House rep files pair of bills aimed at state's same-sex laws - - Columbia, South Carolina

House rep files pair of bills aimed at state's same-sex laws


On the heels of a landmark Supreme Court ruling and state-level rulings from across the United States, South Carolina Rep. Todd Rutherford has filed a pair of bills taking aim at permanently changing the state's laws on same-sex marriage.

House bill 4461 would allow legally married same-sex couples in South Carolina to file their state income taxes together. The bill was introduced by Rutherford Thursday and referred to the Ways and Means Committee. 

"Requiring legally married same-sex couples to file excess paperwork and additional tax forms is not only discriminatory, but it is a waste of time and tax dollars," said Rutherford in a statement. "By putting this additional burden on legally married couples, the state of South Carolina is intentionally creating bureaucratic red tape for political purposes. It simply isn't right and it is our responsibility to change this discriminatory policy." 

The second bill, H.4460, would overturn the state's Constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions.

Rutherford's bills come as marriage equality advocates continue to push for state-level changes to the nation's laws on same-sex marriage.

In the past month, judges in Oklahoma and Utah have stricken down state Constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage, citing the US Constitution's promise of equal protection.

In South Carolina, a Lexington couple has filed a federal suit challenging the Constitutional ban.

South Carolina Highway Patrol trooper Katherine Bradacs and her partner Tracie Goodwin filed the suit in US District Court on Aug. 28, 2013.

Same-sex advocacy group SC Equality has also started a task force in hopes of helping to overturn the laws.

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