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 government interest.”

“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 case.