Kentucky to pay up for same-sex balk
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.”