Government can ignore easily. When a government supports a movement that leads to greater socialacceptance (see the polls of support for same-sexmarriage before and after Obama declared support). It is seen as more "normal" to support LGBT+ people therefore it is easier for more people to do it. The government can also distribute correct information about what sexualorientation is and what the issues people face are. This helps to tackle the discrimination which happens due to ignorance.

Yes discrimination still exists but it would be worse without Pride because less people would have ignorant biases challenged. This means that local discrimination gets worse as it is impossible for a small group or individual LGBT+ people to convince an entire community that they should be accepted is the dominant narrative is the "gay people should be cured". Without this celebration LGBT+ issues are heard about less and therefore less understood which means it is harder to tackle latent prejudice. You say "people can do as they please in their bedrooms, and the world as a whole need not hear about it" and this is actually an example of why we need Pride and other celebrations. You are essentially saying that people can do what they want so long as I don't need to see or engage with it. This is mostly fine when it comes to any overtly sexual act however people use this justification to not engage with same-sex couples (and every other nontraditional relationship) on any level. This is not accepting that people can love who ever they want and being happy about it this ignoring the situation which leads to ignorance about what LGBT+ issues are. At least if the discrimination is visible on an institutional scale and there is a strong movement against this discrimination we can deal with it easier and it is not left to individual people at a vulnerable time in their life to fight for their own acceptance.

2. Benefits of Celebrating Coming Out (The individual)
One of the difficulties at the moment is that people assume that some is straight by default. This can be difficult for individuals in social groups because they feel pressured into agreeing with the assumption of their sexuality for fear of being rejected. This leads to feelings of isolation and like a part of your identity that is important to most LGBT+people is being ignored. It feels so important because we place such a high societal value on finding love and being in a relationship. When that value exists but is mostly only discussed in the case of heterosexual couples it creates the idea that any other relationship is not as valuable. People want to celebrate the fact that they are in love no matter who it is you are in love with and this feels like it is being denied to LGBT+ people when heterosexuality is still the default setting. Pride helps to break that assumption and a celebration of an individual coming out is the best way to show that that individuals bravery is noted and that their love is accepted. Given that most LGBT+ people go through enormous hardship to be accepted it should be celebrated when they come out as a show of support against further discrimination. It also shows other people who are still closeted or questioning that there is local support so they don't feel so isolated. 

Celebration of celebrities coming out is also useful on an individual level because it creates well known role models that people can aspire to be like and also use as a way of showing that accepting and being proud of your sexuality can make you stronger even if you are struggling the now. It also allows the individual a way of introducing their sexual orientation into a positive conversation. For example "Angelina Jolie was great in that film." "Yes she was. I have something in common with her. I am Bi as well." 

Legal inequality still exists. Discrimination happens wether Pride exists or not but with Pride it is easier to tackle misconceptions and makes people who are questioning or closeted feel less alone.

I look forward to the next round.


Return To Top | Posted:
2016-02-24 22:44:33
| Speak Round
StickStick (PRO)

Legal equality

I did not say that everywhere had absolute equality for all people, I merely stated that most places in the western world do, and generally speaking the trend has been moving in that direction. Therefore because in most places legal equality has been reached, I believe asserting that legal equality has been reached is a fair assessment. Also on the refusal of service note that was raised, in all but one state (California) service can be refused for something as petty as ‘unconventional dress’, and in fact a case could be made for refusing service for almost anything so long as it is consistently applied. 


A music video showing a mostly naked girl dancing does not inherently discuss sexual activities, and yet still many would consider such videos to be sexualised and negative. Talking around sex has the same effect as talking about it. Is sex all people should be talking about?

Bullying and Suicide

Suicide statistics are very dangerous to use to attempt to prove anything. Pro stated that LGB people are twice as likely as others to have suicidal thoughts or make suicide attempts, which according to pro shows that LGB people are oppressed and we are very far from equality. Men are four times more likely to commit suicide than women (source) – does this mean that feminism has gone far too far, we are living in a massive matriarchy and that men are now very oppressed, more so than LGB people? Just because two things are correlated does not mean they directly cause each other. Particularly with suicide, there are many factors that contribute to the overall effect.

With the quoted increased bullying rates, I would again argue that there is a difference between correlation and causation. The reason people of certain sexual orientations are bullied more, is the same as the reason why boys who are not good at sport are bullied: hegemonic masculinity (and hegemonic femininity also leads to bullying in girls). This point embodies both Connell’s and Gramsci’s ideas - of cultural ideals that are considered proper for each gender to adhere to, and any and every deviance from that is considered bad. This is why girls who are good at sport are sometimes bullied, because they don’t fit the culturally defined standards of femininity. Thus this is not at all a problem of sexual orientation, and it would be a grave mistake to address it as such, because it is much larger than that. But the solution to this problem, is the same as the solution to the sexual orientation problem, as I have been proposing it. Research has also indicated that there are many aspects of a bullying victim’s life (parenting/attachment, negative affectivity, coping mechanisms etc) that can affect social interaction and increase the likelihood of being bullied[1]. Insecurities that come from growing up in an environment where something as simple as sexual orientation matters can massively compound this. My point here is that this is a complex problem, with a lot a factors, which I feel Pro is oversimplifying.

