US politician might end up paying $2m for fight against marriage equality

The Governor of Kentucky may be made to pay over $2 million in legal fees after his predecessor fought against marriage equality.

Governor Matt Bevin could inherit the legal bill of $2,091,297, from a team of nine lawyers who successfully fought to legalise same-sex marriage in a case that went to the Supreme Court.

The former Governor Steve Beshear, a Democrat, previously hired outside attorneys to defend the state’s ban when his attorney general refused to do so, has negotiated on the price to pay.

According to the Courier Journal, Beshear in November offered “barely more than a quarter of what they were seeking.”

Pro-equal marriage attorney Laura Landenwich called Beshear’s settlement offer of $581,000 “infuriating”.

Federal law in the US requires the losing side in a civil rights case to pay a “reasonable” amount of the winning side’s legal fees.

According to the pro-equality attorneys, they argued an “exceedingly novel and complex” case, and that they should be entitled to a bonus on top of the $1,125,929 they are owed in direct fees.

The case argued by the nine attorneys was consolidated with several others and became Obergefell v. Hodges, which went on to the Supreme Court legalising equal marriage across all 50 US states.