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South Carolina Governor Files Brief Opposing Challenge to State's Gay Marriage Ban

South Carolina's Governor Nikki Haley and Attorney General Alan Wilson filed a brief late Monday asking a federal judge to oppose a request for an injunction that would strike down the state's ban on gay marriage. The case was brought by Charleston County Councilwoman Colleen Condon and her partner, Nichols Bleckley, the Post and Courier reports:

HaleyBleckley and Condon filed the lawsuit seeking to marry following the U.S. Supreme Court's Oct. 6 refusal to review an appellate case overturning Virginia's gay marriage ban. The couple requested U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel issue a preliminary injunction prohibiting state officials from enforcing the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

However, a preliminary injunction is an "extraordinary and drastic remedy" designed to avoid "irreparable harm," which attorneys for Haley and Wilson contend hasn't been proven.

If Gergel grants the injunction, the defendants want him to issue a stay while they appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. "The window should not be opened on same-sex marriages at the substantial risk of closure again should the Defendants' appeal be successful," the brief says.

Gergel could rule anytime after Wednesday, the deadline for a response from lawyers for Condon and Bleckley.

Haley and Wilson are both making re-election bids in today's election.


ACLU Files Lawsuit Against South Carolina's Gay Marriage Ban

Another lawsuit has been filed against South Carolina's ban on same-sex marriage, this time after the state DMV refused to recognize three plaintiffs name change because each of these individuals is married to a person of the same sex.

The Associated Press reports

South carolinaThe American Civil Liberties Union and SC Equality filed the lawsuit Friday in federal court. Each plaintiff was married in another state and chose to change his or her surname but had an application to do so denied by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Victoria Middleton, Executive Director of the ACLU of South Carolina, explained, “The Department of Motor Vehicles should not be in the business of deciding whether or not a marriage is valid.  It may demand proper documentation of a name change in order to guard against fraud.  It is unconstitutional, however, to treat citizens differently who present exactly the same documentation. There is no rational basis to assume that a person married to someone of the same sex is more likely to change his or her name fraudulently than someone married to a person of a different sex.”

Last week, we reported that a federal judge had fast-tracked a separate challenge to South Carolina's gay marriage ban and could rule early as November 3.

South Carolina remains the only state under the Fourth Circuit's jurisdiction to not have marriage equality


Federal Judge Fast-tracks Challenge to South Carolina's Gay Marriage Ban, Could Rule By Nov. 3

South carolinaA summary judgement challenge to South Carolina's gay marriage ban filed by Lambda Legal on behalf of two Charleston women could be decided early next month after a federal judge denied South Carolina's request for extra time to file responses, The Post and Courier reports:

During a conversation in court Friday with attorneys on both sides, Gergel denied a verbal request from a state Attorney General lawyer to extend by three days a Nov. 3 deadline to file responses to the couple's injunction request.

"The plaintiff in this case has asserted irreparable injury" due to being denied a marriage license, Gergel said.

"They are entitled to an expeditious review," he added.

Beth Littrell, Senior Attorney in Lambda Legal’s Southern Regional Office based in Atlanta, said:

There is no reason why South Carolinians should be denied the freedom to marry one more day. The Fourth Circuit’s decision is binding on South Carolina and Governor Haley and Attorney General Wilson should not be allowed to continue to ignore the rule of law. There really is only one legal and logical result--we’re urging the court to allow same-sex couples in South Carolina to marry without any further delay.

A separate lawsuit challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage was filed earlier this week. 

South Carolina remains the only state under the Fourth Circuit's jurisdiction to not have marriage equality. 


South Carolina Lesbian Couple Fight To Overturn Same Sex Marriage Ban

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Katherine Bradacs, a State Trooper, and Tracy Goodwin, a U.S. Air Force vet, are a lesbian couple attempting to overturn South Carolina’s ban on same sex marriage. On Monday the couple submitted a lawsuit petitioning U.S. Judge Michelle Childs to review the state’s ban in hopes that she would find it to be unconstitutional. Such a decision would force South Carolina to officially recognize same sex marriages, like Bradacs and Goodwin’s, that were performed out of state.