The quoted gay bullying statistics were from Manchester (UK), where there have been massive efforts to encourage people to declare their sexual orientations, and where large charities, such as the LGBT Foundation (quoted by pro) and the Proud Trust are based and have been working for more than 30 years, holding massive events (just the ‘pride’ pro has been talking about), and yet seemingly nothing has changed. This would indicate that perhaps the strategy of creating conflict might be fundamentally flawed.


The word ‘pride’ truly is an interesting word, embodying both self-esteem and gratification. Identity cannot be wholly removed from an individual, it is and must be a part of that individual, and thus is embodied in pride. Pride is a sense of confidence, comfort and satisfaction one attains from one’s own identity. I mentioned in my first round that identity can be thought of in two ways, self-defined and as defined by others. Self-defined identity ispride when and only when one is happy with this identity, which for the majority of identities people are. The argument Pro is essentially making, is that people of certain sexual orientations do not feel as though their particular sexual orientation is positive or gratifying, or in the very least that others do not, and that this must be changed to better their feeling of self-worth. Lack of self-esteem is something that, again, is a very complex issue that is often over-simplified. Claiming that declaring ones sexual orientation leads to or entails pride is a sweeping assertion. In my first round I showed how it leads to social problems and conflict – which usually has the opposite effect to creating ‘pride’.

Social Issues

This debate is about whether sexual orientations should be a perpetual issue that will and should always continue, or whether solutions to this issue should be found. What is the best way to create and maintain total equality between people of different sexual orientations? The solution is to move towards making sexual orientation into a non-issue. This is not the same thing as ignoring the problem. When a doctor cures a disease with medicine, that doctor isn’t ignoring the fact that the patient has a disease, the doctor is making the disease into a non-issue for the patient. This can be done (as has already been in most places) legislatively, which changes social attitudes over time, as what was once normal ebbs away and a new normal arises. It can also be done by using the age-old  anti-bullying technique of ignoring the bullying, and then police forces etc reacting strongly when hate-crimes are committed. No conflict at all is needed. By creating conflict, all that is happening is that the issue perpetuates itself and worsens, because of the ‘us’ and ‘others’ mentality that arises, as I discussed in my first round.

Even if all societal harms were to be ignored, and only the feelings of certain LGB individuals who had gone through immense hardship were to be considered, the strong promotion of people declaring their sexual orientation would still be a bad thing. By declaring their sexual orientation they only further isolate themselves from their peers and thrust them at the centre of a conflict, at a time when they themselves might still be very fragile. This can lead to more bullying and leave them worse off than they were before.

A note on exclusivity

None of what I have written is mutually exclusive with support networks/counselling services etc, as these can really help people that need it, not only on sexual orientation issues but generally. My argument is solely about the strong promotion of people declaring their sexual orientation. There is a big difference between positive steps towards full equality everywhere and steps towards conflict.

Final note

It also has not been answered why my analysis on social cleavages is wrong, and why conflict wouldn’t be created. Alongside seemingly no permanent solution, is the strong promotion of people declaring their sexual orientation really a good thing? Does it ‘educate’ people, or divide them? Is education really what is needed?

If it did not matter to people what sexual orientation they were, would people feel no pride in their sexual orientation?

[1] Hansen, T., Steenberg, L., Palic, S., & Elkit A. (2012). A review of psychological factors relating to bullying victimization in schools. Aggression and Violent Behaviour, 17(4), 383-387. doi: 10.1016/j.avb.2012.03.008

Return To Top | Posted:
2016-02-26 10:12:41
| Speak Round
BifurcationsBifurcations (CON)
What I would like to prove is that a strong promotion of people declaring their sexual orientation leads to a better discussion about acceptance of non-traditional relationships and increases the probability that people will accept their sexual orientation much easier. If I can prove those two things, I can prove that it should not be regretted. The clash so far has been wether or not a strong promotion leads to greater acceptance or conflict, at what stage in the journey towards equality we are currently in and how we get the most effective discussion on LGBT+ issues. I will attempt in this speech to win my contentions within the clash points that have been discussed so far.

Sorry for not making this clearer but I consider the strong promotion of people declaring their sexual orientation to be Pride(note the capital) [such as Pride marches : http://www.pride.scot/parade/] and National Coming Out Day [http://www.hrc.org/resources/national-coming-out-day]. I am therefore defending these as being beneficial.

Misc. Rebuttal
1. "because in most places legal equality has been reached, I believe asserting that legal equality has been reached is a fair assessment"
- This is problematic because legal equality has not been reached in "most countries" as I highlighted in round 1. Perhaps giving your definition of legal equality and showing how you think this has been achieved would dispel confusion.
2. "Is sex all people should be talking about?"
"Talking around sex has the same effect as talking about it"
-I explained in round 1 that the best form of discussion on sexual orientation is the acceptance of all love as valid. This does not have to be a discussion on sex but again I say that some people do have this discussion, which can lead to the harms that you outlined. This does not mean we should stop this discussion because some of it is unhelpful but rather we should promote helpful discussions which I will show happens due to Pride and Coming Out Day.

