Federal court overturns South Carolina same-sex marriage ban

Story highlights

  • A South Carolina judge overturns the state's ban on same-sex marriage
  • The order is set to go into effect on November 20
  • Those opposed might appeal by then
A U.S. District Court judge has overturned South Carolina's ban on same-sex marriage.
The ruling, by Judge Richard M. Gergel in Charleston, does not mean an immediate issuance of marriage licenses for same-sex couples, however. The judge set the order to go into effect on November 20, to give opponents time to appeal if they wish.
Gergel, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, issued a permanent injunction against enforcement of provisions of the state constitution or state laws or policy "to the extent that they seek to prohibit the marriage of same sex couples."
If the judge's ruling stands and same-sex marriage becomes legal, South Carolina would become the 33rd state in which same-sex marriage has become legal.
It is banned in 12 other states.