Charleston County’s probate court on Wednesday accepted the state’s first same-sex marriage license application.
This comes even as South Carolina’s Attorney General Alan Wilson has indicated he will continue defending the ban on gay marriages in the state constitution.
Probate Judge Irvin Condon, who was elected as a Republican, said in a brief statement that the U.S. Supreme Court’s actions Monday mean his court is “required to accept and issue marriage licenses for same sex couples. Appplications will be accepted beginning today (Wednesday) and the Charleston County Probate Court will issue the marriage license after the mandatory 24 hour waiting period unless stayed by the South Carolina Supreme Court or another appropriate court.”
Hours later, The State newspaper reported that Richland County’s probate judge Amy McCulloch, a Democrat, would also allow the applications in her own court. But applicants there will only be held in a pending status until their legality is settled.
“I believe it’s time for this to change. It’s a fundamental right to be with who you want to be with,” McCulloch said, according to the report.
The state Attorney General’s Office is currently defending South Carolina from a lawsuit filed by a Lexington County lesbian couple who were married in D.C. and claim the Palmetto State’s own ban is unconstitutional.
Legal experts have speculated South Carolina’s ban will likely be struck down in federal court, after an appeals court whose jurisdiction covers South Carolina ruled a similar Virginia ban unconstitutional.
Wilson has said he is obligated to defend South Carolina’s constitution until a court rules otherwise. On Wednesday, his spokesman said the ongoing lawsuit over South Carolina’s law did not allow the Attorney General to comment on the new developments.