Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott
argues in a brief filed late Monday in a case before the Fifth
Circuit Court of Appeals that Texas' gay marriage ban is not
discriminatory because it treats all couples the same.
Texas' marriage laws should not
“receive heightened scrutiny because they do not classify based on
sexual orientation,” Abbott argues in the 54-page
brief. “All persons in Texas – regardless of sexual
orientation – are subject to the same definition of marriage, and
the plaintiffs are as free to marry an opposite-sex spouse as anyone
else in the State. And all persons in Texas – regardless of their
sexual orientation – are ineligible to marry a same-sex spouse. A
law that applies equally to everyone does not discriminate or deny
'equal protection' simply because some group of people wants to
U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia
struck down Texas' ban in February, saying it demeans the dignity of
gay couples for no legitimate reason.
Abbott, a gubernatorial candidate,
disagreed, arguing that the prohibition promotes responsible
procreation among heterosexual couples, and thus helps reduce
“Because same-sex relationships do
not naturally produce children, recognizing same-sex marriage does
not further these goals to the same extent that recognizing
opposite-sex marriage does,” he wrote.
Abbott argued that by recognizing the
childless unions of opposite-sex couples, the state was encouraging
other heterosexual couples to marry.
“By recognizing and encouraging the
lifelong commitment between a man and woman – even when they do not
produce offspring – the state encourages others who will procreate
to enter into the marriage relationship.”
The court has yet to schedule oral