Monday, September 2, 2013

South Carolina’s Defense of Marriage Law Challenged

Sabrina Samone, TMP

Long before the Supreme Court struck down D.O.M.A, South Carolina’s House of Representatives approved the S.C. Defense of Marriage Law in 1996 with an 82-0 vote. The Senate voted to approve it in a voice vote. Then Governor David Beasley signed it into law. It says, “A marriage between persons of the same sex is void ab initio (from the start) and against the public policy of this state”, according to a recent article in the Charlotte Observer.

Two S.C. women who were legally married in Washington, D.C., have filed a federal lawsuit in Columbia, challenging  S.C.’s  law and a 206 amendment to the state Constitution that expressly banned same-sex marriages, according to the State Newspaper reporter, who also appealed to that papers preferred readership of Tea Party Republicans by adding; ‘the lawsuit not only takes aim at  a state law and a constitutional amendment passed by ‘majorities’, but it squarely confronts a long standing and deep-rooted social, religious and political culture of a majority of South Carolinians who oppose gay rights, even as the idea of such rights gains increasing legitimacy elsewhere.’
 The Republican controlled State paper went on in detail to convince its readers that no one in the state of South Carolina supported marriage equality for all LGBT people which would imply, also, its hundreds of thousands of South Carolina LGBT population that along with travel to the state by members of the group has pumped billions into the state economy according to AFFA. It’s an expected game many progressives in this state anticipated; controlled propaganda.

“Although plaintiffs Bradacs and Goodwin were legally married in the District of Columbia on April 6, 2012…they are treated as legal strangers in their home state of South Carolina,” the lawsuit states. “This suit is really about equal treatment of all South Carolina citizens under the law,” said attorney John Nichols, who represents the plaintiffs.”We should value people who want to live in a committed relationship regardless of gender.”

According to an Aug. 2011 article in the Post and Courier, ‘Being gay in Charleston’, South Carolina is home to more than 117,000 openly and out gay, lesbian and bisexual people, almost 3 percent of the population according to a 2008 estimate by the Williams Institute at UCLA and that still might be under counted.

South Carolina LGBT had once settled to aim at lesser targets while other states sought marriage for its citizens. After DOMA it was apparent that each member of LGBT populations of each state, along with help from the ACLU, had to take matters into their own hands to fight for Marriage Equality. While major metros in South Carolina such as Charleston and Greenville enjoy a more liberal atmosphere than other parts of the state, it is those LGBT people in small S.C. towns that suffer the most discrimination; high unemployment, the highest suicide rates of any group in the state, high prostitution rates and drug addiction. Those are the products of South Carolina’s bigotry, the ruin of human lives.

Year after year the roar of S.C. LGBTQIA community’s cry for equality grows louder. No more will we wait to be handed crumbs. No longer will we wait to see a trans-woman of colors’ only career option be a showgirl or prostitute. No more will we be denied the right to secure the property and investment that marriage is. No more will we be denied less equality or settle to aim for lesser targets. No is no longer an option.


Please check out local state LGBT organizations to volunteer your voice to gain ‘your’ equality.


                           RELATED TOPICS ON TRANSMUSEPLANET

Roll Call: South Carolina LGBTQ…Please stand

South Carolina Equality announced the introduction of H.4025: “The Workplace Fairness Act” at a press conference at the State House

The College of Charleston to install gender neutral bathrooms for trans students 

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