South Carolina paying $215K to gay marriage plaintiffs

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina is paying about $215,000 in legal fees to two couples who challenged the state’s gay marriage ban.

Same-sex couples had sued in federal courts in Charleston and Columbia for the right to be married or for South Carolina to recognize their marriage performed out of state. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that same-sex marriage is the law of the land.

In the Charleston case, a federal judge last month ordered that the state reimburse the couple just over $135,000 to cover their legal fees. In the Columbia case, court documents show the state and the plaintiffs agreed earlier this month that South Carolina will reimburse the couple $80,000 for their fees.

Judges can order losing parties to pay opponents’ fees, especially in civil rights cases.

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