For Immediate Release

August 14, 2013. Charleston, SC. Press Release. Representatives from ACLU of South Carolina, South Carolina Equality, and other organizations announce the formation of a legal advisory team to explore options for same-sex couples living in South Carolina as a result of the June decision of the US Supreme Court which struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

This Post-DOMA Litigation Task Force consists of volunteer attorneys who will focus on legal challenges and options available to same-sex couples who live in South Carolina but have a domestic partnership, civil union, or legal marriage from one of the 13 states and Washington, DC which currently offer marriage, or one of the 6 additional states that allow unions or full domestic partnerships for gay and lesbian couples.

While the Supreme Court held that the federal government cannot refuse to respect the marriages of married same-sex couples, the State of South Carolina continues to be barred from recognizing these unions because of our State’s constitutional amendment, passed in 2006.

ACLU of South Carolina's Legal Director Susan Dunn will be part of the 5-member pro bonoPost-DOMA Litigation Task Forcechaired by Columbia attorney and SC Equality board member, Malissa Burnette. Other members include retired family law attorney and founder of the Harriet Hancock LGBT Center, Harriet Hancock; USC School of Law Professors Pam Robinson and Derek Black; and local attorney, Nekki Shutt. The task force will initially be collecting stories of discrimination and legal problems arising from the situation that same-sex couples living in SC find themselves in.