A federal appeals court on Friday
ordered Kentucky to pay $224,000 in legal fees related to a former
clerk's refusal to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian
In 2015, Kim Davis, the former Rowan
County clerk, refused to issue the licenses by “God's authority”
after the Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell that gay couples
have a constitutional right to marry. Several couples successfully
Governor Matt Bevin argued that Davis,
not the state, should pay the fees.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. 6th
Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati upheld a lower court's order
stating that Kentucky must foot the bill because it is primarily
responsible for regulating marriage in the state.
In a separate ruling involving two
couples denied marriage licenses, the judges ruled that the couples
could not sue Davis in her former capacity as a county clerk, but
could sue her for damages as an individual.
Davis, a Republican, spent several days
in jail for refusing to comply with a judge's ruling ordering her to
issue the marriage licenses. Davis' stand has turned her into a