SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Attorneys for the state of Utah said in an appeals court brief the state has the constitutional authority to define marriage to benefit raising of children.
The brief, identifying marriage between a man and a woman as the best setting for children, was filed late Monday, hours after the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals denied a motion to intervene in the state's same-sex marriage case involving three Utah couples, KSL-TV, Salt Lake City, reported Tuesday.
"Redefining marriage as a genderless, adult-centric institution would fundamentally change Utah's child-centered meaning and purpose of marriage," the 120-page brief said in part.
The state's response was entirely concerned with arguing that its laws regarding marriage were primarily involved with the welfare of children, the Salt Lake Tribune noted Tuesday.
The filing is the state's opening action in its appeal of a Dec. 20 ruling that Utah's voter-approved definition of marriage violates equal protection laws under the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The couples involved are Douglas Wortham and Nicholas Nero, Lynn Beltran and Claudia O'Grady and Stanford Rovig and Charles Fluke. The latter two couples married during the 17 days same-sex marriage was legal in Utah.
Attorneys for the couples challenging the ban have until Feb. 25 to file a response.