Substantive Case
1. Improving Dialogue and Dealing With Social Issues
Social issues and conflict around non traditional relationships existed long before Pride or Coming Out Day and I am going to show that we have not yet dealt with the issues which cause this conflict so stopping Pride would not stop the conflict but it can work to reduce it.
The first area of contention is between Religions and LGBT+ community. Christians who wish to oppose acceptance of non-traditional relationships use Leviticus 20:13 [http://biblehub.com/leviticus/20-13.htm] to justify why they believe being gay is a sin. Homosexuality is strictly forbidden by Sharia in Islam [http://www.missionislam.com/knowledge/homosexuality.htm]. Obviously these regions and many more existed before Pride and have a fuelled a narrative that it is wrong to be anything other than heterosexual and punishment before a God is necessary to absolve you of sin. This is where a lot of hate and misunderstanding towards the LGBT+ community comes from. These passages and religious teachings will not end if Pride ends rather they will continue to preach that it is sinful to be LGBT+. This is where your Manchester example becomes important. A big problem with Manchester is the ethnic and religious divides. Almost 50% of the population in Manchester is Christian and there is a rapidly growing number of Muslims as well [Q05c 2011 Census Summary Religion - Manchester City ...]. This growth has been more than twice as much as the rest of the north east of England. This has created a problem for Manchester in the form of communities there being mostly Muslim rather than the city having an even integration. This is shown in the 2011 census [800px-Islam_Greater_Manchester_2011_census.png] (please look at the image it really is interesting).

This integration problem within Manchester has made it difficult to challenge hate against LGBT+ people based on religious narratives. The idea that LGBT+ people should be accepted conflicts heavily with the religious teachings. Now we come to the comparative of will the conflict stop and will the situation improve if we stop promoting people coming out or would that make it worse and what are the benefits of Pride towards discourse. It is true that right now the public discussion of LGBT+ people also publicises the criticisms and hate of the community. As shown these criticisms already existed they are just being aired more publicly and being challenged more publicly. As I explained in round 1 it is impossible for any one individual to successfully challenge the narratives of an institution like Islam however a movement brought together around the celebration of coming out can provide a challenge to religious teachings. I also said in round 1 how this shows individuals an alternative to the religious teachings and without the strong promotion of coming out it is unlikely that any other view point but the religious teachings will be heard. Pride promotes discussion as we have accepted but what type of discussion? [http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/jul/18/tom-daley-i-always-knew-i-was-attracted-to-guys-olympic-2012-diver] [http://kinseyconfidential.org/today-national-coming-day-2/]

Running out of Time so I will deal with bullying in the next round. 

Return To Top | Posted:
2016-02-29 10:12:03
| Speak Round
StickStick (PRO)

Legal Equality

In Pro’s first round, 4 bullet points were given as to how legal equality had not been reached. In my second round, I pointed out why the first point was absurd: refusal of service for most reasons is legal in most states, there are no laws protecting anyone from bullying in most states, and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act has been introduced to every congress since 1994 often with majority support, and has been gaining traction to the point it will inevitably be law very soon. Note also, this is only a list of ‘facts’ that are true in the USA; the western world is much bigger than that. The second bullet point was about workplace discrimination, which is either covered in the Non-Discrimination Act or a societal issue. With blood donations homosexual sex is on a list of 10 high risk behaviours (risk of blood contamination with HIV) that the FDA has written to proect the purity of blood donations. All it says is that the FDA considers 12 months to be a reasonable time-frame for definitive HIV testing to occur, and thus this is the stand-down period for people that have engaged in homosexual sex before they can give blood. 3 of these examples relate to only the US, one refers only to Italy. This is not indicative of the ‘western world’, and even within the examples, the truth was stretched. Isolated examples of stretched examples of ‘discrimination’ are not proof of inequality.


Inherently in seeking to continue the sexual orientation conversation for much longer than it has to, a discussion about sexual preference, with regular events and encouraging people to declare their sexual preferences, a conversation about nothing other than sex is occurring.


I have not once mentioned any form of conflict that occurs or needs to occur between religious people and people of certain sexual orientations, and I feel it a debasement of this debate to bring it to that level. I feel that in the same way as you feel that ‘religious’ people are misinformed about lgbt issues, you are misinformed about religious issues. A belief in biblical inerrancy is not a prerequisite to being a Christian. I will point you in the direction of two websites: http://www.mpvusa.org/lgbtqi-resources/ http://time.com/4177151/pope-francis-new-book/ … You are assuming that all religion is negative and that atheism is the only path to morality. I’m not going to write much more on this topic because as a whole, it is irrelevant to this debate. If you are not willing to inform yourself about issues that are important to other people, how can you expect people to inform themselves of issues important to you? This is also not a debate on the pitfalls of mass-immigration.

That being said, I have already shown how the strong promotion of people declaring their sexual orientation, would have negative outcomes for both political and social discourses. This analysis has been ignored by Pro. I have also comprehensively rebutted pro’s interpretation of how discourses play themselves out, and this is yet to be expanded upon. Simply stating ‘but religious people hate homosexuals’ does not expand on or prove anything. 


