A federal judge has ruled that Kim Davis, who was a county clerk in Kentucky, violated the constitutional rights of same-sex couples to whom she repeatedly denied marriage licenses.
Davis, who made headlines and became a hero to many conservatives in 2015, claimed her right to religious beliefs allowed her to deny the licenses even though the Supreme Court had legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.
It’s “apparent” the plaintiffs have a 14th Amendment “right to marry,” the judge wrote. “It is also readily apparent that Davis made a conscious decision to violate Plaintiffs’ right,” he added.
The case involved just two couples, but Davis refused to issue marriage licenses to any same-sex couples who sought them while she was clerk of Rowan County.
A lower court judge ordered her in 2015 to issue the licenses, and she was jailed for five days for contempt of court when she defied him. She was released only after her staff issued the licenses on her behalf but removed her name from the form. The state legislature later passed a law removing the names of all county clerks from marriage licenses.