Kim Davis violated the rights of gay couples by refusing marriage licenses: NPR

0

A jury will decide whether former county clerk Kim Davis is liable for legal fees and other monetary damages after she refused to sign marriage certificates for same-sex couples in 2015.

Timothy D. Easley/AP


hide caption

toggle caption

Timothy D. Easley/AP


A jury will decide whether former county clerk Kim Davis is liable for legal fees and other monetary damages after she refused to sign marriage certificates for same-sex couples in 2015.

Timothy D. Easley/AP

Kim Davis — the former Kentucky court clerk whose refusal to sign marriage certificates for same-sex couples made national headlines in 2015 — violated their constitutional rights, a federal judge has found.

The decision leaves open the question of whether the former clerk is responsible for the legal costs of the two couples who sued and other monetary damages that have accumulated over the nearly seven years of legal back and forth.

A jury will decide whether Davis is liable for those costs and other damages, which likely amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“After SEVEN years, Judge Bunning has finally ruled that Kim Davis intentionally violated our constitutional rights,” David Ermold tweeted. He is one of the people initially denied a marriage license by Davis.

“Now the question is whether they will hold her financially responsible for the callous and irrational legal mess that SHE has created,” he said. “It feels like seven years of legal purgatory.”

The Liberty Counsel, which represents Davis, says it “will continue to argue that she is not liable for damages because she was entitled to religious accommodation (which Governor Mat Bevin and the Legislature granted). “

“Davis argues that a statement of liability would violate the First Amendment’s free exercise of religion,” says the attorney, a religious liberty organization that litigates cases involving evangelical Christian values.

Davis claims ‘authority from God’ to deny marriage licenses

The legal battle began in 2015 when Davis, in her capacity as county clerk, challenged the Supreme Court’s decision in Oberfell c. Hodges. It was the landmark decision that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.

She said distributing marriage licenses to these couples went against her beliefs as a member of the Apostolic Church, arguing that she could not give them a marriage license “under the authority of God”.

Her refusal quickly drew support from social conservatives and the ire of same-sex marriage advocates.

Ermold and now husband David Moore has been denied marriage licenses three times and another couple – James Yates and Will Smith – have been denied licenses four times. An assistant clerk finally approved their licenses while Davis spent five days in jail for contempt of court.

Both couples say the ordeal has caused mental anguish and emotional damage, among other issues.

Share.

Comments are closed.