Am I alone in my feeling that lawyers are hot? The power, the intellect and the designer wardrobes are enough to endlessly captivate my interest. OK, maybe I have been binge-watching too many episodes of “Suits” or perhaps I have had to pay so many of them to handle my traffic violations that I have become a believer through permeation.
Let’s approach it from a different perspective. How hot would a lawyer be if he or she successfully sued our fair state to make marriage equality a reality? It’s about to happen thanks to Lambda Legal which filed that exact lawsuit on Oct. 15 in the United States District Court of South Carolina arguing that South Carolina is obligated to allow same-sex couples to marry. Score.
Sometimes it is necessary to deal with the criminally bigoted powers that be by suing them into obliteration. Reason and compassion both seem to be concepts that elude South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and Attorney General Alan Wilson. Even after an earlier ruling in July of that banning same-sex couples from marriage is unconstitutional, Haley and Wilson vowed to apply the state law that does exactly that.
Beth Littrell who is a Senior Attorney at Lambda Legal’s Southern Regional Office based in Atlanta weighed in on the issue. “The Fourth Circuit’s decision means that same-sex couples in South Carolina should be shopping for a caterer, not a lawyer. Gov. Haley and Attorney General Wilson cannot continue to ignore the rule of law. Fortunately, they have run out of cards to play - we’re urging the court to allow same-sex couples in South Carolina to marry without any further delay.” It’s almost as if she is channeling me with that statement. It’s both brilliant and snarky.
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South Carolina Equality lawyer Nekki Shutt, partner at Callison Tighe & Robinson in Columbia, echoes that opinion in her statement regarding the matter. “The Governor and Attorney General are playing politics with our families and it’s shameful. Instead of celebrating and planning weddings, same-sex couples all over South Carolina are holding their collective breath - and they have been waiting long enough.”
Lambda Legal is pursuing the matter on behalf of Colleen Condon and Nichols Bleckley who applied and paid for a marriage license in Charleston County after the ruling by the higher court. Almost immediately after the application had been accepted, AG Wilson filed a request for an injunction and the South Carolina Supreme Court issued an order Thursday forbidding probate court judges from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Can you say “election year pandering?”
With 30 states now on the right side of this issue, people are now asking why our state is still committed to being a shining example of intolerance and ignorance. Well, the answer to that question is found in our elected officials. You can’t elect a blockhead to public office and expect him or her to lead you out of a wilderness of antiquated opinions and discriminatory practices.
What we are dealing with here is about a legacy. We all know that marriage equality will eventually become law. South Carolina is now in the undisputable minority on this issue and we are losing credibility every day. So why are Haley and Wilson content to embrace a legacy for our state and themselves that unmistakably parallels them as the Gov. George Wallace of 2014?
Haley’s Democratic challenger, Sen. Vincent Sheehen, isn’t any better, also opposing same-sex marriage.
We have to move beyond this battle. In a state that desperately needs funding for education, healthcare and infrastructure, how much treasure and time are the Duo of Dullardsville willing to waste on something the majority of Americans now consider to be a non-issue?
Somewhere in my skeptical little heart, I nurture a hope that the upcoming elections will deliver us from the pathways of the people who still defend the Confederate Battle Flag as “heritage not hate.” Realistically, I think it may be more suitable to place my hopes in the legal skills of a team of attorneys who collectively possess a raging justice boner and an unquenchable desire to screw stupidity once and for all. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to vote on Nov. 4.
Out and About
• Friday, Oct. 24 – Breonna Tenae’s Midnight Cabaret will be at Pulse Ultra Club in Myrtle Beach. The club is located at 2701 N. Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach. See the lineup of performers atwww.facebook.com/PulseUltraClub
• Wednesday, Oct. 29 – Prime Timers of Myrtle Beach hosts an Upscale Dining Out event at Frank’s Outback, 10434 Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island.