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Palmetto Family Council: On Marriage In SC



By Palmetto Family Alliance || As the old Garth Brooks song began, “it was bound to happen and one day it did.”

In reaction to U.S. Supreme Court decisions on same sex marriage, activist attorneys in Columbia are congratulating themselves that they have found the couple on which to build a case for overturning traditional marriage here. One of the plaintiffs is a state trooper. The other served in the U.S. Air Force. Three beautiful children and a handsome dog live with them.

Just before the Labor Day weekend, lawyers for the two Lexington County women – who received a marriage certificate in the District of Columbia – filed a federal lawsuit challenging South Carolina’s constitutional standard that “[a] marriage between one man and one woman is the only lawful domestic union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.”

The suit, to be heard by U.S. District Judge Joe Anderson, named Governor Nikki Haley and Attorney General Alan Wilson as defendants.

In response to the suit, Haley had this to say: “I stand behind that constitutional amendment and will continue to fight to make sure that states have the ability to decide what they want marriage to be in their state. I was one of the people in 2006 that voted in the Legislature that said marriage should be between a man and a woman. So I’m going to continue to stand behind that.”

Democratic candidate for Governor Vincent Sheheen did not speak directly to the issue, but his campaign spokesman made a statement. Here is the report from The State newspaper:

Andrew Whalen, Sheheen’s campaign manager, said the Camden senator was unavailable to comment Tuesday. But Whalen said Sheheen “continues to personally believe that marriage is between one man and one woman.” Sheheen voted in favor of the gay-marriage ban in the state Senate in 2005 and 2007.

“The U.S. Supreme Court has left this decision to the states, and South Carolina has laws and a constitutional amendment addressing this issue,” Whalen said.

While we are encouraged by the support of both likely nominees for Governor, we couldn’t help but notice the Sheheen spokesman chose to insert “personally.” The sentence could easily have been: “Sheheen continues to believe that marriage is between one man and one woman.” Why add the word personally? Hmmm. Where have we heard that before?

Perhaps the sight of Secretary of State John Kerry providing testimony to Congress on Syria will bring it all back.

In the summer of 2004, then U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA), while running for the Democratic nomination for President, was asked for his thoughts on the Life issue by the Telegraph Herald of Dubuque, Iowa. This is what he said: “I oppose abortion, personally. I don’t like abortion. I believe life does begin at conception.”

Kerry’s decision to couch his opinion on life in terms of his personal beliefs sounded good at the time, a seeming very deep conviction.

Not until later in the campaign, in the second presidential debate, did Kerry’s full meaning become clear. Here is what he said that night in October, 2004: “First of all, I cannot tell you how deeply I respect the belief about life and when it begins. I’m a Catholic – raised a Catholic. I was an altar boy. Religion has been a huge part of my life, helped lead me through a war, leads me today. But I can’t take what is an article of faith for me and legislate it for someone who doesn’t share that article of faith, whether they be agnostic, atheist, Jew, Protestant, whatever. I can’t do that.”

When Kerry made his statement that night, many in the faith community were left scratching their heads. “He believes life begins at conception (i.e., that abortion takes a life) but he won’t lift a finger to defend human life as an elected official? One of those positions needs to go!”

Since Kerry’s triangular dance in 2004, other politicians, primarily Democratic, have sought to separate their personal views from their political positions as a way to get votes. JFK’s daughter Caroline Kennedy took this duplicity to a whole new level last year when she defended pro-abortion policies, telling the Democratic National Convention she was speaking “as a Catholic woman.”

Back to Vince.

Senator Vincent Sheheen isn’t John Kerry or Caroline Kennedy. We know that. He is his own man. But even he might admit the talking points sound the same.

Why should we be concerned? It is simple. As Governor, Vincent Sheheen could be sued, just as Nikki Haley has been sued. How would he respond? Would he defend the Constitutional amendment voters approved 78-22 percent in 2006? Or, would he artfully dodge a defense as California Governor Jerry Brown did, providing an easy out for Justice Roberts to usher in same sex marriage?

Yes, we are analyzing every word. Someone must. The fate of marriage in our state could hang in the balance.

(Editor’s Note: The above communication is an opinion column from an advocacy group and does not necessarily reflect the editorial position of To submit your letter, news release, email blast, media advisory or issues statement for publication, click here).