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Gay Marriage Laws in South Carolina

South Carolina

Like most other states, South Carolina adopted DOMA. The Defense of Marriage Act was enacted by many states to clearly define marriage as to prohibit legalizing gay marriages. In South Carolina, gay marriage is legally forbidden. In addition, South Carolina approved a constitutional amendment that explicitly forbids same sex marriages and civil unions, in addition to the enactment of DOMA. In fact, seventy eight percent of voters supported the measure. In South Carolina, gay marriage, domestic partnerships and civil unions are banned outright.

In South Carolina, gay marriages and other same sex relationships are forbidden from being legally recognized by Article XVII. In other words, no same sex relationship shall be recognized by the state, no matter what it is called, and no matter if it is recognized by another state. In fact, Title 20 states that a marriage between same sex couples is forbidden and against the public policies of the state of South Carolina. Marriages are forbidden in several circumstances, such as between relatives and in the case of a same sex couples.

In fact, Title 20 explains in detail, which marriages are forbidden by the state of South Carolina. Marriages are not allowed between specific individuals, such as a woman and her father, son, grandson etc., and another woman. Likewise, a man may not marry his mother, stepmother, sister or another man. This Title equates same sex marriage with an individual marrying a relative.

However, South Carolina's gay population appears to be in consideration by some state senators. In fact, The Civil Union Equality Act was introduced to the state Senate in 2009. The bill was meant to establish the legality of civil unions for same sex couples in South Carolina. Marriages would still be explicitly forbidden for same sex couples but same sex unions would be legally recognized in South Carolina. Gay couples would be afforded all rights and responsibilities usually afforded to married couples in South Carolina.

Marriage provides certain rights such as, the right to share health insurance, the right to assign a a partner as a health care proxy and the right to own property jointly. If the bill were to become law, it would be active immediately upon the signature of the governor of South Carolina. Marriage's definition would remain unchanged as the bill would only legally allow for civil unions for same sex couples. The bill has not moved and currently awaits review and the voting procedure of the state.

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