S.C. Supremes Block Gay Marriage Licenses

     (CN) – The South Carolina Supreme Court on Thursday directed probate judges across the state not to issues marriages licenses to same-sex couples. The one-page directive came after a probate judge in Charleston issued more than a dozen such licenses earlier today.
     The decision was issued at the request of S. C. Attorney General Alan Wilson who filed a motion for injunctive relief just moments before the court closed at 5 p.m.
     It came after Charleston County Probate Judge Irvin Condon issued a marriage license for County Councilwoman Colleen Condon and her partner, Nichols Bleckly and 14 other same-sex couples.
     In a written statement, Judge Condon said he would continue to issue licenses so long as the state Supreme Court approved.
     Wilson’s filing, argued that the probate judge’s decision to issue the licenses was premature because the legality of same-sex marriage in South Carolina “remains a live issue.”
     He specifically cited the case of Bradacs v. Haley, which had been put on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday decided not to hear an appeal of a ruling allowing same-sex marriage by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal, which has jurisdiction over South Carolina.
     Most probate courts in state have declined to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples as they await a ruling on Bradacs.
     Even Councilwoman Condon, a distant relative of the judge, told reporters he expected her application to be rejected.
     She said she and Bleckly plan to get married next year.
     “We’re Southern girls,” he said. “We want a traditional wedding.”
     A spokesperson for South Carolina Equity, a gay rights advocacy group, said its lawyers are working on a response to the Supreme Court’s decision.

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