Ten Republican senators are urging the Supreme Court to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

The high court will hear a case in March challenging the constitutionality of DOMA, which prevents federal agencies from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples.

The GOP senators argue in an amicus brief filed last week that it would be “irrational” to overturn the law.

“Furthermore, with respect to DOMA in particular, there is no basis to equate support for the traditional definition of marriage with unconstitutional animus or 'a bare congressional desire to harm a politically unpopular group,'” the senators wrote. “As Justice O'Connor noted in her concurrence in Lawrence v. Texas, 'other reasons exist to promote the institution of marriage beyond mere moral disapproval of an excluded group.'”

“It is simply not irrational or bigoted to oppose the redefinition of marriage in a manner 'unknown to history and tradition,' to use the language of the court below. … To the contrary, when faced with a proposed fundamental redefinition of the institution of marriage, it would be irrational not to consider 'American society's historical view of a marriage as being between a man and a woman.'” (Citation omitted.)

The brief is signed by Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Orrin Hatch of Utah, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Dan Coats of Indiana, Mike Crapo of Idaho, Charles Grassley of Iowa, Richard Shelby of Alabama, and Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, both of Mississippi.