Ken­tucky to pay up for same-sex balk

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NATIONAL -

FRANKFORT, Ky. — A fed­eral judge has or­dered Ken­tucky tax­pay­ers to pay more than $220,000 in le­gal fees be­cause a county clerk re­fused to is­sue mar­riage li­censes to same-sex cou­ples in 2015.

On Fri­day, U.S. District Judge David Bun­ning or­dered the state to pay $222,695 in fees to the at­tor­neys of two same-sex cou­ples and oth­ers who sued Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis for re­fus­ing to give them mar­riage li­censes. He also awarded $2,008.08 in other costs. Bun­ning said the county and Davis did not have to pay.

“Davis rep­re­sented the Com­mon­wealth of Ken­tucky when she re­fused to is­sue mar­riage li­censes to legally el­i­gi­ble cou­ples. The buck stops there,” Bun­ning wrote.

But Davis’ at­tor­ney said she will ap­peal the rul­ing any­way. The judge ruled Davis lost the case. At­tor­ney Mat Staver said they did not lose but that the case was dis­missed as moot af­ter the state leg­is­la­ture changed the law in 2016 to re­move the names of county clerks from mar­riage li­censes.

If the ap­peal suc­ceeds, Staver said, state tax­pay­ers would not have to pay le­gal fees be­cause that money can only be awarded to a “pre­vail­ing party.”

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