SC Equality & ACLU of SC call on SC's Attorney General to Drop Defense of State's Marriage Ban

July 30, 2014 12:00 am

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After Fourth Circuit ruling, South Carolina advocacy groups ask Attorney General Alan Wilson to follow the lead of North Carolina

July 30, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: 212-549-2666, media@aclu.org

Columbia, SC – On Wednesday, July 30, 2014, South Carolina Equality and the ACLU of South Carolina launched a petition drive aimed as asking SC’s Attorney General Alan Wilson to drop the defense of the Palmetto State’s ban on same-sex marriages following the US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on Bostic v. Schaefer.

Paper and online petitions (through www.scequality.org) will be collected at events across South Carolina for the next 21 days during the window for appeal created by the Fourth Circuit in their ruling.

On Monday, North Carolina’s Attorney General Roy Cooper announced his office would not defend his state’s ban on same-sex marriages stating, “Simply put, it is time to stop making arguments we will lose and instead move forward, knowing that the ultimate resolution will likely come from the US Supreme Court.”

In recent years, 10 Attorneys General have dropped defense of laws in their states which ban same-sex couples for marrying including Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Illinois, California, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Nevada, and Oregon (according to Freedom to Marry). SC Equality and the ACLU of South Carolina believe now is the time for South Carolina’s Attorney General to follow the lead of these other states.

Victoria Middleton, Executive Director of the ACLU of South Carolina explained, “Our state will be on the wrong side of history if it continues to use public funds to defend the ban on freedom to marry for all South Carolinians. Allowing marriage for gay couples who are truly committed to each other is simply treating them with dignity. The state should not be telling these couples they can’t marry and treating some families as though they have second-class status.”

Ryan Wilson, Executive Director of South Carolina Equality added, “The Fourth Circuit ruling is pretty clear and South Carolina will have a hard time presenting a solid case why this ruling should not also apply to our state. Instead of spending money on our state’s crumbling infrastructure or improving education and access to healthcare in our state, Attorney General Wilson plans to waste our tax dollars defending a ban that will ultimately be struct down. It’s time to follow North Carolina’s lead and stop defending these laws in South Carolina.”

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