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Cost to fight gay marriage? South Carolina may have to pay $153K

COLUMBIA, South Carolina -- The private lawyers who won the historic Charleston gay marriage lawsuit against Attorney General Alan Wilson have filed a petition in federal court seeking $152,709 in attorneys’ fees.

Their fees, if approved by the courts, would presumably be paid by S.C. taxpayers out of the state’s general fund..

The fees would not go to the winning lawyers but instead to the gay rights groups that hired the private lawyers to sue Wilson. Those groups are Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund and the S.C. Equality Coalition, according to one of the private lawyers, Malissa Burnette of Columbia.

Paying taxpayer dollars to gay rights groups would put Wilson – an avowed opponent of such rights at least when it comes to same-sex marriage – in the ironic position of having gambled he could stop gay marriage in South Carolina, but losing in such a way that resulted in public money going to gay causes.

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