Federal Same Sex Ruling Impacts South Carolina

Sam Sex Couples to get same rights


By Monique Williams

Columbia, S.C. (WOLO) -- The federal expansion recognizing same sex marriages will impact South Carolinians, even though South Carolina is one of 34 states where same sex marriage is illegal.

A statement coming this weekend from United States Attorney General, Eric Holder, on plans to expand recognition of same sex marriage in federal legal matters is music to the hears of Shauna Hannan and Jennifer Sanders.

"Let's take my mom and dad, for example," said Hannan. "I like them them. I want for their marriage to be upheld. But, it says to me, to the extent that their marriage is upheld, then ours would be as well."

Hannan and Sanders got married last March in New York, but the two live here in South Carolina where their union is not recognized. However, they are part of the millions of lesbian gay, bisexual and transgender, or LGBT, couples who could benefit from the federal changes regarding filing bankruptcy, testifying in court, visiting partners in prison, and survivor benefits.

What's more, the federal expansion will include 34 states, including South Carolina, where same sex marriage isn't legal.

"Our nation has made great strides on the road to LGBT equality," said Eric Holder. "It's a cause I believe is a defining civil rights challenge of our time."

What is being challenged, according to the office of governor Nikki Haley, is the ability and sovereignty of individual states to decide what's best for its own citizens. Republican South Carolina Attorney General issued this statement today:

“This office has frequently challenged the administration’s ability to govern by executive fiat. Our staff has not had adequate time to fully review the constitutional and legal ramifications of this action taken by the U.S. Justice Department, so it would be inappropriate to comment at this time.”

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