Charleston County issues first marriage license for same-sex couples

Wedding ceremony held outside Charleston courthouse for same-sex couple
Same-sex wedding ceremony held outside Charleston County Probate Court Wednesday morning.
Same-sex wedding ceremony held outside Charleston County Probate Court Wednesday morning.

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A Charleston County judge has issued South Carolina's first same-sex marriage license.

Charleston County councilwoman Colleen Condon and her fiance, Nichols Bleckley, were the first in line Wednesday morning to receive their marriage license. They were the first couple to have their application for a marriage license accepted in Charleston County last month.

"I do hope that every parent, teacher takes a moment today to explain to kids what's going on and how historic this moment is," said Bleckley.

"We knew this was never about just the two of us," said Condon. "We wanted it for us, but we knew that we were a part of hundreds, thousands in South Carolina who were ready to get married right away."

One same-sex couple did just that after receiving their marriage license Wednesday morning.

Kayla Bennett and Kristin Anderson held their marriage ceremony right outside the Charleston County Probate Court. It was the state's first officially recognized same-sex wedding.

Attorney John Nichols says Judge Irvin Condon will be issuing the licenses to the couples who applied before Condon was ordered to stop issuing licenses on Oct. 9.

According to Nichols, Judge Condon can issue the licenses due to a US district court ruling filed Tuesday that orders South Carolina to legally recognize same-sex marriages that were performed in other states where same-sex marriage is legal.

Judge Condon began issuing the licenses to applicants who met all qualifications starting Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. According to Nichols, Judge Condon could have waited until Thursday at Noon to begin issuing licenses.

All marriage applications require a 24-hour waiting period, which Nichols says has already passed in these cases.

"We're absolutely thrilled! We knew going into this we weren't doing it for ourselves but doing it for us, my son and for all the other people who really were afraid to take that step forward," said Condon shortly after the ruling came down Tuesday.

"I'm thrilled! I'm thrilled for everyone. Most importantly, I'm thrilled for our state. I do think it's a huge step for our state," said Bleckley.

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