SC marriage equality: your vote counts

Charleston County Probate Judge Irvin Condon accepted the marriage license last Wednesday morning for two women: Charleston County Councilwoman Colleen Condon and Nichols Bleckley. Colleen Condon and her fiancée Nichols Bleckley say their license has not been granted following a mandatory 24-hour waiting period.

Graphic courtesy of Kelsey DePorte

Graphic courtesy of Kelsey DePorte

Attorney General Alan Wilson, Nikki Haley and many other elected officials were part of putting the ban on same-sex marriage on the ballot in 2006. Wilson has served as attorney general since 2011 and faces Democratic Attorney General candidate Parnell Diggs, a Murrells Inlet lawyer who has said the state should stop fighting same-sex unions.

The public has spoken, and in this case, spoken in favor of same sex marriages. In Nov. 2006, 78 percent of South Carolina voters approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman. A Public Policy poll in 2012 showed that 54 percent of South Carolinians support either marriage or civil union for same-sex couples.

Recalling Fun Home:
Let us not forget the chain of events that happened at the College of Charleston last Spring and the Fight for CofC student movement. The South Carolina House of Representatives voted to cut $52,000 in funding for the college as punishment for assigning students to read “Fun Home,” Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel about a woman coming to terms with her closeted gay father’s suicide and her own sexuality.

Protests broke out on campus, leading to a visit from Bechdel and a New York-based theater company, who performed songs from a musical based on Bechdel’s memoir. President Benson stood up for our college in front of the state, as did several other community members. The unity that occurred at the College of Charleston this past Spring is not something to forget. Oftentimes, we forget that we, as students have the power to enact positive change. We, as students, sent a message: we will not let state politics dominate the future of our school. The same can happen if we take a stance for equal marriage rights, and a safer, more diverse, LGBTQ, campus in general. A key component in making these changes is knowing your state government officials. Find government officials that share the same values, as they are the keyholders of the policy that gets enacted. Students, your vote counts. We make up a large population of the City of Charleston and have the power to vote and make the changes we want to see in the community.

Graphic courtesy of Kelsey DePorte

Graphic courtesy of Kelsey DePorte

Related event: Fish Fry with Senator Vincent Sheheen and Congressman James Clyburn
Come out and meet your candidate for governor Senator Vincent Sheheen and Congressman James Clyburn at the International Longshoremen Association at 1142 Morrison Drive in Downtown Charleston on Oct. 18, at 2:30p.m.

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