Gov. Haley responds to same-sex marriage lawsuit

Lexington Co. gay couple Tracie Goodwin and Katherine Bradacs are suing the State

CHARLESTON, S.C.(WCIV) - It's a legal fight heating up in the Palmetto State. A same-sex couple in the Midlands is taking on South Carolina's Defense of Marriage Act in filing a lawsuit against Governor Nikki Haley and state Attorney General Alan Wilson.

South Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Katherine Bradacs and Military Veteran Tracie Goodwin were legally married in Washington in 2012.{}Last week, the Lexington County couple filed a federal lawsuit in Columbia against the Governor and Attorney General in challenging the state's Defense of Marriage law that bans same-sex marriages.

"South Carolina is a fairly conservative state but it's progressive in a lot of ways and it's our belief and our faith that the court will take a look at the changing views around the country and the changing views in our state," John Nichols said in representing his clients, Katherine Bradacs and Tracie Goodwin.

Charleston resident Warren Redman-Gress is the Executive Director of local gay rights advocacy group Alliance for Full Acceptance.{}Redmann-Gress says he{}is less optimistic about the lawsuit's success in the Palmetto State but says his group stands behind the couple no matter the outcome.

"South Carolina is a state where this kind of lawsuit does not have a lot of hope for people," Warren Redman-Gress said. "It makes a statement, that's for sure, and we wish them well on the lawsuit but it's going to be a really difficult road to go down to be successful."

It's a road that's seen some new turns lately -- just last week the federal government announced that all same-sex marriages will be recognized in all states{}in regards to{}federal taxes.

"I think many people presume that we do live with the same kind of rights and privileges, and when they find out that we don't, they say that's wrong."

Gov. Nikki Haley's spokesman Doug Mayer released a statement in regards to the lawsuit on the Governor's behalf.

"Governor Haley, like the majority of South Carolinians, supports traditional marriage as defined between one man and one woman, and in accordance with state law, will continue to uphold those values," he said. "The legislature has spoken on this issue, the people have spoken on this issue, and the governor remains resolute in her support of South Carolina's Constitution and state's rights and this lawsuit doesn't change that."

The other party involved in this case is Attorney General Alan Wilson. His office says they recently received a copy of the lawsuit and were in the process of reviewing it at this time.