(Adds remarks from U.S. Attorney for Eastern Kentucky, details,
paragraphs 3-6)By Steve Bittenbender (Reuters) – A county clerk in Kentucky
sought an emergency injunction on Wednesday to temporarily block
a federal court order requiring her to issue marriage licenses
to same-sex couples, a day before she goes to court to face
contempt charges.Kim Davis, the elected Rowan County clerk, says her
religious beliefs as an Apostolic Christian stop her from
issuing marriage licenses to gay couples despite a U.S. Supreme
Court ruling in June that made gay marriage legal nationwide.The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week and the U.S.
Supreme Court on Monday denied Davis’ requests to temporarily
block the order requiring the county to issue marriage licenses.

Her refusal to issue licenses drew a rare response on
Wednesday from the top federal prosecutor for the area, who is
not a party to the case.”We have grave concerns about the reported failure to comply
with the court’s order,” U.S. Attorney Kerry Harvey said in a
statement. “Government officials are free to disagree with the
law, but not disobey it.”Attorneys for Davis said in their filing on Wednesday that
an injunction would “halt the irreversible implications on
Davis’ conscience” while the appeals court reviews her claims
and less burdensome alternatives.

Despite claims by Davis’s legal counsel that an executive
order allowing her not to sign the licenses would address the
issue, a spokesman for Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear affirmed
on Wednesday that Beshear has no authority over Davis’ office.Davis, who has refused to issue marriage licenses to any
couples, gay or straight, is represented by Liberty Counsel, a
Florida-based Christian religious advocacy organization.

Four couples filed a federal lawsuit in July challenging her
policy of not issuing licenses. The couples filed a motion on
Tuesday asking U.S. District Judge David Bunning to hold her in
contempt of court, seeking fines but no jail time.Liberty is providing legal services at no cost to Davis, but
have not discussed payment on any potential fines, the group’s
founder and Chairman Mathew Staver told Reuters in an email.”However, we do know that there is a lot of support for Kim
Davis in the event that she is fined. And we believe that there
would be sufficient number of people that would help cover some
or all of it,” Staver …Read More