Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Same-sex couples can get married in Charleston County beginning today, says a local judge

Colleen Condon and fiancee apply for county's first gay marriage license

Posted by Sam Spence on Wed, Oct 8, 2014 at 11:01 AM

Despite a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, a Charleston judge says that the county will begin accepting and issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples beginning today.

Charleston County Probate Judge Irvin Condon said today that "as a result of the actions of the United States Supreme Court on October 6, 2014, the Charleston County Probate Court is required to accept and issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples."

On Monday, the Supreme Court declined to take up appeals of rulings issued in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that threw out Virginia's ban on gay marriage. South Carolina also sits in the Fourth Circuit, so rulings from that court apply in South Carolina, but state Attorney General Alan Wilson said earlier this week that he would "seek to uphold our state constitution," citing a pending appeal in one same-sex case, Bradacs v. Wilson.

Reached for comment today, Mark Powell, the communications director for Wilson's office, had no comment: "Because the Attorney General’s Office has ongoing federal litigation, it would be inappropriate to comment on this matter at this time."

Charleston County Councilmember Colleen Condon (distant relation to Judge Condon) and her fiancee Nichols Bleckley applied this morning, paid the $70 fee, and will be granted a marriage license, pending the 24-hour waiting period, as the first same-sex couple to be married in Charleston County and possibly the state.

Probate Court Judge Irvin Condon's full statement:

As a result of the actions of the United State Supreme Court on October 6, 2014, the Charleston County Probate Court is required to accept and issue marriage licenses for same sex couples. Applications will be accepted beginning today, October 8, 2014, and the Charleston County Probate Court will issue the marriage license after the mandatory 24 hour waiting period unless stayed by the South Carolina Supreme Court or another appropriate court.

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