South Carolina seemed poised to join the growing number of US states with same-sex marriage during a historic week.
But on Thursday (9 October), the state’s Supreme Court dashed those hopes – for now – when it ordered probate judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Charleston County Probate Judge Irvin Condon on Wednesday (8 October) ordered that a license be given to Charleston County Councilwoman Colleen Condon and Nichols Bleckley [pictured].
Judge Condon, a distant relative of Colleen Condon, then accepted two dozen more marriage license applications.
But marriages did not take place because of the state’s 24 hour wait period after obtaining a license. During that time, State Attorney General Alan Wilson asked the state’s high court to intervene.
Judge Condon had said his court is required to accept and issue marriage licenses following Monday’s ruling by the US Supreme Court which upheld the overturning of bans on same-sex marriage in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.
The decision was far wider reaching than just those states, as six other states – including North and South Carolina – are bound by those same appeals court rulings that were put on hold.
Wilson maintains that only if a court specifically ruled against the South Carolina’s gay marriage ban would he think about giving up the fight.
He pointed out that no ruling has yet been made in a lawsuit by a same-sex couple legally married in Washington, D.C., who live in South Carolina.
They are asking to overturn the state’s gay marriage ban, but a ruling has yet to be made in that case.
Despite the setback on Thursday, Colleen Condon remains optimistic.
‘It’s going to happen,’ she tells the Associated Press. ‘I wish the state would get out of the way as soon as possible.’