South Carolina

S.C. Supreme Court lifts injunction that blocked same-sex marriage licenses


COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Supreme Court has lifted an injunction that prohibited the state’s probate judges from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

sc-supreme-courtThe order comes following a ruling on Tuesday by U.S. District Judge J. Michelle Childs in Columbia in favor of Highway Patrol Trooper Katherine Bradacs and U.S. Air Force retiree Tracie Goodwin, who sued to have the state to recognize their marriage performed in Washington, D.C.

Childs ruled the state’s failure to recognize their marriage was unconstitutional.

On Oct. 14, the state Supreme Court directed probate judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples until the federal court ruled in the Bradacs case.

There is still no decision from the U.S. Supreme Court on an petition by Attorney General Alan Wilson seeking a stay of another federal judge’s ruling that overturned the ban. In that case, U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel threw out South Carolina’s gay marriage ban in a challenge brought by a Charleston couple.

Gergel gave the state until Noon Thursday to obtain a stay on his order. On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals rejected Wilson’s request to block the ruling.

Earlier Wednesday, a judge in the Charleston County Probate Court issued marriage licenses to at least six same-sex couples, and one of the couples was married shortly thereafter.

The order is here.

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