Kim Davis marriage license lawsuits dismissed; court rules for Rowan County clerk

All three marriage license lawsuits against Rowan County clerk Kim Davis have been dismissed by U.S. Judge David Bunning on Thursday, Aug. 18. The cases against Davis were brought to court in 2015 when she refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples after the U.S. Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage legal in all states.

Kentucky's Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, who was briefly jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, makes remarks after receiving the "Cost of Discipleship" award at a Family Research Council conference in Washington September 25, 2015. | Reuters/James Lawler Duggan

The Liberty Counsel, the non-profit group that represented Davis, celebrated the victory in a press release issued on Friday, Aug. 19. "Kim Davis has won! We celebrate this victory for her and for every American," declared Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel.

"County clerks are now able to perform their public service without being forced to compromise their religious liberty. The case is now closed and the door has been shut on the ACLU's attempt to assess damages against Kim Davis," Staver added.

Davis spent six days in jail in September 2015 when she was cited for contempt because she refused to issue marriage licenses. She was eventually released on the condition that she would not interfere in the issuance of marriage licenses of same-sex couples, according to a report by the Washington Post.

Last April, Reuters reported that Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin passed a legislation that would not require the signature of the county clerk in marriage licenses. "There is no additional cost or work required by our county clerks. They are now able to fully follow the law without being forced to compromise their religious liberty," Bevin said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

The bill also made changes to the licenses to accommodate both heterosexual and same-sex couples. The license would allow applicants to choose whether they wished to be addressed as a bride, groom or spouse.

Michael Aldridge, executive director of The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Kentucky, expressed his approval of the bill to create a uniform marriage license. The ACLU represented the three couples who sued Davis in court.