Scroll To Top

Kim Davis Must Pay Damages to One Gay Couple, Doesn't Have to Pay Another

Kim Davis Must Pay Damages to One Gay Couple, Doesn't Have to Pay Another

<p>Kim Davis Must Pay Damages to One Gay Couple, Doesn't Have to Pay Another</p>

A jury awarded damages to one couple, but another jury didn't award anything to a different couple.

A gay Kentucky couple denied a marriage license by former county clerk Kim Davis in 2015 was awarded $100,000 by a federal jury on Wednesday. David Ermold and David Moore were awarded $50,000 each following a three-day trial. However, James Yates and Will Smith, a gay couple similarly denied a marriage license by Davis, were awarded nothing by a separate jury hearing the case.

Joseph Buckles, an attorney for Ermold and Moore, praised presiding U.S. District Judge David L. Bunning when speaking with reporters following the verdict, as reported by the Lexington Herald Leader.

“There’s been a lot of media attention, and the judge had a tough job to try to pick fair and impartial jurors and I think he did a great job,” Buckles said of Bunning.

The two couples sued Davis after she repeatedly refused to issue them marriage licenses as the clerk of Rowan County beginning in 2015.

In March last year, Bunning ruled in their favor, saying Davis violated their constitutional rights.

“Davis cannot use her own constitutional rights as a shield to violate the constitutional rights of others while performing her duties as an elected official,” Bunning wrote in his decision.

Davis appealed the ruling to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, but it was denied and sent back to Bunning and a jury to determine damages.

Following the Obergefell v. Hodges U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2015 recognizing marriage equality, Davis refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, saying it would violate her protected religious beliefs. Indeed, she shut down all marriage license operations in her office to avoid serving same-sex couples.

Yates and Smith were denied a license five times by Davis. Ermold and Moore were denied three times. On their last attempt, Davis said she was acting “under God's authority” in denying the license, according to court records.

A deputy clerk issued the licenses after Davis was sent to jail for her actions.

Davis was represented by attorneys with Liberty Counsel. Founder and chairman Mat Staver promised an appeal of the verdict in favor of Ermold and Moore.

“We look forward to appealing this decision and taking this case to the U.S. Supreme Court,” Staver said in a statement. “Kim Davis has blazed the trail in Kentucky where she has obtained religious freedom for all clerks. Now it is time to extend that freedom to everyone, and that is what Liberty Counsel intends to do.”

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Donald Padgett