Grand Strand couple's marriage to be recognized after court ruling

Grand Strand couple's marriage to be recognized after court ruling
HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The State Supreme Court ruled every county in South Carolina can begin issuing licenses for same-sex couples, and one local couple who married out of state is happy that their out-of-state marriage will now be recognized.

On Wednesday night, the State Supreme Court lifted an October injunction that blocked those licenses from being issued. Attorney General Alan Wilson filed that petition in response to a lawsuit filed by a same-sex couple who sued the state to have their marriage legally recognized..

On Tuesday, a U.S. District court ruled South Carolina must recognize marriages made outside of the state.

Now that the State Supreme Court says same-sex couples can tie the knot in South Carolina, the Horry County Probate office expects to see a lot of couples coming in for applications early Thursday morning.
The decision that wasn't expected until at least noon Thursday came early Wednesday night, and some same-sex couples see this ruling as the milestone they've been waiting years for.

"It's what a lot of people have been really waiting for, you know, to have that big wedding they've been dreaming of, right here at home," Terry Livingston said.

Though he's been with his partner, Steve Gamble, for over 30 years, Livingston wasn't able to get married in South Carolina. Instead, the couple headed to Washington D.C. last year but Livingston says there was always that one lingering question.

"You know, would our marriage be recognized here at home?" Livingston wondered.

Now the State of South Carolina will be recognizing out of state marriages.

"You can finally say to your spouse... hey, you're my next of kin now, you're not just my roommate," Livingston explained.

Horry County Probate Judge, Deirdre Edmonds, said her office would be more than ready for Thursday after some slight changes to the application.

"At this point they still say bride and groom," Edmonds said, however, it shouldn't be a problem as they wait for new forms.

"We can certainly rely on those applications and the forms that we have to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple," Edmonds explained.

Livingston is excited some of his friends will finally be able to plan their weddings, "and not have to do the destination wedding to D.C. or to a state where it is legal. So, I'm excited - looking forward to a lot of great weddings here at the beach."

After many calls Wednesday afternoon, and the state supreme court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, the Horry County Probate Office will begin same-sex marriage applications and licensing. 

Copyright 2014 WMBF News. All rights reserved.