According to a report from Reuters, a gay couple seeking damages against Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis will be allowed to proceed with their lawsuit. In 2015, Davis made headlines when she refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, even though gay marriage had already been ruled legal by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati said a lower court judge erred in finding that damages claims by David Ermold and David Moore became moot, after a new state law last July excused clerks like Davis, from Rowan County, from having to sign marriage license forms.
While the couple eventually did get a license, a three-judge appeals court panel said they could sue over Davis’ initial refusal to grant one, after the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2015 said the Constitution guaranteed a right to same-sex marriage.
Mat Staver, president of the Christian advocacy group the Liberty Counsel, said that the allowance of the lawsuit to proceed was just a minor setback.
“The ruling keeps the case alive for a little while but it is not a victory for the plaintiffs,” Staver said in a statement. “We are confident we will prevail.”
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) May 2, 2017
The couple’s lawyer, Michael Gartland, said the decision was a “no-brainer.” Both of his clients are seeking “compensatory and punitive damages,” according to Reuters.
“Do I think it’s a million dollar case? Probably not,” Gartland said. “The next step will be to go to discovery and go to trial, where I am confident we will obtain a judgment against Davis.”
Featured image via Carter County Detention Center