S.C.’s Same-sex marriage vote

In 2006, South Carolina voters approved a similar constitutional amendment “to provide that in this State and its political subdivisions, a marriage between one man and one woman is the only lawful domestic union that shall be valid or recognized.” It passed by a 78-22 margin.

North Carolina voters’ decision Tuesday on a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage isn’t expected to move South Carolina’s political needle.

State voters here approved a similar constitutional amendment six years ago, and there’s no related debate on the horizon.

Oran Smith is director of the Palmetto Family Council, a group whose mission is “to present biblical principles in the centers of influence on issues affecting the family” and one that pushed for South Carolina’s amendment.

“I’m not sure even a defeat for the marriage amendment there (in North Carolina) would have much impact here,” he said Tuesday.

The amendment in South Carolina was fought by the Alliance for Full Acceptance and others. Alliance Director Warren Redman-Gress said many expected North Carolina’s amendment to pass, though he expects to take a bit of consolation in a narrower margin there.

“If it passes, it will pass with a much smaller margin than a number of other states have passed theirs,” he said. “Sometimes people refer to it as losing forward.”

An informal survey of North Charleston residents showed many support at least civil unions and equal rights for same-sex couples, even if those same residents have qualms about that lifestyle.

Frank Linden said with the nation’s severe fiscal issues, it seems wrong for politicians to spend time on this cultural issue. “I think it’s just a diversion, silly really,” he said. “Who really cares?”

Evel Bill Hayes, who wore a “Work hard Pray hard” T-shirt, said same-sex relationships are “not how it’s meant to be according to God who created everything,” but added that he supports the notion of civil unions — not marriage — for such couples.

“Their right to swing their arm without touching my nose is absolute,” he said.