Today, U.S. District Judge David Bunning awarded $222,695 in fees to the attorneys who represented same-sex couples who sued Kim Davis, the infamous Kentucky state clerk who refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex unions nationwide.
The money will not come out of Davis’ personal bank account or garnished wages but will be paid by the state of Kentucky, which most likely means the pockets of Kentucky taxpayers, says William Sharp, legal director for the ACLU of Kentucky, the group that represented the same-sex couples in court.
Speaking about today’s ruling, Sharp said, “We hope this serves as a reminder to Kentucky officials that willful violations of individuals’ civil liberties, such as what occurred here, will not only be challenged but will also prove costly.”
He added, “It is unfortunate that Kentucky taxpayers will likely bear the financial burden of the unlawful actions and litigation strategies of an elected official, but those same voters are free to take that information into account at the ballot box.”
Davis went to jail on Friday, Sept. 4, 2015 for her refusal to issue marriage licenses and was released five days later. Upon release from prison, Davis became the darling of the Christianist right, appearing at a press conference with anti-LGBTQ Republican politicians Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz.
She was represented in court by the Liberty Counsel, a group that has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The Liberty Counsel has called homosexuality an “immoral, unnatural, and self-destructive … sexual perversion,” have supported laws that criminalize consensual adult anal sex and have promoted the use of ex-gay conversion therapy, a form of psychological abuse that has been widely discredited and disavowed by the psychological community.
The Liberty Counsel compared Davis, who is an Apostolic Christian who has been married four times, to Jews in Nazi Germany completely ignoring the fact that Nazi persecuted homosexuals.
Less than a year after her anti-gay antics, her Kentucky hometown of Morehead held its first ever Pride event.