Texas Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott argued that the state’s same-sex marriage ban should not be lifted because doing so would not encourage heterosexual couples to have more children, the Houston Chronicle reports.
Abbott made the argument in a brief filed with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday.
According to the brief, Texas is “not required to show that recognizing same-sex marriage will undermine heterosexual marriage,” because it “is enough if one could rationally speculate that opposite-sex marriages will advance some state interest to a greater extent than same-sex marriages will.”
“The State,” the brief insisted, “‘has no obligation to produce evidence to sustain the rationality of a statutory classication’ and may rely on ‘rational speculation unsupported by evidence or empirical data.'”
Meanwhile, supporters of same-sex marriage must, according to the brief, “refute every defense of traditional-marriage laws in the amicus briefs and academic literature, as we as any possible rationale of which this Court might conceive.”
The state’s only interest in marriage rites, he argued, is economic.
“First,” he wrote, “Texas’s marriage laws are rationally related to the State’s interest in encouraging couples to produce new offspring, which are needed to ensure economic growth and the survival of the human race.”
“Second, Texas’s marriage laws are rationally related to the State’s interest in reducing unplanned out-of-wedlock births. By channeling procreative heterosexual intercourse into marriage, Texas’s marriage laws reduce unplanned out-of-wedlock births and the costs that those births impose on society.”
The state should not repeal the same-sex marriage ban because it does not encourage married heterosexual couples to procreate.
“Recognizing same-sex marriage does not advance this interest because same-sex unions do not result in pregnancy,” he concluded. Therefore, the state “can rationally decide to subsidize opposite-sex marriages, which are likely to produce new offspring, while withholding those subsidies from same-sex relationships, which are less likely to do so.”
Abbott did, however, acknowledge that same-sex marriage “may very well produce other societal benefits — such as increasing household wealth or providing a stable environment for children raised by same-sex couples — but that does not establish that Texas’s marriage laws lack a rational relation to the State’s interests in reducing unplanned out-of-wedlock births and encouraging the creation of new offspring.”