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Kentucky Clerk Requests Stay After Being Ordered to Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

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Timothy D. Easley/AP Photo

A Kentucky county clerk is standing fast in her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, citing her religious beliefs, and she’s asked that a judge’s ruling ordering her to do so be stayed while she appeals it further, according to the Associated Press.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis has actually stopped issuing licenses entirely, to both heterosexual and homosexual couples, according to the AP.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge David Bunning ordered her to resume her duties as clerk – but on Friday she asked him to stay that ruling while she appeals it to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, according to the AP.

(Following that, presumably, would be an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.)

Davis is “free to believe that marriage is a union between one man and one woman, as many Americans do. However, her religious convictions cannot excuse her from performing the duties that she took an oath to perform as Rowan County clerk,” Judge Bunning wrote, according to the New York Times.

Davis’ case is, according to the paper, the first legal test of such an argument – just how much do a public official’s religious beliefs shield them from their official duties? – since the Supreme Court’s historic Obergefell v. Hodges ruling in June, granting a constitutional right to marriage to same-sex couples.

“Her case will go nowhere,” Katherine Franke, a legal expert at Columbia Law School, told the Times, citing earlier precedent. “She doesn’t get to pick and choose which of her duties she will perform.”

Davis – though in the minority of public officials nationwide who have refused to follow the ruling – is certainly not alone, even in Kentucky, according to the Times. One other county clerk has refused to issue marriage licenses as well, in order to avoid having to grant one to a same-sex couple.

Davis has sued Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, claiming a violation of her religious freedom, according to the Times.

Her refusal first came to light on a national stage when David Ermold and David Moore filmed their trip to her office to request a license, posting the video days after the ACLU announced it was filing a suit against Davis on behalf of two straight couples and two gay couples. (Emold and Moore are not a party in the suit.)

“God is my first love, and I will stand for Him,” Davis told WHAS soon after the Supreme Court’s June 26 ruling. “And if it means I get thrown out of office, we’ll deal with that when it comes.”

Davis did not come to work on Thursday, following the judge’s ruling, according to the Times.

Ermold and Moore, longtime residents of the county, were again denied a license that day, according to the paper. Ermold told the Times, “People are cruel, and this is wrong.”

Neither Davis nor officials from the Rowan County Clerk’s Office immediately responded to PEOPLE’s request for comment.