UNITED STATES NEWS

Jury awards $100,000 to Kentucky couple denied marriage license by ex-County Clerk Kim Davis

Sep 13, 2023, 2:58 PM | Updated: 4:02 pm

A federal jury has awarded $100,000 to a Kentucky couple who sued former county clerk Kim Davis over her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Davis, the former Rowan County clerk, drew international attention when she was briefly jailed in 2015 over her refusal, which she based on her belief that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.

A jury in Ashland, Kentucky, awarded David Ermold and David Moore each $50,000 after deliberating on Wednesday, according to lawyers for Davis. A second couple who sued, James Yates and Will Smith, were awarded no damages on Wednesday by U.S. District Judge David Bunning.

Bunning sent Davis to jail for five days in 2015 after holding her in contempt of court. She was parodied on Saturday Night Live and embraced by conservative politicians who traveled to Kentucky to support her.

Davis was released only after her staff issued the licenses on her behalf but removed her name from the form. Kentucky’s state legislature later enacted a law removing the names of all county clerks from state marriage licenses.

Bunning ruled last year that Davis violated the constitutional rights of the two couples. In the ruling, Bunning reasoned that 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 trials held this week were held to decide damages against Davis. The former clerk had argued that a legal doctrine called qualified immunity protected her from being sued for damages by the couples.

Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel, which represented Davis in the case, said in a release Wednesday they “look forward to appealing this decision and taking this case to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from Davis’ lawyers in the case in 2020.

Ermold and Moore had a highly publicized showdown with Davis at the Rowan County clerk’s office in 2015 after they asked for a marriage license with news cameras surrounding them. When she refused, Moore asked under whose authority was she acting. She replied, “under God’s authority.”

Ermold unsuccessfully ran for clerk of Rowan County in 2018, when Davis was defeated by another Democrat. Before running, Ermold and Moore returned to Davis’ office to file to run for clerk, and Davis, who handled election filings, helped Ermold during a brief but cordial meeting.

United States News

Associated Press

The Latest | Israeli strikes in Rafah kill at least 5

Palestinian hospital officials say Israeli airstrikes on the southern city of Rafah in the Gaza Strip have killed at least five people. Among those killed in the strikes overnight and into Thursday were two children, identified in hospital records as Sham Najjar, 6, and Jamal Nabahan, 8. More than half of the territory’s population of […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Colleges nationwide turn to police to quell pro-Palestine protests as commencement ceremonies near

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — With graduations looming, student protesters doubled down early Thursday on their discontent of the Israel-Hamas war on campuses across the country as universities, including ones in California and Texas, have become quick to call in the police to end the demonstrations and make arrests. While grappling with growing protests from coast […]

4 hours ago

Anti-Abortion activists rally outside the Supreme Court, Wednesday, April 24, 2024, in Washington. ...

Associated Press

Supreme Court justices unconvinced state abortion bans conflict with federal health care law

Conservative Supreme Court justices are skeptical that state abortion bans enacted after the overturning of Roe v. Wade violate federal law.

9 hours ago

Lisa Pisano looks at photos of her dog after her surgeries at NYU Langone Health in New York on Mon...

Associated Press

New Jersey woman becomes second patient to receive kidney from gene-edited pig

A New Jersey woman who was near death received a transplanted pig kidney that stabilized her failing heart.

10 hours ago

Associated Press

Instagram fraudster ‘Jay Mazini’ has been sentenced for his crypto scheme that preyed on Muslims

NEW YORK (AP) — The former Instagram influencer known as “ swindled millions of dollars from online followers and a network of Muslims during the pandemic was sentenced to seven years in prison on Wednesday, prosecutors said. Jebara Igbara, 28, of New Jersey, had pleaded guilty to fraud charges, admitting that he created a Ponzi […]

10 hours ago

Associated Press

Connecticut Senate passes wide-ranging bill to regulate AI. But its fate remains uncertain

HARTFORD (AP) — The Connecticut Senate pressed ahead Wednesday with one of the first major legislative proposals in the U.S. to reign in bias in artificial intelligence decision-making and protect people from harm, including manufactured videos or deepfakes. The vote was held despite concerns the bill might stifle innovation, become a burden for small businesses […]

10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Jury awards $100,000 to Kentucky couple denied marriage license by ex-County Clerk Kim Davis