News (USA)

Kim Davis must now pay $260K more to the gay couple she denied a marriage license to

Kim Davis
Kim Davis at a press conference following her release from jail. Photo: Screenshot

A federal judge has ruled that anti-LGBTQ+ activist Kim Davis must pay $260,000 in legal fees to a same-sex couple that she infamously denied a marriage license to in 2015. This amount is in addition to the $100,000 award she was ordered to pay the couple last September.

Davis’s attorneys said that the fees sought by the couple’s attorneys were “excessive,” according to The Guardian. But U.S. district judge David L. Bunning said that she must pay anyway since the male same-sex couple won their discrimination lawsuit against her last year. Her lawyers have pledged to appeal both of the judge’s decisions in favor of the gay couple.

Davis, a conservative Christian who has been married four times, refused to provide marriage licenses to gay couples in 2015 after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. Davis told the couple in question that she was acting “under God’s authority” when she refused to issue the license because she believes marriage is only between a man and a woman.

in 2022, Bunning ruled that Davis “cannot use her own constitutional rights [to religious freedom] as a shield to violate the constitutional rights of others while performing her duties as an elected official.”

Davis or someone in her office denied marriage licenses multiple times to at least two same-sex couples. Eventually, the couples received them from a deputy clerk while Davis was jailed for five days for contempt of court. She was released when her staff issued the licenses on her behalf with Davis’ name removed from the documents. Shortly thereafter, Kentucky’s state legislature passed a law removing county clerks’ names from state marriage licenses altogether.

Nevertheless, at least one couple sued Davis for the “mental anguish, emotional distress, humiliation, and reputation damages” that she allegedly caused.

Initially, then-Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) praised Davis as “an inspiration… to the children of America,” but when the court said the state government would have to pay for her legal fees, Bevin appealed to get Davis to pay the fees instead.

Davis — who was pregnant by her third husband while still married to her first — was represented by the anti-LGBTQ Liberty Counsel, a Southern Poverty Law Center (SLPC) designated hate group that opposes any expansion of LGBTQ+ civil rights.

The Liberty Counsel has claimed that LGBTQ+ “pedophiles” seek to “indoctrinate” kids and society at large to embrace and reward “perversion” and “harmful sexual behavior.” The group says same-sex marriage causes disease and destroys “our very social fabric.” It also calls homosexuals “immoral” and “unnatural,” the SLPC noted.

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