Kentucky On The Hook For Huge Legal Bill In Marriage Equality Fight

Newly-installed (and virulently anti-gay) Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin is now tasked with having to pay the winning lawyers in the state’s unsuccessful marriage equality case.

And under federal law, the governor has no choice but to pay them. To ensure “effective access to the judicial process” for “persons with civil rights grievances,” the losing side must pay the winner’s legal fees in an amount the courts decide is reasonable.

In Ohio and Michigan, for example, whose gay marriage bans were struck down with Kentucky’s, the Republican governors in those two states settled with the winning lawyers, for $1.3 million and $1.9 million, respectively.

The winning legal team is seeking $2,091,297. I would look for the amount to be somewhere in the 60-65% range.

I’d love it if someone could tell us how much it cost states to fight marriage equality all the way to the  U. S. Supreme Court.

County Clerk Kim Davis Finds It “Ironic” God Used Her To Deny Loving Couples A Marriage License

“How ironic that God would use a person like me, who failed so miserably at marriage in the world, to defend it now.

“The Lord picks the unlikely source to convey the message.”

– 4x married Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis to the Associated Press regarding her journey this past year denying same-sex couples a legal marriage license because she disapproved. 

New Kentucky Governor Issues Executive Order Removing County Clerks Names From Marriage Licenses

Newly elected Gov. Matt Bevin of Kentucky has issued an executive order removing the requirement for county clerks names on marriage licenses.

For months County clerk Kim Davis asked that the governor’s office make such a change so she would not be, at least in her eyes, a “party” to a same-sex marriage.

Outgoing Gov. Beshear insisted his office did not have the authority to change state law. It appears some legal minds still agree with Beshear.

Bevin’s order on marriage licenses directs the state Department of Libraries and Archives to change the wording on forms so that the names of county clerks are not required to appear. The issue gained national attention after Davis, Rowan County’s clerk, refused to sign off the forms, citing her Apostolic Christian beliefs and objections to same-sex marriage.

Beshear argued for months that state statute determined the wording on marriage licenses and that he could not remove clerks’ names. However, Bevin’s press release states that the change is needed to “ensure that the sincerely held religious beliefs of all Kentuckians are honored.”

William Sharp, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, released a statement saying that Bevin’s action has created a cloud of uncertainty over marriage licenses in the state.

“The requirement that the county clerk’s name appear on marriage licenses is prescribed by Kentucky law and is not subject to unilateral change by the governor – conceded by the previous administration in court filings,” he said. “Today, however, a new administration claims to have that authority.”

Kim Davis Sidesteps Questions Whether Other Religions Deserve The Same Exemptions She Demands

Kim “I love all people” Davis

Professional martyr and occasional County Clerk Kim Davis sat down with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly to talk about her ongoing refusal to follow the law when it comes to issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

You’ll note that when directly asked if other non-Christian faiths should receive similar exemptions to the one she’s demanding, she sidesteps the question: “You have millions of Christians who object to this whole same-sex marriage issue. Are their rights invalid? Are their rights not worth anything?”

She also mentions that there’s “no way” she would issue a marriage license to her own child if they were to come out as gay or lesbian.

However, Davis went on to say that she “loves all people. I have love in my heart for everyone.”

I’ll just leave that right there.

Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis Alters Marriage License Forms

Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis, who continues to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples over “religious beliefs,” may have more legal troubles.

Davis, the County Clerk for Rowan County, was famously taken into custody when she refused to follow a federal court order (and the law) regarding issuance of marriage licenses. She was released from jail on the condition that she would not interfere in any way with her deputies issuing licenses.

It would appear that she may not have held to her end of that bargain.

Via Buzzfeed:

The lawyer for Deputy Clerk Brian Mason brought that issue to U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning’s attention on Friday, noting that it “appears to this counsel those changes were made in some attempt to circumvent the court’s orders and may have raised to the level of interference against the court’s orders.”

When Bunning released Davis from jail on his contempt order, he released her on the condition that she not interfere with the issuance of licenses.

In Friday’s filing, Mason’s lawyer added that his client’s concern is that “he does not want to be the party that is issuing invalid marriage licenses.” He also noted that Mason “is trying to follow the court’s mandate, as well as his superior [Davis] ordering him to issue only these changed forms.”

One of many questions unanswered at this point is whether Davis has the authority to change a legal state form.

Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis Loses In Court Again

Another misguided appeal by beleaguered Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis, another denial from federal court.

Kim Davis’ lawyers asked U.S. District Judge David Bunning to order the governor of Kentucky to force the state to accommodate her “deeply held religious beliefs” (that don’t include divorce).

Judge Bunning ruled against the request saying his court does not have the authority to order state officials to alter or amend state license forms.

Via Equality Case Files:

In her Motion, Davis suggests that the Court could easily stem the tide of litigation by simply ordering Governor Beshear and Commissioner Onkst to remove her name and authorization from the marriage license form.

