Kentucky clerk who refused same-sex marriage licenses can be sued

Federal appeals court rules Kim Davis can be sued in her individual capacity for refusing to issue marriage certificates to same-sex couples in 2015

Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who in 2015 refused to sign off on same-sex marriage certificates, can be sued.

In a 3-0 decision, the 6thCircuit Court of Appeals said Davis could be sued in her individual capacity.

The legal challenged arose following Davis’s refusal to issue marriage certificates to David Ermold and David Moore, and Will Smith and James Yates.

The appeals court said the same-sex couples, which applied for the certificates shortly after the US Supreme Court legalized homosexual marriages, could now try and prove Davis acted unreasonably.

“In short, plaintiffs pleaded a violation of their right to marry: a right the Supreme Court clearly established in Obergefell,” Circuit Judge Richard Griffin wrote. “The district court therefore correctly denied qualified immunity to Davis.”

The decision upheld rulings by U.S. District Judge David Bunning in Covington, Kentucky and returned the lawsuits to him. Both couples are now married.

Mat Staver, the founder of Liberty Counsel which has been representing Davis, told NBC News, “At the end of the day, she will ultimately prevail. She had no hostility to anyone, given that she stopped issuing all marriage licenses.”


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