South Carolina to appeal marriage ruling citing his state’s differences

Posted on 12 Nov 2014 at 1:54pm

SC flagSouth Carolina Atty. Gen. Alan Wilson said he would appeal today’s federal court ruling declaring the state’s marriage laws unconstitutional.

He cited the difference between his state’s 4th Circuit ruling in favor of marriage equality, and the 6th Circuit’s ruling, last week, allowing discrimination to stand.

As part of his appeal, Wilson said his state’s marriage laws are not the same as the marriage laws in other 4th Circuit states. He’s right about that.

South Carolina allows first cousins to marry, as long as they’re the opposite sex. West Virginia, also in the 4th Circuit does not.

In South Carolina, the age of consent for marriage is 16. Couples may marry younger with parental consent or if the female child is pregnant. In North Carolina and Virginia, you have to be 18. Raped and otherwise pregnant children may marry in those states as well.

In South Carolina, you don’t even have to get married to be considered married, as long as you’re straight. The state recognizes common-law marriage. West Virginia, North Carolina and Virginia don’t.

So Wilson is correct. The marriage laws are different in South Carolina: They allow many more categories of marriage, except one — same-sex marriage. Good luck with that argument holding up in court, Mr. Wilson.

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