Just to expand on and reiterate what I said in round 2 about bullying… I have stated throughout this debate that ‘Pride’ destroys its namesake. Simply asserting this is not true is not enough, Pro has not and still needs to show how it is that all of my harms of ‘Pride’ are wrong, as well as how the ‘benefits’ of pride will come to fruition. I have shown how instead of increasing self-esteem amongst people of different sexual orientations, it destroys it. It creates conflicts in communities, increases the likelihood someone would get bullied. Pro still has not provided any evidence as to why social cleavages wouldn’t be created.

Return To Top | Posted:
2016-03-01 00:03:33
| Speak Round
BifurcationsBifurcations (CON)
Legal Inequality
Going to do this rant because I am starting to become offended at Pro's lack of acceptance that legal inequality for the LGBT community is still rife as part of that community myself.
All of this information is taken from Equaldex [http://www.equaldex.com].
a) Same-sex marriage
Italy: unrecognised
Germany: Civil Unions
Austria: Civil Unions
Montenegro: Illegal
Greece: Civil Unions

b) Adoption 
Finland: Step Child only
Germany: Step Child only
Italy: Illegal 
Poland: Illegal
Hungary: Married Couples Only 

c) Discrimination Laws 
USA: Illegal in some context 
Canada: Illegal in some context
Italy: Illegal in some context
Ireland: Illegal in some context
Denmark: Illegal in some context
Poland: Illegal in some context

d) Employment Discrimination
USA: No Protection
Belarus: No Protection

e) Housing Discrimination 
Italy: No Protection
The vast majority of other countries is the law is ambiguous or unknown which means that individuals can still be discriminated and there is no clear guidelines for help. I happen to know a student who is loosing both her job and her home because she is bisexual. 

f) Blood and Tissue Donation 
Pro doesn't believe this is discrimination because there is a risk of HIV so that's fine. The problem is that this assumes if it is two men having sex the risk of HIV is too high no matter what type of sex or who they are having sex with. For example two guys get married and they have a healthy sex life, neither of them give donate blood or tissue even if they have the same sexual partner and neither of them has HIV. This is a law that is ridiculous and old fashioned and doesn't represent the reality of the situation. that is why it is discrimination.
Canada: five year deferral 
Germany: indefinite deferral 
Norway: indefinite deferral
Iceland: indefinite deferral
Belgium: indefinite deferral

g) Age of Consent 
Canada: Unequal
Australia: Unequal
Greece: Unequal

This argument is ridiculous. Essentially Pro is saying we should never discuss anything about or around sex. Good luck education people to be healthy and happy then. As I have said many times now a discussion on sexual orientation is a discussion about who you love and why that love should be respected (no engagement to this).

The importance of Religion
Apparently it is unfair of me to "bring the debate to this level". Let me explain why it is not. First of all the foundation of many Governments was religious whether that be Roman Catholic or Islam etc. This means that many questions of law and morality are still guided by the beliefs and teachings of religions. When the teachings of major religions as I outlined in round two say that homosexuality is wrong and that there should be a punishment attached to this it is very hard for LGBT+ people to be accepted in society at large. Even if individuals are not religious many are still influenced by the general societal perceptions which are still driven by the major religions. For example being taught school that a family consists of a mum, dad, daughter and son and shown no alternative. Pro cannot say there is an issue with conflict against LGBT+ people then when I analyse why this can and does come from religious teachings and lack of integration say that I am misinformed and not engage. This was a rude and personalised attack with no basis in reality.

The importance of this argument for discussions is this: society assumes that everyone is heterosexual because this is deemed as "normal". This is the default setting: if you are a girl you must attracted to guys advise versa. Here is a YouGov poll showing the increasing numbers of people identifying as non-heterosexual https://yougov.co.uk/news/2015/08/16/half-young-not-heterosexual/. It is obviously not the case that heterosexuality is the majority in such force any more however people are still assumed to be heterosexual that is why people come out and say that is not true. When we have not yet moved away from the assumption that heterosexuality is default then we cannot hope that those who do find it difficult or impossible to accept LGBT+ people because this clashes with what they believe their religion says then we cannot hope that integration will improve if suddenly we stop celebrating people coming out. The easiest thing to do if you cannot accept the LGBT+ community is to ignore it and deny that it is happening and continue to teach your children that heterosexuality is what your religion demands. This leads to more and more isolation between the LGBT+ communities and the religious communities that do not accept them. This isolation is what makes it acceptable for hate and violence to grow. See my example of Manchester again. The only negative outcomes that Pro has asserted is based on the fact that legal and social equality exists now so this is just going to far. This is obviously not true. Look at how many politicians voted against same-sex marriage, how many people  voted against same sex marriage and how many protests were held when these votes happened. That did not saddlery disappear when those laws were passed. People are still being discriminated against and are still struggling on a daily basis what you propose seeks to abandon those people and isolate them further. Lets look at this further.

