York County conviction shows domestic violence law applies to same-sex marriages

THE HERALD (YORK COUNTY, SC) 25 MARCH 2017, FEAT. PROF. COLIN MILLER:

A Fort Mill man was convicted earlier this month in a York County court of domestic violence against his husband. It’s South Carolina’s second groundbreaking ruling this month related to gay marriage.

Until a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2015 legalized gay marriage, the charge of domestic violence in same-sex relationships could not have gone to court. South Carolina law did not recognize domestic violence in same-sex relationships until gay marriage became legal.

Thousands of gay victims and gay defendants could be impacted by the March conviction, legal experts said. Colin Miller, criminal law and evidence expert at the University of South Carolina law school, said under state domestic violence law, the following are legal definitions of a household member for purposes of prosecuting domestic violence: spouse, former spouse, persons who have a child in common, or a male and female who live together or have lived together.