Why Actual Fertilty is Not a Requirement for Marriage: Exhibit A
As a defender of natural marriage, I am often asked why actually having children is not a requirement for marriage. I claim that the essential public purpose of marriage is to attach mothers and fathers to their children and to one another. If that is the case, why are infertile couples permitted to marry. So, I give you my answer: Henry VIII.
This guy dispatched his wives who did not produce the heirs he wanted. There was never any question that he intended to have children with his wives. But when the wives didn’t produce the heirs he wanted, or in some cases, any heirs at all, he thought himself entitled to discard them.
Discovering actual fertility in advance is way too costly to use as a criterion for marriage. Ending a marriage because infertility was discovered after the fact is heartless, not to mention, grotesquely unfair to women.
Infertile couples are not a good argument for the state to redefine marriage as the union of any two persons, including pairs of individuals who are structurally incapable of even performing the kind of act that could produce a child. Infertility has nothing to do with the marriage debate.