Instead, the application, filed Tuesday, refers to child-rearing, whether through procreation or adoption, the Salt Lake Tribune reported Thursday.
The state argued it is likely to prevail in reversing legalization of same-sex marriage because of the "large and growing body of social science research" supporting what it described as a "rational" interest in opposite-sex marriage.
That research, it said in the filing, backs "the importance of providing unique encouragement and protection for man-woman unions" because it shows children do best when raised by a father and a mother, and limiting marriages to such unions increases that likelihood.
It does not elaborate on the soundness of the point it calls "gender complimentarity," the newspaper noted.
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]