Although LGBT activists already count South Carolina as having marriage equality, the attorney general there has vowed to uphold the state's constitutional ban.
Alan Wilson released the bold statement shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a circuit court decision that allows same-sex couples couples to wed, reports the Associated Press. Although the case didn't involve South Carolina directly, the Fourth U.S. Circuit of Appeals has jurisdiction over the state, and so activists have said the ruling immediately applies there.
Still, Wilson stated, "Until the courts rule on the matter, South Carolina will seek to uphold our state constitution."
In his remarks, the Republican politician declared that he would continue to fight against marriage equality until another lawsuit is decided upon, in which a gay couple married in Washington, D.C. is fighting to overturn South Carolina's ban. The couple's lawyer, Carrie Wilson, is optimistic about the outcome.
"This is a great day for us. We hope it will pave the way for South Carolina's ban to be declared unconstitutional," Warner said after learning Monday that the pro-equality ruling by the Fourth Circuit was left standing.
The state's governor, Nikki Haley, is backing the attorney general in his fight to uphold the ban.
"Our voter-approved state law should be followed until a court rules on it directly," said Doug Mayer, a spokesman for the governor.
Last year Mayer more clearly defined the governor's position, saying, "Governor Haley, like the majority of South Carolinians, supports traditional marriage as defined between one man and one woman, and in accordance with state law will continue to uphold those values."
In November 2006, 78 percent of South Carolina voters approved a constutitonal amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman.