Supreme Court Allows Same-Sex Marriages in South Carolina

WASHINGTON — Over the dissents of two justices, the Supreme Court on Thursday allowed same-sex marriages to proceed in South Carolina, rejecting an emergency application seeking a stay of a judge’s order striking down the state’s ban on such unions. In urging the Supreme Court to intercede, state officials had stressed federalism concerns, saying that South Carolina’s voters rather than the federal government should be allowed to decide questions of “domestic relations,” including marriage. The officials also noted that the legal landscape had changed since the Supreme Court last month refused to hear appeals from decisions striking down bans on same-sex marriage in five states. A recent ruling from the federal appeals court in Cincinnati upholding several state bans, they said, made it likely that the Supreme Court would soon decide whether there is constitutional right to same-sex marriage. As is its custom, the Supreme Court offered no reasons for declining to intercede. Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas said they would have granted a stay.

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