Fourteen Republican state attorneys general have filed an amicus brief in support of Virginia's ban on gay marriage.

The filing is among the nearly two dozen friend-of-the-court briefs filed in support of Virginia's appeal to a district court's February ruling striking down the state's ban as unconstitutional.

A three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond will hear arguments in the case next month.

In their brief, the states argue that such bans merely “encourage responsible procreation,” which does not apply to gay and lesbian couples.

“Civil marriage recognition arises from the need to protect the only procreative sexual relationship that exists and to make it more likely that unintended children, among the weakest members of society, will be cared for,” the document states. “Rejecting this fundamental rationale undermines the existence of any legitimate state interest in recognizing marriages.”

The state officials argue that because the unions of gay couples do not lead to “unintentional pregnancies” they – and by extension their children – are not eligible for the protections of marriage.

“[U]nlike opposite-sex couples the sexual activity of same-sex couples implies no unintended pregnancies. Whether through surrogacy or reproductive technology, same-sex couples can become biological parents only by deliberately choosing to do so, requiring a serious investment of time, attention and resources. Consequently, same-sex couples do not represent the same potential for unintended children, and the State does not necessarily have the same need to provide such parents with the incentives of marriage.”

Signing onto the document are the attorneys general of Indiana, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.

(Document provided by Equality Case Files)