Originally Posted by GreaseMonkey
What if a woman no longer has a uterus due to a disease? Or what if a man is infertile? Should he or she not be allowed to marry because they can't produce children?
This is a common argument, but I don’t think it holds water. Sure, society’s interest in marriages that don’t produce children is less than its interest in marriages that do. However, we still recognize childless marriages because it would be an invasion of a heterosexual couple’s privacy to require that they prove their intent or ability to bear children. There’s no reason, though, to extend “marriage” to same-sex couples, which are physically incapable--ever, under any circumstances, regardless of age, health, or intent--of producing kids naturally. In fact, they are incapable of even engaging in the type of sexual act that results in natural reproduction. And it doesn't take any invasion of privacy or drawing of arbitrary upper age boundaries to determine that.
Another way to look at the relationship of marriage to reproduction is to turn the question around. Instead of asking whether actual reproduction is essential to marriage, ask this: If marriage never had anything to do with reproduction, would there be any reason for the government to be involved in regulating or rewarding it? Would we even tolerate the government intervening in such a relationship, any more than if government defined the terms of who may be your “best friend”?