South Carolina on Tuesday asked the
Supreme Court to stay a ruling striking down the state's ban on gay
marriage as it pursues an appeal.
Last week, U.S. District Court Judge
Richard Gergel of Charleston struck down the ban as unconstitutional
and ordered the state to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay
couples on Thursday at noon.
Attorney General Alan Wilson and
Governor Nikki Haley, both Republicans, asked the Fourth Circuit
Court of Appeals in Richmond to stay Gergel's order.
A 3-judge panel on Tuesday unanimously
turned down their request.
Within hours, Wilson filed a similar
request with Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who oversees
federal courts in South Carolina.
Wilson explained in a statement that
the state continues “to believe the doctrine of federalism and the
Tenth Amendment should allow South Carolina's unique laws to be
considered at the highest appropriate court of appeal.”