Lawyers for Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin say former Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis must pay $222,000 in legal fees incurred because she refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses.
Bevin, a conservative Christian, once pledged his support to Davis, but now his lawyers are claiming Davis must pay.
The Lexington Herald Leader reports:
Citing “conduct that violates civil rights,” lawyers for Gov. Matt Bevin say former Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis should be held responsible for nearly $225,000 in legal fees and court costs incurred by couples who sued her in 2015 when she refused to issue marriage licenses because of her religious opposition to same-sex marriage.
Writing in a legal brief, Bevin attorney Palmer G. Vance II stated:
Her local policy stood in direct conflict with her statutory obligation to issue marriage licenses to qualified Kentucky couples. The local policy also undermined the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s interest in upholding the rule of law.
Davis had an independent and sworn duty to uphold the law as an elected county officer. If fees are awarded, they must be the responsibility of the Rowan County clerk’s office, which should be deterred from engaging in conduct that violates civil rights — and leads to costly litigation.
Davis made national headlines for her refusal to issue marriage licenses to gay couples after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in June of 2015.
In 2015 Davis spent five days behind bars for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses — something she was legally obligated to do under state and federal law.
An Apostolic Christian, Davis claimed that issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples would violate her deeply held religious beliefs.
Previously, before going to jail, in an exclusive interview to Fox News, Davis said:
I’ve weighed the cost and I’m prepared to go to jail, I sure am. This has never been a gay or lesbian issue for me. This is about upholding the word of God.
This is a heaven or hell issue for me and for every other Christian that believes. This is a fight worth fighting.
Davis became a Christian martyr after refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. In fact, the anti-gay county clerk from Kentucky who went to jail in a futile attempt to prevent same-sex marriage was honored with the 2015 “Cost of Discipleship Award” at the Values Voter Summit in Washington D.C.
However, Davis lost her bid for re-election in 2018.
Bottom line: Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who went to jail rather than give gays a marriage license, must pay $222,000 in legal fees incurred because she refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses and in so doing violated the civil rights of same-sex couples trying to get married.