Marriage Equality USA

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Current Status

  • Civil marriage equality in effect at the state level since November 2014. (Same-sex couples may legally marry.)


  • In November 2006, South Carolina voters adopted a constitutional amendment that defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman and prohibited the recognition of same-sex relationships under any other name. Similar restrictions appear in state statutes.
  • In January 2009, the Civil Union Equality Act, a bill to establish civil unions explicitly for same-sex couples, was introduced in the SC Senate by State Senator Robert Ford of Charleston. The bill never moved out of committee.
  • If a same-sex couple engage in a physical fight, state law forbids it from being recognized as domestic violence, merely classifying it as an assault.
  • South Carolina has no state hate crimes law.
  • No provision of state law explicitly addresses discrimination on the base of sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Richland County and the following cities prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment: Charleston, Columbia, Myrtle Beach, and North Charleston.
  • Constitutional ban on same-sex marriage from 2006 to 2014, per South Carolina Amendment 1.
  • 6 October 2014, SCOTUS refused to grant cert in VA's Bostic. South Carolina is also covered by the 4th Circuit and binding precedent now exists for SC, meaning the 28 July 2014 ruling by the 4th Circuit in Bostic also applies to South Carolina.

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