Kentucky clerk Kim Davis made national news as she refused to marry same-sex couples, despite gay marriage being state law. Davis fought Kentucky and felt persecuted because of her Christian beliefs. Davis spent a brief time in jail and lost her battle with the state.
Her battle made her a hero for many conservative Christians. Mike Hukabee and Ted Cruz publicly supported her to appeal to their conservative base.
Because Davis tried to prevent four couples from being married, they all sued her for not giving them their legal marriage license. The legal battle cost the couples a total of $222,625 in legal fees. Instead of Davis paying these fees from her own illegal actions, U.S. District Judge David Bunning ruled that the state of Kentucky will pay them instead.
So basically, a state employee refuses to grant a legal marriage license to some couples and all of the state has to pay instead of the person (Kim Davis) who did the illegal act. That doesn’t seem fair. What was the reasoning of David Bunning?
“Davis represented the Commonwealth of Kentucky when she refused to issue marriage licenses to legally eligible couples. The plaintiffs prevailed by every measure of victory. Plaintiffs obtained marriage licenses that could not be revoked. And two of the plaintiff-couples married on those licenses. That is enduring relief. There is nothing more the court could do.”
ACLU Legal Director William Sharpe was happy that those couples eventually got their marriage licenses, but didn’t think it was fair that taxpayers had to cover the expenses of the ordeal.
“It is unfortunate that Kentucky taxpayers will likely bear the financial burden of the unlawful actions and litigation strategies of an elected official.”
This definitely is an another unfortunate consequence of the Kim Davis saga. Fighting against the bigotry of Kim Davis ultimately cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. But the good news is at least they won the case!