(RepublicanJournal.org) – A Kentucky county clerk who made national news after refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples has been hit with a massive legal bill. Kim Davis denied licenses to at least six couples, who sued her in 2015. Her case went all the way to the Supreme Court and ended with her being jailed for contempt of court. Now she’s also been handed the bill for the long legal battle.
Davis was elected as county clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, in 2014, taking over the job from her mother. A year later the Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v Hodges that the Constitution guarantees the right to same-sex marriage, and Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear (D) ordered all clerks in his state to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
However, Davis — who had run for election as a Democrat, then switched to the Republican Party — asked Beshear for an executive order protecting clerks who have moral objections to non-traditional marriages. While she waited for a response she refused to let her office issue any marriage licenses, avoiding accusations of discrimination against same-sex couples by denying them to traditional couples as well.
In July 2015, the ACLU and four couples — two of them same-sex — filed a lawsuit against Davis for failing to carry out her duties as county clerk. In August, a US district court ordered her to issue licenses to all qualifying couples; the Sixth Circuit Court and the US Supreme Court refused to hear her appeals, and when she didn’t comply with the ruling she was held in contempt of court and jailed for a week. After her release she allowed her clerks to issue licenses.
On January 2, US Judge David L Bunning — the same judge who jailed her in 2015 — ruled that Davis must pay over $260,000 in fees and expenses to the attorneys of one couple who sued her. This is on top of the $100,000 compensation the couple was awarded last September. Kim Davis stuck to her principles, but her stand has turned out to be an expensive gesture.
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