In a landmark case, a federal jury has awarded a gay couple $100,000 in damages after they were denied marriage. Here’s the full story.
David Ermold and David Moore, residents of Kentucky, found themselves at the center of a legal battle when former county clerk Kim Davis refused to issue them a marriage license due to her personal belief that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.
The saga began in 2015 when Davis, a born-again Christian, gained national attention by refusing to provide a marriage license to a gay couple “under God’s authority.”
Marriage Licenses Without Her Name
Her refusal led to her brief detention, which ended when her staff issued marriage licenses without her name on the forms.
Violation of Constitutional Rights
In 2019, Davis faced legal action from Ermold and Moore, who argued that her refusal to issue them a marriage license violated their constitutional rights.
Davis, however, claimed she couldn’t be sued due to sovereign immunity, stemming from her earlier 2015 lawsuit.
She Was Sued
The court eventually ruled that, despite her sovereign immunity, Davis could be individually sued, paving the way for couples like Ermold and Moore to seek legal recourse.
She Had Indeed Violated the Constitutional Rights
Last year, District Judge David Bunning issued a ruling affirming that Davis had indeed violated the constitutional rights of couples by denying them marriage licenses.
A follow-up trial was held this week to determine the damages owed to the affected couples.
$100,000 in Damages
After the trial, a federal jury ordered that David Ermold and David Moore should each receive $50,000 in damages, as reported by the Associated Press.
Not Everyone Was Awarded
Another couple, James Yates and Will Smith, who had also sued Davis over her refusal to issue them a marriage license, was not awarded any damages in this ruling.
Taking This Case to the US Supreme Court
Mat Staver, a representative from the evangelical Christian law firm Liberty Council, which represented Kim Davis, expressed the intention to appeal the decision.
Staver stated that they “look forward to appealing this decision and taking this case to the US Supreme Court.”
Social Media Users Expressed Their Views
Several social media users shared their thoughts on the incident.
One user wrote, “Well, that was an expensive take. Now they can have a big wedding.”
She Needs to Go Get Another Job
Another user added, “If her Christian convictions won’t allow her to be effective in her expected job duties, she needs to go get another job.”
A third user commented, “This is a can Obama opened and so far, there has been nothing but disaster. It is imperative that all those laws be reversed and every license canceled.”
Go Work for the Church
A fourth user wrote, “If others like her can’t fulfill their job duties then it’s time to hire those who will do their job. Go work for the church if you want but if you work for the government you can’t deny people their rights or force your opinion on citizens.”
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / astarot. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.