Christian bigot Kim Davis owes $100,000 to the gay men whose marriage license she denied
Kim Davis, who's been married four times, refused to do her job to protect the sanctity of marriage
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I’ll be honest: I didn’t even realize the Kim Davis situation was still ongoing.
But the former Rowan County clerk who defied the law in 2015 when she refused to sign marriage licenses for same-sex couples will now have to pay $100,000 to one of the couples whose civil rights she blocked.
A Kentucky jury ruled this week that Davis owed David Ermold and David Moore $50,000 each. (A different jury decided that another same-sex couple was owed no damages from Davis. It’s not clear why Davis escaped punishment in that case.)
U.S. District Judge David Bunning ruled last year that Davis violated the two couples’ constitutional rights by refusing to grant them marriage licenses shortly after the high court’s Obergefell decision. Jury trials determining damages took place this week.
Davis’ lawyers had argued she had qualified immunity and couldn’t be sued, but the National Conference of State Legislatures says that kind of protection no longer applies when a government official violates a “clearly established constitutional right.” Given that same-sex marriage was a constitutional right when she refused to sign the certificate, she chose to break the law. She fucked around, and now she’s finding out.
While the $100,000 isn’t nothing, and it’s precisely what the couple had asked for, it might be more symbolic than useful. The couple whose rights she denied will forever be linked with her Christian bigotry. You can’t talk about their wedding without mentioning her name. $100,000 will help ease the pain but it won’t erase it.
Joseph Buckles, one of the lawyers representing Ermold and Moore, said his clients sought damages due to the mental anguish they suffered. He said he and his co-counsel plan to file a motion for their attorney’s fees as well. The jury awarded Ermold and Moore the total amount they asked for.
“You can’t Google their name without seeing ‘Kim Davis.’ Anything they do, it’s not in a vacuum. It’s in the Kim Davis shadow,” Buckles said. “It’s extremely emotional for my clients. The jury saw that, and they agreed.”
Davis’ lawyers at Liberty Counsel say they plan to appeal the decision, which is predictable, but there’s no reason to believe this ruling will be overturned. It’s not like it’s controversial in a legal sense. Still, that means we haven’t heard the last of Davis.
But it does give me one more chance to remind everyone of just how hypocritical Davis is.
This is a woman who, in chronological order, married Husband 1, had twins with Husband 3, divorced Husband 1, married Husband 2, divorced Husband 2, married Husband 3, divorced husband 3, and then remarried Husband 2.
(Just like Jesus wanted.)
How did she justify her personal life with the whole “sanctity of marriage” thing? Simple. “God still wasn’t in the picture” until Husband 2’s mother died, she wrote in her book, and they went back to church in 2011. So she wasn’t a hypocrite, everyone; she just wasn’t really a Christian yet.
In fact, in that book, she chalked up the whole hypocrisy charge to “divine irony.” God took a woman married four times and used her to defend marriage against the gays. Isn’t that so mysterious of Him?!
Meanwhile, the state of Kentucky (i.e. the taxpayers) still had to pay around $225,000 in court costs and attorneys’ fees. All this because a Christian bigot decided her government job was just an extension of her church.
It makes you wonder: Has anyone been better off after interacting with Kim Davis in a professional setting?
Davis and Liberty Counsel will likely just ask Christians to donate money to cover her bill. Earlier this week, the group sent out fundraising emails arguing that Davis was the Real Victim™ in all this:
… David Ermold and David Moore are still trying to capitalize on the brief moment of fame they engineered back in 2015. This time they aren’t coming for Kim’s job. Now they want to take everything Kim and her family own.
Liberty Counsel is referring to the fact that David Ermold ran for Davis’ position in 2018. He lost in the Democratic primary, and the other Democrat later beat Kim Davis anyway, but Liberty is pretending this is some belated act of revenge. It’s also deeply hypocritical to say the gay couple wants to “take everything Kim and her family own”—which apparently amounted to $100,000—in the same email where Liberty is asking for money on her behalf.
Liberty has always used Davis as a cash cow and they plan to appeal this ruling as far as they can, hoping that it’ll ultimately reach their conservative allies on the Supreme Court, giving the justices the opportunity to overturn Obergefell v. Hodges.
Kim Davis will be just fine. And so will Joe Kennedy. And so will Barronelle Stutzman. And so will Lorie Smith. And so will all the other self-appointed Christian martyrs who pretend to be victims while shoving their religion in other people’s faces. They wrongly believe their faith grants them automatic permission to break the law and discriminate.
At least in this case, Davis will personally pay the price for her actions, even if it comes eight years too late.
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