A federal jury has awarded $100,000 to a gay couple who sued former Kentucky Secretary Kim Davis over her notorious refusal in 2015 to grant them a marriage license because of their sexual orientation.
Davis, who was serving as Rowan County Clerk at the time, was found guilty of violating the couple’s constitutional rights last year and even spent five days in jail in 2015 for her denial.
The former secretary refused to grant marriage licenses to two couples, based on her personal belief that marriage should only be between a man and a woman rather than the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized marriage between people of the same sex throughout the United States the same year, and both couples sued her.
An Ashland jury on Wednesday awarded one of the couples, David Ermold and David Moore, $50,000 each, according to Davis’ attorneys.
The second couple, James Yates and Will Smith, were not awarded damages Wednesday by U.S. District Judge David Bunning.
Bunning was the same judge who sentenced Davis to prison in 2015 after finding her in contempt of court. She was let out five days later, after her staff issued her licenses and removed her name from her documents.
Kim Davis was convicted of contempt of court in 2015 and spent five days behind bars. EPA
The case attracted national media attention after Ermold and Moore showed up at Davis’ office asking for a marriage license with news cameras in tow. Davis refused, prompting Moore to ask under what authority he had the power to deny them the right to marry.
“Under the authority of God,” she replied.
The employee, who was removed from the position in 2018, was parodied in an episode of “Saturday Night Live,” but defended by conservatives who came to Kentucky to support her.
Last year, Bunning ruled that Davis “may not use her own constitutional rights as a shield to violate the constitutional rights of others while carrying out her duties as an elected official.”
Davis was mocked on an episode of “SNL,” but gained support from Christian conservatives when his denial gained national attention in 2015. REUTERS
Davis’ attorney said they plan to appeal Wednesday’s decision and take the case to the Supreme Court, which in 2020 declined to review an earlier appeal they filed.
With post cables