Should Infertility Be Reason for Marriage License Denial?

did-i-vote-on-your-marriageThe fight over same sex marriage in California has brought up a conundrum for the anti crowd: if they’re going to use inability to procreate as a reason gay marriage can’t be legalized, shouldn’t it apply to straights?

The AFP reports Charles Cooper, an attorney for Proposition 8’s campaign committee, Protect Marriage, has said during the trial “the purpose of the institution of marriage, the central purpose, is to promote procreation and to channel naturally procreative sexual activity between men and women in stable enduring unions.”

Congratulations Mr. Cooper,  in the name of all that is holy, you’ve just stated the case for denying infertile men or women a marriage license. Looks like it’s time to shut down the uber Christian Snowflakes embryo adoption project.

Largely backed by evangelical Christianity, the California court case stands to have a marked impact on the fate of civil unions and gay marriage across the country. It’s already been made clear by Project Marriage supporters that they’re out to deny a portion of the citizenry their civil rights.

But sweeping statements like those above prove why this is a fight for more than the homosexual population. The CDC estimates more than seven million American women (between the ages of fifteen and forty-four) have fertility issues. That’s nearly twelve percent of the female population of childbearing age.

Currently, seven and a half percent of married women in that age range are infertile. And that’s just the women – studies posit forty percent of infertility issues in couples are from the male.

Some of these issues can be corrected by lifestyle changes, some by medical intervention. But an estimated two thirds of couples who struggle with infertility find some way to have a baby.

Setting aside the people who simply don’t want babies (because that’s a right too), are we really expected to believe that people whose bodies can’t function aren’t able to love each other deeply enough to create a stable, enduring union? Should they go it alone because they can’t summon enough swimmers in a cup?

Image: procomkelly via flickr

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