|Courts & Tribunals
On 23 October 2017, US District Judge David L Bunning denied the request of Governor Matt Bevin to reconsider his 21 July ruling in ”April Miller, et al v. Kim Davis” and affirmed that Kentucky taxpayers still owe nearly $225,000 in legal fees and court costs to the couples for refusing to issue marriage licenses because of the opposition of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis to same-sex marriage [C2.60], [R2.59].
On 21 July 2017, Judge David L Bunning in the US District Court awarded attorney fees and costs amounting to $224,703.08 to the plaintiffs April Miller, et al., who were refused marriage licenses by Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, holding the State of Kentucky liable [C2.58], [R2.57].
On 02 May 2017, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit revived a damages lawsuit against Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who in 2015 refused to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples because it conflicted with her Christian beliefs, ruling the 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 [C2.56], [R2.55].
On 13 July 2016, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit declined to vacate a contempt ruling that sent Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis to jail last September after she refused to issue marriage licenses for gay couples but lifted the 12 August 2015 and 03 September 2015 injunctions, the law being changed by Senate Bill 216 signed by the Governor on 13 April 2016 [C2.54], [R2.53].
On 05 November 2015, US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit denied the latest bid by County Clerk Kim Davis to delay issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples [R2.52].
On 23 September 2015, Judge David L Bunning in the US District Court in the April Miller, et al. v. Kim Davis same-sex marriage case denied the Emergency Motion to Stay the Court’s Injunction Order of 03 September 2015 Pending Appeal filed by Kim Davis [C2.51], [R2.50].
On 15 September 2015, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit refused the application of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis seeking to prevent Beshear and Onkst from enforcing against her a directive requiring all Kentucky county clerks to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and exempting her from issuing marriage licenses pending her appeal [C2.49], [R2.48].
On 11 September 2015, an Emergency Motion was filed in the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on behalf of Kim Davis seeking a stay of the 03 September District Court’s injunction order requiring her to issue marriage licenses pending the appeal hearing [C2.47], [R2.46].
On 08 September 2015, US District Judge David Bunning lifted the contempt order against Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, saying he was satisfied that her deputies were fulfilling their obligation to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples writing, “If Defendant Davis should interfere in any way [directly or indirectly] with their issuance [of marriage licenses], that will be considered a violation of this Order and appropriate sanctions will be considered” [C2.45], [R2.44].
On 04 September 2015, it was reported that US District Court Judge David Bunning found Rowan county clerk Kim Davis in contempt of court for refusing to issue marriage licenses and sent her to jail [R2.43].
On 31 August 2015, without any apparent dissent, the US Supreme Court refused Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis’ plea for protection from having to issue marriage licenses, including licenses for same-sex partners, to which she objects as a matter of faith. Davis has an appeal pending in the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (April Miller, et al. v. Kim Davis, No. 15-5880) arguing that her constitutional right to freedom of conscience should give her an exemption from having any part in the licensing process that would lead to same-sex marriages and may appeal an adverse decision to the US Supreme Court [C2.42], [R2.41].
On 28 August 2015, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis asked Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan for an emergency order that would allow the clerk to deny marriage licenses for same-sex couples [C2.40], [R2.39].
On 26 August 2015, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the application of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis for a stay of the US District Court preliminary injunction enjoining her, in her official capacity, from applying her ‘no marriage licenses’ policy to future marriage license requests, pending the hearing of her appeal [C2.38], [R2.37].
On 17 August 2015, US District Judge David L Bunning issued a temporary stay on his injunction, until August 31, to allow Davis to seek a stay from the Sixth Circuit as she proceeds with her appeal [C2.36], [R2.35].
On 12 August 2015, US District Judge David L Bunning granted a preliminary injunction against Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis who refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses because of her religious beliefs and adopted a policy of not issuing marriage licenses to any couples. The Court essentially held that personal religious beliefs do not exempt government officials from performing the duties of public office [C2.34], [R2.33].
On 26 June 2013, the US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that same-sex couples have the constitutional right to marry and all states must fully recognize same-sex marriages lawfully performed in any jurisdiction [C2.32, [R2.31].
On 16 April 2015, Franklin Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate ruled in favor of same-sex marriage in Kentucky but stayed the effect of his order pending the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage [R2.30].
