Yesterday, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that lawsuits against Kim Davis could proceed. The decision overturned a lower court that had thrown out three lawsuits filed by same-sex couples who were denied marriage licenses by the county clerk.
Kim Davis became a right-wing figurehead when she refused to issue marriage licenses in Rowan County, Kentucky in 2015 after the Supreme Court decision that made same-sex marriage legal. Davis opposes same-sex marriage for religious reasons. She was jailed for contempt of court after refusing to follow a judge’s orders.
David Ermold and David Moore and two other couples sued Davis and the county for damages. Ermold said of Davis, “As a person, she is free to believe and worship as she chooses. As a county clerk … you have a responsibility to the people of your county.”
U.S. District Judge David Bunning had declared the lawsuits moot because of a law change. In 2016, the Kentucky legislature had marriage licenses amended to allow a deputy clerk to sign the forms. Following that switch, one of Davis’s deputies issued marriage licenses in Rowan County, ending the standoff with Davis.
Bunning wrote, “In light of these proceedings, and in view of the fact that the marriage licenses continue to be issued without incident, there no longer remains a case or controversy before the court.”
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