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Lesbian couple challenges South Carolina’s marriage equality ban

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

South Carolina sealKatherine Bradacs and Tracie Goodwin, a lesbian couple in South Carolina, filed suit last week in federal district court to challenge the state’s marriage equality ban.  On Top Magazine reports:

The suit challenges the state’s marriage law and a 2006 voter-approved constitutional amendment prohibiting the state from recognizing any relationship other than a heterosexual marriage.

“By defining marriage in this way, South Carolina discriminates on the basis of sex,” the lawsuit states. “The Supreme Court has made clear that perpetuation of traditional gender roles is not a legitimate government interest.”

“Neither traditional nor moral disapproval of same-sex relationships or marriage for gay and lesbian couples is a legitimate basis for unequal treatment of same-sex couples under the law.”

Bradacs and Goodwin married last year in the District of Columbia.

The couple want the state to recognize their marriage to qualify for additional federal benefits since Goodwin is classified as a disabled United States Air Force Veteran.

The couple’s brief makes frequent mention of the Supreme Court’s June decision invalidating Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act.  “The exclusion from marriage undermines the Plaintiff couple’s ability to achieve their life goals and dreams, threatens their mutual economic stability, and denies them ‘a dignity and status of immense import,'” the brief argues, quoting Justice Anthony Kennedy’s ruling in the DOMA case.

Bradacs and Goodwin make four claims against South Carolina: 1) the state’s marriage equality ban violates the U.S. Constitution’s due process provision, 2) the ban violates the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection provision and discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation, 3) the ban also discriminates on the basis of sex, and thus violates the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection provision and 4) the ban puts South Carolina in violation of the Full Faith and Credit Clause for not recognizing other states’ valid marriage licenses between same-sex couples.

Read the full complaint below, via Equality Case Files.  (H/t to Kathleen.)

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