Published: Thu, May 04, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Court: Gay couple's suit against Kentucky clerk can proceed

Court: Gay couple's suit against Kentucky clerk can proceed

A federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday that a lawsuit seeking damages against Davis for her obstruction can be revived, meaning that same-sex couples whose lives were impeded by Davis' failure to carry out her duties may be compensated.

Ermold and Moore argued, successfully, that because their suit sought damages for being turned away, they had the right to pursue that claim in court.

While that controversy may have faded from the minds of many Americans, WKYT reports that a judge's new ruling "basically sets the clock back two years, pretty much putting [Davis and the couple] back at the beginning of this case". You can read through the entire Appelate Court document, here.

The decision also spells another chapter in the fraught history shared by Ermold, Moore and Davis, whose confrontation at Davis' office drew national attention following the Supreme Court's June 2015 legalization of same-sex marriage. Those specific plaintiffs are David Ermold and David Moore.

The case was initially struck down in a lower court which claimed that a later law which gave clerks like Davis the ability to grant the licenses without attaching their name to the document. "Ermold and Moore contend that Governor [Matt] Bevin's signing of Senate Bill 216 did not moot their case because they sought damages for harms allegedly caused by Davis's refusal to issue them a marriage license".

Ermold and Moore had got a licence eventually, a three-judge panel of the 6th Circuit said they can still sue over the initial refusal by Davis.

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A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday the case could continue. The clerk for Rowan County, Ky., is being sued for refusing to issue marriage licenses on religious grounds in 2015.

Not surprisingly, Davis's lawyer Mat Staver dismissed their legal victory in a statement.

The couple's attorney, Michael J. Gartland, is confident his clients will prevail.

"We're going to get damages, I'm sure of that", Gartland said, according to the Lexington Herald-Ledger. Davis lost, and spent five days in jail for refusing to follow a court order.

Davis recently dropped her case against Kentucky, in which she claimed the state was violating her First Amendment rights. "This is their attempt to go after Kim Davis". "I can't imagine it's a huge amount of damages, but there are damages".

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