“There have been more than 40 federal and state court decisions striking down bans on marriage equality,” their brief reads. “Five rulings have been issued by federal appellate courts covering four circuits, dozens have been issued by federal district courts, and at least 14 have been issued by state courts. Only two decisions have upheld a state’s same-sex marriage ban.”

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and Attorney General Alan Wilson are named as defendants in the lawsuit and are required by law to file a document stating their official legal positions by tomorrow.

“When our brief is filed, it will speak for itself,” said J. Mark Powell, a spokesman for the attorney general. “This matter will be resolved in a court of law – not in the court of public opinion.”

Both Haley and Wilson have recently affirmed that they have no intention of rolling back the ban without a legal battle.

“This issue is in the hands of the courts--our state marriage law stands until the federal courts make a clear judgment on it,” asserted Doug Mayer, Haley’s communications director. “Gov. Haley is duty bound to support our law and that’s what she will do.”


WATCH: Anthony Culler Doubles Down On Anti-Gay 'Gremlins' Talk In New Video

Culler

Earlier today, we told you about South Carolina congressional candidate Anthony Culler and his comments labeling gays as "gremlins" and "bullies." Culler also called same-sex marriage a "pestilence." Now, despite the backlash he has received for these remarks, Culler is sticking to his guns, a point he's perhaps trying to underscore by defending his anti-gay views while leaning against a cannon in a new video the Republican posted to Facebook. Culler opens the video with commenting that we are facing the worst "Gremlin outbreak we've seen in 30 years":

I have had all of these bigots calling me a bigot...What we have is that I made a comment that same-sex couples that want to destroy traditional marriage and our way of life--they're gremlins. They're these creatures that are so destructive.

Culler goes on to give a little history about the district he's running to represent, saying, 

It's the black district. That's what some people call it...I've got another description for this district. It's the Christian district...The people here...we believe in family. We believe in traditional family. We believe in the way that it's always been. One man, one woman. Government can make up any laws it wants to. It doesn't make it right. Evil is evil. Wrong is wrong...I will stand against every initiative put through for same-sex marriage. I'm absolutely against it.

Watch Culler continue his incendiary hate parade, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "WATCH: Anthony Culler Doubles Down On Anti-Gay 'Gremlins' Talk In New Video" »


GOP Congressional Candidate Calls Gays 'Gremlins' and 'Bullies' In Vitriolic Facebook Rant

ScRepublican candidate for South Carolina's sixth congressional district Anthony P. Culler took to Facebook to voice his displeasure following the Supreme Court's decision earlier this month not to review any of the seven petitions on gay marriage it was considering, a decision that broadly expanded marriage rights in the U.S. for same-sex couples. In Culler's lengthy rant, he bemoaned same-sex marriage as a "pestilence" and called gay people "gremlins" and "bullies":

Same-sex "marriage" is a pestilence that has descended on our society, against our will, by those in the courts and government that do not value the traditional family. These people, like my opponent SC-6 Congressman Jim Clyburn who OPENLY supports same-sex "marriage," seek to destroy the traditional family and the values we cherish. [...]

Do not buy the "cuteness" and "What will it hurt?" arguments whispered in your ears and marketed to our children. Same-sex couples that seek to destroy our way of life and the institution of marriage are NOT cute and cuddly but rather (for those of you that are old enough to remember the movie), Gremlins that will only destroy our way of life.

These people are bullies and now that they are winning their true and hateful nature is much easier to see and hear. (Watch the response to this post.)

Do not condone same-sex "marriage" or their self-destructive (they also have a strong tendency for substance abuse), alternate lifestyle. Do not attend the "over the top" and "anything goes" ceremonies or parties that these people revel in. Look away from this scourge on society and condemn it.

However, as The Huffington Post reports, Culler trails Congressman Jim Clyburn, and will likely need "more than spooky slurs to unseat the Democratic incumbent, who has served in the House for more than 20 years."

You can read the full hate-filled post, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "GOP Congressional Candidate Calls Gays 'Gremlins' and 'Bullies' In Vitriolic Facebook Rant" »


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