Why can infertile people get married but not homosexuals?


I have been doing some research, and it seems that the church believes that marriage is between a man and a woman because it is motivated by reproduction. I accept that, but I have also read that a straight couple which is infertile due to a medical issue (i.e. something that would be cause for a hysterectomy) is allowed to get married.
How can they get married but a same sex couple cannot? Are they not both examples of marriage based not on reproduction?


There are multiple cases of seemingly infertile couples conceiving in the Bible (Mary’s cousin Elizabeth immediately jumps to mind, along with Abraham’s wife), but reproduction isn’t quite the reason. It’s because sex is naturally ordered to reproduction. Pleasure is a part of sex, but sex is aimed towards reproduction, not pleasure. How do we reproduce? By the union of a man and woman. A man cannot take a woman’s place and conceive, a woman cannot take a man’s place and inseminate. The reproductive parts of a woman are complimentary with the reproductive parts of a man, and vice versa. Does that make sense?


If by “couple” you mean a man and a woman, then you’ve answered your own question.


I think that is a fair question. First, marriage is not necessarily based on reproduction, it is based on God’s intended order for creation. This includes reproduction but has far greater reach than just making babies. When God created Adam, he said it is not good for Adam to be alone, so he made a helper fit for him. He then made Eve from Adam’s flesh. This implies that God created Adam and Eve in a complimentary way such that they could together accomplish God’s purpose for them. Then of course you have the reproductive aspect of marriage which also requires the complimentary biological components of man and woman. It is out of this union that God establishes marriage. This was his intended purpose and norm.

So your question is really off-base from the get-go. You seem to be assuming that marriage is the Church’s institution, when in fact it is God’s created purpose. God forbid that the Church should undermine that.

Lastly, while it is true that because of the fallen nature of the world death, physical ailments, sickness etc., exists. This is the effect of sin. It is an abnormality that prevents a couple from conceiving children. We don’t base our definition of marriage on the abnormality that sin introduces into creation, but on God’s will. We are of course there in grace and love for the couple that due to relatively rare circumstance is unable to conceive, but again, that doesn’t change the normative definition of marriage that God created. The world seems to have this attitude that we just make something licit because people disregard God’s will, that’s not what the Church is called to do.


Infertile people are accidentally infertile.

Homosexuals are essentially infertile.

The “coupling” is, in its essence - not just its accidents - infertile. The notion itself is intertile.

The coupling of homosexuals merely mimics (in fact, mocks) a marital union.


Intercourse must be ordered toward reproduction. An infertile couple can still take actions that are ordered toward reproduction. A homosexual couple can never do that.


Jesus reaffirms that a man and women should join flesh and become one.


Infertile does not mean not open to life. An infertile couple can be open to life. A gay couple cannot.
Look at Scripture regarding Elizabeth and Zacharias who then gave birth to John the Baptist.


Because when an infertile couple have sex, they’re not actively working against procreation (unless contraceptives were used). The procreative aspect of sex is not wilfully separated.

When a gay couple have sex, the act itself separates the procreative aspect from sex. Similarly, if a straight couple were to engage in a sexual act that separates procreation (eg oral sex in itself, not as foreplay or whatever), it would not be permitted. As a gay couple literally cannot have sex without separating it, due to the nature of their genders, they cannot get married.

A couple will have to vow to be open to life, gay couples, as well as impotent couples, can’t do that. Though I’m not sure if impotent couples are allowed to marry. Last I heard they were not.


There is more to it than the reproductive issue.


A couple can marry if they are capable of normal conjugal relations. They must be capable of sexual intercourse. Permanent and incurable impotence is an impediment to marriage validity, since conjugal relations would be impossible. Sterility or infertility is not an impediment to marriage if the couple are still capable of engaging in conjugal relations.

Homosexuality is not stated as an impediment to marriage as long as the marriage is between opposite sex persons who are capable of conjugal relations.

Marriage is impossible between same sex persons since there is no sexual complementarity and no possibility of true conjugal relations.


I think the difference is that the marriage between man and woman is an order from God and it is just natural. There are couples who are not fertile but if it is not provoqued is not their fault and God knows because it is his will too.


Thank you for removing fertility – even miraculous fertility – from this conversation.

If this was about the possibility of reproduction, then women who have gone through menopause would be ineligible for sacramental marriage. Yeah, I know, God could perform a miracle. But by that logic, God could also perform a miracle and allow a woman in a lesbian relationship to conceive without intercourse.

But the ability to marry is not about reproduction. Carry on.


Here is a harder question, why can’t a brother and sister or father and daughter get married? That may seem disgusting and ridiculous, and it is. But if we are deconstructing the most fundamental bonds of society we should consider that. To be clear I’m not advocating for consanguineous marriage, but it would at least be marriage.


I don’t want to read me rude but if we accept incest where can we have the limit? Our guide should be the light and we have that light in the Bible.


That’s how it makes sense to me to. Congugal relations require a man and a woman.


A man and women have to be able to have intercourse, penetration, to be validly married. Otherwise they can live as sister and brother. Homosexual sex is disordered it is kin to masturbation.


God made the rules. Marriage is between a man and a woman. The Holy Bible, which is His written Word, states in Leviticus that a man shall not lie with a man as he does with a woman. It is an abomination to the Lord. And anyone who does that will not be in Heaven.


My point was if we accept same sex marriage where is the limit. If people can’t see what marriage is then we are doomed.


People with homosexual attractions have always been able to marry, the problem is that they’re not interested in having an intimate relationship with someone of the opposite sex (which is what marriage is).

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