The concern is that redefining marriage as a genderless institution will sever its abiding connection to its historic traditional procreative purposes, and it will refocus, refocus the purpose of marriage and the definition of marriage away from the raising of children and to the emotional needs and desires of adults, of adult couples….Justice Kagan presses him: What about older heterosexual couples over the age of 55? Their sexual intercourse isn't going to produce children. Letting them marry when they can't procreate ought to present the same problem of centering marriage on adult "needs and desires" instead of on children.
[S]ociety's interest in responsible procreation isn't just with respect to the procreative capacities of the couple itself. The marital norm, which imposes the obligations of fidelity and monogamy... advances the interests in responsible procreation by making it more likely that neither party, including the fertile party to that...The fertile party? Yes: The man can still reproduce, just not with this woman.
The marital norm... [is] designed... to make it less likely that either party to that — to that marriage will engage in irresponsible procreative conduct outside of that marriage.... That's... the marital norm. Society has an interest in seeing a 55-year-old couple that is -- just as it has an interest of seeing any heterosexual couple that intends to engage in a prolonged period of cohabitation to reserve that until they have made a marital commitment.... So that, should that union produce any offspring, it would be more likely that that child or children will be raised by the mother and father who brought them into the world.Got that? In this view, marriage is about children and not adult desire because it is a device to rein in male desire, to keep men from fathering children they aren't going to raise. It's not that marriage can keep that bad thing from happening. It just makes it less likely, because the marriage norm is fidelity.
Obviously, fornication and adultery go on despite this marriage norm, and it's hard to see why letting gay people marry would mess up the norm. I'm trying to picture this man at the heart of Cooper's vision of society: He's true to his wife, because he's gotten the message that's the norm, but if some gay people can marry, then he's going to start cheating, knocking up some other woman, and it's because of this guy that gay people can be excluded from marriage?
What a nutty set of things we're asked to believe! Who the hell is this stereotypical married man, constrained by what other people are forbidden to do? And why should his ridiculous, tenuous connection to norms carry the day? And how can obsessing over what makes him tick work to keep marriage focused on the raising of children and not on the emotional needs and desires of adults? It seems to be all about the needs and desires of adults — really ridiculous heterosexual male adults.
Who are these people?!