Christian marriage clerk told to pay $100k damages in same-sex case

Kim Davis.Reuters

A former county clerk is to appeal after a jury ruled she should pay $100,000 in damages over her refusal to sign a same-sex marriage licence. 

The verdict against Kim Davis was handed down by a federal jury last week.

She was sued by David Ermold and David Moore after refusing to sign their marriage licence in Rowan County, Kentucky in 2015. 

The jury awarded Ermold and Moore $50,000 each. 

Speaking to National Public Radio, their legal counsel Joe Buckles, said, "The Supreme Court says that my clients have a constitutional right to marry under the 14th Amendment.

"But this case isn't really about [Davis'] religion. The case isn't really about our clients' right to marry.

"The case is about a government official that just refused to do her job. It's a pretty simple case."

Davis was represented by Liberty Counsel, who argued that there was insufficient evidence to justify the damages awarded to Ermold and Moore.

"Plaintiffs are required to provide evidence of damages and it cannot be based on speculation or guesswork," it said.

"Because the plaintiffs provided the jury with no evidence whatsoever to give the jury any basis upon which to enter a damages verdict, the judge should never have given the case to the jury."

Liberty also argues that her religious beliefs should have been accommodated.

"She was entitled to a religious accommodation from issuing marriage licenses under her name and authority that conflicted with her religious beliefs," it said.

The legal group continued, "When the newly elected Republican Governor Matt Bevin took office in December 2015, he granted religious accommodation to all clerks by Executive Order.

"Then in April 2016, the legislature unanimously granted religious and conscience accommodation to all clerks from issuing marriage licenses that conflict with their religious beliefs."