In a brief filed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott asserted the state's ban on same-sex marriage should remain in place because it reduces out-of-wedlock births.
"Texas's marriage laws are rationally related to the State's interest in reducing unplanned out-of-wedlock births. By channeling procreative heterosexual intercourse into marriage, Texas's marriage laws reduce unplanned out-of-wedlock births and the costs that those births impose on society," the brief read. "Recognizing same-sex marriage does not advance this interest because same-sex unions do not result in pregnancy. At the very least, one could rationally believe that opposite-sex marriages will do more to advance the State's interest in reducing unplanned out-of-wedlock births than same-sex marriages will."
The brief went on to state:
"Same-sex marriage may very well produce other societal benefits – such as increasing household wealth or providing a stable environment for children raised by same-sex couples – but that does not establish that Texas's marriage laws lack a rational relation to the State's interests in reducing unplanned out-of-wedlock births and encouraging the creation of new offspring."
On Thursday, we reported the Fifth Circuit had agreed to expedite oral arguments in the case challenging Texas's ban on same-sex marriage – with plaintiffs hopeful the case will be heard within "the next month or two."
Read Abbott's full brief below: