Appeals court lets gay marriage go ahead in South Carolina

Tue Nov 18, 2014 6:53pm EST
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By Harriet McLeod

CHARLESTON S.C (Reuters) - The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined on Tuesday to stay a district court ruling from last week that struck down South Carolina's gay marriage ban, meaning same-sex weddings could happen there as soon as Thursday.

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, a Republican, said in a statement his office would ask the U.S. Supreme Court to stay the district court's ruling.

"This issue has not yet been resolved nationally," he said in a statement.

“Today's ruling by the Fourth Circuit does not end the constitutional obligation of this Office to defend South Carolina law,” Wilson said.

South Carolina would become the 34th state to allow gay marriage if it is allowed to go ahead.

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a similar stay application last week that was filed by Kansas officials. Like South Carolina, Kansas was bound by a regional appeals court ruling that struck down bans in other states.

That same day, U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel ruled that South Carolina was bound by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision striking down a similar law in Virginia.

Gergel put his ruling on hold for a week to allow the state time to appeal.   Continued...