On 16 January 2015, the US Supreme Court agreed to consider the four same-sex marriage cases from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, consolidated and heard together on the question as to whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires states to licence same-sex marriage and to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages. A ruling is expected before the current term ends in late June [C2.29], [R2.28].
On 29 December 2014, Jefferson Family Court Judge Joseph O’Reilly granted the divorce of Alysha Romero and Rebecca Sue Romero, two Louisville women who were legally married 2009 in Bostom, Massachusetts. It is the first ruling of its kind in Kentucky [C2.27], [R2.26].
On 23 December 2014, the US Supreme Court confirmed that the same-sex marriage cases of Bourke v. Bashear (Kentucky) , DeBoer v. Snyder (Michigan), Obergefell v. Hodges (Ohio) and Tango v. Haslam (Tennessee) were distributed to the Justices for consideration at their 09 January Conference, when the case of Robicheaux v. George (Louisiana) will also be conferenced [R2.25].
On 17 November 2014, petitions were filed in the US Supreme Court seeking a review of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion upholding the same-sex marriage bans in Timothy Love, et al., and Gregory Bourke, et al., v. Steve Beshear [C2.24], [R2.23].
On 06 November 2014, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld same-sex marriaage bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. In contrast, the Fourth, Seventh, and Tenth Circuits have struck the bans down, making it more likely that the US Supreme Court will eventually make a ruling [C2.22], [R2.21].
On 01 July 2014, US District Court Judge John G Hepburn II ruled that Kentucky’s ban on performing same-sex marriages is unconstitutional being in violation of the Equal Protection Clause. The decision is stayed pending further action in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals [C2.20], [R2.19].
On 16 June 2014, the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinatti, in four separate notices, set 06 August at 1 pm as the single day to hear arguments in the five marriage equality cases pending before the court [R2.18].
On 19 March 2014, US District Judge John G. Heyburn II stayed his 27 February final order in the Gregory Burke and Michael DeLeon & Ors. v. Steve Beshear marriage equality case until the US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati either rules on the merits of the case or orders the stay lifted [C2.17], [R2.16].
On 18 March 2014, Governor Steve Beshear filed a notice of appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in the challenge to the state’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriages performed outside the state [C2.15], [R2.14].
On 27 February 2014, US District Judge John G. Heyburn II issued a final order confirming his 12 February ruling that Kentucky’s ban on (recognising out-of-state) same-sex marriages treated “gay and lesbian persons differently in a way that demeans them”. On 28 February the Judge stayed his order until 20 March 2014 [C2.13], [C2.12], [2.11]. The case has been renamed Timothy Love, et. al. v. Steve Beshear et al No. 3:13CV-750-H.
On 14 February 2014, a “Motion to Intervene” was filed on behalf of two couples seeking to have US District Judge John G. Heyburn to expand on his recent decision in “Gregory Bourke et al v. Steve Beshear et al” and declare that the denial of marriage licences to same-sex violates the US Constitution [C2.10], [R2.9].
On 12 February 2014, US District Court Judge John G Heyburn II ruled Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. The ruling did not address the question of the constitutionality of the ban against same-sex marriage within the State [C2.8], [R2.7].
On 23 September 2013, Judge Susan Schultz Gibson ruled that it is “abundantly clear” under Kentucky law that same-sex marriages will not be recognized as valid within the state or recognized from other states and that in the Geneva Case, the same-sex spouse of murder defendant Bobbie Jo Clary, must testify against Clary in her upcoming murder trial, even though state law exempts spouses from being compelled to testify against each other [C2.6], [R2.5].
On 16 August 2013, Jefferson County Judge Susan Schultz Gibson is expected to rule on the question of whether Geneva Case – one member of a 2004 Vermont civil union same-sex couple – has spousal privilege that would shield her from testifying against her partner Bobbie Jo Clary in a capital murder case. Trial is set for 30 August [R2.4].
On 26 July 2013, Gregory Bourke and Michael Deleon filed suit in the US District Court, Western District of Kentucky, seeking a permanent injunction ordering Kentucky officials to recognize their 2004 Canadian marriage [R2.3].
On 30 June 2013, Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Susan Schultz Gibson will hear the Bobbie Joe Clary case raising the issue of whether same-sex spouses are exempt from being compelled to testify against each other and the broader issue of whether the state recognizes marriages or civil unions that are legal elsewhere. In 2004, Case and Clary entered into a civil union in Vermont [C2.2], [R2.1].