In a 42-page brief filed Monday to a Denver-based federal appeals court, a coalition of religious organizations say that they are offended by claims that gay marriage foes are anti-gay.

In its amicus brief, the coalition urges the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold same-sex marriage bans in Utah and Oklahoma, saying it supports “the husband-wife definition of marriage because we believe it is right and good for children, families, and society.”

The brief was written by lawyers for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Signatories include the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and the Luther Church – Missouri Synod.

“Our respective religious doctrines hold that marriage between a man and a woman is sanctioned by God as the right and best setting for bearing and raising children,” the brief states. “We believe that children, families, society, and our nation thrive best when husband-wife marriage is upheld and strengthened as a cherished, primary social institution.”

The coalition rejected the notion that opposition to marriage equality is rooted in anti-gay animus.

“A common theme has arisen among advocates for redefining marriage to include same-sex couples: that those who oppose them must be irrational or even bigoted – that they are motivated by 'anti-gay animus,' whether in the form of unthinking ignorance or actual hostility. Such aspersions, which take various forms, are often cast at people and institutions of faith.”

“The accusation is false and offensive. It is intended to suppress rational dialogue and democratic conversation, to win by insult and intimidation rather than by reason, experience and fact.”

The brief goes on to suggest that hostility toward gay couples isn't even relevant to the issue of marriage.

“We further demonstrate that under Supreme Court jurisprudence the notion of 'animus' holds limited relevance – and none here.”

Additional briefs in support of the ban were filed by the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy and the Sutherland Institute of Utah.

The court has fast-tracked the cases and scheduled oral arguments in April.