Two Lexington County women who were legally married in Washington, D.C., have filed a federal lawsuit in Columbia challenging South Carolina’s Defense of Marriage Law and a 2006 amendment to the state Constitution that expressly banned same-sex marriages.
The lawsuit, brought by S.C. Highway Patrol Trooper Katherine Bradacs and Tracie Goodwin, was filed in U.S. District Court in Columbia last week.
Judge Joe Anderson, a veteran judge who has presided in numerous high-profile civil and criminal cases, has been named to hear arguments in the case, which will be heard without a jury.
Defendants in the case are Gov. Nikki Haley and State Attorney General Alan Wilson, both in their official capacities.
The lawsuit not only takes aim at a state law and a constitutional amendment passed by majorities, but it squarely confronts a long-standing and deep-rooted social, religious and political culture of a majority of South Carolinians who oppose gay rights, even as the idea of such rights gains increasing legitimacy elsewhere.