A US District Court judge based out of Charleston has struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage in a ruling issued Wednesday morning.
Judge Richard Gergel struck down the ban, but he issued a stay on the ruling until Nov. 20 at noon. That means ban will not be officially ended until that date.
“The Court hereby declares that [the S.C. constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage], to the extent they seek to prohibit the marriage of same sex couples who otherwise meet all other legal requirements for marriage in South Carolina, unconstitutionally infringe on the rights of plaintiffs under the Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution and are invalid as a matter of law,” the ruling states.
The ruling effectively overturns the ban that was overwhelmingly accepted by South Carolina voters in 2006 when it was put forth on the ballot.
The ruling is based on an injunction filed by Charleston County Councilwoman Colleen Condon and her partner, Nichols Bleckley, who attempted to apply for a marriage license in Charleston County following the US Supreme Court’s decision to not hear an appeal by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which governs South Carolina.
Attorney General Alan Wilson’s office is reviewing the order, according to a spokesman. The one-week stay granted by Gergel allows them time to appeal.