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South Carolina judges are dismissing same-sex domestic abuse cases because of state law

The law currently defines a couple as a "man and woman"

2018-12-06

Prosecutors in a South Carolina county may bypass magistrates who dismiss domestic violence charges involving same-sex couples.

At least six domestic violence cases involving same-sex couples living together have been dismissed already by prosecutors in the York County for lack of probable cause, the Herald reported.

The prosecutors have allegedly been citing a law in the state that defines a couple as a “man and woman” – which was ruled unconstitutional in 2017.

But during a hearing this week, public defender Jeff Zuschke argued that the ruling applies only to Family Court protection orders, not criminal cases.

He said in court: “There is no evidence that this was a man and woman. We are stuck with the language of the law.”

Prosecutor Jenny Desch said that they may avoid magistrates in these cases and seek a grand jury indictment instead.