Remember Homophobic Zealot Kim Davis? Taxpayers Just Got Stuck With Her Legal Bills.
Kentuckians May Think Twice At The Ballot Box Next Time
Here in my Old Kentucky Home, sometimes religion is an insurmountable social force. We’re home to phenomena like snake dancing revivals where people handle copperheads, cottonmouths, and rattlesnakes while drinking from jars of strychnine cocktails (reports show that they contain harmless amounts of the poison). And we are also home to the Ark Encounter biblical theme park, or the “Ark Park”, that features a 510-foot-long model of Noah’s Ark drawing visitors by the hundreds of thousands, with some even travelling from other countries, to tour the supposed replica.
So it’s no surprise that Kentucky was deemed the front line of the culture wars in 2015 when just days after the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, the Rowan County clerk, Kim Davis, announced that she would no longer issue marriage licenses to any couple because same-sex marriage conflicted with her Apostolic Christian beliefs. Subsequently, a judge sent Davis to jail for refusing his order to issue the licenses. According to Associated Press reports, after five days in a cell, Davis was met by two Republican presidential candidates and thousands of supporters, including a church choir.
It was an embarrassment.
Now things have even gotten worse for the State for we all must pay the legal fees of the lawyers who represented the couples denied marriage licenses by Davis, not Davis herself, a federal judge ordered Friday.
U.S. District Judge David Bunning ruled yesterday that Davis was not liable to pay the more than $224,700 in fees and associated costs accrued by plaintiffs, according to NBC News. Bunning’s order stated,
Davis represented the Commonwealth of Kentucky when she refused to issue marriage licenses to legally eligible couples. The buck stops there.
Related Link: Shocking KY State Law Bringing Bible Into Classrooms
William Sharp, legal director for the ACLU of Kentucky, is quoted by the Associated Press stating he hopes that the ruling reminds Kentucky officials that,
…willful violations of individuals’ civil liberties … will not only be challenged but will also prove costly.
It is unfortunate that Kentucky taxpayers will likely bear the financial burden of the unlawful actions and litigation strategies of an elected official, but those same voters are free to take that information into account at the ballot box.
That’s right. Elections do have consequences. And, unfortunately, urban areas such as my home, Louisville, and others, like Lexington, KY, are striving to promote more inclusive values and policies, unlike the rural areas where Ms. Davis serves. We are all seeing our tax dollars pay for the criminality of a County Clerk in an obscure part of the state where discrimination is common based upon supposed religious freedom. Maddening.
(Header Image Photo by Ty Wright/Getty Images)
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