Marriage Is for Procreation Only

This little tidbit from yesterday’s appellate court hearing regarding California’s Proposition 8 caught my eye. The following statement was made by attorney Charles Cooper, who represents the pro-Prop 8 folks:

“Society has no particular interest in a platonic relationship between a man and a woman no matter how close it might be, or emotional relationships between other people as well, but when the relationship becomes a sexual one, society has a considerable interest in that. Its vital interests are actually threatened by the possibility of an unintentional and unwanted pregnancy.”

This position is hugely problematic. If the state’s only concern is sexual relationships that involve the “possibility” of procreation, then the state has no business marrying heterosexual couples who are infertile, past the childbearing years, or simply uninterested in having children. If this attorney is correct, such heterosexual couples have no more right to marriage than do homosexual couples.

But the state sanctions heterosexual marriages, whether childbirth is possible or whether the marriage is nonsexual and platonic (those types of marriages do exist). My uncle, for example, was widowed in his sixties and remarried to a woman roughly the same age. By the logic expressed by the two attorneys, the state should have denied them the opportunity to marry, as the state has “no particular interest” in such a relationship where no procreation is possible.

The state does have an interest in stable, committed, nonprocreative marriage relationships; otherwise instead of a blood test, couples would be required to submit to fertility tests before becoming eligible for marriage.

If this is the best they can come up with, I’d be surprised if they prevail in court.

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7 Responses to Marriage Is for Procreation Only

  1. Civil Unions would put an end to this entire matter by giving homosexuals all the legal protection they need. However, they want to put on a big show and make a big fuss. Let’s face it, they don’t really want “legal protection” or they would ask for Civil Unions, we would give them to them, and the matter would be over. They want to shove the whole thing in our faces, even when the majority of the country disagrees with them (Californians proved this by voting against gay-marriage). Just like with the Boy Scouts, instead of creating their own private scouting organization they want to shove the whole thing in our faces and force us to accept them. Their actions have made me reconsider homosexuality, now I am in favor of putting more anti-sodomy laws on the books.

  2. Odell says:

    If the state’s rational basis for denying equal marriage is its interest in facilitating procreation only, then why criticize China’s one child policy or why not require married couples to have x amount of children, no or less? Of course, taking that position to its logical end is ludicrous and exposes that the state has no rational basis for segregating marriage between heterosexual and homosexual citizens.

  3. shematwater says:

    The First post here it it on the head, and I have to agree with it completely.

    As to the whole idea, what it really comes down to is a debate of what is natural.
    A man and a woman can naturally procreate. There are the exceptions, but the law is based on the general rule, not the exception.
    Without exception, two men can never procreate, nor can two women. As such, his logic, from a legal perspective, does hold true.
    His argument is not whether an individual relationship can procreate, but whether a style of relationship can procreate. The Homosexual style cannot, no matter what you do, while the Heterosexual style can. As such the state has an interest is upholding Heterosexual relationship, but not a homosexual one.
    The logic is actually very sound.

  4. Why doesn’t the state get out of the marriage business entirely and make civil unions legal for everybody. Religious people can add a church ceremony after the civil union ceremony the way they do in many European countries.

  5. pollypinks says:

    Conservatives have a huge issue with the state’s interest in pro-creating couples. Because people who have a conscience about social justice, caring for poverty ridden families, children with anomolies getting state care, and the state paying for abortions, rather than having women bleed to death at home after doing the deed themselves, are always looking for ways to bring our society in to the functioning realm of other westernized societies. The state will never get out of the marriage business, just as churches won’t. Civil unions would be better than nothing for gays, but, quite frankly, I don’t see the big shit stink over allowing them to marry.

  6. Diane Sower says:

    After re-reading my last post, I remember well my mormon parents raising us kids to believe it would be a very just thing to do to allow gays to have civil unions, so that they could do what they wanted to with their legal business. I now see why gays feel differently. After spending a lifetime knowing one is “hardwired” in a non heterosexual way, that person is exhausted from being cast out of the family, treated “less than” by many in society, and simply wants to have the option of having a marital relationship like we heteros do. It’s more complicated because now, in many states, and much more prevalently in Canada, gays are able to adopt children and raise them in a family setting. While I don’t see this as an equal component to a man and a woman raising children, I realize it’s happening, and it’s far better for two loving partners to parent children who’ve been shoved around foster care for years than to just keep adding to the system. I think this subject is much more complex than we admit.

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