South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and
Attorney General Alan Wilson say a lawsuit challenging the state's
ban on gay marriage has no merit.
Haley and Wilson are listed as
defendants in a lawsuit filed in federal court in September by
Katherine Bradacs and Tracie Goodwin.
The couple, married last year in the
District of Columbia, want the state to recognize their marriage to
qualify for additional federal benefits since Goodwin is classified
as a disabled United States Air Force Veteran.
“By defining marriage in this way,
South Carolina discriminates on the basis of sex,” the
lawsuit states. “The Supreme Court has made clear that
perpetuation of traditional gender roles is not a legitimate
“Neither traditional nor moral
disapproval of same-sex relationships or marriage for gay and lesbian
couples is a legitimate basis for unequal treatment of same-sex
couples under the law.”
Lawyers for Haley and Wilson said in
court papers filed Thursday that South Carolina is not obligated to
recognize the couple's out-of-state marriage.
“To require the state of South
Carolina to recognize same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions, or
to permit such marriages itself, would be contrary to the 10th
Amendment and the sovereign interests of the state,” the
state's lawyers wrote.
No hearings have been scheduled in the