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A federal jury awarded $100,000 to a gay couple who sued former Kentucky clerk Kim Davis over her notorious 2015 refusal to grant them a marriage license due to their sexual orientation.
Davis, who served as a Rowan County clerk at the time, was found guilty of violating the couple’s constitutional rights last year and even spent five days in the slammer in 2015 over her denial.
The ex-clerk refused to grant two couples marriage licenses — based on her own personal belief that marriage should only be between a man and woman rather than the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage across the US the same year — and both couples sued her.
A jury in Ashland awarded one of the couples, David Ermold and David Moore, $50,000 per person on Wednesday, according to Davis’ lawyers.
The second couple, James Yates and Will Smith, were awarded no damages on Wednesday by US District Judge David Bunning.
Bunning was the same judge who sentenced Davis to jail in 2015 after holding her in contempt of court. She was let out five days later after her staffers issued the licenses themselves while removing her name from the documents.
The case drew national media attention after Ermold and Moore showed up at Davis’ office asking for a marriage license with news cameras in tow. Davis refused, prompting Moore to ask under whose authority she had the power to refuse them the right to marry.
“Under God’s authority,” she replied.
The clerk — who was voted out of the job in 2018 — was parodied on an episode of “Saturday Night Live” but championed by conservatives who arrived in Kentucky to support her.
Last year, Bunning ruled 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.”
Davis’ attorney said they plan to appeal Wednesday’s decision and take the case to the Supreme Court, which in 2020 denied to review a previous appeal they filed.
With Post wires