A Pennsylvania county clerk on Thursday asked a federal appeals court to stay a judge's ruling striking down the state's ban on gay marriage.

Theresa Santai-Gaffney, the clerk of orphans court and register of wills in Schuylkill County, filed the request in response to a ruling handed down Wednesday denying her intervenor status in the case.

U.S. District Judge John E. Jones on May 20 struck down Pennsylvania's restrictive marriage ban without staying his decision. Pennsylvania became the 19th state, in addition to the District of Columbia, to allow gay couples to marry when Governor Tom Corbett decided not to appeal Jones' ruling.

Santai-Gaffney claims she should be allowed to appeal the decision because it affected her rights and duties as an elected official and left the state's marriage law in a state of limbo. Jones knocked down both arguments.

“Simply stated, Santai-Gaffney's 'rights and duties' are to comply with the current state of the law, and she may not exercise any independent judgment when issuing marriage licenses,” Jones wrote in denying her request.

“There is simply no unclarity in the current status of the laws governing the issuance of marriage licenses in Pennsylvania, and Santai-Gaffney can claim no confusion,” he added.

He also criticized the clerk for her actions: “If the highest elected official in the commonwealth chooses to abide by our decision, it defies credulity that we could permit a single citizen to stand in for him to perfect an appeal.”

Santai-Gaffney appealed the decision to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. She also asked the court to stay Jones' ruling which effectively legalized same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania.

Vic Walczak, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) who worked on the case, told The Morning Call that he doesn't expect Santai-Gaffney to prevail.