A federal judge said Friday that former
Rowan County, Kentucky clerk Kim Davis violated the constitutional
rights of two same-sex couples when she refused to marry them in
The couples filed civil suits against
Davis, who has since left the post.
U.S. District Judge David Bunning said
in an opinion that Davis had “violated Plaintiffs' constitutional
right to marry and the only remaining issue is the issue of damages.”
Bunning said that a jury would decide
Soon after the Supreme Court in June
2015 struck down state laws and constitutional amendments that define
marriage as a heterosexual union, Davis refused to issue marriage
licenses to gay and lesbian couples, saying that doing so would
violate her Christian beliefs.
Plaintiffs in the case are David Ermold
and David Moore and James Yates and William Smith. Both couples were
denied marriage licenses multiple times by Davis or her office.
Davis is represented by Liberty
Counsel, a conservative group opposed to LGBTQ rights.
The group's chairman, Mat Staver, said
in a statement that they would appeal the decision.
“This case raises serious First
Amendment free exercise of religion claims and has a high potential
of reaching the Supreme Court,” Staver said.
The district court previously allowed
Davis to be sued as an individual, but not her previous capacity as
county clerk, local
CBS affiliate WKYT reported.