By MEG KINNARD
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Attorneys for Gov. Nikki Haley and Attorney General Alan Wilson say a lawsuit filed by a legally married gay couple living in South Carolina has no merit.
State attorneys say in court papers filed Thursday that South Carolina does not have to recognize the couple's marriage, which happened last year in Washington, D.C.
Earlier this year, Highway Patrol Trooper Katherine Bradacs and Tracie Goodwin sued Haley and Wilson to have the state's ban on gay marriage overturned. Their suit said a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision shows that states cannot outlaw same sex marriages because they do not approve of them morally.
South Carolina passed a law banning same-sex marriage in 1996, with voters passing a similar constitutional amendment in 2006 with 78 percent of the vote.