On October 8, 2014, Charleston County Probate Judge Irvin Condon accepted a marriage license application given by a female couple, the first same-sex marriage license application allowed in the state, citing Bostic v. Rainey. Some same-sex marriage license applications in other sections of the state were denied by courts. On October 9, 2014, Chief Justice Roy Cooper issued an order allowing same-sex marriages to go forward while his office appeals the court rulings against them.
In South Carolina, there is no prohibition against gay people marrying each other. Same-sex couples are allowed under the law just like any other couple. All that changed with two recent court cases.
In August 2012, Judge James Moore ruled that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional as applied to same-sex couples. He also ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in South Carolina despite being barred from doing so at the federal level. Moore's decision was stayed pending appeal, and it is now in effect. The State has not appealed this ruling, and same-sex couples can marry during this time. However, when Judge Moore retires in January 2013, the stay will expire and same-sex marriages performed during this time frame will be void.
In May 2009, Judge Robert Ervin ruled that denying marriage rights to same-sex couples was unconstitutional and violated the due process and equal protection clauses of the state constitution.
The key case on the topic, Brenner v. Scott, has made same-sex marriage lawful in the United States state of Florida since January 6, 2015. On August 21, 2014, a federal district judge declared that the state's same-sex marriage prohibition was unconstitutional. The decision was appealed to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals which issued an order on December 23, 2014, staying enforcement of its judgment pending appeal by either party.
Same-sex couples could marry after the 12th circuit court issued its ruling affirming the district court's decision. However, Governor Scott asked the Supreme Court of Florida to review the case, and on February 18, 2015, the Supreme Court of Florida agreed to do so. Oral arguments before the Supreme Court of Florida were held on March 4, 2015, with a decision being issued at a later date.
In the meantime, same-sex couples began marrying in Florida after the 12th circuit court's ruling became effective on January 6, 2015. A lawsuit filed by Scott against the federal government over its refusal to recognize such marriages was dismissed by a federal judge on February 25, 2015. As a result of this decision, all marriages performed during this time in Florida are valid, regardless of where they were performed within the state. It is important to note that only married couples are eligible for certain benefits provided by the federal government.
Since October 6, 2014, same-sex marriage has been legally recognized in the United States state of Virginia, after a decision by the United States Supreme Court to decline to accept an appeal from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Bostic v. Virginia. The Fourth Circuit had affirmed the right of gays and lesbians in Virginia to marry, giving the state one of the last holdouts in granting marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples.
Virginia was one of four states within the Fourth Circuit that did not allow for gay marriage. The other three were North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia. In July 2013, the Fourth Circuit ruled 5-4 that the district court did not err when it found that Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage violated the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law.
In August 2013, Governor Bob McDonnell announced his support for gay marriage, becoming the first Republican governor in the country to do so. Shortly thereafter, the Virginia Senate passed a bill that would have allowed gay and lesbian couples to marry, but the House of Delegates voted it down 99-43. In September 2013, Senator Adam Ebbin introduced legislation to legalize gay marriage in Virginia, but it never received any further attention from legislative leaders.