Utah files opening argument in gay marriage case

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah filed its opening argument with an appeals court in defense of the state's gay marriage ban, which a federal judge overturned in late December.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/MreA0E ) that the brief was filed with the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at 11:30 p.m. Monday, 30 minutes before the deadline. Attorneys for three same-sex couples challenging Utah's ban must respond by Feb. 25.

Among the state's arguments are that its laws are focused on the welfare of children versus the "emotional interests of adults." The state says kids ideally are raised by their biological mother and father.

More than 1,000 gay couples married in Utah before the U.S. Supreme Court granted the state an emergency stay last month.

Oral arguments are scheduled for April 10.

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