Former Kentucky Clerk Ordered To Pay Gay Couples’ Fees

Kim Davis, the former Kentucky county clerk who made headlines almost nine years ago for refusing a gay couple a marriage license, has been ordered by a federal judge to pay over $260,000 in legal fees for the couples’ attorneys.

U.S. District Judge David L. Bunning awarded $246,026.40 to be paid in attorneys’ fees and $14,058.30 in expenses for David Ermold and David Moore’s attorneys.

Davis made news nationwide in 2015 when she refused to give a marriage license to a gay couple in Rowan County, citing her Christian values. She said that signing her name on the marriage license would violate her rights. When asked by Ermold under whose authority she was to deny them the right to marry, she stated, “Under God’s authority.”

For her refusal to comply, Davis spent five days in jail and her name removed from the couple’s marriage license.

Last September, Davis was ordered to pay an additional $100,000 in damages after Ermold and Moore sued her in a lawsuit.

Liberty Counsel, a Christian organization, represented Davis. They stated that Davis “was entitled to an accommodation” in her Christian values, citing the First Amendment, which was overlooked.

The organization also said that when Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) took office in December 2015, he signed an executive order granting religious accommodations to all clerks and, in April 2016, extended it to all clerks issuing marriage licenses.

According to a news release Tuesday, Liberty Counsel plans to file a motion this month to ask the U.S. District Court to reverse the jury’s verdict.

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver stated that Davis’ case could potentially allow elected officials nationwide to not have to compromise their religious beliefs.

“This case is far from over,” he said. “Because of Kim Davis, every clerk in Kentucky now has the freedom to serve as an elected official without compromising their religious convictions and conscience. This case has the potential to extend the same religious freedom protections beyond Kentucky and to overturn Obergefell v. Hodges, which was wrongly decided and should be overturned.”

Another gay couple also sued Davis, but according to WKYT, a separate jury did not award them damages.