US pro-marriage registrar must pay damages over conscience stand  

Oct 4, 2023

A former Kentucky county clerk has been ordered to pay $100,000 to a gay couple who sued her after she refused to issue same-sex marriage licences.

Kim Davis rose to international prominence for her stance, which followed the Supreme Court’s decision in 2015 that the US Constitution required all states to conduct same-sex marriages.

Davis argued that issuing such licences violated her religious beliefs that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Initially, she was briefly jailed on contempt of court charges for refusing to issue the licences, though a workaround was found and she was soon released.

In 2022, a federal judge ruled that Davis had violated the constitutional rights of the two gay couples who sued her. The latest decision determined the damages she must pay, with a federal jury ordering her to pay $50,000 each to David Ermold and David Moore.

At C4M, we find it disgraceful that Kim Davis has been forced to hand over a large amount of money merely for standing up for her conscience and for real marriage.

The Supreme Court’s 2015 decision, purporting to find a constitutional right to same-sex marriage in an 18th century legal document, was a clear abuse of judicial power to force a divisive social reform on the whole country without a democratic vote.

Davis was right to stand up to this illiberal move and the way she was then treated – being jailed, dragged through the courts and now fined – shames America.

The case also shows what activists are prepared to do given the opportunity.

This is why it is crucial there are organisations like C4M standing up for real marriage and the conscience rights of those who know introducing same-sex marriage was a mistake. Together we can resist the attempts to silence us.