Bullying and Pride: What helps the individual? 
So Pro has asserted that not all people are proud of their sexuality and by promoting it strongly you destroy their self esteem. Yes, people feel (because of the reasons I explained above) that they are wrong or will be hated or hate themselves because of their sexuality. This is a time process so lets look at the comparatives. Person A realises they are gay and can't come to terms with this. Situation 1 is that no large scale celebrations of people coming out exists. Person A is very likely to fell more alone and still not able to come to terms with themselves. Why? because there is no other narrative saying that being gay is ok that people will still love you that it is not wrong to accept who you are and there are less stories promoted people being in that position and overcoming this. Pro says counselling still exists. You are not likely to go to a councillor about this when you are 14 and struggling to fit in, you are not likely to talk to anyone if you are so ashamed about it yourself, you are likely to go to the internet to see what other people have to say about this, you are likely to hear something on the news about it. When we don't celebrate coming out ad show positive stories about people learning to accept themselves then how can we expect young kids who are going through this to see anything other than their shame. This is what leads to isolation and much worse. Situation 2 is when we do celebrate people coming out. Person A is still struggling but they enjoy water sports and see on the news or social media that Tom Daley has come out [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJwJnoB9EKw]. Then the story of Tom getting engaged is celebrated and his mum shows her support [http://www.hellomagazine.com/celebrities/2015100227508/tom-daley-mum-thrilled-by-engagement/]. When his finance is remembered for this academy award speech:
"When I was 13 years old, my beautiful mother and father moved me from a conservative Mormon home in San Antonio, Texas, to California and I heard the story of Harvey Milk," he said.

"And it gave me hope. It gave me the hope to live my life. It gave me the hope one day I could live my life openly as who I am and that maybe even I could fall in love and one day get married."

This is the hope that is celebrated in responsive to the negative or dismissive narratives seen in general society or by politicians and hate groups. When you feel alone and ashamed it is easier to notice the hateful things that people say and this fuels your shame even further. We need desperately to shout as loud as possible to celebrate as much as possible the fact that being non-heterosexual is not wrong because too many people are still suffering. 

Pro says that people are bullied for many different reasons and mostly because they do not conform to gender stereotypes. Being gay is one massive way to not conform to gender stereotypes ad expectations. Yes bullying happens for many reasons but if we have evidence that one of those reasons is that you are non-heterosexual then we have a duty to put a end to it in any way we can. Pro says that we cannot use suicide statistics for two reasons: that people killing themselves is complicated and that there is no link between the number of LGBT+ people committing suicide and them being LGBT+. Yes they might kill themselves because they are isolated and alone and suffering from depression but when there is such a high ratio of LGBT+ people killing themselves to heterosexual people then we have to deal with the cause and take this seriously. As I outlined in my above points there are many reasons that LGBT+ people feel alone isolated and ashamed and why hearing negativity about your sexual orientation worsens this. Yes more men commit suicide than women this is because men still feel responsible for protecting their family and the household and to be the breadwinner this is getting harder as that burden is shared but this is something that even feminism is aiming to solve because it is recognised as a serious problem. 

Pro argues that because of this celebration social cleavages and conflict exists. No, they have always existed they are just more pubic now. This means as I said before that this negativity is tackled on an institutional basis which is what Pride does rather than it being a latent belief that is never really aired until it is against an individual LGBT+ person. As i also explained the individual cannot tackle the issue but it can make them feel more isolated. That is what Pro is defending as a good thing.

For the sake of all LGBT+ people you have to oppose this motion.

Return To Top | Posted:
2016-03-01 13:32:36
| Speak Round
BifurcationsBifurcations (CON)
I want to summarise two things: Does this create conflict or solve it and what is the effect on individual LGBT+ people.

This has been an interesting and intense debate which I hope my opponent and others reading it have enjoyed.

1. Does this create conflict or solve it
Pro argues:
  • we have approximately reached legal equality at least in westernised liberal democracies 
  • to continue strongly promoting people coming out creates social cleavages and conflict because the issues have been solved 
  • conflict is bad because you can't discuss things properly

I argued:
  • it is not correct to approximate our situation to legal equality even in westernised liberal democracies
  • conflict and social cleavages around the idea of LGBT+ happened long before we celebrating coming out
  • yes conflict is difficult but promoting people coming out allows us to challenge the reasons that the conflict exists

It really is a problem for Pro to have argued and defended his assertion that we are close enough to legal equality to say we are equal, firstly because it is untrue as I point out and secondly because Pro rests their entire case upon the fact that we "have reached legal equality" therefore we should not fight this as much. Pro has asserted the premise to their case which in my view makes it much harder to believe the rest of their analyse is true. 

Pro then argues that the reason conflict is happening is because people know we are equal now so to continue this we are shoving it down people's throats and not integrating as we should be. The problem with this is that Pro has asserted that conflict just appeared as a result of Coming Out day and Pride but that conflict has been in existence for centuries. It is not because people recognise we are equal now and think it shouldn't be a big deal anymore it is that people are still opposed teethe idea of being Gay etc in the first place. "it's wrong" "it's just a phase" "be a man and get over it" "you are going to hell" "what you do is disgusting" "who you are is disgusting" "it's unnatural cause you can't have kids". These are things that people from the LGBT+ community hear all the time. These comments normally come from a place of ignorance or from the more right wing branch of a religion. Those are the real causes of conflict so how do you stop them?

