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SC Reacts To Fourth Circuit Same Sex Marriage Ruling




South Carolina’s “Republican” leaders offered muted reactions to a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ ruling striking down the Commonwealth of Virginia’s gay marriage ban – a sign of growing public opposition to government interfering in the

The ruling could be a death knell for South Carolina’s 2006 law – which forbids gay marriages or the recognition of same sex civil unions in the Palmetto State.

That law was adopted as a constitutional amendment – with 78 percent of South Carolinians supporting it.  Over the last eight years, though, opposition to gay marriage has dropped to just over 50 percent in the Palmetto State.

S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley is the lead defendant in a 2013 lawsuit – Bradacs v. Haley – which challenges the constitutionality of that ban.

Her view on the ruling?

“This administration will continue to uphold the will of the people,” Haley’s office said in a statement responding to the ruling. “Ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide this issue, and until that time, South Carolina will continue to be governed by the laws of our state.”

Pretty ho-hum, right.

S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson – whose office is constitutionally bound to uphold South Carolina’s law – also offered a workmanlike statement.

“The Fourth Circuit ruling is fairly lengthy and our attorneys are reviewing its impact on South Carolina and the Bradacs case,” Wilson’s communications director Mark Powell said in a statement.  “Currently, South Carolina’s law remains intact, and, of course, our office will continue to defend it.  However, it should be noted that in other circuits, stays have been granted following invalidation of individual state laws, which have caused confusion in those states.”

“Ultimately, this will be a decision for the U.S. Supreme Court,” Powell said.  “People should not rush to act or react until that time, when a decision is made by the highest court in the land.”

Powell’s admonition didn’t stop independent U.S. Senate candidate Thomas Ravenel from weighing in on the issue – calling on Haley not to waste any additional taxpayer resources defending the state’s gay marriage ban.

“While I feel the government has no place in marriage, if it is going to confer benefits on heterosexual married couples – (it) must also under the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause treat gay marriages the same,” Ravenel said. “Many Republicans also support this position, but Republican politicians like Lindsey Graham have been silenced and intimidated by the strident, intolerant and hateful voices of certain religious right leaders.”

“Those voices do not intimidate me,” Ravenel said.

This website has consistently argued against government sanctioning or banning marriage – gay or straight.  We believe such decisions should be left to individual churches and their governing denominations.  We have also consistently argued that the debate over civil unions would be much simpler if this country’s arcane, anti-competitive and discriminatory tax system was scrapped and replaced – to some degree – with a consumption-based tax.

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