FRANKFORT, Ky. -- A Kentucky county clerk says she is unable to obey a federal judge's order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples because it would irreparably violate her conscience.
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis has refused to issue marriage licenses following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. Two gay couples and two straight couples sued her, and U.S. District Judge David Bunning ordered her to issue the licenses.
But Davis has refused to obey that order even though it was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. She will appear in court Thursday as Bunning decides whether to hold Davis in contempt of court and punish her by imposing fines or jail time.
On Wednesday, Davis' lawyers argued in a court document that Davis cannot obey the judge's order "because it irreparably and irreversibly violates her conscience by directing her to authorize and issue [same-sex marriage] licenses bearing her name and approval."
Last month, Davis asked for an injunction against Gov. Steve Beshear for ordering her to issue the marriage licenses. Bunning refused to hear that motion.
By doing that, Davis' attorneys argue that Bunning effectively denied their motion, which they have the right to appeal.
Davis' attorneys want Bunning to delay his order while they appeal to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.