Pro says that by continuing to push forward we just keep creating conflict and don't solve it. I have argued that celebrating coming out in a large and fantastic way creates a big platform to show who LGBT+people are and what we stand for. It has to be a large platform because we are trying to reach a lot of people who have only ever heard "being gay is wrong" or have heard nothing at all about what it means to be LGBT+. Pro says it is terrible of me to bring up religion and I just want everyone to be an atheist. It isn't and I don't. All of the largest religions have some part of scripture that says being anything other than heterosexual is wrong and should be punished. Yes not every religious person believes this but it is institutionalised in scripture so is very hard to turn around and say no that is not the word of your religion. It is also still taught by priests, imams etc so an individual person can't present an alternative opinion and hope to succeed in changing peoples minds. We need a large platform to reach as many people as possible to to try and challenge discrimination on an institutional level. That is how we deal with conflict. Not by saying "oh, people are arguing, this is not good. LGBT+ people should be quite and just integrate properly". That will not challenge the reasons that the conflict happens so if people do quieten they will just see these problems on an individual level with no way of challenging them.

2. What is the effect on the individual LGBT+ person
Pro argues:
  • Being LGBT+ becomes your defining characteristic 
  • Not everyone can be proud of their sexual orientation 
  • The promotion of "Pride" decreases individuals self confidence 

I argued:
  • The status quo is to ignore peoples sexual orientation 
  • Promotion of coming out shows people an example of how they can accept who they are
  • "Pride" allows people to see that you can be LGBT+ and happy and loved

Maybe in some cases being gay becomes your defining characteristic to some people but for those that are important to you that probably doesn't happen. "He is my son who loves art and is Gay" "My brother fixes cars and is bi". I think it is more likely that those are the conversations had. When you first come out it can be a big deal to people but just the nature of being human and interacting with people means that we associate with more an more parts of their identity. Even if it is true for all people (which is a big stretch) it is comparatively better than that part of your identity being ignored completely. In our society being straight is the default. People just assume everyone is straight until they come out or "start acting gay". This creates a bad situation particularly for young people. Instead of asking someone do you like girls, boys both or neither we just say things like "he s going to have all the girls chasing him" "you'll find prince charming and you will be happy". This assumption that we automatically have for people makes it seem like their real sexuality is not something that they should be aspiring to. "I should be interested in boys but I fancy girls. I'm not going to make my mum proud with that. I should be finding prince charming." That is the type of pressure that is devastating to a young person who doesn't know any better. At least when your sexual orientation is acknowledged you feel less alone and less like you can't be who you are. That is what grows peoples confidence.

Pro says that not everyone can be proud of their sexual orientation and this leads to a lack of self esteem when Pride is pushed. This argument misunderstands the situation that most LGBT+ people find themselves in. First of all yes it is difficult especially when you are questioning to accept who you are and feel proud of that. That is because of what I said above about heterosexuality being default and what I agreed earlier about hate and ignorance having the loudest voices, especially when you feel alone. So when you put Pride into the equation people don't think "damn I have to be proud of this. I can't do that." they think "I can be proud? But I thought people said it was wrong. I thought being straight was the only way to make mum and dad happy. I didn't realise they can still love me even if I am gay." The fact that Pride exists and that it is prevalent means that we have a chance to show young LGBT+ people that there is an alternative way of thinking. To show them that we struggled just like they are now but that we got through it and it does get better. We show them how to be LGBT+ and happy. That is the example that young LGBT+ people need because at the moment they are trapped in a society that needs them to be brave before they will be accepted. That is the reality of the world we are living in. It is only with bravery and support that people can begin to accept themselves and slowly grow in confidence. When you take away Pride you don't solve the conflicts or the societal norms that create the situations that make young LGBT+ people feel scared and ashamed you just abandon them. We cannot solve this as individuals it has to be done as a collective to have any hope of succeeding.

This motion must be opposed.

Return To Top | Posted:
2016-03-04 12:29:41
| Speak Round
StickStick (PRO)
Throughout this debate, Con has dodged making substantive arguments through the use of emotive language. Con has talked about the need to educate people on LGBT issues, without ever explicitly stating what they uniquely are, and advocated creating a divided, highly insecure society

Individual Effect:

I have firmly argued in this debate that there are significant harms associated with forcibly attempting to define someones identity. This is because both in the identity one is perceived to have, and in the identity that one claims to have, sexual orientation will become a central defining feature, which will lead to a more sexualised society, social cleavages (us vs others) will be created and people might lose other, very important identities. Con has argued that promoting the declaration of sexual orientation and hosting 'pride' events, it is good if someone's identity changes because it means that they are now 'proud' of their sexual orientation, and this 'educates' everyone and makes everyone get along much better. But, as I have argued, neither pride nor education are ever achieved this way. Social cleavages bring about conflict, which does not end well for the individual or for society. 

I have demonstrated in this debate how bullying occurs and the reasons for it, and therefore how declaring one's sexual orientation increases levels of bullying towards people of certain sexual orientations. People do not get a low self esteem from having chocolate as their favorite ice cream flavor, because everyone realizes its a non-issue, its ok no matter which flavor you prefer. Should it not be the goal to move sexual orientation in this direction? Con has argued that for every single thing that makes people different parades in the street are needed to stop rampant depression. What I have argued throughout this debate is that the best way to achieve equality is not by creating conflicts between people that have arbitrary personal differences, but by looking past these to the true character of people. This is how bullying can be overcome, and self esteem built up. 

