Kentucky County Clerk faces charges for defying Supreme Court gay marriage ruling

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MOREHEAD, Ken. -- A Kentucky County Clerk who came into the national spotlight after refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples has continued to deny the licenses, despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling against her.

Hundreds of people on both sides of the gay marriage debate packed into the office of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, who cited God as her reason for denying licenses to gay couples.

"To issue a marriage license which conflicts with God's definition of marriage, with my name affixed to the certificate, would violate my conscience," Davis said, according to the Associated Press. She referred to the situation as "a heaven or hell decision."

Last week a U.S. District Judge's ruling ordering Davis to issue the marriage licenses was upheld by a federal appeals court, but she has continued to turn couples away from her office again and again.

She and her six deputy clerks have been ordered to appear in a federal court hearing on Thursday, where she faces official misconduct charges. If she's held in contempt, Davis could face heavy fines or even jail time. However, representatives of the gay couples have asked punishment be limited to financial penalties.

Davis has been commended by many for adhering to her religious beliefs, including Kentucky's Republican nominee for governor Matt Bevin.

However, her many opponents have called her a hypocrite.

Davis, who has been divorced three times and had two children out of wedlock, joined the Apostolic Christian Church only four years ago, and in critics' eyes, she's in no position to claim moral authority.