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Ex-clerk Kim Davis found guilty of violating gay couples’ rights by refusing to issue marriage licenses

Published Monday, Mar. 21st, 2022


Ex-county clerk Kim Davis has (finally) been found guilty of violating the rights of two same-sex couples back in 2015, when she refused to issue their marriage licenses because of religious objections.


The decision was reached on Friday by U.S. Judge David Bunning in the Eastern District of Kentucky, who wrote: 


"It is readily apparent that Obergefell recognizes Plaintiffs’ Fourteenth Amendment right to marry. It is also readily apparent that Davis made a conscious decision to violate Plaintiffs’ right." (via The Hill)


Now, a jury will decide if Davis is responsible for legal fees and damages caused by the case, which could cost her hundreds of thousands of dollars. (via NPR)


Kim Davis’s name first made the news in 2015, when she denied marriage licenses to same-sex couples – including David Ermold and David Moore, and James Yates and Will Smith – and then refused to issue licenses to any couples, in defiance of the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of marriage equality earlier that year. 


Several lawsuits were filed against Davis in the following months, and she was ordered to comply with the law. Davis continued to refuse, instructed six of her deputy clerks to refuse licenses for same-sex couples, and even filed a lawsuit against then-governor Steve Beshear. She was declared in contempt of court and placed in jail. (via CNN and Dallas Voice)


Related : Marriage Equality Turns Six -- Celebrating the Anniversary of Obergefell v. Hodges


At the time, the ex-clerk defended her actions by saying that gay marriage went against her religious beliefs, and that she was acting ‘under God’s authority.’ (via The Hill)


Friday’s ruling confirms once again that same-sex couples cannot (and should not!) be denied the right to marry because of other people’s religious beliefs. 


(Finally! If you think this issue should have been decided easily, several years ago, you’re not alone.)


Davis’s defense attorneys (with conservative law group The Liberty Counsel) are expected to argue that she’s not liable for damages because of a religious accommodation granted by the Kentucky legislature and Governor Mat Bevin. (via NPR)



Get the full scoop in Brad Dress’ article for The Hill and Jaclyn Diaz's article for NPR. 






How can you help protect marriage equality in your community? 


Same-sex couples and other LGBTQ+ couples continue to face discrimination in towns and cities across the country, in Kentucky and elsewhere.


You can help create safe and inclusive spaces for LGBTQ+ folks by becoming an ordained AMM Minister. Our ministers are authorized to perform wedding ceremonies, funerals and memorial services, baby blessings, and other important ceremonies. 



Get ordained 



Get ordained online with American Marriage Ministries and learn how to perform weddings for friends and family members anywhere in the US.



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