Societal Effect:

Throughout the debate, Con has argued that because isolated instances of inequality exist in certain western countries (in each case between 2 and  5 western countries being quoted as having these inequalities, by no means even close to a majority) that therefore inequality is rife and social tension/harms necessarily need to be created. Some of the examples of 'inequality' were even demonstrably false, such as for example in Con's argument that LGBT people that are bullied in schools have no legal protection, when in reality they have as much legal protection as everyone else that is bullied in schools and thus are not being discriminated against. Con has not been able to show that legal inequality exists, as well as the causal link that shows how given inequality why we need to further harm our society because of it. 

Regrettably, I feel the need to write a bit on arguments around religion in this debate, which I feel is a red herring. I have shown the leader of the largest Christian denomination in the  world showing significant support for homosexuality as well as prominent imams. Con has ignored this and still claims to know Christianity better than the Pope (for example). Hitler owned a black car. Does this mean that all owners of black cars don't like Jews? No. The religion argument has hugely detracted from what was otherwise an okay debate. 

When people keep talking about problems that aren't there, and exaggerate problems that are, like self-fulfilling prophecies those problems arise. There are significant harms, that I have discussed throughout this debate, with the strong promotion of people declaring their sexual orientation. This resolution is affirmed. 

Return To Top | Posted:
2016-03-07 07:03:20
| Speak Round

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@admin Thank you will try this out next time
Posted 2016-02-29 10:15:40
Also feel free to at-tag me for techy questions.

There's 2 buttons for images, one that lets you upload an image from your computer, and one that lets you add an image from an external URL.

Imgur (which I use for hosting debate argument images) recently changed how their uploads are handled. So for a while, the "Upload" option isn't working. Fixing this is a priority feature for me.

In the meantime, the workaround is to use the other button. Basically find some website that lets you host images, and paste the direct link to the image file in the "Insert Image" thingy.

I like pasteboard.co or postimage.org , but any image host will do.
Posted 2016-02-28 23:02:35
sorry for the double comment that wasn't intended.
Posted 2016-02-28 17:09:33
How do I put an image into my argument? Tried and it won't appear. Dunno what I am doing wrong.
Posted 2016-02-28 17:08:57
The judging period on this debate is over

Previous Judgments

2016-03-10 06:53:52
adminJudge: admin    TOP JUDGE
Win awarded to: Bifurcations
This was - and I use this term FAR too often - a close debate. The difference is, this time I really mean it. As I was reading, I changed my mind several times.

This debate was a judgment motion, as both debaters correctly recognized, so pro introduced no model. As such my role as a judge is not to evaluate a model, but the narrative and flow of the debate.

On side affirmative, the narrative was one of sexualities being turned against each other. On a more individual level, pro discussed the harms of sexuality being made a significant part of a person's identity at all, as apparently it isn't a big deal. Con's story was about how some sexualities were unequal, and that this promotion would help remedy this problem. On a personal level, they discussed pride and the importance of sexuality being a tool for self-empowerment, not bullying.

There were other issues in this debate too, like sexualisation. Ultimately I felt these fell too far by the wayside to remain relevant in this debate. I'm going to loosely call these two areas of narrative clash the social and personal sides of this debate.

Pro's social argument was hit home really hard from the very beginning, and pressed in every round until the very end. This idea that equality was largely reached already was countered in quite a philosophical way by con, until the third round. I felt con did a good job at establishing that there remained some problem to solve with achieving equality. Con also used Manchester City in round 2 to underscore this point effectively. There was some attempt to show "correlation not causation" by pro but it didn't go far.

Pro, however, had a very clever fallback response: that the way to solve these issues was to make them "non-issues". This added some weight to this story that the reason why inequality could happen is because people made the distinction in the first place. Con answered that by relating it to deeply held personal beliefs many hold, such as religious beliefs, about sexuality which were premises for the debate. What con had to prove was that because people declared their sexual orientations more, that this would change. I felt like con got a little caught up in the debate at this point and didn't relate this argument enough back to the original resolution. On a social level therefore, I narrowly awarded this debate to pro, only because of this reply. I say narrowly because pro didn't run this line nearly hard enough.

On a personal level, there was this clear idea from pro that nobody wanted their sexual orientation promoted. This was a strange line from the outset but pro ran with it, declaring that people felt alienated by a culture that promoted sexual identity. It was strange because the debate assumes that such is promoted by the dominant culture, and pro never gave good analysis as to why that was. Con's alternative view was a sense of collective ownership of sexual identity, something people can be proud of and connect over.

Where this argument really came to a head, though, was in the impacts. Con hammered home this notion that social prejudice is so strong, people need to have role models etc to overcome harms like bullying. Con discussed these harms in some depth and clearly established that deviant sexuality puts a person at a distinct disadvantage in modern society. It was a good point. Pro's response was that pride requires people to be down to begin with - in other words, attempting to hinge this argument on the social point. I didn't accept this because I felt that not only did I disagree that pro had won that aspect of the point outright, but also that con had justified a clear link to the resolution: by pushing sexual orientation, individuals feel less ashamed of themselves when they personally feel bad about their own feelings.

So who won? Well, I did feel like pro won the social point, and con won the personal.
That's why this debate was so close.

In the end, it came down to this: is there a greater harm in discourse that doesn't solve for social discrimination (which, let's be fair, no side in this debate solved for) or in a situation where people feel ostracized, no matter what the interpersonal dynamics may actually be? Against a parried social point, in the end, I considered that con had done a better job at establishing a harm in the line of argument that won the debate, and relating that harm back to the resolution.

