A federal judge has ordered Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, the elected clerk of Rowan County, and her staff to appear in federal court on Thursday to explain why they continue to refuse to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples despite a court order.

Rather than serve gay and lesbian couples after the Supreme Court struck down gay marriage bans in all 50 states, Davis stopped issuing marriage licenses to all couples. Four couples, two of whom are gay, filed a lawsuit.

A judge ruled against Davis, an Apostolic Christian who says she has a religious belief that marriage is a heterosexual union.

The Supreme Court on Monday denied Davis' request to block the order as she pursues an appeal.

On Tuesday, Davis turned away at least four gay couples.

She told one couple that her office was not issuing marriage licenses on the “authority of God.”

The ACLU of Kentucky asked the judge to hold Davis in contempt of court, arguing that she has “violated a definite and specific order” and that the court is left “with no choice but to hold her in contempt.”