The South Carolina legislature has ratified an amendment to the state constitution that bans same-sex marriages. The amendment states that the only lawfully recognized marriage is one between a man and a woman. Though the state already has a law banning same-sex marriage, the constitutional amendment will effectively prevent approval of civil unions as well.
The ban began as a ballot initiative approved by South Carolina voters in November. According to South Carolina law, the amendment will not require the governor’s signature because it has been approved by voters and has passed both the House and the Senate. It will go into effect immediately.
Seven other states (Virginia, Colorado, Idaho, South Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Arizona) voted on similar legislation banning gay marriage in November. Arizona was the only state to defeat the ban.