Justice: A federal appeals court has ruled that former Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, the anti-gay Kentucky clerk who refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses, must pay $224,000 in legal fees incurred for violating the civil rights of same-sex couples.
Friendly Atheist reports:
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that former Rowan County (KY) Clerk Kim Davis is responsible for paying nearly $225,000 in court costs and attorneys’ fees after losing a legal battle for defying the law when she refused to sign marriage licenses for same-sex couples.
Commenting on the decision, William E. Sharp, cooperating attorney for the ACLU of Kentucky, said:
The Court of Appeals correctly found that April Miller and the other ACLU clients prevailed by forcing the former Clerk to abandon her unlawful policy of withholding marriage licenses from the public. By affirming the sizeable fee award, the Court also sent a strong message to other government officials in Kentucky that it is not only unconstitutional to use public office to impose one’s personal religious views on others, but that it also can be a very expensive mistake.
BREAKING: A federal appeals court just upheld a ruling requiring Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, who refused to issue marriage licenses after marriage equality became the law, to pay $224,000 in attorney’s fees and costs.
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is responsible for paying. pic.twitter.com/PCMfBEy5wk
— ACLU (@ACLU) August 23, 2019
Previously, lawyers for Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin declared that former Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis must pay the $224,000 in legal fees incurred because she refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses.
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.
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 $224,000 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.