Kim Davis — the former Kentucky clerk who earned national notoriety after denying marriage licenses for same-sex weddings in 2015 — is back in the news again as a jury has ordered her to pay $100,000 to one of the couples who intentionally sought her out for their license.
Davis’ situation arose as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Obergefell v. Hodges to legalize homosexual marriages in all 50 states across the country. At the time, Davis was serving as clerk of Rowan County in eastern Kentucky and, based on her biblical beliefs on marriage, refused to sign marriage licenses for same-sex couples.
Listen to the latest episode of CBN’s Quick Start podcast 👇
The ex-clerk said she believes marriage is a biblical union between one man and one woman.
Upon learning about Davis and her personal convictions, partners David Ermold and David Moore made their way to her office, bringing with them a gaggle of reporters. Just as she had done with a prior couple, Will Smith and James Yates, Davis declined to sign their marriage license.
Her actions certainly did not go unnoticed. District Judge David Bunning held Davis in contempt of court and ordered her to jail for five days. She was ultimately released after one of her colleagues at the county clerk’s office authorized the marriage licenses sans Davis’ signature.
Both gay couples soon thereafter filed a lawsuit against Davis, who lost her re-election bid in 2018. Bunning, for his part, determined last year that the former clerk violated the couples’ constitutional rights.
At the time, Bunning explained, 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.”
The case bubbled to the top again this Wednesday, when a federal jury denied Davis’ qualified immunity defense and awarded $50,000 each to David Ermold and David Moore, totaling $100,000.
Chris Hartman, executive director the Fairness Campaign in Kentucky, said in a statement that “discriminatory actions have consequences.”
Liberty Council, the Christian legal advocacy group representing Davis, rebuked the verdict as “unsound” and based on “hurt feelings” rather than an actual constitutional harm.
“The plaintiffs instead created a shame case by intentionally targeting Kim Davis because of her religious beliefs,” LC said in a statement. “This is especially true of the Ermold plaintiffs, who never thought about getting ‘married’ until they heard about Kim Davis via social media.”
The faith-based legal company went on to state the attorneys representing Davis intend to appeal the federal jury decision all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary.
“Kim Davis has blazed the trail in Kentucky, where she has obtained religious freedom for all clerks,” said LC chair and founder Mat Staver. “Now it is time to extend that freedom to everyone, and that is what Liberty Counsel intends to do.”
***As the number of voices facing big-tech censorship continues to grow, please sign up for Faithwire’s daily newsletter and download the CBN News app, developed by our parent company, to stay up-to-date with the latest news from a distinctly Christian perspective.***