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Is the key legal, historical reason that marriage exists to regulate procreation?
During a recent radio show, at approximately 2 minutes and 30 seconds into the broadcast, Charles Cooper is quoted as saying the following in federal appeals court arguments:
The key reason that marriage has existed at all in any society and at
any time is that sexual relationships between men and women naturally
Which is quoted again in this student newspaper. This is being used in part as the basis for the legal argument against same-sex marriage in the United States.
This same argument was then used by Mr. Cooper to argue before the Supreme Court of the United States in case 12-144 on 26 March 2013 (see also here):
JUSTICE KAGAN: Mr. Cooper, could I just understand your argument. In reading the briefs, it seems as though your principal argument is that same-sex and opposite — opposite-sex couples are not similarly situated because opposite-sex couples can procreate, same-sex couples cannot, and the State's principal interest in marriag
No it isn't.
Your first source states by itself that in the state of California any two people can get married, as long as they are of the opposite sex, even if they can't bring forth children, such as elderly couples and even prisoners.
More over, the Jewish law, on which the Judeo-Christian marriage is based says the following things:
Inability to bring children after 10 years of marriage is a reason to force divorce, but only for the man, and only if he doesn't have children already.
However, through history this was not enforced for couples that didn't want to get a divorce, even if their community wanted them to divorce. On the other hand, other couples used this as an excuse, even though they had other reasons to get a divorce.
The source tells about two separate occasions, one that was brought before Maimonides, where the community wanted to force a divorce on a childless couple, even though the couple didn't want to, and they were allowed to stay together if they wanted.2018-10-20 18:44:19
To answer the quote,
The key reason that marriage has existed at all in any society and at any time is that sexual relationships between men and women naturally produce children.
I read that as true as far as it goes, if you mean "key biological reason" and not "key legal reason":
I think we can agree than "men and women producing children" is a sine qua non of anything to do with multi-generational or historic human society ... without it there would be no human race, no society, no human customs (and no marriages).
people would have no reason to get married if not for kids
I agree that societies require people who may have children (e.g. men and women) to marry: partly so they'd know who would look after the children and the wife.
People who couldn't have children (e.g. homosexuals) were not required to "marry" in the same way.
My issue is with the first part of the argument, namely that the key legal reason that marriage exists
If you want to concentrate on leg2018-10-20 18:48:59