Clerk Must Pay Massive Fees In Gay Marriage Case

A former clerk in Kentucky who refused to give out marriage licenses to same-sex couples following the 2015 landmark Supreme Court decision regarding gay marriage was ordered to pay more than $260,000 in fees.

On Tuesday, a federal judge said that Kim Davis, who became a “face” of the fight against gay marriage, is responsible for a total of $260,104 in attorneys’ fees, which is in addition to the $100,000 in damages she must pay to a same-sex couple to whom she refused to issue a marriage license.

Davis’ legal team argued that the attorneys’ fees were excessive, but David Bunning, the U.S. District judge overseeing the case, ruled that her attorneys exaggerated and “belie[d] logic.”

In his ruling, Bunning wrote about David Moore and David Ermold, the same-sex couple who sued Davis for refusing to issue them a marriage certificate: “They sought to vindicate their fundamental right to marry and obtain marriage licenses, and they did so.”

In 2015, Davis was serving as the Rowan County clerk in Kentucky when she refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, despite the high court’s landmark Obergefell v. Hodges decision.

In that case, the justices said the U.S. Constitution provides a guarantee that all couples can get married, regardless of their sexual orientation.

The incident quickly went viral when reporters and protesters followed Moore and Ermold into the Rowan County Courthouse as they were seeking a marriage certificate. Davis was featured prominently in a video refusing to issue the certificate.

Davis, who is an evangelical Christian, tried to get around issuing the certificates to same-sex couples by not issuing a certificate to any couple at all. In the video, Ermold can be seen asking Davis “under whose authority” she was refusing to issue the license, and she said, “Under God’s authority.”

As a result of her actions, Davis spent five days in jail on contempt of court charges. While she was behind bars, the deputy county clerk issued the marriage license to the couple.

Eventually, Moore and Ermold as well as another same-sex couple, sued Davis for her actions. While Moore and Ermold won their case and were awarded damages, the other couple did not.