Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said Friday that her office is reviewing a brief defending the state's ban on gay marriage.

The 55-page brief, filed earlier in the week, drew fire for including comparisons to bigamy and incest.

“The interest of the State in defining marriage in this manner is motivated by the state's desire to protect and perpetuate traditional marriage,” Masto wrote. “In establishing this criterion and others – e.g., age, consanguinity, unmarried status, etc. – the state exercises its prerogative as a State, and that exercise is entitled to respect.”

In a section titled “What marriage is not,” Masto wrote that “marriage is not between more than two people. In Nevada, bigamy is a category D felony.” and “Marriage is not between close relatives. Incest is a category A felony.”

Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, criticized the state's arguments.

“Marriage is not 'defined' by who is denied it, and nothing in the brief explains why loving and committed couples of the same sex should be denied the legal commitment and bundle of obligations and protections that are available to different-sex couples,” Wolfson told gay weekly the Washington Blade. “To invoke bigamy and incest, as the attorney general does – at least she stopped short of bestiality! – doesn't supply an explanation; it makes clear that the state has nothing to offer to justify the discrimination against same-sex couples in Nevada.”

The brief was filed in an appeal by eight plaintiff couples to a 2012 ruling upholding the state's ban.

The case is currently before the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, the same court which earlier in the week found it unconstitutional to exclude jurors based on sexual orientation.

Writing for the 3-member panel, Judge Stephen Reinhardt said: “Windsor requires that when state action discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation, we must examine its actual purposes and carefully consider the resulting inequality to ensure that our most fundamental institutions neither send nor reinforce messages of stigma or second-class status. In short, Windsor requires heightened scrutiny.”

NCLR Constitutional Litigation Director David Codell explained that the ruling “will make it exceedingly difficult for states to justify laws that discriminate based on sexual orientation.”

On Friday, Masto released a response to the appeals court's ruling.

“The Ninth Circuit's new position … appears to impact the equal protection and due process arguments made on behalf of the state,” Masto said in a written statement. “After careful review of the SmithKline decision these arguments are likely no longer tenable in the Ninth Circuit.”

She added that her office would “conduct further review over the weekend in order to evaluate the state's argument in light of SmithKline.”