Jury considering how much Kim Davis owes same-sex couples

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Rowan County Clerk of Courts Kim Davis waves to a crowd of her supporters at a rally in front of the Carter County Detention Center on September 8, 2015 in Grayson, Kentucky. Davis was ordered to jail for five days for contempt of court after refusing a court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. (Photo by Ty Wright/Getty Images)

A federal jury is in the process of deciding how much Kim Davis, the former Kentucky county clerk who was jailed for her refusal to provide marriage licenses to same-sex couples, should pay in damages to those couples.

Davis had previously been the clerk for Rowan County, Kentucky. After the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges in which the Court recognized same-sex marriage as a constitutional right, Davis refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples on the grounds that following the law offended her religious beliefs.

Davis was jailed for five days for her refusal. In 2020, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that “Davis may have been one of the first victims of this Court’s cavalier treatment of religion in its Obergefell decision, but she will not be the last.”

Two couples for whom Davis denied marriage licenses on multiple occasions — David Ermold and David Moore, and James Yates and William Smith — sued Davis for violating their civil rights.

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