Bigotry comes with a hefty price! A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court ruling in the case of four couples who were denied marriage licenses by Kim Davis. The federal panel announced on Friday, that the Commonwealth of Kentucky is responsible for paying the couples $225,000 in legal fees from their 2015 cases.
“The Court of Appeals correctly found that April Miller and the other ACLU clients prevailed by forcing the former Clerk to abandon her unlawful policy of withholding marriage licenses from the public,” William E. Sharp, cooperating attorney for the ACLU of Kentucky wrote in a statement. “By affirming the sizeable fee award, the Court also sent a strong message to other government officials in Kentucky that it is not only unconstitutional to use public office to impose one’s personal religious views on others, but that it also can be a very expensive mistake.”
Following the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision that made marriage equality the law of the land, Davis refused to issue a marriage license to same-sex couples citing “God’s authority.” U.S. District Judge David Bunning jailed Davis for several days for contempt of court as a result.
“Kim Davis was an outlier who has been replaced by Kentucky voters. This decision brings another form of vindication for the Rowan County couples who continued the good fight long after marriage equality became the law of the land,” said Ria Tabacco Mar, senior staff attorney for the ACLU.
The ACLU reports that both Rowan County and the Commonwealth of Kentucky have appealed the ruling.