That's why pro won, but as I say, knife-edge decision from me!

I invite both sides to ask any questions they may have. Remember to at-tag me.

Doing this fast because I'm short on time.

Headings good, but could use more internal structure. Conclusions/summaries for example.
Don't feel like you need to outright rebut everything con says. Sometimes this can trip you up and hurt your case.
Grammar. Check it.

Good use of narrative and support, try to integrate/signpost rebuttal rather than splurging it all out at the start of each round
Anytime you have a section called "Misc Rebuttal", you're probably structuring your case wrong
Obv. being short on time is an issue - solution is typically to plan carefully which debate(s) you take and when
Don't challenge definitions etc that are substantively not important to the debate
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@admin would it be possible to get additional feedback?

With the rebuttal and structuring this is how we are taught when giving a speech in BP so it is taking a while to adjust to debates on here.
Posted 2016-03-10 10:48:35

Absolutely. I know adjusting from BP style can be difficult for sure. Fun fact: I actually did a debate VERY similar to this motion in 2010 in BP style, in the finals of a regional tournament which I won. So I totally get it lol.

The sort of headings I'm looking for as a judge are headings that speak to the themes that I've identified in the debate so far. Then I can clearly see which argument you're talking about, and how you're responding to it. Judges tend to work off general themes, as opposed to specific points, so you shouldn't feel like you have to respond to every single weird line your opponent throws at you. You're much better off rebutting the general substance of their case, and if they do want to press you on some minor little detail, let them. Even if they win the minor point, you can carry the big picture, and they waste a lot of precious time/characters.

Usually, when you're responding to some point - and this was the case for most of this debate - you will want to link that to your substantive. So, for example, if pro says people are bullied for coming out, so we should prevent that bullying, you can a) rebut that argument (ie, no, pro's whole case is premised on it being a non-issue so it should logically be a right to come out, and solving for the harms of bullying is a burden pro must also meet) and b) link it to your own substantive (ie in fact, bullying is resolved with good strong role models, just listen to these sob stories...)

You hit many of the right arguments in this debate but the links between them I sometimes had to look for, because when you separate the rebuttal and the substantive as you often did, it puts the onus on me as a judge to work out what relates to what. I mean, I suppose I could do that, but I am a lazy judge and I like it when cases are well-structured enough that I don't need to do that. If I can relate this to BP for a moment, it's like when bottom half teams don't make their extension(s) very clear. I mean, I guess judges are supposed to be clever enough to read between the lines and pick out extensions that the teams don't explicate, but it's often considered poor form.

If you find you have a lot of rebuttal that just doesn't fit your headings, that's usually a sign that the general themes you've identified are wrong. I've been guilty of doing it sometimes when my time's been short, but in general, anything worth your time rebutting that's substantive and important to the debate will fit within whatever a good judge would consider the important issues of the debate to be.

In terms of the actual arguments, I do think pro ran a strange line here. The usual affirmative line is something along the lines of "there are legitimate reasons why many people keep their sexual orientations a secret". There's also usually more discussion about the role of the media in portraying sexuality, and of course bullying is to some degree expected (typically as a minor point). Pro took a more political approach (typical politics student lol) and framed the debate around sexulization and identity. Pride was a spot-on point to run, and I feel like you spent too much time justifying that discrimination exists and not enough about why pride solves it. Media would have been the perfect complimentary argument and I think you just missed it because of the weird approach pro ran. I think you were on to something talking about government support a few times as well, and though pro parried that well in this debate, you could have run a stronger line about how politically it provides a voice to sexual devience. A lot of this is similar to multiculturalism arguments if you're familiar with those.

I told pro this privately but I think an interesting line exists as well for how sexual deviance is, to some extent, arbritrary. Much of the world considers polygamy to be deviant for example, when really that is more of a cultural standard than anything (or at least, that is an easy thing to say in a debate). On that basis pro could argue that there is no congruence between values society broadly holds and the practice of encouraging people to promote their sexual identities. Con could argue for open sexualisation as being a merit of a free and equal society. I think if one wanted to take this debate into a more interesting direction, that's how I'd do it.
Posted 2016-03-10 13:58:01
@admin that makes a lot of sense thanks :)

It's funny because the opposite feedback on rebuttal is normally given at BP comps i.e. "strongly highlight your rebuttal at the start because lazy judges are less likely to credit your responses to the previous speaker unless they are explicit" but yeah it saves a lot of space to weave the rebuttal into the substantive where it fits. The only thing I would ask is if I am responding to a bizarre argument that I don't really want becoming part of the main clash, can I still deal with this as a separate rebuttal argument?
Posted 2016-03-10 16:00:25
You could deal with it as a separate rebuttal argument - as in, I wouldn't mark you down for it - but I'd kinda have to wonder why that would be a good idea. I, as a judge, am going to ultimately ignore everything that wasn't among the main areas of clash in a debate. If your opponent really presses you on it then maybe you can speak to it briefly to prove that you are engaging, but ultimately you want them to waste as much of their time talking about non-issues, and as little of your time doing the same.
Posted 2016-03-10 23:02:32

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