Kim Davis ordered to pay $260,000 in fees for refusing to marry same-sex couple

Former county clerk Kim Davis, who refused to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples in Kentucky, must pay more than $260,000 (£206,000) in legal fees and expenses after one couple sued her. 

That’s on top of the $100,000 (£79,000) in damages already awarded to David Ermold and David Moore.

The gay couple took the former Rowan County clerk to court in 2015 after she declined to issue them a marriage licence. 

Davis’ legal woes began that year when she started denying marriage licences to queer couples – despite a landmark Supreme Court ruling that legalised same-sex marriage across the US.

In September, US district judge David Bunning issued a ruling, awarding Ermold and Moore $50,000 each

Now, Davis must pay an additional $246,026 (£195,000) in attorney fees and $14,058 (£11,130) in expenses.

Michael Garland, part of the legal team representing Ermold and Moore, told USA Today in September that his clients “couldn’t be happier” with the ruling. 

Davis’ legal team argued that the fees and costs sought by the couple’s attorneys were excessive, but Bunning disagreed. The judge said Davis must pay the fees and costs because the couple prevailed in their lawsuit, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported. 

It’s likely that attorneys for Davis will appeal against the decision. 

Davis drew international media attention when she was briefly jailed in 2015 over her refusal to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples. She argued that doing so would violate her religious beliefs as a Christian as well as “God’s definition of marriage”. 

To add to her troubles, Davis lost her bid for re-election as county clerk in 2018. 

In March 2022, Bunning wrote in a memorandum and opinion that Davis had violated the plaintiffs’ constitutional right to marry

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