Let me preface some of this post by stating that I now find myself in the midst of a divorce, this will color some of the opinion that I am about to add. Let me also add that at some time, Child Welfare/Protective Services has been involved in this divorce/custody battle.
My short answer: No. I think marriages should be registered for legal purposes - care of children, property, benefits, etc. I don't think the government should have any say whatsoever in what *kind* of marriage people choose to enter into.
And I've NEVER thought the government should legislate human relationships.
I do not mean any personal offense by this next statement, but I would ask that a single non-contradictory opinion be expressed. Either the government has the business or it does not. In my opinion it does not, except for cases involving criminal proceedings. Until the government, especially in the US, can agree on what family values are I feel that they have no business dictating to anyone what those values are. Historically speaking, this has been the realm of the particular faith to which one subscribes.
So, if two people get married and discover that for whatever reason, they can't make babies, should that invalidate the marriage?
Actually yes, many states recognize the ability to divorce or annul a marriage that does not produce children. While I find this a massive, Orwellian invasion of privacy by a government into the reproductive lives of its constituents it simply is and has been the case and often is used as the measurement of the legitmacy of a marriage. I would have thought that Roe v. Wade would have ended some of this practice. But that brings up issues that I do not want to get into in any great detail here.
The fact that people get into this contrived notion of love, unrestrained definitions of community property, and other issues that often are brought up during a divorce or separation suit is getting to be beyond me. If government is really going to get involved, we need to make some real, measurable standards for that involvement.
For instance, the government should REQUIRE pre-nuptual agreements that define property and custody issues BEFORE anything of this nature actually becomes an issue. This is simple enforcement of responsible partnership. If I entered into a partnership agreement without a written mechanism any lawyer that I asked would most likely NOT represent me in any matter regarding that partnership. Such documents should define every aspect of property (real, intellectual, etc.), custody issues, health issues (esp. mental/emotional), and, but not limited too, monogamy/bigamy/polygamy stance of the concerned couple. This would set forth a sort of incorporation level of accountability to the marital relationship (i.e. Articles of Marital Incorporation Between PartyA and PartyB).
As for my part, I will probably never get married in terms recognized by the government again. By doing this, I, my partner, and my children open the entire relationship up to intense, and possibly unlimited, governmental scrutiny. I will probably engage something more akin to a marriage contract that defines all of the above and probably more. I see this as a responsible, thoughtful way to enter into a partnership that I hope will last throughout my life. I entered into marriage in an irresponsible manner several years ago, I am now paying for the intemperance of my youth.