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South Carolina Won't Issue Marriage Licenses to Same-Sex Couples

South Carolina Won't Issue Marriage Licenses to Same-Sex Couples

South Carolina Won't Issue Marriage Licenses to Same-Sex Couples

The state's Supreme Court, at the request of Attorney General Alan Wilson, has blocked issuance of such licenses.

The South Carolina Supreme Court today blocked the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples, one day after a probate judge became the first in the state to accept a license application from a same-sex pair.

The court issued its order late this morning, saying no licenses could be issued unless and until a federal judge rules that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, the Associated Press reports. A suit challenging the ban is pending in U.S. District Court. 

Yesterday, Charleston County probate judge Irvin G. Condon accepted a marriage license application from Colleen Condon and Nichols Bleckley, who hoped to become the first same-sex couple to marry in South Carolina.

He said he believed his action was warranted because the U.S. Supreme Court Monday let stand a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit that struck down Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage. South Carolina is also in the Fourth Circuit, so some legal experts say the ruling is binding on that state as well.

Gov. Nikki Haley and Attorney General Alan Wilson vowed to keep on defending South Carolina’s ban just the same, and Wilson petitioned the state Supreme Court to intervene, resulting in today’s order.

“This is devastating,” Colleen Condon told The Post and Courier of Charleston. “While no one is physically standing in our way of giving us our marriage license, Alan Wilson, as far as I’m concerned, is doing the exact same thing. He might as well be standing in front of the door of this building telling me I can’t get my marriage license. It’s the exact same thing.”

At least 23 other same-sex couples have applied for marriage licenses in Charleston County, The Post and Courier reports.

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