Same-sex marriage has been legal in the U.S. state of South Carolina since a federal court order took effect on November 20, 2014. Another court ruling on November 18 had ordered the state to recognize same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions .
Following the ruling of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Bostic v. Rainey, which found Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, two judges accepted marriage license applications from same-sex couples until the South Carolina Supreme Court, in response to a request by the state Attorney General, ordered them to stop. A federal court ruled South Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional on November 12, with implementation of that decision stayed until noon on November 20. The first same-sex wedding ceremony was held on November 19.
On October 17, 2014, Arizona joined the historic tide legalizing the unions of same-sex couples that has swept the nation, expanding gay rights in a direction many never thought they would see in their lifetimes.
Many couples, some with children in tow, lined up at clerks’ offices around the state to be among the first to get their marriage licenses. Some brought along their clergy, hastily reciting their vows on courthouse steps. They had waited long enough, they said.
As rulings around the country have toppled laws banning same-sex couples from marrying, Arizona’s law appeared doomed. A federal judge ruled that Arizona’s law banning gay marriages was unconstitutional, but it wasn’t official until Attorney General Tom Horne announced a few hours later that he would not appeal.
Legal experts say the fate of Arizona’s law defining marriage as only between one man and one woman is now sealed. A ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court reinstating marriage bans is unlikely. The high court last week declined to take cases challenging laws in five states, in effect directing them to begin issuing licenses to same-sex couples.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in the U.S. state of Alaska have been able to marry since U.S. district court declared Alaska’s denial of marriage rights to same-sex couples unconstitutional on October 12, 2014. They nevertheless continue to face some legal some challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents.
An executive order prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation in state employment since 2002. There is no provision for gender identity in any law. State law does not address hate crimes based on gender identity or sexual orientation.