Proponents of SSM argue that the conjugal view of marriage excludes infertile couples from being married.
Today in The Public Discourse, NOM founding Chairman of the Board Robert P. George, together with Gerard V. Bradley of Notre Dame Law and Patrick Lee of the University of Steubenville, argue that there is an intrinsic link between marriage and procreation, but this does not mean that infertile couples cannot really be married:
Activists seeking to redefine marriage typically claim that it is unfair—even arbitrary—for law and public policy to continue to honor the historic understanding of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife. Believing that marriage has a degree of malleability that our legal tradition has heretofore failed to recognize, they maintain that “excluding” same-sex partners from marriage violates a moral right possessed by every individual to marry a person of one’s choice (with that person’s consent).
Defenders of conjugal marriage reply (in part) that marriage is not malleable in the ways that their opponents suppose. It is by nature oriented to procreation, and so defining marriage as a male-female union is not unjust discrimination. On a sound understanding of marriage, they argue, it is no more unfair to “exclude” same-sex partners from marriage than it is to “exclude” three (or more) polyamorous sexual partners from marriage. Indeed, it is not accurately characterized as exclusion at all. [Continue reading]