Argument: Procreation is no prerequisite for marriage and excluding gays

Issue Report: Gay marriage


“Religion & Ethics – Same-Sex Marriage: Procreation.” BBC. February 24th, 2007: “society does not insist that those who want to marry demonstrate that they can and will have children

  • heterosexuals who cannot have children are allowed to marry
  • heterosexuals who don’t want to have children are allowed to marry
  • heterosexuals who don’t want to have sex are allowed to marry (although the partners must have agreed to this before marriage)
  • heterosexuals who can’t have sex because one partner is in prison for life are allowed to marry
  • heterosexuals can use technical assistance to have children
  • same-sex couples can have children using the same methods.”

Ted Olson. “The conservative case for gay marriage.” Newsweek. January 12, 2010: “This procreation argument cannot be taken seriously. We do not inquire whether heterosexual couples intend to bear children, or have the capacity to have children, before we allow them to marry. We permit marriage by the elderly, by prison inmates, and by persons who have no intention of having children. What’s more, it is pernicious to think marriage should be limited to heterosexuals because of the state’s desire to promote procreation. We would surely not accept as constitutional a ban on marriage if a state were to decide, as China has done, to discourage procreation.”

Scott Bidstrup. “Gay Marriage: The Arguments and the Motives”: “2. Marriage is for procreation. The proponents of that argument are really hard pressed to explain why, if that’s the case, that infertile couples are allowed to marry. I, for one, would love to be there when the proponent of such an argument is to explain to his post-menopausal mother or impotent father that since they cannot procreate, they must now surrender their wedding rings! That would be fun to watch! Again, such an argument fails to persuade based on the marriages society does allow routinely, without even a second thought.”

“Amend This! The Case for Gay Marriage.” The Angry Liberal. February 24, 2004: “2. Marriage isn’t about procreation. Hey, I’ve been to a few weddings in my time, including my own. Never have I heard a line in a marriage vow that includes a requirement that the couple have children. The vows typically consist of stuff about love, honor, cherish, in sickness and in health, well, you know the rest. While many expect a marriage to produce offspring, the legitimacy of an American marriage is not measured by the number of children produced by the couple participating in it. Therefore, anybody who argues that marriage should be limited to heterosexuals because homosexual couples can’t reproduce is wrong vis-�-vis marriage and reproduction. This argument would necessitate the denial of marriage licenses to infertile couples, and I’m guessing that movement isn’t gathering much steam.”