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Jury Awards Gay Couple $100,000 In Kim Davis Marriage License Case


Queer Politics: two rainbow flags bookending the White House.

Before conservative judges were ruling that web designers can deny Queer people service, there was another case that captivated the country: the gay couple who was denied a marriage license in Kentucky. In 2015, Kim Davis, a county clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky, denied David Ermold and David Moore their marriage license. Her reason? They're gay and she was acting under "God’s authority." Ahhh the destruction of the separation between Church and State. Well, the case has finally come to a close and it's a big payday for Ermold and Moore.


Judge Bunning first ruled in favor of the two men in March of last year, when he ruled that Davis' trash behavior was in direct violation of the couple's Constitutional rights. Jude Bunning said that Davis "cannot use her own constitutional rights as a shield to violate the constitutional rights of others while performing her duties as an elected official." From there, a jury-trial hearing need to be held to determine how much the men would be awarded in damages, and that trial was just completed this week. In the end, Judge David Bunning ordered Davis to pay $50,000 to each of the men.

The men admitted through their lawyer that the win was what was so important to them, regardless of whether or not Davis pays them. "The money is irrelevant, and maybe we’ll never get paid, but you saw the reaction of my clients in the courtroom. One of them was in tears, he’s so happy," the couple's attorney Michael Gartland told WSAZ. They added, "I think it was important to them to just win."


Though this is decidedly a win brought to us by the state of Kansas, Kansas has also seen the bad end of the judicial process, as well. The courts recently upheld Kansas' existing gender-affirming care laws that were already in place, a ruling that goes against the recommendations of almost every major medical association.

Davis plans to appeal the ruling, and it's worth noting that she has a group called Liberty Counsel in her corner representing her as her attorney. Liberty Counsel is a conservative religious organization that received almost $430,000 in loans from the Trump administration. They famously successfully filed a legal challenge in Florida, which banned anti-gay conversion therapy.

Though this could very well end up going to the decidedly conservative-leaning Supreme Court, it's at least a major win for the moment. With the nation's highest courts currently facing unprecedented scandals with Clarence Thomas being financed by billionaire Harlan Crow, cases like this are a stark reminder of how important voting is in 2023 and beyond.

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