Should Infertile People Be Permitted to Marry?

Same-sex marriage opponents have relied primarily on the argument that only marriage between a man and a woman are justified because one of the core purposes of marriage is having children.

Here’s the problem with that argument–when you start tying marriage to procreation, you run into the issue of people who are unable to reproduce, whether due to infertility or age.

Should a woman who had her ovaries removed due to cancer be forbidden from marrying?  What about a 60 year old woman–should she be allowed to marry?  What about a man with zero sperm due to cancer treatment?  Or a young woman with premature ovarian failure?  A woman with a congenitally absent uterus?

If the infertility is correctable via IVF, would marriage be permitted?  Or what if the infertility is only correctable via donor gametes or surrogacy–yay or nay to marriage under those circumstances?

Should city clerks be inquiring of couples applying for marriage licenses as to their ability to procreate?  Some states require the prospective bride and groom to have blood tests done for communicable diseases prior to the issuance of the marriage license.  Should a prospective bride also be required to have her FSH and AMH levels tested too as part of the blood work?  Should her fiance have to provide evidence that his sperm sample tests within normal parameters?

This approach gets messy fast.

What do you think?  Should marriage restrictions be based upon whether or not a couple can procreate?

New Hampshire lawyer Catherine Tucker