(Columbia) -- A proposal heading for the Senate floor would let voters decide whether to remove a line from the state Constitution that allows 14-year-old girls to consent to sex.
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the constitutional amendment Tuesday.
Senator Chip Campsen is sponsoring the bill. He called the provision a relic that contradicts state law, which sets the age of consent at 16 in most cases.
Prosecutor Trey Gowdy has said legislators are trying to fix a problem that doesn't exist. In 1936, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled the constitutional clause has no bearing on criminal law.
Gowdy says the 14-year-old "unmarried woman" provision also may violate the US Constitution's equal protection clause.