Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, could be left with US$225,000 in legal bills.
Lawyers for Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin said Davis should personally be held responsible for the costs of court battles after same-sex couples sued her.
They cited ‘conduct that violates civil rights’, according to the Lexington Herald Leader.
Davis made headlines around the world in August 2015 when she was briefly jailed for refusing to issue a marriage license to a gay couple in Kentucky. Davis claimed to be acting on ‘God’s authority’.
This was after the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage across the US. She recently stood by her anti-gay position.
Five same-sex couples sued her. A judge, therefore, ordered her to issue the licenses but she refused to comply.
In September 2015, a judge sentenced her to jail. But, the prison released her after five days. Importantly, as she held an elected official position, the clerk office could not fire her and she returned to work.
In last year’s midterm elections, however, voters ousted her from office.
‘An inspiration to the children of America’
A district judge ruled in 2017 that the state of Kentucky must pay their fees and costs.
But, on Thursday, a Cincinnati court will hear arguments on who should bear the costs.
Republican Governor Matt Bevin previously spoke out in support of Davis. He called her ‘an inspiration … to the children of America’.
But, his lawyers think differently.
‘Her local policy stood in direct conflict with her statutory obligation to issue marriage licenses to qualified Kentucky couples’ Bevin attorney Palmer G. Vance II wrote in one brief.
‘Davis had an independent and sworn duty to uphold the law as an elected county officer’
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Author: Rik Glauert