COLUMBIA, S.C. (WVOC/AP) - Both sides are seeing some victory in Wednesday's U.S. Supreme Court rulings involving same-sex couples.
The High Court struck down a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, and ruled that legally-married same-sex couples should get the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples.
The court also cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California.
Ryan Wilson, with the group South Carolina Equality, says it's a big help in those states that recognize gay marriages.
“This is an enormous victory for really any couple who loves each other and wants to spend their life together,” Wilson told WVOC. “For the 13 states and the District of Columbia, anyone who's married in those states now will have full federal benefits.”
Wilson says while South Carolina laws do not recognize same-sex marriages, at least the rulings will provide those couples from our state who are married in another state potential access to more than 1,000 federal benefits they've been denied.
Gay pride advocates held a march in downtown Columbia Wednesday night to celebrate.
Meanwhile, opponents of same-sex marriage also see some victory in the Supreme Court rulings.
Dr. Oran Smith with the Palmetto Family Alliance says the justices said the marriage issue needs to be decided at the state level.
“State laws are back in play,” Smith says. “South Carolina has an amendment (to the state constitution) which we worked to get passed in 2006 that defines marriage as between one man and one woman. So that, in essence, is strengthened.”
Smith stresses that the High Court did not find a federal constitutional right of people of the same gender to marry, which he calls a relief for supporters of both traditional marriage and state's rights.