South Carolina Gay Couple Suing State To Have Marriage Ban Overturned
A legally married same-sex couple in South Carolina is suing to lift the state’s ban on same-sex, according to AP. Katherine Bradacs and Tracie Goodwin filed the suit on Thursday in federal court. They were married in Washington, DC last year, according to court papers, and want the state they call home to recognize their marriage so that they can receive the benefits associate with marriage given to public service employees, which both women are eligible for in gay marriage states. “They are treated as legal strangers in their home state of South Carolina.” John Nichols, a lawyer for the couple, wrote in court papers.
The couple of hope to challenge the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage by suing Governor Nikki Haley and Attorney General Alan Wilson . The couple and their lawyers hope to demonstrate bans like this, which, according to the lawsuit “outlaw same-sex marriages because [lawmakers] do not approve of them morally” are unconstitutional at the federal level, because of the SCOTUS’ recent landmark decision striking down DOMA.
South Carolina Amendment One was pushed into law by the usual slew of similarly named “family” groups in 2006. It passed with an incredibly disheartening 78 percent, but recent polling data suggests this may have been a result of politics more than the convictions of South Carolinians, as a poll taken 6 years after the amendment’s passing, in 2012, put the number of SC residents who support the right of same-sex couples to marry at 54 percent.
The Governor’s Office found out about the suit on monday, and a spokesperson’s statement to AP affirmed Gov. Nikki Haley’s steadfast opposition to same-sex marriage.
“Gov. Haley, like the majority of South Carolinians, supports traditional marriage as defined between one man and one woman, and in accordance with state law, will continue to uphold those values.” The spokesman said.
Saying little and letting a lawsuit make headlines by itself has become par for the course for many political opponents of same-sex marriage.
This is the latest in a series of recent developments making more noise among supporters than opponents, a series which includes two other southern states seeing action on the issue.
A group in Arkansas building a formidable petition to take on their own constitutional roadblock to marriage equality has been unable to provoke a real response from the opponents of same-sex marriage, and a lawsuit filed right here in Richmond fighting VA’s constitutional ban drew few quotes in response as well.
This does not mean lawmakers in these states aren’t noticing the wave of legal action in the south. This is the latest lawsuit to use the Supreme Court’s striking down of DOMA as precedent and, even though, according to AP, the governor’s office in S.C. took four days to find out about the suit against it , there seems to be no denying legal change is on the way, no matter the rock you or your spokespeople are currently living under .
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“We have the responsibility of creating a society where all people are afforded their dignity and equal protections and rights under the law.”March 3, 2017
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