Katherine Bradacs, a Highway Patrol Trooper and her wife Tracie Goodwin are suing to have South Carolina's state ban on gay marriage overturned according to a report by the Associated Press on September 2.
The couple currently lives in South Carolina but were married in Washington, D.C., where gay marriage is legal. They filed the lawsuit on August 28 in federal court citing the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision as a reason why same-sex marriages in South Carolina can't be outlawed when a couple is legally married in another state.
Bradacs and Goodwin are suing Gov. Nikki Haley and state Attorney General Alan Wilson and are challenging the Palmetto State's Defense of Marriage Law and a 2007 amendment to the state constitution which bans same-sex marriage and recognition of marriages performed outside of the state.
The suit states:
"By defining marriage in this way, South Carolina discriminates on the bases of sex. The Supreme Court has made clear that perpetuation of traditional gender roles is not a legitimate government interest."
Because Bradacs and Goodwin were married in a place that legally recognizes same-sex marriage, their marriage is also recognized by the federal government do to the historic Supreme Court ruling in late June which deemed the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. Therefore the ban is discriminatory and goes against the Supreme Court decision. The suit goes on to say:
"Neither traditional nor moral disapproval of same-sex relationships or marriage for gay and lesbian couples is a legitimate bases for unequal treatment of same-sex couples under the law."
The couple want their marriage recognized in order to be eligible for federal benefits that they now will have access to since Katherine Bradacs is classified as a disabled United States Air Force Veteran.
South Carolina's ban on same-sex marriage was passed in 1996 and a similar constitutional amendment was passed by voters in 2006. Ironically, 1996 was the same year President Bill Clinton signed the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act into law.