Federal court rules Kentucky will pay for attorney’s fees in Kim Davis, LGBTQ marriage license case

Federal court rules Kentucky will pay for attorney’s fees in Kim Davis, LGBTQ marriage license case
A federal appeals court has upheld a lower ruling awarding $224,000 in attorney’s fees and costs in the case of couples who were refused marriage licenses by former Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis. (Source: WAVE 3 News Archives)

CINCINNATI, OH. (WAVE) - A federal appeals court has upheld a lower ruling awarding $224,000 in attorney’s fees and costs in the case of couples who were refused marriage licenses by Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis.

The federal panel agreed with a lower court that the Commonwealth of Kentucky is responsible for paying the award.

In 2015, then-Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis refused to issue marriage licenses to any eligible couples, same-sex or different-sex, after the freedom to marry was extended to all couples.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of four Rowan County couples. A short time later, a U.S. District Court Judge forced the Clerk’s office to abandon its “no marriage license” policy, thus allowing the ACLU clients, and others, to receive the marriage licenses to which they were legally entitled.

U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning subsequently directed the Commonwealth of Kentucky to pay the couples’ attorney’s fees and costs totaling $224,000. Both Rowan County and the Commonwealth of Kentucky appealed the ruling, seeking to avoid responsibility for the fees. That ruling was upheld on Tuesday.

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