Lesbian married couple says South Carolina’s marriage equality ban makes them ‘legal strangers’
A South Carolina couple is suing in federal court to challenge the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, arguing that it treats them as “legal strangers” for not recognizing their union, even though they were legally married in another state.
“Those opinions were expressed at a date that’s quite awhile ago,” the couple’s attorney, John Nichols, told WIS-TV in a story aired Monday. “I think that the mood in the country, and perhaps South Carolina, has changed.”
The plaintiffs, Highway Patrol trooper Katherine Bradacs and her partner, Tracie Goodwin, filed suit in U.S. District Court on August 28 contending that the state’s Defense of Marriage Law and a 2007 amendment to the state constitution fail constitutional scrutiny in light of the Supreme Court’s June 2013 decision to strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
“Neither traditional nor moral disapproval of same-sex relationships or marriage for gay and lesbian couples is a legitimate basis for unequal treatment of same-sex couples under the law,” WIS quoted the lawsuit as saying.
Besides banning any new same-sex marriages from being held, state law also refuses to recognize marriages performed in other states. According to the suit, that means Bradacs and Goodwin, who were married in the District of Columbia, in 2012, are “they are treated as legal strangers in their home state of South Carolina,” and Goodwin’s federal benefits as a disabled veteran are also impacted by the law.
Watch WIS’ report, aired Monday, below.