Kentucky gay couple awarded $100,000 after being denied marriage license by clerk Kim Davis

Kim Davis

A gay couple has been awarded $100,000 by a federal jury after a former county clerk refused to give them a marriage license.

Kentucky couple David Ermold and David Moore sued clerk Kim Davis when she denied them a marriage license based on her belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman. 

Davis, a born-again Christian, first made headlines back in 2015 when she made a similar refusal to hand over a marriage license to a gay couple “under God’s authority”, which resulted in her being briefly sent to jail.

She was released after five days when her staff issued the marriage licenses but removed her name from the forms.

Mat Caver with Kim Davis and Mike Huckabee in 2015.
Former Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis, who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. (Getty Images)

In 2019, when Davis was first taken to court for denying Ermold and Moore a marriage license, she argued that she couldn’t be sued because she was protected by sovereign immunity from her 2015 lawsuit.

However, it was later ruled that, despite her sovereign immunity, Davis could be individually sued, so the couples affected began doing just that.

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Last year, District Judge David Bunning ruled that Davis had violated couples’ constitutional rights by refusing to give them marriage licenses.

This week, a follow-up trial was held in Ashland, Kentucky to decide the damages against Davis.

Following the trial, a jury determined that Ermold and Moore would be awarded $50,000 each, according to the Associated Press.

A second couple who sued Davis over her refusal to give them a marriage license, James Yates and Will Smith, were not awarded any damages.

Following this week’s ruling, Mat Staver of evangelical Christian law firm Liberty Council, which represented Davis, said that they “look forward to appealing this decision and taking this case to the US Supreme Court.”

Whether or not Davis will be able to appeal remains to be seen, since the US Supreme Court declined to hear a similar appeal from her lawyers back in 2020.