Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has bizarrely claimed that banning same-sex marriage reduces the number of unwed mothers.
The Republican politician, who is fighting to keep his state’s marriage ban in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, made the claim in a legal brief.
He wrote: “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.
“Recognizing same-sex marriage does not advance this interest because same-sex unions do not result in pregnancy.
“At the very least, one could rationally believe that opposite-sex marriages will do more to advance the State’s interest in reducing unplanned out-of-wedlock births than same-sex marriages will.
“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.”
Mr Abbott was previously accused of deliberately stalling the court case, seeking several extensions to a deadline for a legal brief this summer which he claimed was still “not ready” – despite having since April to prepare.
Abbott is currently running to replace Rick Perry as governor of Texas, against Democrat Wendy Davis.