Kim Davis, Antigay Kentucky Clerk, Must Pay $100K for Refusing Same Sex Marriage License

Kim Davis, Kentucky County Clerk who denied gay couple marriage license, must pay them $100,000


Kim Davis, former Kentucky county clerk


A former Kentucky county clerk must pay $100,000 to a gay couple she denied a marriage license, a federal jury decided on Thursday.

Kim Davis, formerly the Rowan County clerk, attracted international attention when she refused to issue the license after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in 2015, landing her in jail on a contempt of court charge for five days.

Following jury deliberations, Davis was ordered to pay $50,000 each to David Ermold and David Moore, according to Davis’ lawyers.

My clients couldn’t be happier,” Michael Gartland of Del Cotto Law Group, who represented the couple, told USA TODAY.

Another couple behind a second lawsuit against Davis, were not awarded any money. “I was actually shocked that they got nothing. Literally shocked,” Gartland said. “I guess the only the only thing I can say is, it’s got to be that the jury saw it differently.”

Reached for comment, Liberty Counsel, the law firm representing Davis, referred USA TODAY to a press release in which lawyer Mat Staver said, “We look forward to appealing this decision and taking this case to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

The Supreme Court already declined to take up an appeal from Davis’ in the case in 2020, but Justice Clarence Thomas wrote on behalf of himself and Justice Samuel Alito that he believed it was a “stark reminder of the consequences” of the Supreme Court’s legalization of gay marriage in June 2015.

“My guess is the case goes on for another year to two years,” said Gartland. “I will be seeking to collect the judgment against her unless she pulls it off. And that might include a lawsuit against her counsel.”

Violation of Rights

  U.S. District Judge David Bunning ruled last year that Davis had violated both couples’ constitutional rights under the 14th Amendment and the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges, the Louisville Courier-Journal, part of the USA TODAY Network, reported.

In his ruling, Bunning wrote that Davis “cannot use her own constitutional rights as a shield to violate the constitutional rights of others while performing her duties as an elected official.”

Davis drew praise of from conservative and Christian figures when she went to jail rather than issue licenses to gay couples, citing her religious belief that marriage is between a man and a woman.

At the time, Republican hopefuls for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination were quick to rally around Davis. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee appeared with her as she walked out of jail.

Davis lost her bid for re-election as county clerk in 2018, AP reported. Ermold, one of the plaintiffs, also unsuccessfully ran for her seat, which was taken by Democrat Elwood Caudill Jr.

Cybele Mayes-Osterman is a breaking news reporter for USA TODAY. Reach her on email at Follow her on X @CybeleMO.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY

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