Should the United States government legalise gay marriage? This topical question was the focus of Centre's 2014 Debate the Future of America competition final, held during the University of Sydney Open Day.

The debate was won by the affirmative team, St Ursula's College, who beat Baulkham Hills High School in a closely contested, high-quality debate.

Lecturer Malcolm Jorgenson, speaking for fellow adjudicators Rodney Taveira and Gorana Grgic, praised both sides for taking on the engaging strongly with the controversial question of gay marriage and grappling with arguments that they personally may not have held.

Ultimately, the affirmative made a stronger case for the utility and symbolism of legalising gay marriage, but the negative was commended for a strong and innovative argument, questioning the institution of marriage and its inherent inequality.

The final was the culmination of three hard-fought elimination rounds, in which sixteen teams from across Sydney debated the death of the American dream, the end of the American global dominance and America's commitment to its allies.

The winners from St Ursula's were awarded three 16GB iPads for their schools. Congratulations to everyone who participated in the competition.