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He's 82 and she's 77, both were single after the deaths of their spouses, and they're profiled in today's Thursday Styles section of the New York Times because (1) they recently got married and (2) they're obscenely wealthy New Yorkers. Leonard Lauder and Judy Glickman seem very happy together and we wish them the best.

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But marriage, as we heard during arguments before the Supreme Court on Tuesday, is not about adults and our piddling desire for happiness. Marriage is not about whatever "love and commitment" might exist between two adults, the attorney representing Michigan told the court, "[as] the state has no interest in that." Marriage is about procreation. It's about binding opposite-sex couples together for the making of babies—"the state’s cold-blooded interest is in chaining up heterosexual couples to make sure they raise their biological children together"—and since same-sex couples can't make babies, Michigan argued, the state can restrict marriage to opposite-sex couples.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg asked the obvious follow-up question: What about couples like Leonard Lauder and Judy Glickman Lauder?

GINSBURG: Suppose a couple, a 70-year-old couple comes in and they want to get married. [Laughter] You don’t have to ask them any questions. You know they are not going to have any children.

BURSCH: Well, a 70-year-old man, obviously, is still capable of having children and you’d like to keep that within the marriage.

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Let's unpack Michigan's argument: An 82-year-old man is still capable of fathering a child. So Michigan allows elderly straight men like Mr. Lauder to marry because Michigan doesn't want that—presumably Mr. Lauder's still-capable sperm—sloshing around and potentially causing havoc. Safely sequestering the dusty old spunk of elderly gentlemen within marriage represents a compelling state interest because doing so prevents Mr. Lauder from fathering children out of wedlock. That's why Mr. Lauder can get married at age 82.

And we allow elderly straight women like Ms. Glickman to marry because their post-menopausal, egg-free uteri are the ideal place to sequester the dusty old spunk of elderly gentleman like Mr. Lauder.

It's hard to see how the anti-equality side carries the day with arguments like that.

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