LGBT rights in South Carolina

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
LGBT rights in South Carolina
South Carolina (US)
Same-sex sexual activity legal? Legal since 2003
(Lawrence v. Texas)
Gender identity/expression Altering sex on birth certificate requires sex reassignment surgery
Discrimination protections None statewide
Family rights
Recognition of
South Carolina Amendment 1 limits marriage to man/woman, places restrictions on non-marriage types of same-sex unions
Adoption No restrictions

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in the U.S. state of South Carolina face some legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Same-sex sexual activity is legal in South Carolina. Same-sex couples and families headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for all of the protections available to opposite-sex married couples.

Laws against homosexuality[edit]

South Carolina's sodomy laws, which made "buggery" a felony punishable by five years in prison or a $500 fine, were invalidated by the 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas.[1]

Recognition of same-sex relationships[edit]

South Carolina voters adopted a constitutional amendment in November 2006 that defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman and prohibited the recognition of same-sex relationships under any other name.[2] Similar restrictions appear in the state statutes as well.[3]

Adoption and parenting[edit]

South Carolina permits adoption by individuals. There are no explicit prohibitions on adoption by same-sex couples or on second-parent adoptions.[4]

Discrimination protection[edit]

Map of South Carolina counties and cities that have sexual orientation and/or gender identity anti–employment discrimination ordinances
  Sexual orientation and gender identity with anti–employment discrimination ordinance
  Sexual orientation and gender identity solely in public employment
  Does not protect sexual orientation and gender identity in employment

No provision of South Carolina law explicitly addresses discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation or gender identity.[5]

The cities of Charleston,[6] Columbia,[6] Myrtle Beach,[7] North Charleston,[8] and Richland County[9] prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment.

Hate crime laws[edit]

South Carolina does not have a hate crimes law.[10]


  1. ^ Marghretta Adeline Hagood, "South Carolina's Sexual Conduct Laws After Lawrence v. Texas," in South Carolina Law Review, Summer 2010.
  2. ^ CNN: 2006 Key Ballot Measures, accessed April 10, 2011
  3. ^ Human Resources Campaign: South Carolina Marriage/Relationship Recognition Law, accessed April 10, 2011
  4. ^ Human Resources Campaign: South Carolina Adoption Law , accessed April 10, 2011
  5. ^ Human Resources Campaign: South Carolina Non-Discrimination Law, accessed April 10, 2011
  6. ^ a b "Cities and Counties with Non-Discrimination Ordinances that Include Gender Identity". Human Rights Campaign. Retrieved May 25, 2013. 
  7. ^ Comer, Matt (June 11, 2014). "Myrtle Beach passes far-reaching LGBT protections". Q-Notes. Retrieved June 12, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Municipal Equality Index". Human Rights Campaign. Retrieved November 21, 2013. 
  9. ^ Comer, Matt (June 8, 2011). "South Carolina county passes non-discrimination ordinance". Q-Notes. Retrieved April 4, 2012. 
  10. ^ Human Resources Campaign: South Carolina Hate Crimes Law, accessed April 10, 2011