South Carolina

South Carolina legal documents designed to protect your family no matter your relationship status

South Carolina

south_carolinaSouth Carolina

Rainbow Law has a document package designed to protect same-sex partners in South Carolina. We offer 9 unique Affordable Document Packages, Individual Legal Documents and FREE Advance Directives to help protect your rights and the rights of your family. To order a legal document package that complies with South Carolina law, hover your mouse over the “Buy A Package” link in the top menu and click on the package that best suits your needs in the drop-down list. If you’re not sure what package is right for you, click this link and we’ll help you figure out what you need.

Although the US Supreme Court has held that the federal government cannot discriminate against gay and lesbian couples legally married and living in a state that recognizes that marriage, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) couples living in South Carolina are not legally recognized as spouses even if they were married in a marriage equality state or country.

South Carolina same-sex partners and family members may experience discrimination in many different ways. Some of them, like snubbing by your family of origin or by complete strangers in a social setting, can’t be dealt with legally; they require a set of adaptive behaviors, including education, humor, and a thick skin. But typical anti-discrimination laws do cover several areas.

Here is a run-down on South Carolina law affecting the LGBTQ community:

1 Recognition of Same-Sex Relationships: In 2006, South Carolina voters adopted South Carolina Amendment 1 by 78%, that amended the constitution to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions in the U.S. state. However, the amendment explicitly disavows any effort to prevent private contracts between same-sex partners from being recognized.

In August 2013, two women who married in Washington, D.C. filed a lawsuit in federal district court challenging the statute and constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

On January 13, 2009, the Civil Union Equality Act—a bill to establish civil unions explicitly for same-sex couples only—was introduced in the South Carolina Senate by State Senator Robert Ford of Charleston. The measure would provide all the benefits of marriage to same-sex couples if it becomes the law. The act would take effect upon signature from the governor. The bill was immediately referred to the senate Judiciary committee, on January 13, 2009. The bill was then moved to the subcommittee on January 20, 2010 where it has remained ever since. It is unknown whether or not the bill would conflict with Amendment 1 if it is successfully passed.

2 Adoption Law: South Carolina permits adoption by individuals. There are no explicit prohibitions on adoption by same-sex couples or on second-parent adoptions.

3 Anti-Discrimination Law:No provision of South Carolina law explicitly addresses discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation or gender identity. South Carolina does not have a hate crimes law.

4 Sodomy Law: South Carolina’s sodomy laws, which made “buggery” a felony punishable by five years in prison or a $500 fine, were invalidated by the 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas.

5Public Opinion: An October 2013 poll found that, among adults, 38.5% thought that same-sex marriage should be legal, while 52.2% thought it should be illegal and 6.1% were not sure.
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