While this is a seemingly simple request, it is not consistent with principles of federalism.

Under the Eleventh Amendment, as interpreted by Pennhurst, the Court simply does not have the authority to order Governor Beshear or Commissioner Onkst to alter the marriage license form or amend KRS §402.100 based on alleged violations of Davis’ rights under the Kentucky Constitution and Ky. RFRA.

Davis’ claims brought under state law should therefore be brought in Kentucky state court. To the extent that she seeks relief in the form of such an accommodation for violations of Kentucky state law, only the state court can grant such relief.

What Ms. Davis’ only remedies are:

Allow her office to issue the marriage licenses OR,

Wait for the state legislature’s next session in January and hope for changes in the law that will remove her authority on the issue of marriage licenses.

It’s her choice. Until then she has to issue the licenses as part of her job.

It’s actually quite simple.

Anti-Government “Patriots” Plan To Stop U.S. Marshals From Arresting Kim Davis Again

Oath Keepers stationing themselves as snipers near Bundy Ranch
near Las Vegas last year

You’ll recall the Oath Keepers, a heavily armed, anti-government “Patriot” group, from their standoff last year at the Bundy Ranch near Las Vegas, Nevada, and also stationing themselves armed with heavy duty assault rifles outside military recruitment centers this year after the Chattanooga shooting.

In addition, they made an unsettling appearance in Ferguson, Missouri, with their assault rifles, walking among protesters in an act of intimidation.

Now, the group says they will offer to be Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis’ “personal security detail” in order to stop federal marshals from arresting Ms. Davis should she renege on her agreement to not interfere with the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Rowan County.

Via Right Wing Watch:

Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes announced yesterday that he had reached out to Davis’ lawyers at Liberty Counsel to offer the protection of his group, which he says is already forming a presence in Rowan County, Kentucky, where Davis was recently released from jail after prohibiting her office from issuing marriage licenses.

Rhodes said in a statement that his position has nothing to do with gay marriage, but rather his conviction that Davis had been illegally detained by the federal judge who held her in contempt for violating multiple court orders.

Rhodes said that the Rowan County sheriff should have blocked U.S. Marshals from detaining Davis, but since neither the sheriff nor the state’s governor will do their “job” and “intercede” on behalf of Davis, the Oath Keepers will have to do it instead. “As far as we’re concerned, this is not over,” he said, “and this judge needs to be put on notice that his behavior is not going to be accepted and we’ll be there to stop it and intercede ourselves if we have to. If the sheriff, who should be interceding, is not going to do his job and the governor is not going to do the governor’s job of interceding, then we’ll do it.”

Rhodes says his guys are already in the area and more are on their way. He says his group plans to “lead by example” should law enforcement seek to arrest Ms. Davis again.

In my opinion, this is basically private citizens choosing to take the law in their own hands (or oppose it).  Bad idea.

Let’s see: assault rifles in the hands of folks who aren’t trained to handle high pressure situations.

What could possibly go wrong?

Listen to Rhodes below discuss the issue with Jackson County, Kentucky, Sheriff Denny Peyman:

U.S. District Judge Bunning Releases Kim Davis From Custody

Click pic to enlarge

U.S. District Judge David Bunning has released rogue County Clerk Kim Davis from custody on the condition that she not interfere with the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples by her deputy clerks.

Should she interfere, the judge threatens “appropriate sanctions,” whatever those might be.

The judge also calls for Status reports every 14 days from the deputy clerks on the compliance with the court’s order.

The HRC issued this statement upon her release:

“It is imperative that Kim Davis follow the law and allow same-sex couples to access their constitutional right to marry the person they love. Period,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “While Davis has the right to believe whatever she likes, as a public official she has no legal basis to refuse to follow the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. The overwhelming majority of public officials across this country are following the law, and history will not judge her kindly. It’s far past time for this needless ordeal to end.”

Not sure what’s next. Will bat-shit crazy Kim Davis interfere? Will she get fined or thrown back in jail?

Tune in next time – same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.

Kentucky Gov. Beshear Says Kim Davis’ Conflict Is “Between Her And The Courts”

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear

Rogue County Clerk Kim Davis continues to cool her heels in the hoosegow in Rowan County as her lawyers file an motion to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals appealing her contempt of court charges.

Her lawyers have also asked Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear to “exempt” her from having to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples until the state legislature can convene in January and perhaps pass legislation removing the names of county clerks from marriage licenses.

Beshear’s answer was to say he has no intention of responding to the request saying the conflict was a “matter between her and the courts.”

Most legal analysts say Davis’ team has little to no chance of receiving any kind of respite from the 6th Circuit.

In other “Kim Davis” news – the much anticipated crowd-sourcing campaign to raise money for Davis was launched over the holiday weekend, but so far it hasn’t grown into the vast windfall other anti-gay folks have seen. At this writing the fund has raised less than $6,000.

I guess Davis will have to look to a book deal to make her martyr millions.