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Same-sex marriage begins in South Carolina despite lingering state ban

A court in South Carolina on Wednesday began accepting marriage license applications from same-sex couples, even though the state still technically has a legal ban on gay marriage.

At issue is the Supreme Court's decision this week to not hear any appeals concerning gay marriage, including one from the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over South Carolina. That decision effectively legalized gay marriage in the five states that brought the legal challenges. But it also perhaps legalized same-sex marriage in six other states that are covered by appeals courts whose pro-gay marriage rulings were allowed to stand.

Hence, Charleston County Probate Judge Irvin Condon said in a statement that in light of the justices' inaction, he was "required to accept and issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples." And on Wednesday, he accepted the first marriage license application, from Charleston County Councilwoman Colleen Condon and her partner, Nichols Bleckley.

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has said he will fight to uphold the state's ban.