Kim Davis, the former clerk in Kentucky who refused to sign marriage licenses for gay couples in 2015 after the legalisation of same-sex marriage, violated those couples’ constitutional rights, a federal judge found.
She said doing so was against her religious views in the Kentucky County Clerk’s office made international headlines at the time.
She denied David Ermold and now-husband David Moore a marriage license three times. The two men and one other same-sex couple sued her.
Seven years later, a federal judge has ruled in favour of the couples.
“It is this Court’s opinion that Davis violated Plaintiffs’ constitutional right to marry and the only remaining issue is the issue of damages,” US District Judge David Bunning declared.
A jury will now decide if the former clerk is responsible for damages and legal fees of the two couples.
“After S-E-V-E-N years, Judge Bunning finally ruled that Kim Davis intentionally violated our constitutional rights,” David Ermold tweeted.
“Now, the question is will they hold her financially responsible for the insensitive and irrational legal mess that SHE created.
“It feels like seven years of legal purgatory.”
Religious legal organisation the Liberty Counsel is representing Kim Davis.
The group have vowed to “continue to argue that she is not liable for damages because she was entitled to a religious accommodation (which Governor Mat Bevin and the legislature granted).”
“Davis argues that a finding of liability would violate the First Amendment Free Exercise of Religion,” the Counsel said.
Kim Davis denied marriage licenses ‘under God’s authority’
The long-running saga all started in 2015, after the landmark US Supreme Court ruling legalised same-sex marriage nationwide.
In her Kentucky office that same year, county clerk Kim Davis defied the ruling and refused to acknowledge it.
She said signing and handing over the marriage licenses to same-sex couples went against her beliefs as a member of the Apostolic Church.
Kim Davis argued that “under God’s authority” she couldn’t give the couples their marriage licenses.
A deputy clerk would later approve their licenses while Davis spent five days in jail for contempt of court.
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