Juries determine damages in same-sex couples’ lawsuits against Kim Davis

Two juries have determined the amount of damages Kim Davis owes two same-sex couples.
Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 2:55 PM CDT
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ASHLAND, Ky. (WKYT) - Two juries have determined the amount of damages Kim Davis owes two same-sex couples.

A federal trial began Monday afternoon to decide damages after a judge ruled the former Rowan County clerk violated their constitutional rights when she denied them marriage licenses.

The two cases are separate but very similar. So, they were tried at the same time.

On Wednesday, the juries announced their verdicts.

Davis was ordered by a jury to pay $50,000 each to David Ermold and David Moore.

“This is just complete vindication. They felt the weight of the world on them this week and the last eight years,” said one of their attorneys, Joe Buckles.

On July 6th, 2015, former Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis denied David Ermold and David Moore a marriage license. They would go back twice and would be denied both times.

“They never wanted this,” said Buckles. “They just wanted to be married. They had been in a committed relationship for 18 years.”

Davis’ attorneys with Liberty Counsel say they do plan to appeal the decision. In a statement, they said, “The Ermold jury verdict is unsound and easily sets this case up for an eventual route to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

If the Supreme Court takes the Ermold case, religious freedom will be central to the argument.

Another jury decided that James Yates and Will Smith, who were denied a marriage license five times, were not owed any compensation.

“You just never know what drove seven people to decide one way. And seven people to decide zero. I was shocked, personally. I can understand that the lawyers are heartbroken, and so are their clients. I don’t think justice was served in that case,” said Michael Gartland, one of Ermold and Moore’s attorneys.

Gartland and Buckles are also asking for their attorney fees to be paid for by Davis.

They say after a judge makes this decision, Davis’ team has 30 days to file an appeal.