MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell interviewed the first lesbian couple filing a lawsuit challenging South Carolina's constitutional prohibition on marriage equality on The Last Word Thursday night. The couple's lawsuit builds on the June 26 decision from the U.S. Supreme Court in Windsor v. U.S., which struck down a key segment of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act that prohibited the federal government from recognizing any marriage other than those between one man and one woman.
Katie Bradacs and Tracie Goodwin married in Washington, D.C., in 2012, and are raising three children. But given South Carolina's constitutional amendment forbidding marriage equality and prohibiting the state from recognizing legal same-sex marriages performed elsewhere, the couple argues that it treats their family as "legal strangers."
And despite Bradacs' years of service to South Carolina as a state trooper, Governor Nikki Haley confirmed that the family will not be given access to the same benefits and support that the partners of straight state employees are offered if they're killed in the line of duty. Instead, the governor plans to support "traditional marriage... like the majority of South Carolinians."
But it's not just about benefits, said the couple.
"We obviously want the same thing as any other family," Goodwin told O'Donnell. "We have three children. We want to be able to put those children on our insurance. We want the peace o mind that if something happens to our children… something happens to me or Katie, that the other parent is going to be able to keep the children. And we don't want any jeopardy with that. Otherwise, we recognize our marriage. We're a family unit."
Watch the entire interview below.