Kentucky must pay attorney fees for couples who sued Kim Davis

A federal judge ruled Friday that Kentucky taxpayers must foot the bill for more than $220,000 in attorney fees for the couples who were denied marriage licenses by the Rowan County clerk, WKYT reported.

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In July 2015, four couples -- two same-sex and two opposite-sex filed suit against Kim Davis, who had refused to issue marriage licenses. Davis cited her religious beliefs for not issuing the licenses and was briefly jailed for contempt of court.

U.S. District Judge David Bunning wrote that "Davis represented the Commonwealth of Kentucky" when she made her refusal. "The buck stops there.""

Bunning, who ruled against Davis in the original lawsuit, said Rowan County and Davis herself were not responsible for paying the $222,695 in attorneys' fees, NPR reported.

William Sharp, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union in Kentucky, said his organization was pleased with the ruling.

“We hope this serves as a reminder to Kentucky officials that willful violations of individuals’ civil liberties ... will not only be challenged but will also prove costly.”

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