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Some legal fees OK’d in WV gay-marriage lawsuit

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A federal judge on Thursday granted lawyers who fought West Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban payment of legal fees in the case — but less than a third of what they’d asked for.

Attorneys representing the three same-sex couples who sued the Kanawha and Cabell county clerks in 2013 over the state’s then-ban on same-sex marriage will get about $92,000. They had requested about $350,000.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Chambers also said in his order that paying the attorneys’ fees will be the responsibility of the state government. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey intervened in the lawsuit after it was filed.

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“This declaration is part and parcel of the total relief obtained and shows that the State, not the clerks, is responsible for the legislation that violated Plaintiff’s civil rights,” Chambers wrote. “Furthermore, although not named as a defendant in this case, the State was clearly the intended target of this litigation.”

Plaintiffs attorneys asked Chambers in December to approve the amount for 1,033 hours worth of work on the lawsuit that was filed on Oct. 1, 2013. They wrote they were clearly the prevailing party after same-sex couples began marrying in October of last year. Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution requires states to issue marriage licenses to two people of the same-sex.

Attorneys representing the clerks called the amount requested by plaintiffs “grossly excessive…

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