The local court clerk in Kentucky who continues to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples will appear before a federal judge Thursday to face charges of contempt of court.
The judge ordered Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis last month to resume issuing marriage licenses to all eligible couples, straight or gay, a practice she stopped after the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic ruling in June that legalized same-sex marriages across the nation. Davis says issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples would violate her religious beliefs. The judge issued the order after four couples — two same-sex couples and two opposite-sex couples — filed a lawsuit against her.
An appeals court upheld the lower court judge’s original ruling, and Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan rejected Davis’s request to temporarily block the lower judge’s order on Monday. But Davis has defied the court’s rulings this week, telling same-sex couples seeking marriage licenses that she was acting “under God’s authority.”
Davis will appear before the judge Thursday along with several of her employees. The couples who filed the original lawsuit are asking the judge to impose monetary fines against her. Attorneys have filed a request with the same lower court judge asking him to delay his original order, because she has a pending appeal on a related matter in the case.
NBC says two other country clerks in Kentucky have also refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.