CINCINNATI, Oh. - The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling Friday affirming the state of Kentucky is responsible for paying $224,000 in attorney's fees and costs in the case of couples who were refused marriage licenses by Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis.
“The Court of Appeals correctly found that April Miller and the other ACLU clients prevailed by forcing the former Clerk to abandon her unlawful policy of withholding marriage licenses from the public,” said William E. Sharp, cooperating attorney for the ACLU of Kentucky. “By affirming the sizeable fee award, the Court also sent a strong message to other government officials in Kentucky that it is not only unconstitutional to use public office to impose one’s personal religious views on others, but that it also can be a very expensive mistake.”
In 2015, Davis was the Rowan County Clerk and she refused it issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Kentucky filed a lawsuit on behalf of four Rowan County couples. Two years later, U.S. District Judge David Bunning ordered the Clerk's office to abandon its "no marriage license" policy clearing the way for the four couples and others, to get licenses. Davis also directed the Commonwealth of Kentucky to pay the couples' attorney's fees and costs which totaled $224,000. The state and Rowan County appealed the ruling says they should not be liable for the fees and costs.