Court: Violence law unfair to same-sex South Carolina couples - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Court: Violence law unfair to same-sex South Carolina couples

(Source: WIS) (Source: WIS)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina's highest court says people in same-sex relationships should get the same legal protections against domestic violence as heterosexual couples.

The state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a portion of the state's criminal domestic violence statute is unconstitutional. The court had been asked to weigh in after a woman tried to get a protective order against her former fiancée, also a woman, and was denied.

Current law defines "household members" as a spouse, former spouse, people with a child in common, or men and women who are or have lived together. It does not include unmarried same-sex couples.

The Ohio Supreme Court in 2016 adopted the use of gender-neutral references in family court cases. California and Massachusetts proactively changed language in their laws.

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