Kentucky Taxpayers Must Foot $225,000 Bill for Kim Davis’s Anti-Gay Bigotry: Judge – Towleroad

The taxpayers of the state of Kentucky must pay $225,000 in legal fees and court costs in a case brought against Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis by gay couples refused marriage licenses. In 2015, Davis refused to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples because of her her Christian beliefs.

The Herald-Leader reports:

Although Kentucky county clerks are elected at the county level, the Rowan County Fiscal Court had no influence over Davis’ decision in summer 2015 to protest the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States by refusing to issue marriage licenses to anyone, U.S. District Judge David Bunning wrote in his decision. Therefore, it would be unfair to hold the county government responsible for her actions, Bunning wrote.

By contrast, Bunning wrote, Davis’ authority to issue marriage licenses was awarded to her by the state government.

And had the state chosen to, Bunning wrote, it could have pursued criminal penalties against Davis for official misconduct — then-Attorney General Jack Conway, running for governor in 2015, refused a formal request to do so — or the legislature could have impeached her and removed her from office. Instead, the legislature “modified the marriage license form to appease Davis” by removing county clerks’ names as she requested, he wrote.

Because the couples won their suit against Davis when she was acting as a “public official” she’s not being held personally liable for the fees.

Represented by anti-gay litigation group the Liberty Counsel, Davis’s lawyers had argued that she shouldn’t have to pay because the issue became moot when the Kentucky legislature did as Davis asked and removed county clerks’ names from state marriage licenses. However, lawyers for the plaintiffs said they were compelled to sue because Davis violated the law.

Liberty Counsel said it would appeal the decision…

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