Lord Penzance has observed that the procreation of children is one of the ends of marriage. I do not hesitate to say that it is the most important object of matrimony, for without it the human race itself would perish from the earth.
Some women are congenitally, and others traumatically, barren. The former may never discover the fact until after a fruitless marriage. But, when a woman knows that she has been made barren by a surgical operation she is under a legal duty to disclose the fact to an intended husband, so that, if he then marries her, he will be consenting to the situation that will naturally frustrate his hope of posterity, and he will not be heard to repudiate the marriage, which his conduct had rendered unavoidable, although if his knowledge had been acquired subsequent to the ceremony he could have avoided it.
"The wife...was legally responsible for providing services in and around the home, but she had no comparable rights to such services. That is why a husband could sue for loss of consortium if his spouse were killed or incapacitated, but a wife in the same situation could not. And, because sex was one of the services expected of a wife, she could not charge her husband with rape".
The results of more than a century of anthropological research on households, kinship relationships, and families, across cultures and through time, provide no support whatsoever for the view that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution. Rather, anthropological research supports the conclusion that a vast array of family types, including families built upon same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable and humane societies.
The Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association strongly opposes a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual couples.
--Statement on Marriage and the Family