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South Carolina: Gay couples ask for marriage licenses despite ban

File photo of a man protesting in favor of marriage equality
File photo of a man protesting in favor of marriage equality
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Two days after the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Virginia’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional, six same-sex couples in the state of South Carolina are going to ask the Greenville County Probate Court for marriage licenses on Wednesday morning. The couples expect to be turned down, but are doing some as part of Campaign for Southern Equality’s “We Do” campaign.

The campaign is designed for gay marriage supporters to request marriage licenses they know will be turned down. It will be the third event in Greenville County and comes after the state of South Carolina vowed to continue defending the state’s ban on gay marriage despite being in the same judicial circuit as Virginia. South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said following the decision made by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals announced he is standing strong and fight the current lawsuit challenging the state’s 2006 voter approved ban.

He said, “Currently, South Carolina’s law remains intact. People should not rush to act or react until that time when a decision is made by the highest court in the land.” The opposite held true in neighboring state North Carolina, where Attorney General Roy Cooper announced he will no longer defend their state’s ban because a ruling overturning the ban appears to be inevitable and would therefore be a waste of time.

Since the case in South Carolina is similar to the one in Virginia, organizers are hopeful and feel its time for their state recognize their fundamental right to marry that has, thus far, been victorious in all courts where decisions were made. The rally’s purpose is a continuing effort to raise the voice of marriage equality.

Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, executive director of the Campaign for Southern Equality said in a press release, “Every day that Amendment One remains on the books it hurts families like the ones who live in Greenville County. This law is being challenged in the courts, and these brave couples are standing up because they have a fundamental right to marry and to have their marriage recognized in their home state.”