Recognition of same-sex unions in South Carolina
|Legal recognition of
† Not yet in effect
Under South Carolina law, same-sex marriages, civil unions, and domestic partnerships are not recognized.
Amendment 1 (2006)
In 2006, South Carolina voters adopted South Carolina Amendment 1 by 78%, that amended the constitution to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions in the U.S. state. However, the amendment explicitly disavows any effort to prevent private contracts between same-sex partners from being recognized.
Civil Union Equality Act
On January 13, 2009, the Civil Union Equality Act—a bill to establish civil unions explicitly for same-sex couples only—was introduced in the South Carolina Senate by State Senator Robert Ford of Charleston. The measure would provide all the benefits of marriage to same-sex couples if it becomes the law. The act would take effect upon signature from the governor.
The bill was immediately referred to the senate Judiciary committee, on January 13, 2009. The bill was then moved to the subcommittee on January 20, 2010 where it has remained ever since.
It is unknown whether or not the bill would conflict with Amendment 1 if it is successfully passed.
An August 2011 Public Policy Polling survey found that 21% of South Carolina voters thought that same-sex marriage should be legal, while 69% thought it should be illegal and 10% were not sure. A separate question on the same survey found that 48% of South Carolina voters supported the legal recognition of same-sex couples, with 19% supporting same-sex marriage, 29% supporting civil unions but not marriage, 51% favoring no legal recognition and 2% not sure.
A December 2012 Public Policy Polling survey found that 27% of South Carolina voters thought that same-sex marriage should be legal, while 62% thought it should be illegal and 10% were not sure. A separate question on the same survey found that 54% of South Carolina voters supported the legal recognition of same-sex couples, with 25% supporting same-sex marriage, 29% supporting civil unions but not marriage, 43% favoring no legal recognition and 4% not sure.
An October 2013 poll found that, amongs adults, 38.5% thought that same-sex marriage should be legal, while 52.2% thought it should be illegal and 6.1% were not sure.
- "South Carolina officially bans gay marriage". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
- "Journal of the Senate of the state of South Carolina" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-12-02.
- "Gay couple files federal lawsuit attacking SC's Defense of Marriage Law". The State. September 1, 2013.
- State Senator Pushing For Same-Sex Civil Unions In S.C., Robert Kittle, 4 February 2009, WSPA-TV
- "South Carolina General Assembly 118th Session, 2009-2010". Scstatehouse.gov. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
- Civil Union Equality Act: latest status — South Carolina Legislature
- Public Policy Polling: "SC against gay marriage, Tea Party; Dems want Hillary in '16," September 9, 2011, accessed September 9, 2011
- "Haley Vulnerable in South Carolina". Public Policy Polling. Retrieved 2012-12-11.
- "October 2013 Winthrop Poll, question T45". Winthrop.edu. Retrieved 2013-12-02.