Sen. Martin: Defending the Constitution

shane.martinI have traveled a great deal over the past month for my business, and still paid attention to the mainstream news. One headline that really caught my attention said that Attorney General Alan Wilson will continue to defend South Carolina’s constitutional ban on gay marriage. I know Alan is a great guy and takes his office seriously, so immediately I wasn’t surprised and didn’t give it anymore thought. However, back at the hotel that evening, catching up on some work, I began to think about that headline.

My thought was that South Carolina doesn’t have a ban on gay marriage. What South Carolina has is a Constitution that defines what marriage is, what God intended it to be, a holy union between a man and a woman. I knew the history in my head, but I did a little bit of research just to get the correct numbers. In 2006 South Carolina amended its Constitution to define marriage in this manner. This amendment was passed by a two thirds (super majority) vote in both the SC House of Representatives and in the SC Senate. It then was placed on the General Election ballot in November and passed by 78% of the voters. Pretty strong, if you ask me.

All lawmakers, Senators (like me), Representatives, and Constitutional Officers (including the Attorney General and Governor) all swear an oath after elected to public office. We place our hand on God’s word, The Bible, and swear to protect and defend the Constitution of the State of South Carolina and the Constitution of the United States of America. Even if there are parts of the Constitution that some elected officials don’t like, they are still required by their oath to protect and defend the whole Constitution.

I believe the media has missed the point of this debate. Our Attorney General, Alan Wilson, is defending the Constitution of our great state. Since we truly aren’t banning anything, I wish the media would change the headlines to honestly state just that.

Maybe some of the gubernatorial candidates running against Nikki Haley should introduce their plan to change the Constitution of our State to define marriage in a different way. I would wish them the best, but as long as I am elected I will continue to defend the entire Constitution as I swore by my oath on the Bible. Please take the time to thank Alan Wilson for not cowering to the media or political pressure. There is a process, and those people who want marriage to be a free-for-all should try to change the Constitution, and they should stop stunts like a petition asking Alan Wilson to violate his oath! I know that he will not do that, and I won’t either.

Sen. Shane Martin (R-Pauline)