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Same-sex marriage in South Carolina

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Same-sex marriage is legal as of noon on November 20, 2014.

The ruling of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Bostic v. Rainey, which found Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, has been binding precedent on the courts of South Carolina since the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal in the case on October 6, 2014. The state had not been ordered to cease enforcement of its ban on same-sex marriage. Two judges accepted marriage license applications from same-sex couples until the state South Carolina Supreme Court, in response to a request by the state Attorney General, ordered them to stop. A federal court ruled South Carolina's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional on November 12, with implementation of that decision stayed until noon on November 20.

Condon v. Haley Edit

On October 15, 2014, a lesbian couple represented by Lambda Legal and South Carolina Equality filed suit in federal district court seeking the right to marry, citing Bostic. The defendants include the governor, the attorney general, and Judge Irvin G. Condon, the state judge who was enjoined from licensing same-sex marriages a week earlier by the South Carolina Supreme Court.[1] On November 12, U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel ruled for the plaintiffs and stayed his decision until noon on November 20.[2] The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the state's request for a stay pending appeal or a temporary stay on November 18.[3] Attorney General Alan Wilson asked Chief Justice John Roberts, as Circuit Justice for the Fourth Circuit, for an emergency stay pending appeal later that day.[4] It made an argument other states in similar cases had not made to the Supreme Court, that the principle of federalism known as the "domestic relations exception"–which restricts the role of federal courts in certain areas reserved to the states–requires clarification.[5]

References Edit

  1. Complaint, October 15, 2014.
  2. "Judge strikes down South Carolina ban on same-sex marriage", Washington Blade, November 12, 2014. 
  3. Stay Denied.
  4. South Carolina Stay Application.
  5. Denniston, Lyle. "Emergency Application to Stay", SCOTUSblog, November 18, 2014. 


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