After the Supreme Court had decided to allow gay couples to get married in any state in the country, one County Clerk by the name of Kim Davis refused to issue the marriage license of a newly married same-sex couple because of her religious beliefs. Now, a federal judge ruled that the state should pay the attorneys of the two parties who filed a lawsuit against Davis.

Davis worked as the county clerk for Rowan County in Kentucky. She was jailed for a few days after refusing still to release the marriage licenses despite a court order. She also halted the issuance of marriage licenses to straight couples due to her unwillingness to release the license to same-sex married couples.

How much the state has to pay in legal fees

U.S. District Judge David Bunning said in a statement that the legal fees the state should pay to the two couples who filed a lawsuit against Davis would amount to a total of $222, 695. He pointed out that the state should pay the attorney’s fees and not Davis herself because the county clerk represented the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The Kentucky taxpayers will have to carry this state’s financial burden. The local government unit of Kentucky did not decide on the matter yet, but a spokesman for Governor Matt Bevin said that an outside counsel for the state is reviewing the judge’s ruling.

Davis' legal team to appeal ruling

Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, who represented Davis in the past, said that they would appeal. The judge said that Davis lost the case against the couples who sued her but Staver stated that they did not lose because the case was dismissed as moot.

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The controversial ruling came after a Kentucky legislature was passed in 2016 to remove the names of county clerks from marriage licenses to avoid situations like this in the future.

Staver also expressed that they are happy that the judge did not let their client or Rowan County pay for the legal expenses. If the result of their appeal would be in favor of Davis, the legal fees will no longer be paid by Kentucky taxpayers.

Supporters of LGTB individuals praise ruling

The legal director for the Kentucky chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, William Sharp, praised the decision and said that he hopes such costly result of Davis’ action should remind that violations towards people’s civil liberties will “be challenged but will also prove costly.”

The couples who were favored by the judge per legal fees did not yet comment.