Same-Sex Marriage License

Ex-Clerk Who Refused Same-Sex Marriage License Ordered To Pay $260K For Denial

Kim Davis has been ordered by a federal judge to pay $260,104 in David Ermold and David Moore's attorney fees and expenses.

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, former Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis, who infamously refused to issue a same-sex marriage license in 2015, has been ordered by a federal judge to pay $260,104 in attorney fees and expenses to David Ermold and David Moore, the couple who won their lawsuit against her.

This ruling comes in addition to the $100,000 in damages previously awarded to the couple by a jury.

U.S. District Judge David L. Bunning dismissed arguments from Davis’ attorneys, stating that the fee request was not excessive. Bunning remarked that one claim by Davis’ lawyers was exaggerated, and another “belies logic.” The judge asserted that Davis must bear the legal costs for the couple who successfully sought to vindicate their fundamental right to marry.

“They sought to vindicate their fundamental right to marry and obtain marriage licenses,” said Bunning, who emphasized Ermold and Moore had successfully asserted their rights.

The Supreme Court had previously declined to hear an appeal by Davis, further solidifying the couple’s victory.

In addition to the lawyers’ fees, an additional $14,058 was granted for expenses. “We got every last penny that we asked for,” said Michael Garland, a lawyer for Ermold and Moore.

Davis, represented by attorneys from Liberty Counsel, a group specializing in conservative Christian religious freedom cases, plans to appeal Bunning’s ruling. This marks the latest development in a case that originated shortly after the Supreme Court granted same-sex couples the right to marry.

Davis, an evangelical Christian, cited her religious beliefs as the reason for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, a stance that led to legal action.

Despite Davis’ re-election loss in 2018, the legal battle continued, with the case involving Ermold, Moore, and another couple, James Yates and Will Smith. The recent judgment underscores the court’s stance that Davis cannot use her constitutional rights to violate the rights of others while performing her duties as an elected official.

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